If you are reading this, then you probably believe that you lack motivation, skill, discipline, or talent. And while that’s probably not true, here are fifteen key tips you should consider before you label yourself.
If you believe you’re not good at anything, it could mean that you haven’t found your true purpose or passion yet. The thought of not being good at anything could also be caused by perfectionism, comparing yourself to others, having unrealistic standards, being in the wrong environment, or doing too many things at once.
Keep reading to find out more.
If you think you’re not good at anything…
1. Lower your standards
If you believe you’re not good at anything, then the first thing you should do is to lower your standards. As human beings, we often strive for perfection, and think “good” isn’t good enough.
In general, this is a positive trait — it allows and motivates us to improve our skills, both in our career and in our personal life. However, if it gets to the point where we expect too much from ourselves and, as a result, become daunted, then we need to change our perspective.
Chances are that you are good at many things already, but your unrealistic standards somehow convinced you that you are worthless. So whenever your inner voice tells you you are not good at anything, you need to be 100 percent objective and distinguish between the truth and your negative, inaccurate, self sabotaging thoughts.
2. Find your passion
One of the hardest if not the hardest thing in life is to excel at something you don’t like doing. Have you ever heard of someone who became really good at something even though they hated doing it? I never have, and you probably haven’t either.
The key to becoming really good at something is to love it, and it must be spontaneous; you can force yourself to work on something, but you can’t force yourself to enjoy it. So if you haven’t already, take the time to think about your interests, and what you are passionate about.
Way too many people pursue paths that aren’t meant for them — because their parents told them to do so, or because they are driven by external rewards such as money or other people’s opinion — and end up failing; if they don’t fail, they are likely to have an unfulfilling existence. Don’t make the same mistake and go find your passion.
3. Stop stressing about it
I have already explained that when it comes to assessing your skills you need to be 100 percent objective, and ignore most if not all of your negative thoughts.
Besides being inaccurate, negative thoughts can quickly turn into a vicious cycle. The more you think you’re not good at anything, the more you will create unnecessary stress, anxiety, and frustration; in turn, these emotions will prevent you from learning new things and new skills, and it will be a self fulfilling prophecy.
As long as you are too hard on yourself, it’s going to be very difficult for you to grow as a person. You may think that obsessing over your (lack of) skills makes you a better person, but in reality it doesn’t. The truth is that you start becoming a better person when you believe in yourself and stop feeling guilty.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others
This is another big one. If you believe you’re not good at anything, it often means you believe you’re not as good as. But did you know that the easiest way to fail in life is to compare yourself to others? Seriously, think about it.
We are all different: each and every one of us has a different IQ, personality type, and attitude; a different story, and a different life. Plus, what makes other people happy won’t necessarily make you happy, and we’ve already seen how motivation is a key factor in becoming good at anything.
So from today forward, I encourage you to focus on your own life, and stop spending hours on social media. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the one you see in the mirror; compare yourself to others, and you are in for a journey that is hell.
5. Realize your situation is normal
Mainstream media and the internet may have convinced you that it’s normal to excel at something — after all, we hear about success stories all the time, and we tend to ignore those who aren’t good at anything in particular.
Over time, our subconscious mind internalizes this, and gives us the impression that we are a failure unless we are really good at what we do. But the truth is that the vast majority of people do not excel at anything; their skills, performance, and results are average.
And if you haven’t discovered your passion yet, that’s 100 percent normal, too: most people have no idea what their goal or purpose in life is when they are still relatively young. This is one of the reasons why you should always…
6. Take your time
A common theory in the personal development world is that you need to spend at least 10,000 hours on a particular discipline in order to become an expert at it. And while this isn’t always true, it’s undeniable that you do need to invest a significant amount of time on something before you can become good at it.
So if you think you’re not good at anything, perhaps you haven’t discovered your true talent yet, and you haven’t invested much time in it. But once you find your passion and put in the work, you will see results, and you will no longer feel daunted.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to learn or achieve something before you turn a certain age, or as fast as possible, or as early as someone else. Keep trying new things and allow yourself to discover something that you really like.
7. Fix your mental health
If you suffer from depression, then you need to fix that first. When you are depressed, you don’t feel like doing anything, and you may even have a hard time concentrating. In fact, some people mistake depression for laziness, even though they are two completely different things.
Now, while depression is probably the worst when it comes to productivity, there are many other mental health conditions that could prevent you from becoming the best version of yourself — from anxiety, to stress, to lack of motivation.
If you want to find your path in life, it’s crucial that you have a positive attitude as well as high levels of motivation and enthusiasm, and you simply can’t experience that unless your mental health is optimal. So learn how your mind works, and if you think therapy would benefit you, go for it.
8. Fix your diet
Did you know that the most common cause of brain fog and tiredness is the way we eat? Food is fuel, but overeating (or eating junk food) makes it really hard to use your mind and body.
