Encouragement is important to creativity. To hear constant criticism, or belittlement of our efforts, is deadly to most people’s dreams.
“Oh my! You are so talented.”
People love to hear this comment. But could it and the beliefs behind it be hurting, more than helping creativity?
I see potential danger lurking in the background.
Natural, or raw talent, is a beautiful thing. Each of us have it. Weather that talent has to do with speaking, writing, sculpting, painting, or listening to a friend. Perhaps it looks different for you, like understanding complex logical thought patterns.
Regardless, each human is gifted in something. But if we believe our ability to succeed rests solely on that natural ability, it will limit us.
What happens to a runner, who is fast from birth, but as soon as running hurts, they stop training? They will never stand on an international podium. It’s the same for creatives who refuse to do the hard work.
For a writer, hard work is research, editing, and lots of words that will never be in a book.
What is your talent? What is hard work and growth for you?
Can working at something you are not naturally talented at be worth it? Should you give up?
If you work hard, you will improve.
Sure, maybe you won’t be world famous. But I am confident you will reach a higher level of ability if you persevere. Hard work trumps talent alone, every time.
“Your hard work is paying off.”
“Look at you grow!”
“I love your perspective.”
These three compliments are powerful and satisfying to my soul. They acknowledge things that have happened behind the senses while still praising.
Next time we give a compliment, let’s think about what it’s really communicating and ask ourselves, could we give more than a nod to talent?
©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef