Has anyone ever told you "you are so talented!" ?
When they did, how did you feel? Did you believe them? Did it give you more confidence to keep doing what you were doing?
If it did, you likely got better at what you were doing because you believed in yourself. And as you got better, the number of people encouraging you probably grew. And as it did, you probably started to believe that you were on to something. Perhaps you even said in conversation, " I feel like I'm doing what I am supposed to be doing." And it became true.
I have been the recipient of this very cycle. And most of the time, I feel very deeply that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.
But there is a blind spot in all of this....
Alot of us view talent as something people have, or don't have. But here is the thing....this is a dishonest way of thinking.
In fact its one of the most short sighted ways of thinking that many of us will ever encounter, and results in many people not doing what it is that they would really love to do in their life.
About a hundred years ago, when prejudice against African Americans was an encouraged part of every day life, there was a "scientific finding" backed by a doctor somewhere in the south. It claimed that the reason black people could never be as smart as white people was because they were less evolved. It said that people of European decent were further along in the evolutionary chain, and therefore intellectually superior. I wonder how George Washington Carver factored into this hypothesis.There was alot of this kind of thinking at that time. Hitlers 3rd Reich is a fair example of what can happen when this kind of thinking takes over. The Nazis believed similar things about Jewish people. I wonder how Einstein factored into that hypothesis.
Now Im not saying that if you are thinking in short sighted ways about creativity you are a Nazi.
What I am saying is that any thinking that makes absolute assumptions about a person based on race, gender, accent, hair length, game platform preference, or what they can do at any given moment is, at its core, short sighted prejudice. And its destructive.When looking at two people, one person may paint better than another. But ONLY at that exact moment in time. If we draw absolute conclusions based on one moment in time, it shows that we lack understanding about the nature of PRACTICE. The truth is, many of the assumptions we make about people are rather shallow and uneducated. And sometimes the assumptions we make about ourselves are even worse.
Dont be a Nazi to yourself.
If there is something that you really want to do, but you don't because you believe you aren't "talented" enough, then you are missing out. And those voices that keep telling you that are no better than Nazis.
Ask yourself this? Do you have a brain?
Lets assume you do.
If you do, then you are no different than that person that everyone says is so talented. Your memories are formed the same way, and the skills you learn are imprinted in your brain tissue using the same biochemistry as a Nobel Prize winner. The only difference between you and them is repetition, practice, and believing in your heart that ANYONE can get really good at ANYTHING if they take the time to do it.
I don't know you, but if you feel inadequate, and voices are telling you that you cant do something because you aren't "talented enough", maybe its time to kill the Nazis in your own brain.
Kick them out.
And good riddance.
And remember this...in some ways, people who aren't told by everyone that they are good at something wind up being better. They develop an internal resolve that many people in the lime light of celebrity don't have.
And internal resolve trumps talent every time in the long haul...