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How to Find a Talent

It's time to rethink talent. Talents may be artistic or technical, mental or physical, personal or social. You can be a talented introvert or a talented extrovert. Your talents need not be profitable, useful, or conventional, but they will always be your own, a part of what makes you into you. Learning to look for your talents in the right places and building those talents into skills and abilities might take some work, but going about it creatively will let you explore your natural abilities and find your innate talents.

Part One of Three:
Looking For Talents
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  1. 1
    Stop waiting for talents to appear. You can’t know if you’ve got a talent for guitar if you never try to play guitar. Ditto didgeridoo, knitting, badminton, and Tuvan throat singing. Find a talent that seems cool and learn everything you can about it. Find out what it takes and see what you've got. If you never try, you'll never know. You’re not going to find a talent without trying. You can only find your natural abilities, skills, and talents when you test your mettle and actively seek new experiences. Face down obstacles and seek out challenges to see what innate skills and abilities you might be hiding.
  2. 2
    Try things that are easy. What comes naturally to you? What do you do without thinking? What do you love? Look to your obsessions and your interests for the possibility of talent. If you love to spend all day doodling, reading, or dancing, there's no point in wasting time wishing you had a talent for baking. Focus on the talents you do have by focusing on what comes easiest to you.
    • If you're in school, what homework comes most easily to you? What worries you the least? That might clue you in to natural talents.
    • Pay attention to what other people might have noted about you. It’s common that others might have a keener sense of what you're good at than you will yourself. Ask your family, your friends, and your teachers to help you figure out what you make look easy.
  3. 3
    Try things that are hard. Does the stage frighten you, or maybe public speaking? Writing a story and finishing it? Grab the mic and put pen to paper. Do what scares you. What would be your bucket list talent? What would you love to be naturally good at, without trying? Face down big challenges and find out what it takes to be good at them.
    • Start learning everything you can about different talents and skills to demystify the process. Shredding an electric guitar like Hendrix might look impossible, but if you don’t know a G chord from a flatpick, you don’t really have any clue how hard it is.
    • James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader and noted Shakespearean actor with a booming, godlike voice, suffered from terrible stuttering as a child. He was terrified of speaking in class and only learned to speak properly by facing his fear. Now, he’s widely recognized as one of the most talented voice actors in the world.
  4. 4
    Follow your obsessions. What are other people tired of hearing you talk about? What do you have to drag yourself away from? Use the things you're obsessed with to discover abilities and talents that might be hiding under the surface.
    • Even if you’re obsessed with something that’s hard to connect to a talent, like watching television or movies, give yourself some credit. Maybe you have a talent for telling stories, or analyzing narratives. Maybe you have a talent for appreciating camera angles. Every film critic gets a start in the exact same way. Channel that obsession into learning about film history and learning how movies are made.
  5. 5
    Keep track of little successes. If you're feeling talentless, maybe it's because you've been missing out on your own successes. Try to pay close attention to successes, both little and big, to identify things for which you might have a natural talent. Think creatively about how these little successes might connect to more significant talents and abilities.
    • Maybe you've just thrown a killer party. Might not sound like a talent, but if you've got the people skills, the planning, and the organization abilities necessary to pull it off, celebrate that as a success. Maybe you have leadership talents and managerial skills that will prove useful down the road.
  6. 6
    Ignore the television. Shows like “American Idol” and "Britain's Got Talent" have very narrow definitions of what it means to be talented. If you’re not an attractive young person with a manufactured sob story and a loud, showy singing voice, these shows all lead people to believe they’re untalented. It’s not true. Being talented doesn’t mean being famous, being attractive, or being some kind of performer. It means dedication, creative thinking, and attention to detail. It means you have an insatiable curiosity to develop some innate abilities into skills. You've just got to find them.
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Part Two of Three:
Getting Creative
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  1. 1
