Do you know what your unique ability is?
Some people spend their whole lives trying to figure out what they’re good at.
Me? I’m good at a lot of things but only great at three.
You can pay me to do any of the following.*
* Except baking bread. My wheat rocks aren’t edible.
It might seem obvious to play to your strengths, but not all of us do.
My whole life I’ve known I was a writer, but it took me a long time to finally accept it.
The universe gave me clues from the very start.
I skipped ahead two grades in English. I won writing contests. I gave myself research papers to write for fun. I started a magazine. I got straight A’s in nearly every class where the grade was determined by essay.
But I never accepted myself as a writer.
Even after I wrote a letter to the Dean of one of the best Journalism schools in America explaining why they should accept me when my grades said they shouldn’t – and got in.
Even after being called out as exceptional in every screenwriting class I ever took.
Even after writing tons of award-winning ads for the world’s most creative agencies.
I never accepted myself as a writer.
Even after years of people directly telling me what a great writer I was, or that I “should be a writer.”
As obvious as it was to others, it took me half a lifetime to fully embrace my unique ability.
I used to think the reason why was because my parents often sent me to my room to write stories as punishment.
But the real reason why was fear. I knew I was good, but I was afraid of being unsuccessful.
The penny drop moment came when one of my business coaches asked me a simple question:
If you’ve always known the thing you were best at was writing, but didn’t pursue it because you were afraid of not being a success, what made you think you could be successful at something you’re not the best at, like starting a fin-tech?
It was a good question and a painful one to answer.
So why am I telling you this?
Because by publicly declaring myself to be a writer, I remind myself that I have crossed over a threshold into a new perspective, a new career, and a new life.
And also because I don’t want anyone else to avoid doing the thing with their life they know they should be doing.
If something is holding you back, be it fear, finances, or family, prioritise yourself and get going.
Whatever your “thing” is, acknowledge it, celebrate it, own it, and take it to the world. Don’t wait.
As Joe Polish says, your “unique ability is the set of natural talents you’re already amazing at, that give you energy, and that you love doing. When you spend more and more time working in your Unique Ability, you’ll start to see that’s where growth and money lie.”
In other words, do what you’re great at and enjoy doing.
This is not to be confused with doing what you love. I love eating burritos but trying to go Pro is a delicious and bad idea.
But there’s hope for my writing.
If you’re wondering what your unique ability is, Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach has some tips.
I’ve known my whole life what mine was, but knowing isn’t enough. You have to accept it and then share it with the world.
This is me sharing mine.
I can’t wait to see you sharing yours.