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Challenge yourself to Get out the Box – More than a Number

More than a Number Graphic

I sometimes think that I must be the only person who believes that everyone has talent.  If you listen to the way people talk about talent it is always in the context of talking about extraordinary talent.  That a person was ‘born’ to dance, sing, run, jump, write or play music.  The new adverts for Got to Dance on Sky 1 show a baby dancing in the womb and her ‘life journey’ to end up in front of hte judging panel fo the TV show.

But though it cannot be denied that people who make us gasp in wonder as they gyrate and flip around a stage are indeed talented, it doesn’t mean that we, that is the rest of us who can’t dance, are not equally talented.

I don’t know about you but I am always in awe at other people’s talent in the work place.  How is it that administrators can be so good at attention to detail?  Where an earth do the accountants get their gift for understanding numbers?  Where did that customer service rep learn to calm down angry customers and make them walk away satisfied? What is it about the teacher that can inspire and hold the attention of a class of 40 hyperactive children?  How can a logistics manager seamlessly juggle one hundred different strands of activity in a way which makes everything flow?  What can the engineer or mechanic see when looking at an engine or a system that means they can spot where the problem is?  How DO they DO that?

Okay they might not wear spangly clothes whilst doing these ‘jobs’ but it doesn’t mean that the talent isn’t any less awesome.  Sure there are many people doing jobs who really should consider a career change, just like those auditions who have ‘Got to Dance’ but really CAN’T dance.  Workplaces and Talent shows are full of people who REALLY need to evaluate their ambitions and aspirations.  BUT, there is awesome, unique talent which shines every single day, just by an individual BEING who they are.

So many people are diminished by being in a box called ‘job,’ and at the moment there are many who are in a box called ‘unemployed’ which is equally as distressing.  If you are feeling boxed in at the moment then start the new year with a challenge to yourself to get OUT of that box.  You might have ‘tried’ before, maybe you are tired of trying, but maybe this time it WILL be different.

I speak to coaching clients about what they would like to do if there were no barriers and most worry about the practicality of following a dream.  But the choice is simple.  Is it better to try to find what lights you up like a Christmas Tree? There is a chance you might fail, but equally you might succeed, or would you rather spend a lifetime certain that you would be doing a job you hate, that makes you miserable?

A pursuit of the opportunity to shine, or a life time with your light hidden?  Will you rise up to your talent potential?  It might mean a drop in income; but will the extra money be enough to live with not being all you can be?  It might mean surfing the edge of chaos for a bit; but do you really want to get comfortable with being miserable?  It might mean taking a risk and learning new things; but will doing the same old, same old produce new results?  Will you get out of the box that you have been put in, and rise up?

“Daniel Kahnemann (2011) has eloquently shown that (1) the irrational choices humans make are partly due to the cognitive filter What-You-See-Is-All-There-Is; and (2) only conscious, analytic reasoning can override such easy automatic ’emotional’ decision making, but it is often not deployed because it requires effrot and is taxing.  Changing the habit of a lifetime requires some serious ‘contemplation’ before people are ‘ready for action'”

I hope that you can begin to see the advantages of spending a lifetime pursuing who you are, to wake up every morning excited about the day ahead, and spending every work day, not working just being.  Those jobs you think are just ‘dream jobs’ – someone is doing them, so why not you?  And whilst you are stuck in a job you hate, you are blocking the way for someone else to have the job that matches their talent.  By occupying the round hole, the square peg is blocking the way for the round peg to find its home.

There is no time like the present to begin acting on the realising your talent potential.  Stop doing and start being what you were born to be.

Ebook More than Just a Number by Carrie Foster Is Now Available from Smashwords, Amazon and Kobo 


Brennan, J. Letters, The Psychologist November 2012 pp. 797