What to do when you judge yourself for not being good at something

August 20, 2018

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago and they shared something interesting that got me thinking.

“I’m really really good at identifying how businesses can grow and what they can do to reach the next level…. but for the life of me I can’t start my own business”.

Maybe you’ve had a complaint of a similar nature. “I’m really good at ABC, but I suck at XYZ” and because of that you pass harsh judgement on yourself.

Here’s the thing. Being excellent in one area doesn’t always transfer to excellence in another area, even though at face value they may seem very similar.
For example:

  • Being really good at having conversations in 1:1 contexts, but sucking at having conversations in 1:many contexts.
  • Being really good at swimming in the pool, but sucking at swimming in the ocean.
  • Being really good at cooking pastries and desserts, but not really good at making savoury food at all.

At first glance, these are similar. But looking deeper, the skills required to be great at the second thing are different from the skills required to be great at the first thing.

The good news from this is you can relax the expectations and judgement you may have placed on yourself.

Reflection questions for you:

  1. Where are you currently judging yourself about something you’re not good at but believe you should be?
  2. What skills are actually needed to be good at what you want to do? At first glance they seem similar, so getting an answer to this may take a little bit more extra thought.
  3. Are you willing to put in the work to acquire the skills you just listed, or would you prefer to go all in on what you’re already awesome at? What path will give you bigger rewards?

Your answers to these questions will help you take ownership about where you’re at, where you want to be and what steps you need to take next.

David Pita is an artist and writer and consults as a web designer and conversion copywriter. His writing explores how to thrive and succeed as a human and his art is an expression of vibrant joy.

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