Why Aren't I Good at Anything? (How to Be Great)
BY CHRIS SAVAGE
How to Be Good at Anything
1. Get Clarity
To say you’re not good at “anything” is an exaggeration.
Of course, there are things you’re good at, maybe you just haven’t found them yet.
There are a hundred things you could be good at or not good at.
Instead, ask yourself a better question: What do I want to be good at?
Get some clarity around what you want to be good at and delete everything else from your consciousness.
What you want to be good at will tie in with who you want to be.
If you want to be a business person you don’t need to know how to dance the tango.
If you want to be a world-class tango dancer you don’t have to know how to interpret financial statements or do double-entry bookkeeping.
It’s not humanly impossible to be good at everything. But you can choose a few things, and be great at them.
Get clear on what they are and get to work.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself
I have so many clients who come to me with self-doubt and low self-esteem.
They claim they’re not successful and that they always fail.
But when I dig a little deeper an interesting theme emerges.
These people are all intelligent, productive human beings.
After speaking to them for 20 minutes I know that the only thing holding them back from greatness is themselves.
They were all drawing their conclusions from a skewed view of themselves and their abilities.
One woman was a forex trader.
She had been trading for a few years and was starting to make money.
That’s a way better result than most people but when she came to me she said she felt like a failure.
When I started questioning her she told me that until she can trade like George Soros she could never feel successful.
What a great goal to have (to trade like Soros) but also what a self-defeating, self-sabotaging belief to carry around with you.
She’s comparing herself (trading for a few years) to one of the greatest traders in history (who had been trading for 50 years)
But when I suggested she compare herself to herself 3 years ago, a different picture emerged.
What are you comparing yourself to when you say you’re not good at anything?
3. Start Something New, Today!
Most problems we face in our daily lives have the same solution: Action.
If you feel like you’re not good at anything, start something, and get good at it.
First - Stop focusing on how good or not good you are and just get to work.
If you stick with anything long enough you must improve. You can’t not.
Second - Don’t compare yourself to people who are way more advanced than you are.
If they’ve dedicated themselves to something and they’re great at it, more power to them. You can do the same.
Third- Most important of all, just start! You can sit around thinking, talking, and procrastinating.
But you can’t gain mastery in your chosen area unless you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get busy.
You have to put in the work. No one will do it for you. If you want it, it’s on you to go and get it.
How Do I Find Out What I'm Good At?
1. List Your Past Achievements
Take a pen and write down all your accomplishments.
Large or small it doesn’t matter, but go back as far as your memory takes you and start writing them down.
It’s amazing how many things we forget.
If you did the exercise properly you would have had a few “ah-ha” moments when you were writing.
Are there any common themes that jump out on your list of accomplishments?
You’re obviously good at a few things.
But are you good at what you want to be good at?
That’s the million-dollar question.
“What do I want to be good at and how can I get good at it?”
To find the answer, you need to...
2. Write Your Ideal Life
Keep that pen in your hand, take a new page and start writing your ideal life.
Write down what you do, where you do it, and who you do it with.
You can divide it into areas (career, health, relationships, etc) or you can just write a short story including everything in one.
The point of this exercise isn’t to dream and wish.
The point is to extract areas of interest and identify certain skill sets or expertise you need to obtain for you to live your ideal life.
If you want to run your own business you’ll need to understand the different components of a successful business.
You'll need to know your business model, capital requirements, marketing plan, finance, and accounting.
You don’t have to be a pro in all these areas but you need an understanding of the basics.
Same if you want to transform your body.
You need to develop the skills of correct training techniques, clean eating and lifestyle, and mindset.
When you know what you want you’ll be able to figure out what you need to do to get it.
3. Try it and Find Out
You can write for the next 6 months but unless you take action on your ideas and try new things you’ll never make any progress.
Once you’ve done your writing and you have your past achievements, and what you want your future to be, it’s time to get busy.
You never know if you like or don't like something, or if you’re good or not good at something until you try it.
Once you start something new, give yourself some time to adjust (don’t try once and give up).
Before long you’ll know if that’s the right thing for you to be doing or not.
It’s great to try as many things as you can, but you can’t jump from thing to thing forever.
There comes a point where you have to plant your flag in the sand and say “this is what I’m going to dedicate myself to”.
Why Can't I Be Good At Anything?
1. You Don't Give Yourself Enough Time
There are very few people you’ll find who are truly great at something who hasn’t been at it consistently for at least 10 years.
If you jump from idea to idea without giving yourself time to gain momentum and see the improvement you’ll spend your life chasing your tail.
By the time you’re done, you’ll have nothing to show for it.
Progress takes time, and if you’re not willing to put in that time to get better, then you should probably go and do something else.
2. You're Not Committed
Developing skills and confidence not only takes time, but it also takes commitment.
Nothing worth doing is going to be easy in the beginning.
What separates those who succeed and those who fail is commitment.
Commitment trumps skill every time.
You can be the most talented person on earth, but if you quit every time it gets difficult you’ll never succeed.
Meanwhile, the guy who isn’t half as bright as you but is far more committed hammers away relentlessly.
After a while is so far ahead of you'll have a hard time catching up.
Be honest with yourself in any endeavor. Ask yourself “am I really committed to this?”
If you’re not committed, go and do something else.
Life’s too short to spend time on things that don’t excite you.
If you are committed, focus single-mindedly on practicing, improving, and over time, mastering what you set out for.
3. You Don't Learn From Your Mistakes
Mistakes are a blessing when you learn from them to make yourself better.
You need to pay attention to the feedback you’re getting so you can make the necessary changes.
I have a friend who’s lost money in the stock market every year for the past 5 years. But he keeps doing the same thing!
That’s an example of not learning from your mistakes.
I have another friend who's battled drug addiction, mental health issues, physical health issues, bankruptcy, and the loss of his most beloved daughter.
He’s someone who does learn from his mistakes.
He’s now clean and sober for 20 years, his physical and mental health is impeccable, and he makes more money than he needs. He also lives on a tropical island.
That’s the power of learning from your mistakes.
If you use your mistakes to improve you can take your life in any direction.
How to Stop Thinking You're Not Good Enough
Your mind can be your greatest ally or your most dreaded enemy.
If your mind is right, most other things just fall into place.
But if it’s not, you can bet you'll have some hard times ahead.
Your mindset and your psychology are probably the most valuable assets you have when it comes to attaining success.
If you think you’re not good enough that's where the problem lies. In how you "think".
You want to reprogram your mind so you can build on your strengths and discard the parts of yourself that no longer serve you.
Write, every day about your ideal life and the ideal you. It should only take you 10 minutes.
Write down in the present tense who you are, what you have, and how you live.
Doing this for a day or two will be a waste of time.
Do it for a few months or years and you’ll transform life.
Open your mind to new concepts and information.
Sometimes it only takes one idea to take your life in a new direction.
Associate with people who reflect the mindset you want to have.
You know you’re around the right people when you feel energized and motivated.
There’s a quote somewhere that says “there is no right or wrong, but thinking makes it so”.
Likewise, you are who you think yourself to be.
Quotes About Not Being Good Enough
“You are not your mistakes: they are what you did, not who you are” - Lisa Lieberman-Wang
“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It's the fear that we're not good enough” - Brene Brown
“Just doing as well as you did last time is not good enough” - Michael Jackson
“And above all things, never think that you're not good enough yourself. A man should never think that” - Isaac Asimov
“It's a lie to think you're not good enough. It's a lie to think you're not worth anything” - Nick Vujicic