    Take a personality quiz. Personality quizzes are often used in job-finding offices to try to figure out what you might have a natural ability for. It works the same way with talent. Learning more about your natural proclivities for and against certain ideas, attitudes, and behaviors can help you figure out more about your talents. These sorts of tests do not identify talents in and of themselves, but they can lend insights that might provide part of the puzzle.
    • Myers-Briggs is possibly the most famous of the personality quizzes, separating people into one of sixteen types of personalities based on answers to a variety of questions and research performed by Carl Jung.[2]
    • The Keirsey Temperament Sorter separates people into various temperaments, identified by your responses to a variety of scenarios and questions. It's available online.
  2. 2
    Talk to your friends and family. One of the best ways to figure out what hidden talents you might have is to talk to the people who know you best. We tend to look over our skills and cover up our abilities, missing out too often on what makes us great. If you're lucky enough to have friends and family who care about you, they won't be so shy about pointing them out.
  3. 3
    Look at both your strengths and your weaknesses for talent possibilities. One way to think about talent is to think about some preternatural ability to do something, to make this thing look easy. Another way to think about it is to think about talent as the ability to overcome some obstacle. Was Blind Willie Johnson a more talented guitar player for having been blinded? Was James Earl Jones a better actor for having stuttered? Was Michael Jordan a better ball player for having been cut from the team?
    • Don't let perceived shortcomings or challenges keep you from trying new things and developing talent. Look at things that someone else might have identified as challenges in your personality or your ability. If you're a shy person, might it be all the more impressive if you were a great rock 'n roller singer? If you're especially short, might you be a great ball player?
  4. 4
    Define talent for yourself. Some people think Hendrix was the best guitar player of all time, but he couldn’t have played a classic piece on guitar to save his life, because he couldn’t read music. He might have been able to, if he put his mind to it, but a classical musician might well look on Hendrix as a talentless hack. Don’t let other people tell you that being an excellent Razor scooter rider isn’t a “real” talent, or that making a really good grilled cheese doesn’t count.
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Part Three of Three:
Building on Talent
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  1. 1
    Commit to building your talent into a skill. Ryan Leaf was going to be the next big thing. A great football quarterback, finalist for the Heisman, second-overall pick in the NFL draft. Fast forward a few years, and Leaf is considered one of the biggest busts of all time, having failed to achieve at a high level. Natural talent for playing football doesn't mean anything if you don't commit to building it into a skill.
    • When you find your talent, think of it like a seed that you're planting. You're off to a good start, but you've still got to water it, mulch it, and weed around the edges to make sure your seed grows into a big plant. It takes work.
  2. 2
    Find other talented people. As iron sharpens iron, so one talented person sharpens another. If you've got a talent for something, or even if you just hope to develop talent in some field, surround yourself with other talented people and model yourself after their behaviors, practice routines, and attitudes about their talent. Learn everything you can from talented people.
    • Find a mentor who's willing to show you the ropes and coach you in developing your new skills. Blossoming guitar players need good teachers beyond YouTube. Blossoming singers need other people to play music with.
  3. 3
    Respect the complexity of your talent. Developing your talent into a skill and your skill into an ability is going to be hard. The more you learn about a subject, a task, or an ability, the more complicated it becomes. Commit to learning everything you can about your field and challenging yourself to become a master. Turn your talent into something special. Make your talent real.
    • Playing chess might not get easier for Magnus Carlsen, just because he’s a phenomenal player. Now he knows just how complicated the game can be. The more you learn about a game, a skill, or a field, the more there will be to learn. It never gets easy.
  4. 4
    Practice. Even if you've got no talent for the guitar, practicing two hours a day guarantees that you'll get a lot better. Someone who practices, whether it be sport, art, or any other field, will always end up more talented than someone who never picks up their instrument, picks up their paintbrush, someone who never practices. Hard work outruns ability every time.
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Community Q&A

