Did you ever read the description for a job, thinking to yourself that you’re a failure because you only meet one or two of the requirements? It is a depressing experience which tends to drag us down the path of negative thinking:
Who cares if I got a 3.90 average in college? I still don’t have any practical skills!
I love to talk with people, but all the jobs seem to require nothing but sitting at a desk and being detail-oriented.
I will never make it as a professional photographer — everyone else is better at it than I am!
We all have natural strengths and weaknesses. And guess what? That is okay.
No matter how well-rounded you strive to be, you are never going to be perfect at everything. Stop worrying about what you are bad at or what you are “good enough” at and start focusing on what you love. Play to your strengths and be secure in what you love and what you have to contribute.
Of course that is easy to say, but much more challenging to actually do. Where does one start on the road to self-acceptance? These three steps really help to bring balance:
Pick something you love (even if you think you are terrible at it) and take a class.
Who knows, you might get better! If nothing else, you will have had a new experience and a bit of fun. This is not intended to be some kind of masochistic exercise where you remind yourself over and over that you are not good at something.
The idea here is: Who cares if you are not good at this specific talent? Maybe you will find you are not as bad as you thought. Maybe you will be worse than you thought. If that is the case, you will have tried something new and gained a greater appreciation for those who have a skill set different from your own.
Develop a talent you have.
You know that one thing you have loved since grade school that brings you to your happy place? Sharpen those talents, girl! Be it voice lessons, art class, joining an adult sports team, or even just (regularly!) practicing your musical instrument.
Accept yourself as you.
Acknowledge that you have weaknesses but also intentionally accept that you have strengths. Do not ignore your natural abilities because you are too busy focusing on what everyone else is good at.
My favorite quote by Albert Einstein summarizes this so eloquently,”Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Einstein’s words are especially true in relation to a career.
Do not assume that you are useless or pathetic if your talents do not fit neatly into a socially-accepted pre-packaged career. If there isn’t one, make one! Do not be afraid to be who you are, because that is precisely what the world needs.