Achieve Your Dream Series – Skills Inventory Exercise

Precise hand tools for engineering or drafting on a plain white surface. How to prepare a Skills Inventory.

Dreams, goals, and missions come in a variety of sizes. Some goals are obviously bigger than others, but even the dream or vision you consider the penultimate, the biggest of the big, is only part of what God has in mind for you.

Today’s exercise, part two of six in the Achieve Your Dream Series, is to prepare a Skills Inventory. I’ll get to the specific directions on how to do your Inventory in a minute. First, a bit of Perspective Realignment. Over the years, my clients taught me that we often limit ourselves and rarely appreciate the full range of gifts and abilities we already have and/or God’s ability to provide what we need.

Frequently Overlooked Gifts and Skills

Achieving the purpose God has for you requires resources, skills, and a host of other gifts. Among them are:

  • Insight
  • Wisdom
  • Creativity
  • Strength
  • Compassion
  • Obedience
  • Faith, and
  • Holy Spirit.

You’ll find directions to create a specific Skills Inventory further down the page. In the meantime, let this short list begin to work it’s way through your spirit.

God Gives Abundantly

God is limitless, His ways and vision beyond our understanding. The day Noah and his sons began measuring out the future ark, they didn’t realize that every person alive today would be a descendant.

Shem, Japheth, and Ham didn’t take sailing lessons in the summertime. Every vision, instruction, and resource necessary to finish the project was provided by the One who gave the assignment.

When God’s Provision Seems Too Small

If Noah’s shoes are too big to imagine yourself wearing, consider the widow who gave all she had. Just two tiny mites, nearly worthless bits of copper. Yet two thousand years later, her offering introduces the concept of value based on a spiritual scale.

So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” — Mark 12:43-44

The Fastest Routes to Success and Failure

Maybe you identify more with King David than Noah because you’re more of a leader or warrior. Think about which battles David won and which he lost. David was invincible when he followed the Lord’s plan but defeated when he marched under his own banner.

Consider Moses, who started small, rose to power and position, screwed up, retired to obscurity, and then was called out of comfy retirement to free his people. He objected, claiming that he didn’t have what it took to do the job.

Two huge facts insured Moses’s success:

  1. He walked in God’s purpose and vision.
  2. God assured Moses that, “I will surely be with you.” (Exodus 3:12)

God didn’t slouch on the throne expecting Moses to lead the people out with just his puny human powers. The plagues and the miracles were God’s alone. That was the whole point. Even so, Moses expressly disobeyed the Lord and never entered the promised land.

Obedience leads to success. Disobedience never wins the day.

Skills Inventory Exercise

Sometimes you just don’t know what you need or what the next step is. Until you get clarity and acquire the necessary skills or resources, your dream stalls.

The first step toward the finish line is knowing what skills and resources you already have in your toolbox or treasure chest. That’s the goal of this exercise. I’ve learned that most folks have no idea how rich they are.


Grab your favorite beverage and find a quiet place to create your skills inventory. Give yourself plenty of time with margins of grace so you don’t feel rushed or distracted. Don’t get hacked.

Instead of itemizing deductions on your tax return, you’ll itemize your resources. It should be just as specific as a tax return, but your list should be much longer.

Basic Resource Inventory:

  1. How much time do you have? (Hint: 24 hours a day.)
  2. How much energy can you spend in a day? (For the purpose of this exercise, everything is available to you without limitation or previous commitment.)
  3. What are you passionate about? The things that get you up, moving, and eager to act.
  4. Do you have any unallocated financial resources? (Yes or No.)

Specific Skills Inventory

DO NOT self-edit, self-evaluate, or self-limit.

Let the following questions prime your thinking pump. Answer them specifically or let your mind flow words onto your page or screen. Don’t be surprised if it takes several sessions to complete your inventory.

  • What certifications do you have?
  • What education?
  • What might others pay you to do or provide?
  • What have you been paid to do in the past?
  • What have you paid others to do that you could do yourself?
  • What are your spiritual giftings?
  • Why do others come to you for help or answers?
  • What interpersonal skills?
  • What communication skills?
  • What hobby or sports skills?
  • What skills as a volunteer?
  • What technical skills?
  • What creative skills?
  • What tools can you use?
  • What can you teach others to do?
  • What leadership skills?
  • What organizational skills?

This isn’t an exhaustive list but will help you begin to move forward. This is an important exercise. You can’t move on to the next step without knowing where you are today. I hope you surprised yourself with how many skills and resources you have.

Inability May Be One Small Step Away From Success

Everything I have is Thine alone, a trust, O Lord, from Thee.”

Positive people believe that inability is only a step away from success, an obstacle they can evade, defeat, or demolish. I love this perspective on possibility:

“Everything is figureoutable.”— Marie Forleo

We’ll pick up again in the next article when we talk about the second of four things that derail your dreams —The Temptation of Comparison.


Did you miss the first article in this Series?

Picture of Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber

Lynn is a best-selling author, retired World and National Champion horse breeder and trainer, former business consultant, motivational speaker, and serial entrepreneur. She continues to equip and encourage Christ-followers to enjoy lives of bold, border-free faith.

Picture of Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber is a best-selling author, retired World and National Champion horse breeder and trainer, former business consultant, motivational speaker, and serial entrepreneur. She continues to equip and encourage Christ-followers to enjoy lives of bold, border-free faith.

2 Responses

  1. This is such a great practical exercise to do to see your gifts. We have 3 girls 9, 12 & 14 and I think it would be a great thing to do with them too.
    If you have and extra questions you think would be relevant for young girls aswell that would be great to know.
    Thanks Lynn, you are such a blessing to people💖

    1. Sarsha, that’s a fabulous idea! The challenge to raise kids with confidence in who they are and in Whose they are is a big one. What better way to help them gain perspective than by working through the process themselves using a skills inventory. They may see value in things that aren’t costly or well known. I’d love to hear how it goes. You never know what God is mind when people begin to share His vision.
      Blessings, Lynn

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