Lifestyle Personal Branding

Wake me up when I am famous. The myth of talent

I have begun to realise the power of effort via sport. Foto: Gunnar Baum
This is what many people seem to think. Wake me up, when I am famous, when I have won, when I am there. I think I have also believed that. And that is what is wrong with TALENT.

For the last few years I have learnt more about “talent” and “geniuses”. I have always believed I am destined to great things. I just never understood, why I am not there yet. It seems like I am not the only one. More and more I see people who are wonderful, smart, clever, creative, accomplished but sad, frustrated and misunderstood because they cannot understand why they are not honored, noticed and as accomplished as they have led to believe they should be. Yes LED TO BELIEVE: Because these people usually have been brushed off with sayings like “oh, you are so talented”, “everything comes so easy to you” “you don’t need support, you can do anything”. Usually by their parents at very early age or peers at some early point in their career.

And they hear about the “war for talent” they can’t understand why their CV is considered too advanced, they are too smart and thus a threat. Whereas the “others” believe they are “not talented” and won’t even consider themselves to be the talent.

Talent vs effort.

For those who believe they are talented, they usually have not been tought to put some effort to use their talent. Without effort, your talent stays whee it started. Your talent cannot become a skill, a mastery. Without effort and work, you cannot find what the talent is truly about. Without effort, “talent” becomes obsolete. All of a sudden people who were less talented win. In sports, leadership or just hustling their way past you. And you wonder what happened. Effort is painful. If you have been told that you are talented, that gives you a message that you do not have to work hard. But you will also start fearing challenges. With every failure, you start fearing failures – I am talented, I should not be failing. But that is exactly what you should do. Try and fail. Grow and try and fail. Repeat.

For others, who think they are not talented it is giving up. “Talent you are born with so I cannot do anything anyway”. You have effort. Effort beats talent unused. I have witnessed how less talented, without a special gift, you can just go for it, work, believe, work some more and ASK for what you deem worthy. And you will get it. The dream job, the tasks you want and the fame you crave. Whatever it is you want. But giving up by believing you are not talented is just giving up.

I was going to talk about fame and personal branding but I believe fame and talent and effort is so much more powerful. This is what I am working on myself on a daily basis and this is what I help top athletes, top experts to understand – effort trumps talent. With effort, you can shine a light to your talent and create a NEW TALENT, something so unique to you that it will become your brand.

Interested in realizing wheres your talent and how to start putting in some real effort? To be famous but not for fame sake but for something you have really worked for? Join me at performance and branding coaching.

About the Author


Performance coach, blogger and activist.

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