There are often certain qualities that are valued more than others in any particular culture or society. This means that people who possess these more highly valued skills are perceived as more successful, and leaves those with other talents feeling undervalued. This can even apply to certain personality traits such as extroversion and introversion. In American culture, extroversion is often more highly valued, and this leaves many introverts feeling inferior. In order to appreciate these other traits, we have to change our perspective on them.
To get into a more personal aspect of this, I am going to share a little bit more about myself. I have always been considered a quiet person, or so I am told from those close to me. I agree with this, as I am always more willing to listen than to speak. Even the tone of my voice is very soft, and throughout school years I have been teased for how quiet and soft spoken I am. I used to be embarrassed of this quality, which truly only exacerbated the issue with me speaking out even less so. My perspective of myself was that my voice was a weakness, and therefore I should strengthen or change it in some way.
I spent some time during my college years pursuing more outgoing pursuits that helped me gain confidence in my speaking, and eventually went on to pursue getting my yoga teacher certification. Although, I was very excited to pursue this opportunity I was also quite nervous because I knew it involved speaking in front of groups of people. However, I received encouraging feedback from my teachers and fellow trainees. What surprised me most time after time was that many said I had the “perfect” yoga voice. Imagine my surprise! These people did not have any idea what that small compliment truly meant to me. What I had once perceived as one of my biggest weaknesses could now be considered a strength. My voice had found a purpose that suited it. It was never that anything was “wrong” with it, I just needed to see it from another point of view.
I think sometimes in our lives, we do not realize the gifts we have been given to share. For whatever reason that may be, it can be quite the task to understand that perhaps what makes you stand out can be what the world needs most. Instead of seeing those qualities we or others dislike about us as purely negative, maybe we can find a way to change our perspective and turn them into something that is useful and worthwhile. This could mean finding a career or hobby that allows your particular talent or trait to shine. Mine happened to be teaching yoga and guiding deep relaxations with my soft voice. It still isn’t the best suited for some things, but I found an option where it can be positive and useful. Once you gain confidence in the newfound perspective of your abilities it can vastly improve your well being.
So I ask you, is there something about yourself that you have decided to see in a negative light? It may not always be the case for all things, but perhaps instead of forgoing that trait altogether you can shape it into something it is good for. Your talent may not be so hidden after all. Best of luck with whatever it may be! 🙂