Don’t let the title mislead you. You want to be good at stuff but being naturally good at stuff is something completely different!

I am not naturally good at anything, and throughout my twenties, this worried me a lot! I had passion, but nothing was easy. I slogged away in college, working through the night to achieve my grades and spent years training and then finally mastering the skills that I needed for my career. Every hobby I tried, took work and there was never that one thing, where everything fell easily into place.

The problem was that I felt like the only one. I grew up watching people slip into their thing, the career, hobby or vocation that worked for them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they worked hard too, but they were ‘naturals’, they had a natural skill that I always lacked.

It worried me hearing those words “He’s such a natural” being spoken about others around me, and I found myself questioning the things that I was passionate about. Maybe I’d just not yet found the thing that I was ‘meant’ to do.

Image courtesy of Lawrson Pinson

My thirties brought me a wonderful discovery which I hadn’t realised until the first time someone said: “You’re a natural” to me! Yes, to me! Those words that I’d longed to hear but my reaction shocked me. “A natural? Do you not know how hard I worked? The hours? The blood, sweat and tears?” Of course, I didn’t say that out loud, but it hit me that working hard to achieve something brings so much more! I was not a natural; instead, I was and am a worker.

I know what practice means, I know how to push through tiredness, I know how to work through the night. I know how to fail, I know how to fall, and I know how to mop away tears. I know how to brush away humiliation when someone manages something first time, that has taken me months to achieve. I know how to turn flashes of jealousy into genuine support, and most of all, I know how to keep going, keep trying and not give up!
I also know that when I finally start to get good at something, I am filled with pride. My pride feels secure, delicious and deserved and I wonder if I’d have felt that pride if I didn’t really have to fight to achieve something I want.

We do not have one calling in life. We do not have one passion which we must follow. We do not have to be naturally good, and I’d go as far as to say that not being naturally good is a fantastic thing! It does mean that the route you must take will be hard, but it also means that your character will be full to the brim with determination, spirit and the best kind of fight!

Image courtesy of Yuri Efremov

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Cover image courtesy of Kylie Paz