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Article Contributed by Gary Jordan

Have you noticed how so much of the feedback we get about ourselves in life is negative?

Think back to school progress reports. Now, reflect on your job performance evaluations. How often did these assessments focus on what you were doing well, as opposed to where you needed to improve? If your experience is typical, feedback about your need for improvement far outweighed the feedback about what you did well.

This focus on deficits and where you fall short is almost a human obsession. Our attention is drawn to what we cannot do rather than what we can do; to what needs improvement rather than what can be celebrated.

Since it's always possible to highlight something that isn't there, the list of things to improve can be endless. But when you're spending time working on your "weaknesses" you're ignoring your strengths and talents and beating yourself up in the process. The result is physical, emotional and psychological exhaustion.

It's time to work on changing your life by changing your perception and focus! Time to identify, claim and celebrate the natural gifts and talents you already have, instead of focusing on those you don't. Finding a reason to give yourself a pat on the back can drastically impact your emotional well-being for the better. Trust me - it isn't hard to do.

You have abilities for which you have innate potential – some of which you may already be aware, and some that are just waiting to be discovered and used.

These skills come easily to you because they reflect aspects of who you are, fundamentally. Sure, they may require development, but you'll find that efforts spent on your talents are much more productive, meaningful and rewarding than struggling to improve a "weakness." After all, teaching an eagle to fly is much easier than teaching it to swim.

Why not discover what skills you have that will help you get off the ground? Why not use the inherent gifts and abilities with which you were born? Why not live your talents? Think of the skills that others admire in you, and ones where you often receive complements. Then, look beyond that to areas that give you that nagging feeling, to gifts that are just begging to be utilized and enjoyed.

Getting started is easy. Take 10 minutes and make a list of activities (from any time in your life) that you wish you could do again or more often. Choose one activity from the list and make a plan to do it sometime in the next seven days. (If it's something that requires extra preparation, do it within 30 days.)

After you have done it, reflect on the experience and ask yourself the following questions:

* What aspects of the activity were enjoyable?
* What talents or skills were engaged while doing the activity?
* How could you do more of this activity?
* What would you have to give up in order to spend more time on this activity?

These are important keys to living your talents and changing your outlook on life. When you choose to focus on and nurture your innate skills and abilities you begin to see yourself in a more positive light.

About the Author
With a PhD and MA in clinical psychology, Gary Jordan is a partner at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd. Gary is the visionary behind the Vega Role Facilities Theory, a revolutionary psychological assessment system that teaches people how to unleash their deepest potentials for success. For free information on how to succeed as an entrepreneur or coach, create a thriving business and build your bottom line doing more of what you love, visit

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