Have you ever felt like you are living a life that doesn’t quite fit you? Time to find the real you? Maybe you’re in a job that doesn’t inspire you anymore, or you’re going through a life transition that has shaken your confidence. Or, perhaps you are where I was a couple of years ago. Knowing I’d stayed way past my expiration date after 30 years in the industry. Knowing it was time to retire and start a new chapter, but letting the fear of the unknown keep me safe inside my comfort zone.

It’s a common experience, especially for women who know they have more to offer the world, but unsure what that “something” might be. Sometimes it’s a challenge to navigate that neutral zone between a career identity and a true, authentic self. 

But it doesn’t have to be. By identifying your natural talents and strengths, you can gain a better understanding of your true identity and what you have to offer in this next chapter of your life. One tool that helped me on my journey of self-discovery is the Clifton Strengths assessment.

Clifton Strengths, formally known as the Clifton StrengthsFinder, is an in-depth personality test created by the Gallup Organization. It has been used to identify individuals’ strengths since 1998. The assessment is based on the idea that each person has natural abilities that, when leveraged, can lead to greater success and fulfillment in life.

It measures 34 different character traits and assigns scores based on how one responds to each trait. Each result includes a list of your top five signature strengths, which serve as valuable insights into what makes you unique so you can design a next chapter and show up as your true, authentic self. 

One of the reasons why the Clifton Strengths assessment is particularly useful during times of transition is that it helps you move beyond the labels and roles you may have taken on in your career or personal life. When we spend years in a particular profession or environment, we can become accustomed to certain ways of thinking and behaving. We may even start to identify with the persona we’ve created in that role, rather than our true selves.

I know I did.

So, when that changes and you’re no longer in that role, you’re often left feeling lost and unsure of who you really are. Trust me. An identity crisis is real. But, assessments like Clifton Strengths can help break through labels that may have defined us during a particular chapter of life so you can uncover your true identity. Assessments can be powerful tools for self-reflection and self-awareness.

Knowing these strengths is especially important when facing a transition or in the thick of one. Finding the real you through understanding your strengths helps you identify career paths and opportunities you might pursue that allow you to use your natural abilities, helps you recognize your acquired skills and talent so you can repackage it, and identify areas where practice or further education may be needed to pursue new hobbies or interests. 

At the end of the day, designing a next chapter means pursuing a lifestyle that aligns with who you really are instead of the person others expected you to be (and you became) in your career. By identifying your natural talents and strengths, you can gain a better understanding of your authentic self and what you have to offer in the next chapter. 

Clifton Strengths is just one tool I used to help me uncover my unique strengths and talent. 

But, it’s only one.

My book, my Zone of Genius quiz, and my upcoming signature Next Chapter Plan™ Academy are other powerful tools to help you uncover your unique strengths and talent, reclaim your identity, and build a more authentic version of yourself that is reflective of your values and interests so you can live a life that is true to your authentic self. It will help you find the real you. Interested? My Zone of Genius quiz is a fun (and free) first step. Take the Quiz. And, if you’re ready to dive right in, grab my book on Amazon. And, be sure to let me know what your Genius is. I can’t wait to hear about what you’re doing to find the real you.