Most people would agree that being the worst at something sucks. Doesn’t everyone fantasize about what it would be like to be the best of the best, whether it’s becoming an Olympian athlete or a thriving student at Stanford?
In any case, having mastered a skill or topic of interest is incredibly validating. As people, we need to feel as if we have a purpose. Oftentimes, that means people depending on you, asking for your help/advice because they trust you. It makes you feel worthy and important if you can add value to another person or group of people. This is where the feeling of gratification comes from when you volunteer at a nonprofit, donate to a cause, or do a favor for someone.
What if your passion doesn’t line up with your capabilities? What if you want to innovate technology but have no idea how programming works, or you want to inspire others but don’t know how to write a compelling speech or article?
Fortunately for us, we can learn just about anything, so long as we have the motivation. In my case, I have aspirations of making an impact in my school, community, and perhaps even society, through leadership.
However, I’m not necessarily what most people might think of as a “natural born leader.” I love to learn, and I love to teach. I like to think I’m adaptable, dependable, and ambitious. Despite these qualities, I have weaknesses; I struggle walking up to a stranger to start a conversation, being calm and confident talking in front of large groups of people, and overthinking things when I need to be decisive.
It’s hard to admit our downfalls. Having said that, it’s the only way we’re able to learn from and overcome them. If we don’t know where we need to improve, how are we going to? That’s why it’s important to recognize, frankly, what we suck at.
Everyone is bad at something, and I would argue that’s a good thing. It gives us room to grow! Think about it; a game without a challenge is boring. Life is the same way. In order to grow, to live a meaningful life, we have to challenge ourselves.
To become a leader, I’ve put myself in positions where I’ve had to adapt into one. As an FBLA state and chapter officer, Student Council officer, and cheer captain, I’ve put myself in an environment with people I can learn from, an environment that demands I face and conquer my fears.
I’ve always been a leader at heart. With goals, a passion, a vision, things I want to make a reality, I know what impact I want to make. On top of that, I have my “hindrances,” forcing me to grow into leadership, which gives me the experience to effectively teach others to do the same.
So, next time you start beating yourself up for sucking at something, look at it as an opportunity. The challenge is what will make you an expert.