Someone on the radio the other day mentioned this great concept (the Talent Myth… which was touted a few years ago) that actually works in two kinds of negative ways! The speaker made a comment that many people in the banking world are living a talent myth, constantly reinforcing that they have special skills that only they possess and should therefore be rewarded handsomely for. We’re not fully sure about the evidence to back this up, however, he did go on to say that very few people could actually do what Wayne Rooney did at the weekend and score 4 goals at the highest club level of football – and therefore, we can be sure that whatever Mr Rooney is being paid, it can be defended that very few people on the planet can actually do what he is capable of doing. Therefore, the talent pool is very small and therefore has a justifiably high value. However, people in less specialised worlds see themselves as equally talented, hence the talent myth concept.
In the same way that some people may think they have special talents that others don’t possess, creating their own talent myth, the majority of performers we see create a talent myth that actually limits their view of themselves. Having not taken the time to really evaluate and appreciate their talents (they typically just take talents for granted), they often conclude that they wouldn’t be able to do something that they see others doing. A resolution to this kind of self-limiting thinking will often come from simply taking some time out to do a full evaluation of your talents – all of your talents though! When thinking of talents, make sure you think about talents as fully as possible. Don’t just go for the obvious talents around your technical and tactical talents, but think more widely to include such things as your mental skills, concentration skills, thinking skills, problem solving skills. Equally you might have great talents for persevering, thinking laterally, getting on with people very quickly or communicating with passion. Really spend the time identifying and valuing your varied talents… and ask others who know you well what they’d put on the list for you. Once you can identify the talents and you value how you’ll use them, then start expecting to see them cropping up more and more, across more and more situations.
With the right amount of time spent on this, you can make sure that you don’t end up creating an unhelpful talent myth of your own that is holding you back from finding out just how good you can be.