In this TED talk from 2014, career coach Ashley Stahl outlines 3 questions to ask to unlock your authentic career. These are the same questions that Stahl asked herself when she hit her “quarter-life crisis” and realized that her dream job that she was passionate about, didn’t align with who she was.

Question 1: What am I good at?

Your interest in a subject does not guarantee your success in it. What is something that comes naturally to you?

Stahl advises, “Tune out the social pressure to find what we love and tune into something more significant for your career and your life: who you are.”

Question 2: What do people tell me I’m good at?

Talk to your friends, colleagues, mentors, family and ask them what they believe you are good at. People get hyper-focused on finding their passion that they overlook their natural skills and talents your network can help you recognize those natural talents.

Third Question: What’s holding me back?

Our fears seem unique, but our negative chatter and fear-based thinking often follow the same refrain, “I’m not good enough.” These thoughts can hold you back and keep your career bar low. You are not your thoughts. The key to unlocking your authentic career is to question these thoughts and rise above them.

Stahl delivers these questions with her clients to help them – and you – understand the difference between and significance of pursuing something you love and pursuing something you are.

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