When I made an educational video, I was struck by how easily the tween girls I interviewed for the video could say what they were good at. Whether it was math or writing or gymnastics (or in the case of one older girl, packing a car), they were confident and unafraid of identifying their strengths.
As an adult, I often find myself trying to be all things to all people.
As I make my way through job postings, I stretch my ideas about what I
might do and what I'd be good at. As I navigate through parenthood, I
constantly revise my skill set to meet my children's needs. But every so
often, in one arena or another, I find myself in the middle of a
project that simply feels right. Perhaps I am editing a piece that just
makes sense, and thus, becomes easy for me to edit. Maybe I am offered
work because of my past experience and reputation. Perhaps I start out
helping my child with a school project and find that I become attached to it
myself. In a world of "trying to be good at," I am suddenly reminded of
all the things I am good at, almost without trying.
There is something to be said for always developing new skills, for
always trying to find new things we are good at, so that we can add them
to our resumes, our LinkedIn profiles, or our "elevator pitches." It's
important to be able to speak up for ourselves, much as those tween
girls were able to do in my video. But it's also important to value the
"good at's" that just are, to be able to own our strengths and to bask
in them when we get to use them fully. Some days, we get little
reminders of our "good at's." The trick is to use them, to own them, and then to say,
out loud, "I'm good at." Even if sometimes, we are the only ones who hear.