Because your body needs a lot of energy for digestion, the more calories you eat, the less you will be able to focus and concentrate on any particular task. You have probably already noticed that right after you eat a big meal you feel a bit lethargic, whereas when you’re slightly hungry you tend to have more energy.
If you use this to your advantage, you can easily increase your productivity and energy levels. So if possible, don’t eat too much during the first part of the day, and only eat natural, nourishing food that doesn’t cause tiredness: fruit and vegetables, for example, are very low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals.
9. Try out new things
Very few people are clear on who they want to become and what they want to do with their life in their early years. Unless you are one of those lucky individuals who figure out their purpose in life when they are still in school, you are going to need to try out new things frequently.
And I am not just referring to work or study; you should try out new things in general. So don’t be afraid to cultivate new hobbies, meet new people, travel to places you’ve never been before, develop new habits, read inspiring books, and so on.
Be open minded and don’t assume that you need to choose a certain profession or path just because someone else did, or because it’s the easiest or most common thing to do. You have your own path, and it may take you a while before you’re able to discover it.
10. Don’t base your worth on your skills
It’s important that you develop a positive self-image regardless of what you can and cannot do, and regardless of other people’s opinion of you (including friends and family).
As long as you base your self-worth on external factors, you can only be happy temporarily. Instead, if you decide to feel good about yourself no matter what, and irrespective of how good you are at anything, that’s going to give you the motivation to learn and achieve more in your life.
Remember: being too hard on yourself won’t get you far. Silence or ignore your negative thoughts, and make sure you have a healthy self-esteem. The better you feel about yourself, the better you’ll become at anything you do, including new things.
11. Don’t multitask
We all know that the human brain can’t multitask, and we should avoid performing too many tasks at the same time as it would decrease our productivity. But the concept I’m referring to here goes beyond that.
If you believe you’re not good at anything and would like to improve your skills at something, then I encourage you to focus on one thing only — not just when you work or study, but in your life in general. Instead of having ten different goals, have one; instead of practicing ten different skills, become obsessed with just one.
When you put all or most of your time, money, energy, and focus on a single thing, it’s basically impossible not to see results. Chances are that so far you have put your energy into too many different things, and you haven’t been very successful simply because the amount of energy spent on each thing wasn’t enough.
12. Discover your personality type
Each person perceives the outer world and makes decisions differently. Psychologists have studied the way we think and behave for decades, and have come to the conclusion that although we are all unique, there are certain personality “types”.
Once you learn which type you belong to (or tend to lean toward most of the time), you are then able to understand what motivates you, how you think, why you have made certain decisions so far, what you want your life to look like, and so on.
Are you an intuitive person, or do you prefer to rely on objective sensations? Do you like things to be orderly and organized, or do you go with the flow? Are you predominantly introverted, or extroverted? These are some of the questions that can help you identify your “type” and therefore have a better, more productive, more fulfilling life.
13. Don’t be a perfectionist
Does the thought of “I’m not good at anything” prevent you from taking action? As long as you are a perfectionist, and believe you shouldn’t do anything unless you are certain you can excel at it, you won’t be able to grow.
We learn by making mistakes, by experimenting, by doing things we know we’re terrible at. And eventually, because we will have spent a significant amount of time on these things (see tip number 6), we will see results, and our brain will link what we do to a sense of achievement, and ask us to keep doing it — that’s basically how motivation works.
Don’t let perfectionism discourage you, and develop the habit of doing things regardless of how good you think you are at them. Just pretend you’re a kid who’s discovering the world and tries out new things because they want to, not because they have to.
14. Realize hard work beats talent
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that those who excel at something do so because of a higher IQ, a unique talent, luck, or some kind of secret. It’s true that some geniuses are able to learn things a bit faster than the average person, but they still have to put in the work.
Don’t look at the rare exceptions; look at the rule — the rule that says that hard work beats talent. Once you understand this concept, you may feel daunted because you realize there are no shortcuts, but at the same time you’ll feel motivated because you’ll realize that if you put in the work, you will succeed.
Also, don’t buy into the notion of “overnight success” because it simply doesn’t exist. Seriously, it doesn’t. What may look like overnight success is someone practicing a skill or working on a project for months, or even years, then achieving great results. It may look like it was luck or talent, but the truth is it was hard work.
15. Choose your friends wisely
The fifteenth and final tip to keep in mind if you believe you’re not good at anything, or you’re not good enough, is to make sure you are in the kind of environment that motivates you rather than one that makes you feel daunted or discouraged.
Who do you surround yourself with? Who are your friends? Is it people who support you, encourage you, and inspire you to become the best version of yourself? If not, then it will be difficult for you to be good at anything.
If you are surrounded by people who belittle your efforts, or try to discourage you in any way (even if inadvertently, or unconsciously), then I encourage you to change your environment. Whether you like it or not, your environment influences your thoughts and behavior, so you want to make sure you’re in the kind of environment that allows you to flourish.
Thank you for reading this article! Which of these tips resonates with you the most? Let me know in the comments 👇