Do you sometimes think you can’t do anything right? Are there things that you suck at that you think you should be able to do by now? Welcome to being a person. Everyone has some things that they are almost completely incompetent at. You tend to find that people who are highly skilled in one area, like music, science or sport, are often near-useless at something else, like putting up shelves, being on time, or using their computer. This is normal.
People get good at things by spending time doing them. If you are one of those people that have got ridiculously good at something, usually that’s because you’ve spent a lot of time doing it (some call this the 10,000 hour rule). If you do that, you will by definition not have had time to do some other things. And if you want to get good at something new, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time going from ‘uncomfortable’ to ‘familiar’.
So really, you need to be OK with the idea that you’re not going to be good at everything. You don’t need to be. So don’t beat yourself up for not being great with technology or cooking when you’ve just spent your time getting good at wakeboarding, first aid, or sculpture. You might just want to have a look at what you have spent your time on, and see if you’re just spending too much time practising things that don’t do you any good, like computer games. I have no major problem with these, by the way – in fact they are my major distraction. They’re just an example of something you can get very good at that doesn’t necessarily get you anywhere. But it’s not all bad – if you can get good at that, you can get good at something else.
Remember what we’ve already learned about comparing ourselves. We always compare ourselves with other people, and usually we pick the ones that have spent more time doing something than we have. And this makes us feel bad, even though all they have that we don’t is a little more practice. OK, and sometimes some ‘talent’, whatever this is. But you’d be surprised how much talent comes from practice and not birth.
You’re really not an idiot. You’re a perfectly capable human being, and if you want to learn something new, you probably can. Even if it takes you a little longer than someone else who ‘gets it’ faster. Don’t talk yourself into giving up, or keep telling yourself that you will never be any good. And remember, you don’t have to be world-class at something for it to be worth doing. You can do it anyway.
We all have different skills, and you might not be as good at the things you’d like to be good at, but you are good at something. And there’s nothing stopping you improving in the other things. And if you try, you’ll be better at it than you would if you didn’t try, right?