A good left foot?


Unless you want to spend your working life in mediocrity, it's time to decide if you are going to choose a life as a pioneer or spend it trailing in hostile environments.

How well does your current employment take advantage of your natural skills and thinking style? Do you even know - I mean exactly know - what your natural skills and thinking styles are? Are you in danger of living a life as a Baseball Pitcher whose best asset is a good left foot?

Unless you wish to spend your working life in mediocrity, it requires urgent action on your part! Don't worry though, with just a little thought and application you can soon be hitting the netting with a well worn left boot, leaving those with the appropriately muscled biceps to throw the curve balls.

There is nothing more demoralising than feeling average – always measuring ourselves against those we recognise as being the more naturally gifted. What's more we are apt to be judged by those around and above us against the environment we find ourselves in, often we think unfairly - but is it?

It is true that we are often encouraged to squeeze our square skill-sets into round 'opportunities,' but that doesn't necessarily mean we have to accept it, does it? Our willingness to accept such unprofitable roles and responsibilities are only likely to be mirrored and intensified by those people who push us into them.

If you don't recognise your uniqueness then it is unlikely the boss will either

Hey, if you don't recognise your uniqueness then it is unlikely the boss will either! No slight intended on the boss, they have other responsibilities, so the easier you can make it for them, the better it will be for you. It is up to you to promote yourself as energetically as possible.

If something as banal as a new washing powder has a message for public consumption, then your specialised talents certainly need an airing - not that I'm suggesting you should start offering a new improved version of you, versus two inferior clones… but you get the idea.

Ok, so how do you make this change? Your starting point is to understand what you do that is unique, followed by a plan on how you apply it to your current situation. Finally, we morph the present into a new opportunity that allows us to shine.

So, what makes you unique? You might find this a particularly hard question –much harder than a quick 'oh yeah' makes it appear. From childhood we are conditioned to select a lifestyle that allows us to fit in, to be a part of the band, not a solo artist. Successful solo artists may get the glory, sure, but they aren't exactly loved on the way up.

Why do you suppose that a Chameleon, changes colours to suit its surroundings? Is it a sign of courage and independence? No, it is natures way of keeping her safe – don't stand out, then you can't be eaten. Whilst undeniable true, it also means that you won't get to the top of the food chain anytime soon.

What's more there is always a natural predator waiting in the wings, learning how to adapt to your adaptations, and before you know it, you are the food in the chain!

Now, our Chameleon has little choice than to wait on millions of years of evolution to find a way up the food chain; you and I are much more fortunate. We have the intelligence to makes changes to our environment, even if we too often lack the motivation or understanding.

It's a little like all those gifts of power drills that distant relatives buy us that remain unused and untouched in the garden shed, until we discover them anew. It's a lot easier to let someone else do our drilling or, even better, just ignore that slanting shelf forever. Enter a little thing called our subconscious. Even if we are willing to ignore the unsatisfactory present, our subconscious is not.

It soon starts to nudge you in unexpected and unpleasant ways and you may not recognise the underlying causes. We start to feel apathetic and vaguely unfulfilled and think that the answer is a pay rise, even in a job we hate, and if we do get it, it solves nothing, and if we don't, we add resentment to our subconscious pool.

So, get out the drill today; make a list of all the things that make you unique and I'm not talking about a quick five minutes on the drive home, but a concerted effort. Maybe plan a dinner engagement for two, just you and your notebook, talking about all the good things you could do in the right environment. For desert, order something really sweet – a plan to get you there.

If you feel that this is going to be difficult, then don't be shy, invest in yourself by hiring yourself a coach or some other type of professional.

Remember, in the right environment, with your skills properly applied, you can earn thousands or even millions more over the rest of your working life. Not to mention, a much happier subconscious.

It's time to decide if you are going to choose a life as a pioneer, leading the way in a land that only you know or spend your life trailing in hostile environments.

I hope you will be a kicker not a thrower.


About The Author

René Da Costa
René Da Costa

René Da Costa is an author and consultant.

Older Comments

Good article. Reminds me of the 'Signature Strengths' model that Martin Seligman explores in his Authentic Happiness book.

Paul Hannay Glasgow, UK.