You Don’t Have the Talent

You read the title to this blog and you already thought I was talking about you, huh?

Ugh. It felt ugly just typing that title into the box. I guess it felt extra ugly and familiar because I’ve spoken those words to myself .

There’s a good chance someone else has even said them about me too, but they didn’t need to, I said it enough times in my own head for it to feel true.

But is it true? What is talent anyway? And who is the talent lender that divvies out certain amounts of talent to this person or that person?

A couple years ago I read this book called The Talent Code, written by Daniel Coyle. It was life changing for me and it started a domino effect of more reading and research. I read book after book about the topic, I tested out some theories on myself, and here is what I’ve found.

Talent is nothing more than the culmination of focused experience, education and repetition.

That sounds too simple doesn’t it?

It’s not, and here is why. When you program your mind for growth and you WORK every day to become better at a skill, you WILL see results.

Here is a dumb little experiment I performed on myself just to test out this theory.

I’ve always been told I have terrible handwriting. And I did! As a grown woman my handwriting looked like a toddler’s chicken scratch. It was pathetic and embarrassing. In fact it was embarrassing enough that I would rarely write anything down on paper. I would always find a way to type out what I needed to write down rather than putting pen to paper.

So I decided I would work at something I was truly terrible at and see if I could become “talented”. For a whole year, every time I went to church I would take notes about the sermon and force myself to write in cursive.

To begin with, I barely remembered how to write each letter in cursive and I would stop midway through a word and have to really think about how to write it. I felt ridiculous and my handwriting looked TERRIBLE.

Little by little I improved though. I got faster and more proficient writing in cursive and after a year, the coolest thing happened.

I was in church, writing my notes and sitting next to a girl that glanced over and said to me, “Wow, you have really pretty handwriting.”

I seriously couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. As silly as it sounds, for the first time, I proved to myself that I could take something I was truly terrible at, work hard at it, and learn to be great at it.

This line of thinking now spills over into every area of my life. I have learned that having a growth mindset (a concept that I learned in the book Mindset), is the most important tool I can have to be successful in anything I pursue.

I can’t even begin to tell you how this has changed my horsemanship and training skills. Every time I go out to the barn I want to have an open mind and be ready to WORK at becoming a better trainer and rider. I want to develop my communication skills with my horses every day.

It simply isn’t enough to just rely on your “talent” anymore. Someone who has better work ethic and determination will find a thousands ways to outdo you in competition.

Knowledge is power, and now that you know a lack of talent is no longer a good excuse, get your butt out there and WORK at what you want to be great at. Prove to yourself and everyone else that…

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard” Kevin Durant

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Keep up with me on Instagram @emilygernaat!

4 Replies to “You Don’t Have the Talent”

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