How to identify your talents and turn them into strengths?

Dr. Meaghan Mundy, Director of Vanderbilt Peabody Office of Professional & Graduate Education

Dr. Mundy

Hi, I’m Meaghan!

A born and raised Michigan girl, I made my way to Nashville in 1990 to attend Vanderbilt University. I had attended two other institutions, Denison University my first year and Michigan State University my sophomore year, and then transferred to Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, where I stayed. And stayed. And stayed. Around here, they call me a Triple ‘Dore . . . which means I have three degrees from Peabody/Vanderbilt (the Commodores are our mascot)!

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Human and Organizational Development, my Master’s in Human Development Counseling, and my Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies.

I recently got promoted to Director in the Peabody Office of Professional and Graduate Education at Vanderbilt University where I work with professional and graduate students outside of the classroom through co-curricular engagement and leadership development. I also teach part-time in Belmont University’s adult degree program where I work with students who are 25 or older and either returning to college to finish their Bachelor’s degree or beginning their higher education journey.

At Belmont, I was introduced to the StrengthsFinder assessment which identifies an individual’s top five signature talent themes. Based in positive psychology, this assessment helps individuals name, claim, and aim their talents and strengths toward excellence and success in life. Because of the transformations I have witnessed in my students through strengths development, I became a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach.

I have a coaching and consulting business called Strengthsuary where I have the honor of helping others become more of who they’re meant to be.

My experience

Have you ever felt like an imposter? Like you had to do something because you were supposed to? Or, you were "good" at it? Or, your parents wanted you to? Or, you didn’t know how to decipher what you wanted from what you needed? That’s called the “Imposter Syndrome” – doing something that doesn’t feel true to the real you inside.

I’ve been there.

My healing came through time, life lessons, and knowing and appreciating my unique talents and strengths. Then, affirming and claiming them. And last, but not at all least, living them every day to the very best of my ability. You know when you are working in your talents and strengths because you feel energized and valued.

If you are in a place or space that constantly takes your energy and dips from your well, without providing you some positive return, you are not working in your talents. Your talents and gifts are why you are here. Why there is only a 1 in 33 million chance that someone else might have the same top 5 talents in the same order as you. Your contributions are needed.

7 steps to identifying your talents and turning them into strengths

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