I’m Not Good at Anything — Now What?
Society teaches people that there’s one main course in life that will lead you to success. You go to school, get a degree and start a career that you’ll be doing for the rest of your life. While this approach works well for people on more traditional job paths, like becoming a doctor or a lawyer, it’s much more difficult for those who don’t know what they want to do. Not knowing what you love can cause a great amount of struggle in your career and your personal life.
It can be just as hard to feel like you’re not good at any hobbies. Hobbies can define someone as much as their job or what they’re studying. It’s basically the first thing you get asked when you meet new people: “What do you like to do?”
No one wants to answer that they don’t know what they enjoy doing for fun, but it’s an emotional struggle that many people find themselves in. What’s even more difficult is not knowing how to move forward when you believe you’re not good at anything.
The good news is that everyone is good at something. Sometimes you just have to look at life a little differently to find what you excel at. To figure out where to go from here, read on for some tips you can try in order to discover your talents and passions. It may take a few tries to get it right, but once you find that future goal or current hobby that makes your heart sing, you’ll be so glad you never turned back.
Get Ready to Get Uncomfortable
Unless you’re really lucky, the first new thing you try won’t be as easy as it looks for everyone else. Everyone has to start at the beginning, which means learning a practice or hobby through baby steps. If you’re looking for a career change, don’t get discouraged if your first lab test or mathematical theory makes you uncomfortable.
The only time you should listen to that uncomfortable feeling is if you feel unsafe, like if you try sky diving or rock climbing. Everything else is bound to seem new, so embrace how you feel and push forward to give yourself time to discover what you love.
Fight Your Doubts
It’s natural to wonder if you’re going to be good at something before you try it, especially when you’ve spent so much time in the mindset of not feeling like you’re good at anything. That feeling of dread holds many people back. It’s embarrassing to picture yourself not knowing how to do something around people who are better at it than you, but you can’t let such a thought hold you back.
The key to getting started is to fight your initial doubts. Sign up for that paddle-boarding class, or join that local chess club. You don’t need to be perfect at the first thing you try. You just need to start trying.
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Set Small Goals
Another way to accidentally set yourself up for failure is to set extra large goals for yourself to reach. It’s good to have big dreams, but make sure to set plenty of smaller goals for yourself along the way. Small goals could look like being determined to research hobbies by the end of the week. You might take some time to learn what’s available in your community for you to try or if there are speakers coming to town who will talk about topics you’re interested in.
Even just getting into the habit of eating breakfast or taking care of your home regularly will give you more time in the future to feel energized and do what you love.
Think Outside the Box
If you’re having a hard time deciding on a career path, you may be thinking of the wrong careers. Start with considering what you love to do. Do you find yourself consistently getting good grades on essays or scribbling short stories on scrap sheets of paper?
Becoming a novelist isn’t your only option. Look into becoming a freelancer to make money without being stuck in an office. You could write from home or get paid to write while you travel the world.
Non-traditional career paths aren’t any less legitimate because they weren’t done 10 or 20 years ago. The world is constantly changing, and the ease with which technology allows people to connect has opened up more job possibilities than ever before.
Opening your own business or getting employed to work with new technology can take you far in life and teach you skills you never knew you could have.
Listen to the Experts
It’s hard to know what you could try to do if you don’t know what your options are. To get started, try listening to the experts. You’re not the first person to end up in your shoes. At some point, everyone has felt like they weren’t good at anything.
Because there are so many ways to discover new talents and skills, everyone can reach their dream life in different ways. Do some research to find out what worked for the people who came before you.
Podcasts are an amazing way to hear directly from the people who can help you the most. The number of available podcasts is growing every day, and they’re extremely easy to access and listen to while you multitask.
Look specifically for the ones where people talk about what they’re good at or the history of their career. It will fascinate you to hear how people got to where they are now, and you’ll feel challenged to take similar steps in your own life.
Getting connected with other people in the world who have been in the same mindset you’re stuck in will encourage you to break out of old habits. Stop doubting yourself, try new things and embrace being a beginner at whatever you try that’s new. These are the best ways you can learn more about what you’re good at and what you’re meant to do.
Whether you wish you had a great hobby or want to decide what career is right for you, try out these tips to see how quickly they’ll start turning your life around.
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Also published on Medium.
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