“Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.”-Marcus Aurelius 🤔
Somewhat piggy backing off of my post from last week. That’s what happens when you’ve been baking all morning and completely forget you were going to write a blog post. I was going to talk about something else, but this one has been ready to go, so it’s going.
When I was working in retail, a new girl got hired on and I was instantly jealous of her. She was beautiful. Her hair always looked perfect, her makeup was flawless, and I eventually realized she could pull off any outfit she put on. As someone who’s cried on multiple occasions from feeling like a total failure as a girl when trying to get ready to go out, I was completely envious of her abilities. I wanted so badly to be like her. As years went by and we developed a friendship, we began talking about talents one day. I mentioned how creative she was and how great she was with makeup. I believe her response was something along the lines of, “Not really. Have you seen girls that do makeup tutorials? They’re so much better than me!” How could she possibly think that? And then she told me I had a lot of talents and I answered back with a similar response about others being better than me. Ah! Now I get it.
It’s maybe a little too easy for some of us to see ourselves as just okay and convince everyone else that we’re nothing special. Maybe your gift won’t ever result in selling a million records, having your artwork in a museum or winning an Olympic gold medal, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not gifted or that people aren’t wishing for the skills you have. My personal talents lie mostly in organizing and gross motor skills than in anything else. If you want me to walk 20 yards in a handstand, I can keep trying for hours without realizing time is passing and, most likely, I’ll succeed at some point during that time. People are often impressed by my ability to do a handstand, but it wasn’t always this way. If you ask my mom, she will gladly tell you how embarrassingly awful I was when I first started gymnastics. Leave it to Ma to keep me humble. Although I eventually learned to be good at gross motor skills, I am simply terrible at mostly anything involving fine motor skills. I feel like a toddler trying to color inside the lines when I do my makeup, my writing is maybe as nice as a fifth grader’s, and my stick figures are always lopsided. I’m also not blessed with the patience to improve on any of those things. I know this because I tried coloring in an anatomy coloring book the other day and got bored within ten minutes.
As I type all of this, it feels odd or wrong to admit to being good at something. Not just good, but better than your average person in a certain area. Doesn’t that make you conceited? Years ago, I was watching Oprah’s Master Class with Steve Nicks and she stated that she was great at harmonizing with people. She wasn’t being arrogant and she wasn’t ashamed to admit she was good at something. She just said it as a fact. Whether others agree or not is irrelevant. Don’t hide your talents because you either think they’re nothing special or because you don’t want someone else to feel bad for not having the same abilities that you do. You shouldn’t have to make yourself seem small to make someone else appear bigger. Embrace the skills that you were gifted with, own up to them, and if you can, find a way to give what you’re good at. We live in a world where it seems everything needs to be larger than life and on display to make a difference. That’s not true. I’m not going to pretend that you’ll solve world hunger or make millions by embracing your gifts. Of course you never know unless you try. But I challenge you to pinpoint your talents and think of at least three realistic ways you can use them to benefit others.