To be honest growing up I missed a lot of school. I’m not overexaggerating I may have missed 2 to 3 days a week, every week. So, I didn’t make straight A’s because I missed school so much, however as I got older in high school is where I started to make straight A’s. During this time, I never really took pride in making those grades because school was easy to me. I thought everyone made good grades at this point. In addition to me excelling at school, I was also a good athlete, again I didn’t play sports because I was extremely shy, but I’ve always been naturally good at them (basketball, track, football and softball). For some reason I wanted to try out for the tennis team, I believe one of my teachers may have pushed me to try out. Man, I got on the court and I sucked!!! I was shocked and couldn’t believe how bad I was at. In my head I had already envisioned how I was going to get out on that court and kill it! When that didn’t happen, I quit! Lol and never look back again.
It wasn’t until very recently that I discovered I was suffering from the imposter syndrome called The Natural Genius.
Some argue that this may be worse than the perfectionist. Natural Genius measure their selves based on ease and speed. You expect to know without being taught, to excel without effort, and to get it right on the first attempt. You think, If I were really smart, I would be able to understand everything the first time I hear it, or If I were a real writer, it wouldn’t be this hard. Listen I don’t know about you all but this is me. And the biggest mistake I have made is passing this belief system down on my daughter.
I remember her being interested in trying out for basketball and not making the team. I encouraged to not tryout again, that she wasn’t naturally good at it and should focus her energy on her natural gifts and talents.
Some may argue and say well what’s wrong with that? I do believe we do have an area where we are naturally good at things, however I don’t want to teach her to quit when things get rough because life will throw things your way and she will need certain skills to be able to press forward.
So, if you can relate this imposter syndrome here are a few tips to get over it.
Changing your words instead of equating your success with innate characteristics. Use words like I know you have been working hard and I see it is paying off. Acknowledge the work they are doing, or you are doing instead of saying things like (you are a natural at drawing, or this is comes at you so effortlessly).
Next I want to encourage to try something that you have convinced yourself you are not naturally good at. For example, I shared that I was really bad at tennis, so I have been looking for tennis instructor to learn how to play and pick it up as a hobby. Trying something you aren’t naturally good at, is a great way to start shifting your mindset from feeling like you have to be born with it to be successful versus the concept that when you put in the work you honestly can accomplish anything.
Finally encourage yourself and others that we are lifelong learners. Get behind someone you admire and allow yourself to be mentor by them. I know that I am wise however feeling like there is no room for growth is a dangerous position to be in. So, I started working with success coaches. Which has been a humbling experience. As someone who encourages healthy relationships being able to be taught and led is a valuable trait needed to have any successful relationship (business, parenting, friendships and of course romantic).
To close I want to reiterate that life is a journey. Along the journey there will be problems and lessons to learn. Don’t skip or try to bypass things because you aren’t naturally good at it because you may be truly missing out on the enjoyment of an experience.
As always readers,
Your Sista on the Sofa,