Everyone wants to be good at something. No one likes to just be “average” at things they put hard work into. “Great” is also a relative term depending on who you are talking to. Why am I brining all of this up? eh. It’s just something that has been on my mind recently. I do NOT write this to get sympathy, compliments, or pity. It comes from the heart, and my hope is that it is relatable and may help someone else with feelings they may be experiencing in their life.
As a teenager, I was good at many things. I was an excellent athlete, winning numerous awards all through high school. I was a good student, I made A’s with an occasional B. I was president of clubs, sang in a vocal ensemble (I am NOT a soloist!) and had some friends.
Lately, as an adult,I have been struggling with feelings of doubt, that I am not “great” at any one thing in particular. I am an average runner, average blogger, have an average life. Don’t get me wrong, I feel very BLESSED, but just don’t feel like I excel in much anymore. I think some of my feelings are stemming from my foot injury. I feel like my “running shape” I have worked so hard to get into is slowly slipping away and by time I get it back it will be spring again. I WANT to be a good distance runner, but it’s just not natural to me, and will probably never be in the cards. I will race you in the 100 meter dash any day of the week, but that’s where my confidence ends in my ability to be a great runner.
After being frustrated with me averageness for awhile, I tried to think of some ways to make myself feel better, or encourage myself. The first thing I tried to remind myself is that greatness takes time. In this day and age we have so many quick fixes and short cuts to be able to do things, but they don’t lead to greatness. 8 minute abs and learning to do a new hobby in three easy steps may get you on the right track, but it won’t make you great.
“I’m great at hunting for frogs, mom!”
In order to master something, you have to practice, you have to work at it, and many times it will demand all you have to give and then some. Even after you have done everything you think you possibly can do, you will still need to do more. Finally, when you think you are finally great, think again, because in a few years you might look back and think your journey was only just beginning.
If you look at people who are great at something, they have been doing it a long time. Ryan Hall. Michel Jordan. Thomas Kincade. Drew Brees. Michael Jordan was even cut from the first basketball team he tried out for in school!
While natural ability does have something to do with it, these people had to work for what they have achieved. We are so used to stomping our feet and wanting instant gratification we can’t stand it when we are just mediocre and we look over and the person next to us is exceling. (Or at least I can’t.)
This leads me to comparison. Which is a trap I fall into all. the. time. I am the epitome of competitive, and I want to win at everything I do. Even a fun church game of flag football. Oh no. I. must. win. This trait of mine has been quite the helper in my life but also quite the hindrance. I have been known to beat myself up when I am not as good as the next guy, or when it takes me too long to get something right. I also have a tendency to give up and not want to do something if I can’t be excellent at it.
Can anyone relate to any of this? I sure hope so.
So, what did I gather from this deep look within myself…
1.) I don’t have to be great at everything
2.) Greatness is relative, so try not to compare
3.) People don’t become great overnight, so keep working
4.) Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard (my new favorite Tim Tebow quote)
5.) You never know who thinks you are inspiring when you think you are just average
So, as I look in the mirror and tell myself these things when I feel less than great, I will also say:
When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
After all, everyone has talent, it’s just a matter of finding it. I may have already found all the talent I am going to in this life, or maybe I have yet to uncover my potential. I have faith that God isn’t finished with me yet and the best is yet to come, I just have to be patient and keep working hard.
QOTD: –Have you ever had feelings like this before? What did you do?
– What is something you are really good at?
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