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  • How can I find my talent?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Go with what comes easy for you and brings you joy. If you like to sing, develop that talent. If you love playing sports with your friends, focus on one to really excel at.
    Thanks! 81 12
  • What sort of talents can I try to learn if I don't have any natural ones?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Natural talents are what people discover they like and have an aptitude for plus plenty of learning and practice. A lot of talent is wasted because people insist they have none and fail to practice their heart's desire. The words "I could never do that" have destroyed many an opportunity to do just that with effort and practice. The answer is therefore this: Don't assume you have no "natural" talents, assume that you can do whatever you put your mind to and are prepared to put the effort into. Do classes, join a club, get a mentor/coach/tutor, get started now.
    Thanks! 121 22
  • How will I know when I have found my talent?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Finding a talent is about the passion. If you feel truly passionate about something, you don't need to be talented at it. Talent comes with practice.
    Thanks! 75 13
  • How do I develop my writing skills?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Read and write. Embrace whatever language/style comes naturally to you. Let the words flow and worry about the rest later. Find your story line and write it; you can correct the errors later.
    Thanks! 79 14
  • Does writing stories, poems, and essays count as a talent?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yeah, definitely. Not everyone can pick up a pen and write something that actually sounds good. Just embrace your style to make it sound more natural and keep writing to improve your skill level.
    Thanks! 72 13
  • How do I find passion for one thing when I have many different talents and hobbies?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Enjoy all the passions you have. You can have a talent for many things at one time, if you're trying to choose, pick the one you enjoy the most or that will lead you to feeling fulfilled in life.
    Thanks! 84 16
  • Can I be a dancer and an engineer at the same time?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Maybe you could have a full time job as an engineer, because it will probably make you financially secure, and you could have dance as a hobby. You could also have dance as a part-time job, like teaching a dance class for kids. You could always take advice from people, but in the end, it's only your opinion that matters, so follow your heart.
    Thanks! 14 1
  • How can I learn to become a good English speaker in a short amount of time?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Practice speaking the language at home, and watch English programs on TV. You should also take English classes. Tip: don't view it as academic; view it as an adventurous hobby.
    Thanks! 56 12
  • How do I know where to start when there's so many hobbies to try?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Start with something that interests you. For example, if you like music, you might be interested in singing, theater, or learning an instrument. If you like art, you might be interested in painting, sketching, or even sculpting. If you like food, you can take up baking or cooking. Take a few classes at a college or community center, and find what you really enjoy.
    Thanks! 44 9
  • How can I know if I am a good writer?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Open a Wattpad account and submit some of your work. You can submit stories, poems or anything you've written. Ask users for their honest opinion on your work and go from there.
    Thanks! 22 4
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  • It says that what you feel like doings a good start, but I feel like doing anything and everything. Any ideas?
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TipsEdit

  • Never give up, even if you fail!
    6 Helpful?  1
  • Three C's in life.....Take a "Chance" to make a "Choice" to bring a "Change" in your life.
    5 Helpful?  1
  • Be patient, too. It can take a lot of time and many false starts to find out what you're best at.
    4 Helpful?  1
  • Be open-minded about what your talent might be. It may not be quite what you expect.
    4 Helpful?  1
  • Try doing many different things and reading about many more. If something doesn't resonate, move on; if it does, explore it more deeply.
    3 Helpful?  1
  • Don't always think that a talent is always singing, dancing or something your friends have, but it could be comforting others. Every talent is unique and you should be grateful to have it.
    4 Helpful?  1
  • When you feel like you are losing, take a step back and take a look at yourself. Did you do it right? There has to be space for development! There always is!
    3 Helpful?  1
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About This Article

1,204 votes - 76%
Co-authors: 73
Updated:
Views: 1,002,778
Categories: Talent Shows

Reader Success Stories

  • shuaib sheikh

    Aug 15, 2017

    "Thank you so much to the person who has written this, practicing regularly in a particular thing can generate talent even in an talentless person. Today you have me realize that talent which comes from working hard and practicing until we get it mastered is the best one."..." more
  • JB

