I must say, the process of unpacking your talent never stops. As you grow, you will learn that you there are several layers to who you really are, which is a very beautiful thing! Each day that you wake up, you have the opportunity to search deeper, unfold and discover new things about yourself. Each day is a blessing, with another opportunity to reach for your true potential. You will always be unlearning and relearning what you’re good at, what you want, and what could make you happy.
First things first, don’t rush. It’s okay if you don’t know what your true talent is right off the bat. Don’t feel bad about not being the best at drawing, dancing, singing, sports, or playing an instrument. Chances are, you’re young and haven’t had the opportunity to tap into what you truly enjoy. Give it time, sis. I hadn’t discovered how good of a painter I was until I was 24 years-old! I admit, I was well-aware from childhood that drawing was a passion of mine. I grew up knowing I liked to write, draw and dance; things I still enjoy doing to this day. I’ve become quite good at these things, because I’ve practiced them consistently. I say all that to say: Find something that you enjoy, and try to stick to it. You don’t have to be “good” at it, especially on your first try. If you enjoy what you’re doing, and you continuously practice it, you’ll be good at it eventually. Consistency is key to improving and shaping yourself into who you want to be. Keep in mind that if you love what you’re doing, it will never feel like work. The phrase “practice makes perfect” may seem cliché, but trust me; its true! Put the hours in.
Don’t limit yourself. One of the biggest ways we can cheat ourselves out of reaching our full potential, is believing the myth that you only have one purpose. You don’t have to stick to one thing. You can be multi-talented. It’s okay to want to play basketball, and join the science team at the same time. You can do whatever you want to! Know when to try something else. It’s okay to enjoy dance and cheerleading, before deciding you’d rather play volleyball four years later. It’s okay to change your major in college. It’s okay to change careers. It’s okay to change your mind. This divine cycle of “finding yourself” will occur throughout all of your life. Find the beauty in it, and only do things that make you happy.
Challenge Yourself. Never settle, or get too comfortable in whatever you decide to commit to. Let’s look at professional Tennis Titan, Serena Williams. She follows a strenuous workout routine, involving barbell squats. Once squatting with hundred-pound barbells becomes too easy, she is likely to add 20 to 40 more pounds. Challenging herself is a very important aspect of her training regime. A dancer will want to perform more rigorous routines as their career progresses. A dressmaker will aim for more complex and elaborate designs as time goes on. A track runner will always work towards a shorter time stamp, in order to be faster than before.
Ultimately, you should be your biggest competition. Do not compare yourself to anyone. That is another way to cheat yourself out of reaching your greatest potential. The most efficient way to stay focused while unpacking your talent, is to stay in your own lane. What your peers are doing should never fuel doubtful thoughts about what you’re doing. You should never allow anyone else to discourage you from doing what you enjoy. If you are writing poetry, and you feel like one of your friends is a “better” poet than you are, do not be discouraged. I know how easy it is to fall into a “secret” competition with your friends, or peers. Be supportive of your peers, and be grateful for the inspiration. Indulge into your own talent, competing only against who you were yesterday.
Unpacking your talents is a messy, beautiful, continuous, and transformative process. You can reach your highest potential as long as you are patient with yourself, enjoy what you do, stay consistent, challenge yourself, and put your happiness first. You’d be surprised to see all the things you’re actually good at. The possibilities are endless!