Not that many years ago, I used to think every person had a set job in the world, a designated career path, if you will. Pastors, train engineers, financial consultants, teachers, web developers–there are a thousand nuances to who you are that make up the fabric of what you are supposed to do in life. I struggled so hard to find the answer that was right for me. I would fit the known puzzle pieces together and step back to look at the picture only to realize part of the pieces were missing. With the experience from a dozen jobs I hated, I was adept at knowing what I did not want to do and what I could not do with excellence regardless of the perkiness of my “can do” attitude.
I’ve come to grips with the fact that I will never be in any job that requires extensive mathematical knowledge. **Cue the sound of a million nerd hearts breaking.** Despite the fact that I get seriously lucky at the gun range, I will not be anything that requires a steady hand because my blood pulses through my body in explosive bursts. Just kidding about that last part, but seriously, scratch off all scientific careers, photography sans a tripod, and possibly all the precision work in painting, sketching, and drawing. Also take a bright red pen through anything requires me to kill anything living (except bugs–I could morally bear the weight of extermination.)
What’s neat is that as you grow into who you are, you embrace who you aren’t and will likely never be. Yes you have a developed set of talents and a whole lot of options available through sheer willpower of survival. But it’s okay to allow yourself the freedom of not having a set label tattooed on your forehead. Change jobs. Change careers. Most importantly, find a job that allows you to embrace your strengths and hand off your weaknesses.
There is incredible freedom in saying “that’s not my area of expertise and I think my time would be best spent elsewhere.” You cannot be all things to all people. I tried. You might try too. And you will find your chest tightening and your mind freezing up because you’re wondering how you’ll do the task in a satisfactory manner. Be honest with yourself and encourage others to embrace the same mentality. Yes graphic designer, I’m handing over creative license so you can give me the best you got, because my best in that area is not going to be good enough. And I’m VERY okay with that.
Weigh in through the comments below. What else gives you freedom to accept who you’re not?