How to bump your ‘weaknesses’ over to your ‘strengths’ column
Many of us like to distinguish between what we are good or bad at, putting ourselves into left-brain or right-brain categories. If we are book smart, we’re okay not being street smart. If we’re good at sports, we’re okay not being good with fashion. If we excel at math or business, we can willingly accept that writing is not one of our top skills. But just because something doesn’t come naturally, it doesn’t mean you can’t practice and improve.
When I was in school, I had little to no interest in science. Although I still strongly oppose dissection and animal experiments now, I find myself enjoying articles and TV specials that explain how diseases affect our bodies, how our muscles work, and other topics that wouldn’t have appealed to the English-loving student in me 15 years ago.
Perhaps, what we actually like learning has a lot to do with how we learn it. Not all of us are natural-born students. I didn’t really start applying myself until the middle of high school and, by then, I had a lot more say in what courses I could take. And, interestingly, I was still staying up late to finish assignments the night before they were due, despite getting consistently good grades.
One of my current clients is a recent high school graduate who wanted to improve his writing skills before going into university. Since he likes reading business articles, he started composing summaries and submitting them to me for review. As I edit his work, I provide him with notes on how to correct some of his habitual errors and explain some of the common grammatical or spelling mistakes. Naturally, he has gotten much better!
I personally started playing in a softball league last summer, thinking my limited experience in elementary school gym class would somehow help me. Not only was my bat swing and ability to catch balls worse than I thought, I also realized how unfamiliar I was with the rules. But after playing for two years now, watching numerous Blue Jays games and getting coached by some teammates, I am slowly but surely improving!
No one, to my knowledge, ever said learning had to be boring or tedious. If there’s a skill you want to acquire or improve upon, figure out a way to do it and how to make it exciting. If playing a sport always seemed fun but you never exuded much athleticism, join a recreational league and get practicing. If you want to become a better writer, contact a professional who can offer guidance. There are many people in the same position as you.
It’s never too late to get better!