Own Your Talent

Remember this: you are gifted. Have confidence in your talent. // dreams-etc.com

“How are you talented?”

I was asked this question in a discussion over the weekend and it took a moment for me to come up with an answer. Here’s the thing: I know I’m talented. I know I have creative gifts. I don’t always feel like I do, but I know I’m talented. I also know that I probably have gifts I’m not totally aware of. I think everybody does.

But during this meeting, I didn’t feel like I was talented. I was tired, it had been a long week, and I hadn’t done anything creative for awhile.

And here’s the other thing: it isn’t in my nature to talk about what I’m good at. I can easily tell others how amazing and talented they are, but to talk about how I’m talented makes me so uncomfortable. I don’t like to draw attention to myself in general (which probably sounds a little strange for someone who has a blog, but it’s the truth). I don’t like to have attention on me.

(I’ll be completely honest: it always feels a little boastful too.)

If we were to sit down and have this conversation one-on-one, I would have a different response. I’d be able to tell you what gifts I have and what my strengths and weaknesses are within those gifts. It would still be a little awkward, but not quite as uncomfortable or hesitant.

But there was a time when even that conversation would be difficult for me. There was a time when I didn’t see myself as talented. I knew that I was passionate about things (specifically writing), but ask me if I was talented? I hoped I was. I felt like I probably had some talent. But I would never say that. I mean, what if I wasn’t?

So instead, if I talked about my writing, I’d put it down. “It sucks.” “I’m not very good.” “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

I think back to that now and I’m kind of shocked that I would say these things to myself. Luckily, I had a teacher who overheard me talking that way. He was teaching my senior seminar in poetry and he knew that I had challenged myself to write a book in a month, while writing a poetry chapbook for his class… while working almost full-time… while taking a full course-load.

“Crystal,” he said, “stop saying those things. You are writing a book and a poetry chapbook, while you’re working and going to school, and you have a gift.” He made me repeat it and then he ended the conversation with, “I don’t want to hear you say those things again.”

That conversation has always stuck with me, and it’s a conversation I’ve tried to share with others when I’ve heard them making similar statements. So if that’s you, if you’re feeling insecure in your gifts, if you’re not sure you’re talented or gifted, remember this:

You are gifted. You are (writing, painting, dancing, welding 🙂 …) while you’re (going to school, raising children, working…) and you have a gift.

Remember that, repeat that to yourself, believe it. And if you remember that and repeat it, you will believe it. I did, at least. That conversation changed the way that I view as myself as a creative. It gave me the confidence I needed to take ownership of my gifts. And that confidence isn’t boasting, it’s merely saying, “I’m a writer and I do it well.” We are all talented and we are allowed to take ownership of those talents. In fact, we should take ownership of those talents, because it will help us use them and use them well, even when we’re not feeling it.

So, tell me. How are you talented?

[Tweet “Remember this: you have a gift. #creativelife #peptalk”]

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Natalie
    September 26, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I get the same way sometimes. I don’t like talking about my talents because I worry I’l sound boastful. I resort to calling my talents my “interests” because I don’t want to come across full of myself. But then I realize that in doing this I am talking down on myself and not believing in myself or what I can do! Thanks for this encouraging reminder 🙂

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      October 13, 2016 at 8:24 am

      That a great thought as well: how do we define our talents? I tend to think of them the same way that you do. Thanks for sharing Natalie!

  • Reply
    Ref J
    September 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    This is fantastic! I have been there and I totally get what you mean when you stated that you can see others talent but not your own. As a business coach it is sometimes hard for me to “sell” myself because it just seems boastful. I have to remind myself that it is okay to talk about my accomplishments. They are MY accomplishments and I should wear them proudly.

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      October 13, 2016 at 8:22 am

      I always see people like business coaches and think about how cool it is that they’re so confident in their talents. I always wish I was like that… it’s always good to be reminded that sometimes they struggle with the same things I do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  • Reply
    chelsea jacobs
    September 27, 2016 at 5:42 am

    THIS IS SO GOOD!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      October 13, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Chelsea! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mistle
    September 27, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I agree that it is hard to talk about what you’re good at when asked. I would be like well….and think about it. I think everyone has a talent rather it is big or small. I am good at hiring people for my company (that’s what my job is). We always have to remember no matter what we think, we are all talented in our own way. 🙂

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      October 13, 2016 at 8:20 am

      Exactly! It’s such a hard question to answer for some reason. 🙂 But we all have talents. I always think of more “sensational” talents first, like musical or acting ability. But it’s also important to remember our other talents and the talents that really benefit us in life. 🙂

  • Reply
    Shane
    September 28, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Love this sentiment! So important to own what your heart is passionate for 👌🏼

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      October 13, 2016 at 8:12 am

      It is! We need to do that more often. 🙂

  • Reply
    Aly
    September 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Hey Crystal, this is a great post! Sometimes, we tend to put down our talents in an attempt to be humble. I like to think that being humble isn’t putting yourself down, it’s lifting up others. Yes, it’s great to compliment others and lift them up, but it’s also okay to celebrate our own talents. We also put our talents down because we’re afraid of others judging us. For example, I often put down my singing voice. I’m not the best in the world, but I’m pretty good. I put myself down because I’m afraid of someone hearing me and thinking, “That’s it? Her voice is nothing special.” I lower their expectations so that they won’t expect much from me, and in turn, they won’t judge me. I’m trying hard to break this habit and to accept myself for who I am, with both my talents and my flaws.
    -Aly

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      October 13, 2016 at 8:12 am

      I do that too. I might not be the best at something, so I try to lower the expectations of others so that they’re not disappointed. I don’t know why we do that. Great point, Aly!

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