One of the most challenging conversations to have with my clients, I’ve found, is around talents. When asked to describe their talents, many people fall suddently silent because they’re either embarrassed or they don’t understand the point of the question.
We can usually come up with a list of our skills – things we’ve learned. Somehow, though, talent is a more slippery subject, and one which we’re less comfortable talking about when referring to ourselves – although we’re often quick to recognise talent in other people.
It can be difficult for us to recognise our own talents, because they’re often things we do automatically, naturally, without having to give them much thought. So if someone compliments us on what we’ve done, we might think: “it was nothing”.
Our hidden talents may even be things which we got into trouble for when we were younger, such as singing, doing cartwheels, digging up the garden to look for treasure, or taking toys apart to see how they work.
I really identify with Mel Rusnov’s article: “The Artistry in Hidden Talents”. My husband and I got together through our involvement in music, and yet for twenty years we both put our musical interests to one side, to focus on being “responsible adults” with careers and a mortgage. When we realised twenty years had passed – had been squandered – we started to put a band together so that we could play and sing together for the first time. It’s coming along gradually, and it feels great!
It’s sad to waste the talents we were born with. For some people, ignoring their talents means they spend their entire lives doing something they find totally unrewarding – when, by being aware of their innate, hidden talents, they could lead a far more enjoyable and fulfilling life.
Talents come in all shapes and sizes. Think, for a moment, about what you loved doing as a child, what you got into trouble for doing, what you enjoy doing now, what you do naturally, and what frustrates you most, when you’re not given free rein to get on and do it. These are all pointers to your natural talents.
It’s important to recognise and make use of your talents – they are your gift to the world.