    Jana Banes

    Jun 2, 2017

    "It helped me realize that I need to practice and do something else rather than watching TV and using gadgets. It made me realize that I need to work hard and show my creativity skills in order to find my talent - great opportunity."..." more
    Rated this article:
  • SK

    Sabha Kausar

    Jul 28, 2017

    "I was a bit confused as to how I am going to find my hidden talents. After reading this, I got hints which is very useful for me as of now. I'll keep in mind about the tips written here. Thank you! "..." more
    Rated this article:
  • PM

    Paul Mukoma

    Mar 25, 2017

    "I run a talent nurturing center in Kenya, and get many questions that you have answered. I knew most of the answers, but it's always good to get a confirmation or a different angle. Thanks."..." more
    Rated this article:
  • HM

    Heba Mohammed

    Jul 6, 2017

    "I'm 22 and I'm looking for my talent. I feel I need it in my life so I read this article and I decided to start to find my passion! Thanks a lot.. "..." more
    Rated this article:
  • carla grey

    Oct 18, 2017

    "It made me realize that I'm not supposed to be afraid of trying new things and practicing them. That way I will be able to identify my talent."..." more
    Rated this article:
  • GL

    Grace L.

    Aug 9, 2017

    "I read the whole article -very easy to understand, good and realistic tips, nothing complicated and very inspiring, thank you so much."..." more
    Rated this article:
  • BN

    Bijan Nasiri

    Nov 15, 2016

    "The article was very practical, and I found it helpful for understanding talent and ways of knowing and improving it."..." more
  • MK

    Martin Kenya

    Aug 16, 2017

    "I was looking for the best articles to teach a group of youth who want to know their talents and it's satisfying."
  • TM

    T. M.

    May 4, 2017

    "I knew that for me to discover my talent, I have to try new things and find out what's working for me."
  • MK

    Mohammad Karim

    Jun 22, 2017

    "I know that I do not have any talent yet, but I know that with your helpful article, I will find one."
  • RK

    Rhian Kay

    Apr 20, 2017

    "I have learned that you should practice a lot at what you feel makes you happy and be determined."
  • AA

    Akua Anum

    Jun 29, 2017

    "To understand how progression and talent works and most importantly, how to make use of one!"
    Rated this article:
  • PY

    Prakhar Yadav

    Oct 30, 2017

    "I was class 9 student. Football is in my blood. I want to try play football for our country."
  • HD

    Hazel Daily

    Jun 25, 2016

    "I learned that you can have many talents, and still follow your heart's love."
  • AL

    Ankitha Lakshmi

    Nov 2, 2017

    "I discovered my passion because of this article. Thank you so much!"
  • LP

    Liz Peacock

    Aug 4, 2017

    "It really encouraged me to get out there and find my true talent."
    Rated this article:
  • TM

    Taiwo Mutiu

    Aug 20, 2017

    "It really brings me closer to pay attention to my natural gift!"
    Rated this article:
  • ET

    E. T.

    Apr 29, 2017

    "It was very well rounded and told how to achieve talent."
  • Navnath Shingde

    Aug 9, 2017

    "It is very important for successfully living life."
  • FD

    Favour Dennis

    Nov 14, 2017

    "It encouraged me to do what I'm passionate about."
  • AO

    Amarachi Obuaku

    Oct 3, 2017

    "It taught me that talent comes with practice."
  • Hrishi Thate

    May 25, 2017

    "By doing this, we can find our talent."
    Rated this article:
  • Sunny Friend

    May 21, 2017

    "It's all very useful to me, thank you."
    Rated this article:
  • SM

    Sanghamitra Mukherjee

    Dec 15, 2016

    "The article is very informative."
  • GG

    Gayathri.M Gayathri

    Sep 16, 2016

    "This inspired me a lot."
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