Repeat After Me: You’re good at what you do

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I have never really thought of myself as a talented person. When people think of “talent,” they often equate it to fame. People will list figures like Einstein, The Beatles and Audrey Hepburn. Because of this skewed perspective of talent we have all come to adopt, I have forgotten to appreciate all that I can do. 

Usually, people are labeled as talented if they are really good at something, or more specifically, if they are really good at only one thing. And I am not trying to hate on wanting to develop one skill. I think working towards one specific goal is something to be really proud of, but I also think it is not the only way to be talented. 

Talent has become too far of a reach for us. We think that unless we have a Pulitzer Prize or win a marathon we are essentially nothing, when in all honesty, we owe ourselves so much more credit. We are giving ourselves unnecessary shame for not being perfect. Talent doesn’t mean perfect. 

I think raising your hand in an intimidating class takes talent. I think you’re talented if you know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. I mean, even being accepted into college requires a level of talent. 

Have all of these things been done by people before? Yes, they have. Several times, in fact. But I think the important thing to remember is that you don’t have to be the first person to do something in order to be seen as talented.  

Because, honestly, being the first at something is close to impossible. If you want to strive for that, then be my guest. But, for those of us who feel like they’ll forever be stuck in the shadows, I say give yourself a break. 

You are good at what you do, whether that is one thing or one thousand things. If you’re like me and you feel like you’ve collected a number of hobbies and interests that you’re only mediocre at, that is okay. You don’t have to have only one thing going for you in life. You’re allowed to spread yourself wide and try for a variety of talents. 

You get to decide what you want to focus on. Most importantly, though, is that you get to define talent for yourself. Talent can look like being accepted into Harvard for grad school or learning how to longboard. You must remember talent is a spectrum, and you can move along it as you please. 

So, stop beating yourself up for not being the next Audrey Hepburn. Becoming a celebrity is a rare chance, but I can assure you being talented is not. Your talent is abundant. You don’t need to compare yourself to the people in your field. They’re doing their own thing and you’re doing yours. 

To be honest, I am mainly writing this for myself because I struggle to recognize and appreciate everything I do. I gloss over a good grade on a paper, or I don’t even think about how awesome it is for me to be a writer for the newspaper. I don’t notice my abilities. I find it really hard to simply name five things that I like about myself. While I know I need to stop and appreciate my many talents, I hope you know to do that, too. 

Maybe you don’t need to realize how amazing you are because you already tell yourself that every day. Keep it up. But, for those of you who are in my shoes, you really need to start being nicer to yourself. Start making a list of all of your talents and hang it up somewhere you can see it. Bask in your glory. It’s there for a reason. 

Please know that you are ever-changing, and with that your talent, hobbies and skill set are ever-changing, too. It is never too late to adopt a talent. Keep learning and growing. You deserve more than you can ever imagine. 

While you continue to push forward, remember to stop and appreciate all that you have done. Realize what it took for you to get to this point and recall how badly you once wanted to be where you are today.  

Every inch of you is full of talent, whether you can see that clearly or not. I hope you get the chance to explore all that you are and that you look forward to growing with your talents. This is all because you are good at what you do. 

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