You know how when you were growing up and went to school – and had to pass all these random tests and take lots of subjects you were vaguely interested in. And the ones you were bad at you just had to get better at? Either through hard work or support with a tutor? Or you are in a sports team and there is one thing you are bad at so you pracised it over and over again? General consenus in our society growing up is: If I am bad at it, I need to get better. I need to practise till I am good at it.
I find that fundamentally wrong. Can you imagine if we all just focused on our strengths instead of spending so much time and effort in trying to make something work that doesn’t suit our talents and we don’t like? I understand the education system wanted to give you an all rounded education, yet the point I am trying to make here is – don’t kill yourself over it. You will be waisting far more energy and strength than you should. There is a thing to point out here – if you are bad at something yet it makes you happy, then keep doing it. Its easy to distinguish – either you do it and its hard but it makes you happy. Or you do it and its hard and it makes you unhappy. Stop doing the latter.
A quote comes to mind, atributed to Albert Einstein:
“Everyone 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.”
This is important to point out in the workspace. Play to your strengths. If you a good at being analytical, finding patterns in numbers is easy for you yet selling and presenting is hard, then don’t push yourself to be someone you are not. I know we often feel “I am bad at this, I need to get better”. Well you don’t. Instead, find people that can help you with your blind spots. For example I am not too good with complex calculations, so I always ask a co-worker to review my numbers. In return, I help him get exposure to senior staff and with networking, as this comes easy to me. I could look at the calculations for hours, and I would still get them wrong. Instead, it takes my co-worker minutes and I can use my energy and time more productively.
Learn to accept that you can’t be great at everything. The things you are not good at are not a weakness. We are all born of a puzzle of characteristics, and each piece is different – some pieces are bigger, others smaller and others more colourful. Yet each piece makes you complete. You have strengths and weaknesses just as everyone else does. The unique mix is what makes you, you. And no one else brings that unique mix. Embrace yourself and it will become your superpower.