What are you good at?

Compass by Vero Villa

I’ve been feeling a bit wobbly lately.  Lacking a clear direction.  Not pointed toward my True North.

When I was teaching and students came to me struggling with direction – choosing a major or drafting their resume – I would recommend that they start with the most basic questions:

What are you good at?       What are you bad at?

Simply stepping back and answering those two things can help you cut through the mental clutter and see things more clearly.

So here’s me following my own advice:

I am good at…

Managing people.  Building teams, evaluating performance, helping people grow.

Presenting information.  Sorting data, seeing connections, making it all look pretty.

I am bad at…

Networking.  All the awkward discomfort of mingling at a cocktail party without the alcohol.  Thank you, no.

Technology.  I’m proficient enough to do what I need to do but don’t care enough to really understand it.  I am certain my son will surpass me technologically by the age of 4.

Navigation.  I have no sense of direction.  I can (and will) get lost at the mall.  This doesn’t have a strong career implication but is something you should know in case we’re ever in a survival situation together.


How about you?  What are you good and bad at?


(Photo by Vero Villa via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)


13 thoughts on “What are you good at?

    1. dglenning

      I’ve goy you beat Shanna! I’m 36, know what I want to do, but have spent most of my life telling myself that I can’t have it because it’s not a real job. It’s kind of dumb of me, but I’m working on it.

  1. Samantha

    Shanna, you’re 31? I’m 42 and I’m just now trying to sort out those questions. And I’m trying to figure out what I love about my current job in case I would ever want to transfer to a different field. But good luck to you!

    1. dglenning

      It’s amazing to me how many people feel this way, or are in these kinds of situations. What’s equally amazing is that some people have it all figured it out: they knew awhile ago, made a plan, and made it happen! Where’d they learn to do that?

  2. Jane Watson

    Bernandine, I’ve been doing some thinking in this same stream recently. Your post reminds me that this circling back to reassess what we are good at, and what we are not naturally inclined to do well, takes a slightly different tone and delivers slightly different answers at different points in our lives. I feel so much more comfortable these days with owning the things I am not good at (prolonged attention to detail, dealing with highly emotional people). I think it’s really valuable to revisit this kind of assessment periodically. Oh, and I happen to be gifted with an excellent sense of direction, so if you plan on getting into any survival situations let me know; I have your back 🙂

    1. Bernadine Post author

      Nice point, Jane. Our perspective does change as we move thru life. And I’ll make a note that you’re good with navigation. I’m compiling a list of go-to people for the zombie apocalypse. 😉

  3. myfirstmemoir

    Bernadine, thanks for following my recent post. I think it’s most important to simply know what we “don’t want” or “are not good at” in life. Then, we use our life experiences to determine what we like and keep moving forward, always reevaluating! My most recent post talked about allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and coming from A Place of Yes…more specifically, using our personal brand/lens to define our mission and then dedicating everything we do going forward to solely support that single mission. I probably explained it better on my blog but I hope this adds to your discussion, as well. Being vulnerable and really owning your truths gives the world what it really needs!

  4. Donna Merrill (@donna_tribe)

    Hi Bernadine,

    I often ask myself that question. I know I have “the gift of gab” and am a social person so I’m good at reaching out to others, social media, and engagement. What I lack is technical knowledge. I am blessed to work with my husband and he has more of that kind of knowledge. But he lacks in social skills. So together, as a team, we can run our business together.

    When it comes to a point of doing technical things beyond what we can do, all we have to do is hire someone…no worries!

    It is important to ask ourselves these questions, especially if we write them down and see for ourselves. Not only does it give us clear direction, but sometimes we notice we are good at something we just take for granted.

    What we are not good at (especially if we write it down) can be a way to pay attention to the learning curves we must take to improve ourselves.

    Great question!


  5. Bernadine Post author

    Thanks for stopping by, Donna. And you’re right…sometimes we do take for granted the things we are good at. Perhaps we forget because those things come easy for us. Or we’re just too busy beating ourselves up for all the things we’re not good at.

  6. hl223

    I like to look at it as things that I am skilled/successes at and things that need improvement/areas of opportunities. I’m successare are that I am good at time management and cranking out quality work (among other things) and I think my biggest areas of opportunity are patience and networking, although, I see myself improving in these areas every day.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s