Each of us is unique, and it’s got nothing to do with our gender or appearance. Even identical twins have differences, and sometimes the only thing they share in common is their looks and date of birth. This uniqueness has everything to do our purpose under heaven, yet for many it seems difficult to discover. So, how do you discover your niche?
In my efforts to reinvent myself for my later years, I found that I had a lot of interests and some knowledge and skill in each area, but I was not focused. Some people have a strong passion for one thing, and they can’t seem to help themselves. They have to pursue it.
Years ago, I had just such a student. Today, kids would call him a nerd because he zeroed in like a laser on anything that had to do with science. I’d continually have to tell him that science was not my forte, so he’d dumb down his theories for me until our next conversation. And the topic? You guessed it. Science. He loved it. If anyone tried to realign his thoughts, he’d always return to his favorite. He had focus.
I read something the other day from Brian Tracy on finding your competitive advantage, and I thought it might be applied as well to finding your niche and moving forward with it. It will require some time when you can be alone for some self-analysis, but hey, you’re worth it.
- Identify your strengths – What do you think you’re good at? Where have you excelled in the past as well as the present? What do others see as your strongest qualities? Write them down even if they seem small. They may develop into a pattern.
- Identify your interests – What do you really like to do? Pay close attention to your heart because your true interests may not be where you’re currently expending your energies. Someone mentioned that you should think back to age 10 and what you wanted to be when you grew up. Are you there?
- Identify your area(s) of specialization and narrow it down to one or two core skills. Keep in mind that these should be in the area of your strengths and interests.
- Identify areas within your specialization that could be further developed to add different and better value. You want to differentiate yourself from all the rest by excelling where others have not even thought to go.
- Identify markets where your skills and talents will be best used or better yet, an unfulfilled need where you can forge into new territory.
- Pray. God created you with a specific purpose in mind, and He delights in revealing His plans when you ask.
It took me a while to narrow my focus and find my niche, but I think I’m on the right track now. Don’t be discouraged that the process requires time. Remember, it’s what we’re here for.