I was recently asked what I was good at. The question totally threw me off. What was I good at? My mind went completely blank. I couldn’t think of one thing that simply came to me easily. I was able to answer off-hand, stammering out that I liked to run and that I was known to read and write well. I am also creepily talented at remembering people’s names, birthdays, and faces.
But the question got me thinking. I don’t know many women who can just blast off a list of five things or more where they have talent or skill. Why is this? What’s the deal? Well, there are two explanations for this. One is that we just aren’t very talented. The other is we are and we either don’t know it, or are uncomfortable owning our accomplishments, capabilities, and gifts. I’m tempted to say it is the latter.
For a long time, I think we have been programmed by our culture to think that if we “toot our own horn” or “brag” about what comes easily to us, then we are conceited, stuck-up, self-absorbed, or even selfish. I find that a problem. There is nothing wrong with being proud of who we are, of using our gifts and honoring them. Everyday is an opportunity to celebrate our lives and how we contribute to this world, and we can do that at an exponentially greater level if we are aware of what we are good at, and build on it.
Everyone is talented in something. My best friend is hilarious. My sister is an incredible athlete. My roommate is the best listener I know, and gives amazing advice. My cousin is a very gifted fashion designer; my mom is the best artist I know. I have no problem finding the talents and special something’s about other people, but when it came to me, I hit a speed bump. I am a victim to this culture like most other women I know. So I sat down. And made a short list.
I’m a pretty decent distance runner. I’m a good listener. Writing comes naturally to me. I’m helpful. I am a fast reader. I make fabulous shortbread. I’m not bragging, I’m being honest with myself about what I know I can do well. It took some digging, but now that I know what I am “good at”, I can build on those skills, and also focus on things I want to learn or improve on. (Like how to snowboard or speak Spanish).
I would suggest finding 10 minutes by yourself and thinking of what you are good at. There’s no need to write a list down, you could do a mental one. Don’t be surprised if it takes you a little while to identify your talents. But do know that you have them. If you can’t think of any, take inventory on what you enjoy doing. Lots of times, that’s where our strength is. If that doesn’t work, ask a friend. Other people, especially women, will be able to tell you.
Once you know, own your list. Do your thing. You are making this world better when you make yourself better. And you make yourself better when you recognize how great you really are.
** This article was written by guest contributor Bevin Reilly, for her bio and contact information please visit http://yourbellalife.com/guest-contributors/
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