Wright Foundation | September 26, 2022

Why Am I Not Good at Anything: Finding Your Talent

Does figuring out a spreadsheet make you feel sick? When you cook, do your friends run for the take-out menus? Did you learn early in your life that you were NOT going to be a child piano prodigy, and have you held onto that belief ever since? Here’s why it’s time to let that all go. 

What Makes You So Special? Everything.

So maybe you can’t hold a tune. Or write a novel. Maybe you’re not a natural athlete or a technical genius. And maybe you occasionally find yourself thinking, “I’m just not talented”… “There’s nothing special about me…”I’m not smart enough”…”I’m not organized”…

I’m here to reassure you that yes, yes, you are!

We ALL have talents and gifts. Sometimes they are just less traditional, and they may take some seeking out. But the first thing you must do is move forward, knowing without a doubt that you have a divine role as a human being on this planet.

Your job is to find it and use it. To keep getting better at being YOU. Because that is what the world needs most of all.


Four Truths About You

Several years ago, I went on a spiritual journey to France. I meditated and prayed at ancient cathedrals. I discussed philosophy and divine worship with monks. I explored the countryside.

And as I sat in a café one day, I had a moment of divine inspiration—the idea of Four Loving Truths. (I wrote about them in my book, The Soft Addiction Solution.) I find myself coming back to these Loving Truths time and again whenever I struggle or need inspiration.

They open me up to the possibility of MORE in my life, and I want to share one of them with you here: the Fourth Loving Truth.

Gifts are given to us to develop and use in the divine symphony of life.

Even though there might be days when you feel like you were absent when the gifts were being handed out, you, like the rest of us, have been given them. What are they? This is where the adventure begins.

Because if you find yourself saying that “you’re not good at anything,” it’s time to embrace the Fourth Loving Truth and discover what those gifts are!


Redefine the Word “Gifts” to Discover Yours

Ask yourself: What do you excel at? What skills give you meaning and purpose? What do others appreciate about you? How are you helpful to others? Pause for a moment and make a list of answers.

Often your gifts can be something you wouldn’t normally consider gifts. Perhaps you have a kind heart—a rare gift in these challenging times. Or maybe you have a green thumb. Our planet needs every green thumb there is! Are you a good listener? Everyone needs a good listener in their lives.

Gifts can also surprise you. For example, if you had or have trauma in your life, you have a particular perspective that no one else has. You may have a deep understanding or sensitivity to others from your experiences, or value how people should be treated, or a much-needed empathic viewpoint. Mary Oliver reminds the reader of this in her poem, “The Uses of Sorrow.”

“Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this too, was a gift.”

– Mary Oliver

As a culture, we tend to think of being “gifted” in traditional and obvious ways. But the gift of YOU is unique, nuanced, and 100% necessary to the divine harmony of life. Claim it proudly. However, if you can’t do that yet, simply act as if. Live your life being the best you possible.

I didn’t start my life knowing I was good at something. I began by knowing my purpose, my mission. I wanted to contribute to people and to make a difference. I felt there were things for me to share. So, I invested in learning how to write. I explored how to speak to larger audiences. I took classes, I hired coaches, I practiced. Because these things mattered to me, I asked myself, “How can I get better at them?”

I developed my gift.

Developing your gifts is very different from pre-deciding your gifts. When you develop your gifts, you let them emerge. I didn’t decide I wanted to be a speaker and author. I engaged in my life and listened to where I was inspired. What moved me? What was calling me to lean in further?

I also gathered clues from my childhood. Growing up I would do plays and big shows and put on crazy events for family and friends. When I was doing that, I wasn’t asking myself, “How will this work out? How will it ultimately lead me to my perfect career?” I was 4, 8, 12. I was becoming me by engaging with what naturally brought me joy.

As a child, you’re free to try things without worrying. You can experiment and PLAY without judgment. You can engage with what brings you joy. And if it doesn’t bring you joy, you can stop doing it.

Here’s the good news: you can still do that as an adult!  You can engage in your life to find out what your gifts are. You can play, explore, try things out, and laugh the whole time you’re doing it. There’s NOTHING you can do to mess it up!

So go back to your list of things you excel at and things that bring you purpose and meaning. What’s on those lists that also bring you joy? What matters to you? Circle those things. They’re your gifts starting to reveal themselves!


The Best Isn’t Always What’s Needed

You don’t need to be an opera singer to sing a lullaby to your child. You don’t need to be a math wizard to help your child with their homework. You don’t need to be a best-selling author to write a heartfelt note to a friend.

Being the best isn’t always what’s needed, although it might feel good to your ego.

And if it turns out that you ARE the best at something, celebrate it and find the best usage for that. Develop it. Grow it. Share it.

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

– Frederick Buechner

Everybody has different gifts – you don’t need someone else’s gift – that’s theirs! When everyone develops and shares their gifts, everything is covered. You don’t have to know/do/be everything. It is enough for you to just be You.

Close your eyes and imagine a world where everyone develops and utilizes their gifts. Where everyone ‘sings’ the ‘song’ that is theirs to sing. This is the divine symphony of life.

You are the only you that ever was. And the only you that will ever be.  We don’t take that in enough, do we? Unique. Talented. Beautiful. And beloved. A gift.

That’s you.




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