Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

So You Think You Have No Great Talent? Get Real!

In my youth I was one of those people who  believed that  I had no real, obvious talent. Unlike my siblings I was not in the top academic or sporting  leagues and I didn’t seem to excel at any particular activity.  But at least I had the encouragement of my parents who gave me a positive mental attitude. All I had to do was believe in myself as they believed in me. I was very lucky to have their encouragement.

In my book Every Leader’s Reality Guide I talk about the early influences on my life and those who were role models for me when I was self-reflecting on what I had to offer in life. My father was a politician and in my teenage years I gained valuable  experience speaking on his behalf at various public meetings. This helped foster my confidence and helped me to better communicate with others. Most of all, my self-confidence improved because I then realised I had certain hidden talents which needed to be further developed.

I needed to believe that I was as good as others who appeared to have more obvious talents. I was determined that others would not define me and my greatest bulwark against that was to develop a strong self-belief. I realised that a positive self-image was crucial for success. So what if I was not top of the class in school or the best footballer or singer? I had beliefs and opinions and a voice to communicate them. I worked on perfecting what I had .

I was heartened when I read that Albert Einstein once said; I have no special talent;I am only passionately curious. I was in good company! When reading about the life of Helen Keller ( who wrote 12 books though deaf and blind) I realised  that if I could have a fraction of her  perseverance and resilience I would also achieve in life. I believe those attributes are what all successful people have in abundance. There are very few overnight successes.  

The good news is that all of us are talented in our own unique ways. Your talents may lie hidden to you because you have not really set about discovering them. Or you may be aware of some of your talents but you have not fully exploited them.The well-known international keynote speaker, Wolfgang Riebe, has really clarified the  issue for us when he said; Everyone is gifted-but some people never open their package.

So how about opening your package of talents? Together we can explore how best to do that and I have 15 different strategies to assist you in your quest. Some  are about attitude while others are actions you should take. The first step, however, is to fundamentally commit to the strategies which can greatly change you and your beliefs about your true self. So let’s get going!


(Photo by John Tyson on Unsplash)

1. Be hard working

Having high personal and professional standards are essential attributes you will need from the outset. A strong work ethic where you give 100% is essential for any success in life, because nothing comes easy. There are very few people who are  overnight successes . Most worked hard to achieve their goals. A good work ethic is a great talent to have and a must for success. The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are ,first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense-Thomas Edison.

2. Be positive

Having a positive mental attitude is also a talent to be nurtured. You should be the master of your mind so banish those negative thoughts which undermine your self-belief. Thinking positively is key as you must believe in your own abilities. The positive person sees a  positive world where anything is possible. Be in control of your thoughts and what you feed your mind. Pessimism never won any battle-Dwight Eisenhower.


3. Be determined

Resolve to go the distance always. Have your goals and act to achieve them. Determination is a talent which all successful people possess so why not you ? Determination delivers success. People do not lack strength, they lack will – Victor Hugo.

4. Be a lifelong learner.

Being able to adapt to constant change is another valuable talent which must be nurtured by constant learning and upskilling. In a fast-paced, highly-connected and technologically advanced environment the ability to constantly adapt and change are talents  you must have and which are essential for survival. Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today – Malcolm X

5. Be  prepared

It was Abraham Lincoln who said; I will prepare and some day my chance will come.  The best preparation for the future is doing your best today. There are few opportunities for those who are unprepared in life. Success happens when you are prepared to seize the opportunity. What a talent to have !

6. Be passionate

This is a talent which you may need to research. You will always be passionate about what you like doing. This is where success is easiest because you bring the best out of yourself. If you love your job success comes easy.Are you on the right road?  Try to match your work with your passion. Passionate people enlist followers easily because they exude conviction . This is a talent you need to find so get moving! The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling– Fabienne Fredrickson.

7. Be individualistic

You need to stand out from the the pack so avoid the herd mentality. Don’t always seek to blend in. The courage to stand out from the crowd and dance to the beat of your own drum is  another talent worth nurturing. You will rarely be rewarded for fitting in but you can often be rewarded for standing out. To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

8. Be an effective communicator.

An essential personal attribute for any successful person is to be an effective communicator. This is a core talent which many of us have, if only we practised and perfected this skill. Effective verbal communication must be one element of our communications skills along with social media and writing skills. You have these talents but in the words of that old adage- practice makes perfect. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place – George Bernard Shaw.

9. Be able to set realistic goals.

To avoid drift in your life you need to think through what you would like to achieve. Goals give us direction and purpose and with the list of personal attributes and talents in this blog you can and will achieve. Having a life vision with a clear destination supported by a strategy will lead to success and fulfillment. Discovering where you want to go and setting out how to get there shows that you have real talent indeed. To reach a port, we must sail; sail not tie at anchor; sail not drift –Franklin Roosevelt.

10. Be a self-believer

Only you can decide to believe in yourself. A good self-image which you nurture and protect is a really essential talent. Don’t let others define you and certainly don’t let others put you down. Be your own best friend. When you start seeing your worth, you’ll find it harder to stay around people who don’t – Unknown.

11. Be a risk-taker.

Don’t play safe, be a risk taker by stepping outside your comfort zone. Try new things; find out what energises you. Seek to grow your experiences by pushing out the boundaries. Life rewards courage . Be a warrior not a worrier because a warrior is always proactive. The person who goes farthest  is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from the shore – Dale Carnegie.

12. Be resilient.

Building your personal resilience is an important part of growth and change. You go nowhere with passion and enthusiasm without also having resilience to take the knocks. Resilience is an important talent which you learn by working through problems. We will encounter obstacles and failures in our lives and our reactions will determine our success. Succumbing to self-pity or throwing in the towel is not the attribute of a winner. Get up, move on and learn from the situation. Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly – Robert F. Kennedy.

13. Be a networker

Networking with positive people will uplift your spirit. They exude confidence and can be great role models and mentors. Role models show you the way. Learn from them and ask for feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. Others who show genuine care for you can often have a more realistic picture of your personality traits and talents. You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips- Oliver Goldsmith.

14. Be a team builder

Surrounding yourself with other talented people is a talent in itself. Building a multi-talented team around you is something to celebrate and should not threaten you. They will make you look good. Being a team builder is an important talent which is often overlooked. This is a talent you may already have. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much – Helen Keller.

15. Be grateful

Be grateful and count your blessings daily. Many of us can be blind to our  blessings because we focus on our problems, challenges and obstacles. Peace of mind and contentment can be nurtured by being aware of the many blessings in your life. Appreciating what you have is a great talent. Real gratitude affects your attitude and it can change your life. Gratitude is the sign of noble souls – Aesop.


( Photo by Ricardo Annandale on Unsplash)

So now you have my 15 top talents which you should nurture and make them part of your life. Celebrate your successes and recognise your talents because you have many-some of which are waiting to be uncovered.

Many of us who think we have little or no talent should realise that we may be blind to most of them.  We all have an abundance of talents such as  the ability to make people laugh, the ability to comfort others, the ability to offer encouragement and much more.

All of us are talented in our unique ways.  You owe it to yourself to discover and develop your unique talents to their full potential . You are capable of much more than you imagine so invest time and effort in developing your best talents . By unfolding your unique talents you create more opportunities.  Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God- Leo Buscaglia.

(Featured photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash).






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