Update, April 13, 2018: I noticed this post getting traffic from Google ? and I realized that people were searching for ?things I am good at? and ending up here.
This post is merely one of the first times I bothered to admit, not only to myself but publicly, that I have? you know? strengths.
I don?t mean that I?ve never had confidence in myself ? because I have and do. But it?s always been in a specific context: putting skills on my resume, noting my accomplishments as a professional or student or athlete, knowing what I am capable of as a traveler and worker.
Last fall, I was traveling around Scotland (because I?m on the road full-time as a digital nomad), and suddenly, I had an urge to write down a list of things I am good at. Across the board. As a person.
I pretty much daily recite lists of things I am not good at, of my flaws and weaknesses. So it stopped me in my tracks when I heard a voice in my head announce this idea.
So whether you go on to read my whole post or not (though by all means, I?ve got quite a range & it might get your ideas flowing), I encourage you to scribble down a list of things you are good at.
I promise you?ll think of things ? you might be pleasantly surprised and entertained. And you just might be able to start challenging your daily criticisms with a few compliments? wouldn?t that be nice?
I wrote this yesterday after visiting the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, and looking through various art books in their shop. I stopped on the street a few minutes away and scribbled this in my notebook.
I have transcribed but not edited it, for the sake of it being a kind of time capsule of that moment in my brain.
Which list is easier to write? Your strengths or your weaknesses?
I spend more time each day giving myself shit and kicking myself for mistakes than I do thinking about anything else. So I made this list first.
Let?s be honest, I made them both at the same time. (Or did I?)
Some things I?m good at are things I?m highly skilled at that I also deem as a waste of my time or a negative behavior. But that doesn?t diminish my skill in the area.
Let?s go anyway:
Writing in my head while I do other things. Picture: emails, events in my calendar, notes to myself, essays, Instagram captions, Facebook comments
Making eggs: poached, scrambled, soft boiled
Being persnickety about my coffee
Traveling???literally the act of getting myself from one place to another
Staying asleep, or staying in bed???for hours past when I hope to get up
Giving advice & reassuring my friends (but with gentle suggestions for improvements). I?ve learned from my therapist how to wait to be asked for feedback & how to do it carefully. Is that manipulative or mutually beneficial?
Doing things alone, in particular: traveling, eating in restaurants and cafes, going to museums
Overthinking. I overthink so much I can almost see the future because my brain is speeding through possible scenarios
Having the best of intentions???at work, on my projects, with people
Baking. I find it highly therapeutic & people always appreciate butter and sugar
Archiving???I document almost everything I do in photos & notes. Unfortunately, I don?t share them as often or as constructively / productively as I?d like
Feeling many nuanced feelings
Talking???to a group / crowd / audience
Teaching / presenting information
Picking my scabs & itching my rashes, making myself bleed
Throwing ideas and information into the world, like spaghetti on a wall, to see what sticks
Riding bicycles in cities
Talking about art
Cleaning, but I am allergic to dust
Petting cats???I am allergic to dogs
Taking myself to the doctor
Paying off my credit card
Management & leadership
Imagining scenarios for my future
The end, I?m cold
PS???not sweating a lot
I remembered some while I was walking:
Calculating time zones where other people are & whether they?re available for a call
Doing mental calculations (how long it takes to get somewhere, time required for a project at work, how much things cost, how many minutes or miles I have to go during a workout, how many calories in food?)
Fantasizing about my unrequited lovers becoming requited(?) aka envisioning how & when we finally kiss / have sex / fall in love
Imagining my future homes and routes with real and imagined partners
Paying attention to what children pay attention to that other adults ignore
Looking around at the world
Remembering things that I?ve written down or read (photographic memory)
Laughing out loud
Making witty comments
Having good intentions
Worrying about my intentions not being good enough
Thinking about what legacy I want to leave
Being fladaptable (flexible + adaptable, a word my college coach made up)
Falling into rhythms with other people / objects
Being technically proficient
Being effective & highly competent
Availing myself of other people?s offers (a drink, a meal, a place to stay, an event, an introduction, an opportunity)
Feeling at home in a new / unknown place quickly
Living out of a bag
Finding counter arguments
Being willing to try
Katherine works remotely while she travels the world ? on the road since June 2014. If you liked this piece, please give it some *claps* below & share. Thank you!
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