It’s Ok To Not Be Good At What You Love

You know what sucks more than being bad at something? Being bad at the thing you’re supposed to be good at.

As soon as we’re old enough to walk, our parents throw us into an abundance of activities that pertain to our strongest skills: ballet classes, soccer camp, piano lessons... you name it. The minute you show any predisposition to any particular thing, you’re on the road to becoming the next protégé in whatever that thing may be. 

We hear all the time from inspirational coaches, self-help books and guidance counselors to just “find your passion and follow it,” and usually these passions stem from the natural gifts and abilities that manifest in early childhood. However, what these well-meaning pieces of advice tend to omit is that there are certain days where you’re not going to love your passions; in fact you might even hate them, and that’s ok. 

As a very self-critical perfectionist, I often struggle with my passion for writing. I remember days, long ago, when words and manuscripts flowed easily off the keyboard and I didn’t spend hours repeatedly backspacing and rephrasing sentences over and over again. I often wonder whether I lost my gift, or if it even existed in the first place... and quite frankly, it feels like the latter. 

These feelings of self-doubt have caused me to question what the hell convinced me I was good enough to even attempt a career in writing. Think about the people who first spring to mind when you hear the word “writer”: authors like J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen and Maya Angelou, right? I can, without any doubt, admit that I'm nowhere near their level (and probably will never be in this lifetime.) However, I will keep writing because it’s what I love to do, even though I’m not always good at it.

We love to define ourselves by our strengths because, without them, who would we be? In college, we choose a major that’s close to our hearts, finding an identity where our skills lie - but when we perform less than expected, we question whether we’ve made the right choice after all. 

The funny thing about passions, though, is that we’re not always going to be the best at them, but that doesn’t mean that we should give them up! Even J.K. Rowling admitted that one of her book chapters “almost finished her," but she didn’t allow one rough spot to stop her from becoming the famously acclaimed author that she is today. So, why should we let it happen to us?