One of the weirdest things to do is to talk about yourself and all the things you're good at.
How often do you downplay how amazing you are at certain things?
How many things do you think you're "good" at but not really great at anything?
If you find that sort of thing arrogant or boastful, stop reading right now. The purpose I keep coming back to even within all the business shifts I'm experiencing is that it's time we start being ourselves and start shining with the gifts we've been given.
You have amazing talents that you were born with. Hiding them and pretending like they're nothing does not serve the world or you.
If you know you're good at something, be proud. Show people. It's not arrogant if it's true. :D
(Feels awkward? I'll start.)
In elementary school I was entered into what Texas refers to as the GT program. "Gifted and Talented."
I didn't know what this meant other than we got to leave and go to another classroom and do way more fun things like play Oregon Trail and make up our own games.
I was good at school. Really good. I made all A's my entire life, through college and had every educational accolade that was available. I was in all the smart kids' clubs and dean's lists were a dime a dozen.
Yes, I was that girl.
Thing was... I didn't care.
I ignored chances to have more accolades (if my father is reading this he will remember how I totally forgot about the Duke Talent Search forms buried in my backpack) ... because I just flat out had no interest. "Big deal" I thought to myself.
It was easy for me.
Yes I had to study and work at it, and I cared enough to keep those grades aloft.
But when faced with choosing a major for college, I had the hardest time because everything academic was uninteresting to me.
I felt guilty.
I was smart, I had the capacity, so why couldn't I find this interesting? How was I going to have a future if every major out there made me feel "meh"?
And because I knew I had all this amazing potential, I felt even more guilty for not being excited about it. How could I be so careless when other people would kill to have what I have?
But you know what?
We are who we are.
What I wished I could do in all the world was draw. Paint. Create. Doodle. I got lost in time and space when I was creating like that.
I never took more than 1 elective of art class in high school (why?!) but decidedly went for the whole major in college. I didn't really want to do graphics, but it was the closest thing to what I did want that made mom & dad feel like I could get a job right out of the gate.
(And they were right)
I got to go to those art classes I dreamed about. I'd spend hours in the supply store going up and down the aisles (twice) wishing I could buy all the paints instead of just the ones on the syllabus. I wanted to try everything. EVERYTHING. And it was like a little gift from heaven that I got to buy paint and paper instead of books for class.
I was better at art than I was at any math class.
I actually saved math for last. My very last summer semester before graduation, I dragged myself to algebra twice a week. "WHY ARE YOU AVOIDING THIS?" from my dad. I didn't know. I knew it was easy. I simply didn't care.
See, we're born with more than one talent in life. You're good at a lot of things. It gives you options. Choices. Things to try and see that we're not losers in life.
And It's not even about being THE BEST at the thing that's our favorite.
It's about finding what your favorite thing is and doing it because it lights you up. Doing it because you can't help it.
Make a list of all the things you're totally capable of doing. And then go through that list and scratch out anything you don't like to do.
Just because you're good at it doesn't mean you have to WANT to do it. Even if it's easy.
- being a mom
- being a wife
- cleaning toilets
- changing diapers
- being on time
- graphic design
- public speaking
- small talk
- being a team player
- and so forth....
See what I mean? Just because you CAN clean toilets doesn't mean you wanna.
We think we have to give up the stuff we're good at because it isn't a textbook marketable skill. Because it's not obvious how to leverage it into something that supports us financially.
And because of that mentality, people like me, my husband, and a large percentage of anyone working in the corporate world right now have lived a nightmare of feeling totally purposeless and empty.
We sold out for money and the need to have an income. To feed our families. To have a standard of living. We thought that our passions would come later, when there was more time, more money, more ____.
We basically sold our souls. (Yes it IS dramatic because we've all been dying inside ever since.)
I'm convinced this is where the mid-life crisis shows up. Maybe you have all the "stuff" and you're still not happy. Or you wake up one day realizing that life isn't anything you thought it would be and how did you get here?
When we make decisions based on what feels safe versus what our soul is telling us to do, we compromise our quality of life. We blindly go down paths that seem practical and smart and what everyone else is doing.
To our own demise.
The system is built as a one-size-fits-all box. And humans just don't work like that. Kids right now in school feel stupid when they aren't good at regular subjects. When they can't pass a test. When they're struggling with basic principles and the teachers are pressured to get everyone to perform a certain way on standardized tests (don't even get me started).
They grow up thinking something is wrong with them. Outcast. Idiots. Dumb.
And they spend the rest of their lives trying to prove themselves in other ways that still don't fit.
Don't we know by now that everyone has different strengths?
Don't we know that it's totally ok if you aren't great at math or science?
Plenty of people are terrible at art or music or dance, but there's no shame there.
It's taken me 5 years of hacking and crawling my way through my old beliefs to end up here - more myself than ever - and proving to myself and the world that I can be me, do what I want to do, make what I want to make, and let that be enough.
It's all about where we're passionate. This is where we shine the brightest, even if we are not the best.
We think we have time later (retirement??) to do the things we really want to do. But where's the sense in that? Where's the living the life of NOW and enjoying this moment instead of working for the next?
It's my mission to change the story for those that come after me, to empower those who feel like they have to hide what they really love, who think their gifts are worthless, and above all - to make this world a more beautiful place.
Secretly passionate in an area that you're not working in?
I'd love to hear your story.
Email me or comment below.