I read with great interest a Forbes.com article titled “6 Hidden Assumptions That Destroy Your Chances For Career Happiness.”
While I agreed with all of author Kathy Caprino’s points, it was Assumption 5 that really stuck in my mind:
Assumption 5: “Other people are more creative, talented, and innovative – I don’t have much to offer.”
It brought to mind a friend of mine – smart, attractive, quick, a hard worker, good at just about everything she tries, and yet, a person who insists she is not talented in any way. Do you know anyone like that? Perhaps, this may even describe you.
Here’s more of what Ms. Caprino said in her Forbes.com article:
“…I led a Find Your Passion and Impact the World With It workshop in New York City for a truly amazing group of teen girls ages 13-18 for ThinkPeaceWorkshop, and we did an exercise where the girls were asked to address the question, What are your special talents?
Many said, with embarrassment, ‘I don’t have any special talents,’ but when they openly began to share what they’re doing in school and in their communities, they each had incredible talents that blew me away. One worked in hospice, another volunteered in three animal shelters and shadowed veterinarians to learn more about healing animals, and yet another tutored others in math…
We don’t see what comes naturally and easy to us as our unique gifts, but they are. If you think you don’t have any creativity or talent, you’re simply not looking deep enough.”
What Ms. Caprino said is sad, but true. Believing you have no special talents can do a variety of things, none of them beneficial to you…:
- It can keep you stuck as an underachiever in a job or career that isn’t your passion.
- It can keep you from really going for your dreams.
- It can keep you from seeing the value of your contributions, and receiving the full monetary value of those same contributions (in terms of salary, benefits, promotions).
- It can keep you with a low self-image, which will have repercussions across every area of your life.
In the case of my obviously brilliant and talented friend, she has made the wrong conclusion that artistic talent is the only kind of talent there is, the only kind that matters. She doesn’t draw or paint, doesn’t sing or compose brilliant lyrics.
However, if you have a problem of any kind, she is the friend you would go running to. When she left the business she started with her husband, to him it was the equivalent of losing three employees. At her new (six figure) job, her boss raves about her work ethic, how quickly she got up to speed, her problem-solving and attention to detail, and her altogether sterling performance.
How is it possible that she does not see -- and can’t list -- her talents?
How is it possible that you can’t see -- and value -- your own talents?