I Used to Not Be Good at Anything.

this is a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the sweet spot, that place where what turns you on existentially and what you’re good at intersects.

it wasn’t too many years ago that i remember noticing i wasn’t really good at much. i mean, in terms of skills that somebody could look at and say, ya, he’s good at that.

i wrote well. i understood how to construct sentences in a way that made sense. and i could talk to people pretty well.

but that was about it.

or at least that’s how i felt.

i think that mentality was partially a product of our education system and partially a fearful response to my surroundings.

after 20 years of schooling telling me that i wanted to reach perfection, i reached a point of near paralysis. because perfection is so difficult to achieve, and that’s what i felt i needed to reach, i didn’t extend beyond what i already knew i was good at.

which basically amounted to talking to people, writing technically sharp pages in work settings, and taking orders.

even though i could write well, i even avoided writing things beyond my comfort zone of responding to direct orders. i wouldn’t write something of my own creation and then share it for fear of judgment.

a hard lesson i eventually started to learn (and continue to learn, one incident of banging my head against the wall after another) was that if i wanted to get good at something, i first needed to be willing to be bad at it.

as far as i can tell, we don’t begin as experts at anything.

arguably, i’m still not good at anything. but today i have more things to point to as areas i’m improving with than i used to.


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