Are You Pretty Good With a Bow Staff?
I’m a tad shy of making six-figures. Washboard abs currently elude me. I really suck at “Halo.” My hair has this problem with staying on top of my head and I’ve yet to hit 30.
What does it all mean? Am I doomed to mediocrity? Do my shortcomings define me? Should I just lock myself in my room and watch “Beverly Hills: 90210” reruns on Friday nights?
While the thought of all-nighters with Dylan, Donna and the gang sound enticing (and all too familiar), stewing in loserdom and focusing on what I don’t have would only serve to make my situation even worse than I had imagined. When I stop believing in myself, I set myself up for failure.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Like most other guys, I want to be successful. I want to excel in all aspects of life, be it earning a great living, finding the girl of my dreams or getting a kickass score in “Tetris.” Like most guys, however, I’m not a Don Juan all-star athlete with the reflexes of a Japanese gaming prodigy.
I can’t throw a football worth a damn, but I can write. I can’t dance, but I’m a pretty decent guitar player. I can moonwalk and I make a pretty damn good rice pudding. When I start thinking of the stuff I’m actually good at, I start to realize that I am somebody with talents, somebody with potential, somebody who can write checks his ass can cash.
When you take stock of what you’re good at, you go into the game with confidence. You don’t need a body fat percentage of 5% or CEO status to have confidence. If you win D&D championships left and right, you’ve got game. If nobody can touch your skills at “StarCraft 2,” who’s not to think you can’t make it rain at the clubs?
Confidence requires realization: The realization that you’ve got skills nobody else has. Take Napoleon Dynamite, for example. Dude wears moon boots, but he’s uber-confident about his bow staff skills. Now, take a good look at yourself, inside and out, and figure out what you’ve got to offer that nobody else has.
You might just be the best 5-foot-3 mini golfer within a 200 mile radius and you haven’t realized it yet. Once you’ve realized your strengths, own them. Go to the mini golf course and show that windmill who’s boss. No skill carries more weight than another.
With a confident mindset, you’ll be better prepared to tackle your weaknesses. Just knowing that you’re good at something (let’s say upholstering), you’ll be able to face your fears and go into the unknown with better odds of succeeding. You might not come in first place overnight, but maybe you’ll be able to run that marathon you’ve always dreamed about.
Maybe someday I’ll earn over $200,000 a year, sport an incredibly ripped mid-section and be the #1 ranked “Halo 12” player in the world. I know I’ll have a better shot if I keep reminding myself just how creamy my rice pudding is. My hair? Well, you can’t win at everything.
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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.