There’s a difference between doing things you’re good at, simply because someone thinks you’re good at doing them, and doing things you enjoy. Often times we can get pulled into doing the things others think we are good at even though we really don’t want to do them at all, and if we say no, or get frustrated, then we feel this nagging and sometimes overwhelming sense of letting someone down or being a whiner.
Am I right? Maybe this only comes to me. Maybe it’s more of my people-pleasing tendency, and serve-at-all-costs mentality. But I bet that more of us struggle with the difference between doing things other people think we’re good at (and we have the inner monologue: gosh, I guess they’re right, I am good at this…but, I hate it! I don’t want to!), and doing things we actually enjoy and are life-giving for us.
If we only do the former, what others want from us, we’ll lack purpose, vision, passion, and probably even joy. We’ll get drained and burned out. Yet, if we are always focused on only what we enjoy and refusing all the rest, we could become self-centered and miss opportunities maybe we would have never anticipated.
None of us are going to experience doing everything we enjoy all the time. That’s a myth. But too many of us rely on the praise or affirmation of what others want from us and what they think we’re good at, and we don’t pursue what we actually enjoy doing. Simply put, we don’t say no.
It’s a frustrating balance. But I don’t think it’s worth it to do only the things someone else thinks you’re good at. Especially if you really don’t like doing those things. It takes wisdom and humility to navigate, and courage to choose.
They don’t have to be mutually exclusive, though. The real goal is to blend what others think you’re good at and what you actually enjoy doing.