I have heard many people tell me over the years that 1) they believe that they are not good at something, 2) that they wish that they had a hobby but they are just not good at anything. I get so frustrated hearing people say this because these people I know are fully capable of being good at these things. Here’s some advice for those of you who have ever felt this way:
1. Negativity consumes your opportunities to learn
If you believe that you’re no good at something, it will come true – a self-fulfilling prophecy. Negativity will snuff out your desire to persist with a new interest. Without belief in your ability to achieve in a particular field, you will give up too easily. If you don’t think you’ll ever be good at something, you will be so consumed with thinking about the problems, obstacles and the work that isn’t up to your standards that you will use what’s wrong as evidence to confirm that you aren’t good at it and use it as a reason to quit. People who are confident in their abilities but are still learning usually respond differently to mistakes; they will acknowledge that they have made a mistake, figure out what went wrong and resolve not to do it the next time.
2. Don’t expect to be good at something straight away
Nobody is good at something the first time they do it. Absolutely no one. People who seem to be good at something the first time usually have a background that has helped them. For example, a friend of mine was amazing at Guitar Hero the first time she played it – however she was a talented cello player with an extremely strong background in music. So it makes sense that she was good at Guitar Hero with a good sense of rhythm and timing which other people, with no background in music, would take longer to develop.
3. Talent is a lie
Realise that the idea of someone having a magical inborn talent is completely bust and people who are good at something have worked to get there. For example, people who are amazing at drawing are likely to: have regularly doodled sketches to practice, learned about drawing through workshops, classes or books, improved by joining online groups to get critique, are constantly inspired by looking at new art pieces. You don’t see all that behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into building what seems like a magical talent, but it’s always there, whether you’re considering an olympic level athlete, your favourite acoustic singer or a girl with impeccable makeup and hair.
People like to think that talent is inborn because it excuses them from having to try. They can say to themselves “I will never be any good at drawing because it is an inborn talent which I do not possess” rather than “I am no good at drawing because I’ve never tried hard enough to draw”, which is an uncomfortable truth. But look at the flipside – it is incredibly freeing to know you can do anything you want to do. I strongly believe that you can be good at almost anything given a mix of dedication, desire to learn, openness to constructive criticism and time spent on practice.
So if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, re-examine the reasons why you’re not doing it and give it another chance!
Is there anything you would consider having another go at?
Leave me a comment to me know,
P.S.: I am currently revisiting drawing, I used to draw a lot but would often be frustrated by details in my doodles that looked wrong. However, I’m officially cutting myself some slack and letting myself be imperfect – and being ok with that :)