Do you find that people have some really complementary things to say about you that you just don’t see?
When you compare your self- appraisal at work to others’ appraisals of you, do you find there is a gap, positive comments about your great results, innate skills and natural talents that just aren’t in your self- appraisal?
Do you find that people suggest you’d be brilliant at such and such, yet you cannot see how you’d be any good at it at all? Do people volunteer you for things you’ve never contemplated because they know you’d be great at it?
Do you find that people see qualities in you that you do not see in your self?
I see this time and again as a teacher, leader, mentor and coach. People are oozing their innate skills all over the place, very often totally unaware of the impact they are having and how they are using their skills to create productive meetings, meaningful connections at work and at home, inspired leadership in all areas of their lives and safe space for others to share, explore and learn.
In my experience, people do not recognise the true power of their innate skills and talents because they undervalue them. May be they have been told that these skills have no purpose or use or that they are inappropriate. Perhaps they exhibit skills and the outcome met with ridicule or punishment. Maybe all that is needed is the chance to practise in a supportive and encouraging environment?
All skills have value, purpose and worth. Just because the value, worth and purpose of a skill is not seen instantly does not mean it is not there- it takes a wise teacher, mentor, leader or coach to take the time to find the true power of any person’s innate skills. Very often that requires you to take command at some point along your journey and take active steps to use those skills for a meaningful and compelling purpose.
From a personal perspective as a school boy, any attempts at creativity were laughed at to the point I believed I had no creative side in me at all. I busied my self with science and sport which I got better results at, thinking my creative days would never appear.
Yet, unnoticed by me, my creativity came out in play, inventiveness, problem solving and sparks of inspired conversation during self development training and workshop events. All this went unnoticed by me for decades, even though people would tell me otherwise.
Until one weekend workshop I was given the opportunity to write poetry. To my astonishment I really enjoyed the process and I was encouraged to continue enjoying the process without attachment to how good my poetry was. That starting point has blossomed into published book writing, blogs and endless poems and stories I share with students, clients, family and friends over the subsequent twenty years. And that creativity has opened up other avenues in art, music, dance as well as continued exploration in martial arts.
So, before you dismiss the talents people see in you, please consider these steps:
1). Listen to what other people say they see in you, especially the words of wise people whom you trust, respect and admire. If many people are saying the same things and you don’t see it, may be they’re onto something and you’re missing it.
2). Explore these possible talents without attachment to the outcomes. For an entire year I burned every poem I wrote without reading it- I’ve kept every one since over the last two decades.
3). Enjoy the process most importantly. It is the enjoyment that brings it to life and to light. The fun brings inquisitiveness, curiosity and exploration, encouraging you to delve deeper, learn and experiment.
4). Go with your instinct. This talent may blossom into other areas that feel even more fulfilling. In true self- exploration, the journey never stops as you uncover more and more talent buried deep within.
5). You do not need to publish, share, put on You Tube, do public demonstrations and speeches to own your skill. Yet I encourage you to own it by continuing to explore and develop your skill. Go public if you wish and remember it is the enjoyment and exploration that fuels the passion. It is your passion. Celebrate it in whatever way for feel inspired to do so.
Over to you
What skills are people telling you that you have? What are you doing to cultivate the skills you do possess? What processes have you been through to develop your skills and talents? What role did a mentor, teacher, leader of coach play in uncovering your talents. I’d love to hear your story and provide an on- line resource for people to find inspiration, support and guidance to uncover their potential and be all they can be.
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