Why We Don’t Use Our Talents

In my work with career-changers , I have discovered that everyone has gifts. Some of us have ignored them over the years for various reasons. Here are the main reasons we ignore our talents:

Our talent set us apart from our peers. We were afraid to be “different” or “too smart” in some subject at school. Even as adults, we are afraid to be too much better than our peers.

Our talent is perceived as not marketable. In the quest to help us find a livelihood, parents may have steered us away from gifts they felt would not generate a “good living.” Singing, dancing, musical talent and art are often considered not marketable in our culture.

Using our talents can be a sacrifice. We only need to look at olympic athletes to realize that fully developing a talent takes hard work. In some cases, people have made incredible sacrifices in order to develop their talents. Think of the olympic skater who finds three hours each day to skate, in addition to a full life as a student. That’s sacrifice.

Our talent is subtle or hard to describe. Most gifts in human relations areas are subtle and difficult to describe. For example, we might be a “peace maker” and not have the words to describe this talent.

Our talent is so natural we believe everyone can do what we do well. This is probably the number one reason we ignore talents. Certain tasks are so simple for us that we fail to notice that others may struggle with the same task. We simply don’t see our ability as talent, because it seems so simple.
When we use our talents, we are successful. It’s worth working past these issues to come into our greatness!

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