By Mary Sailors
It’s what everyone wants in life: to find their niche and belong Be it as a stay-at-home mom, a star salesperson, or a community activist. As long as when we pillow our head at night, we feel that we are fulfilling our purpose. We all want to feel we are giving back and doing what we love.
Can it be that easy to find our niche? If it were, people everywhere would be engaging in fulfilling work and leading happier lives, right? Well, people are, and there are a few key steps to take till you are doing the same!
Here are three steps for finding your niche.
1. Follow Your Heart
Wouldn’t life be wonderful if we could make a living and make a difference doing what we love? We can! First, list out ten day-to-day activities that you love to do, no matter how small or how menial you feel they are. Most everything we “love” to do can be used in a business or molded into one! These ten things will contain keys to following your heart and concrete ways to find your niche.
Think about what you look forward to doing in your life. Even in the most fulfilled life, there are things that we don’t look forward to and even dread, but our work should not be one of them. Steer clear of work that saps your energy and joy. Instead, identify activities that energize you: tasks you look forward to tackling, projects you can’t wait to start. Look closely at activities that add to your joy, doubling it, bringing energy and drive. Identifying these activities will be key in keeping your motivation high and your energy moving in the right direction!
2. Follow Your Strength
People spend years attempting to pound and mold their weaknesses into some shiny work of art that will garner praise from family, friends, and co-workers. What they end up with is a mediocre, dented hunk of metal that doesn’t look anything like what they wanted. Instead, choose to see your weakness differently and identify the corresponding strength. Focus on those strengths and cultivate them. Dave Rendall, the author of The Freak Factor, writes about strengths and weaknesses intertwining at the place where we naturally excel. For every weakness there is a corresponding strength, find those, and you will shine.
Invest in taking a personality test to find your specific and unique strengths. So often we think we know our best skill, but we may be missing the mark. It can be a challenge to clearly see outside of ourselves, and these tests are the perfect way to see unbiased results. Strengths Finder is a popular test that explains your strengths and even gives scenarios in which you will excel. Compare these findings to your list of 10 activities you love—when you pinpoint the overlap where your traits and your loves coincide—you are getting closer!
3. Follow Your Vision
Pinpoint your vision for life.
- How do you want your life to look?
- What do you want your days to be like?
- How do you want to feel at the end of the day and what do you want to leave behind?
Once you pinpoint your vision for life, always keep that in the forefront of your mind. Your vision may be to help others be healthier. It may be to help kids in your community stay out of trouble. It may be to teach adults to read. Whatever it is, be clear and specific about it. Compare your vision to the list of loves and strengths you created. You will start to see career possibilities emerging at the place where your loves, talents, and strengths meet.
Finally set goals that will bring you closer to that vision. These are not business goals, not work goals; these are YOUR goals– where work and life overlap. Every project, every task, and every goal should move you closer to fulfilling a part of your vision. If it doesn’t, reassess what you are working on. Some projects are necessary stepping-stones, and it isn’t uncommon for our goals and visions change. In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield stresses the importance of visualizing specific goals and writing them down. He asks us to be specific and clear on where we are heading and the path we take to get there.
Revisit your goals and visions often. I suggest you carry them with you and you will be wildly successful! Also, when you share your vision with others and it will become more and more real. Finding your niche is not as hard as people think, but it is a process to uncover our true loves, strengths, and vision for life. Go through the process and once you do, decide “YES” you can create a business based on what you love doing! You will thank yourself, love your work and inspire others!
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Mary Sailors is a healthy lifestyle blogger, certified personal trainer, and marathoner who loves to encourage others to practice their joy and move past fear. Currently, she is working on her Wellness Coaching certification and continues to write about health, wellness and fitness at Fit this, Girl.com She trains, runs and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two cats, iMac and a tub of cashew butter. Follow Mary on Twitter at @fitthisgirl.
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