We all have that one friend. The one that tries WAY too hard. Instagrams selfies all day, posts attention-seeking statuses, tries to dress and act like a hipster, tweets song lyrics… you know who I’m talking about. They just refuse to admit that they can’t be the best in every way.
And then you have the polar opposite of that–the one who refuses to accept the fact that they might actually be good at something. They’re always whining, depressed, moping, and constantly fishing for compliments. It’s really exhausting, and pretty annoying, too.
The main problem is that people have an unrealistic view of what their skill sets are. Some people think they can do everything, some people think they’re useless. On top of that, we believe that unless you are great at everything your calling will never be good enough.
It’s pretty clear that we aren’t all geniuses in everything–and anyone who says that you are is lying to you. (I’m sorry, but it’s true.) But all of us are brilliant in at least one aspect of life, and I believe that when we find that “inner genius” and come to terms with the rest, it’s a lot easier to let God come in and use us for his glory. Some people are called to be neurosurgeons, and some people are called to be chefs. Some people are gifted in musical areas, and others in academic. None is better than the other, but it is important to be able to find your calling so you can live out the life that God has planned for you.
So here are some questions to ask yourself to try and find your calling:
1: What do you WANT to be good at?
Some people aim for academic excellence, some people want to be a great dancer, some people want to be able to play bongo drums. What is it that you want to excel in? What do you want to be known for?
Personally, I want to be known as someone who can fix problems. I’m obsessed with finding answers and repairing things by finding new ways to get around challenges. That’s one of the ways that I chose my major.
2: Are these realistic?
Now’s time for reality to hit. If you want to be a graceful dancer you can’t have two left feet. I grew up with a sister who can make the chicken dance look good, and I am less coordinated than a drunken spider. Sometimes you just have to let go of some dreams so you can find what you’re really meant for.
3: What are some things that bring you joy?
These may be different than your answers in #1. For myself, although I wanted to be able to dance, what really made me feel good was learning. (Yes, I’m a nerd.) I don’t mean sitting down and doing homework–I mean exploring and finding out new things about this world. I love reading case studies about psychology patients, analyzing different kinds of disorders, studying various kinds of species of animals, that sort of thing. It may be weird, but it’s me, and it’s an area that I can really excel in.
Now, granted, I am a very academic person. But I have a friend who isn’t, but is amazing with children. I mean, amazing. Not one of those people who just likes kids and kids like him, one of the people who is completely gifted in ministry and discipleship with children. That can’t be gauged in the same way as being good at guitar or something, but it is definitely his area of “genius-ness”.
If you don’t know what your niche is, then try new things! Volunteer at a sports camp, help with running sound or powerpoint at your church. Little things like that can help you realize what you’re good at and what you’re not. I learned after running a sports camp that I’m quite good at finding efficient ways of working, but am not very good with kids. If you try new things, you’ll learn new things about yourself.
4: Am I ok with not being great at everything?
I think the number one reason people become disillusioned with life is that they put way too much pressure on themselves.
You need to get to a point where you realize you don’t have to be perfect to be important. You don’t have to be that kid who can do everything–the one that’s athletic, gorgeous, musical and smart. No matter what, even if you aren’t musical, good looking, smart, or athletic, or even if no one ever realizes your genius, you are still important. It’s ok not to be the best–besides, no one really is.
5: How can I use this to honour God?
Here’s a hint: The things that bring you joy are often the things that either open your eyes to God or you could use to bring him glory. When I’m reading about different studies, it amazes me to think of someone who could create something as complex as the brain. When Katie dances or skates, she feels closer to God. What helps you feel God?
Remember: You are important, whether others realize that or not. Find those areas which you were made to excel in, even if that’s only one or two things.
So leave me a comment! What are you genius in? What brings you joy, even if you aren’t the best in it?