Jack of All Trades, Master of None

This morning, another disclaimer, that I need to share that I live in Canada so I choose to use the Canadian spellings of such words as ‘neighbour’ and ‘centre’.  I seem to be at odds with my Spell-check but I will push on, and it’s kind of a mini-rebellion.  

Yesterday Dear Friend (the same dear friend as yesterday) shared a FB post as she felt that it would resonate with me.  Sometimes it is freaky how well this friend, far away from me, taps into my life and struggles, so I am going to start calling her Dear Friend.  The woman who initially posted, Joanna Hackley Davis, is a life coach and, one whom I would call, a wise woman.  Here are excerpts that really stopped me cold as they describe a pattern, I repeatedly play out, in my life.

 “Successful people focus on what they are good at, what comes naturally, is easy, and leave the rest for others to do, often hiring others to do jobs they don’t like.”

Now, for me, I am not in a position to hire others but I am someone who beats herself up when I am not great at everything, or that I am unable to perfect a task, or that I loathe doing certain things.  Looking back I have had a looping track in my head saying that ‘I am a Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” Which was a way that I would be tough on my self BUT that I have wasted time trying to be everything to everyone.  I need to change my thoughts so that I am more gentle with myself and also that I LET go of trying to do everything myself.  Independence is great but relying on other people is okay.  A much needed balance in my life as I face medical issues, depression, and re-position myself in the job market. 

“Other people (not so successful) spend copious amounts of time and energy trying to master things they don’t enjoy, that don’t come naturally to them, etc., and take themselves on guilt trips when they focus on their passions or want to ask for help with what they don’t want to do themselves.”

 This mind soundtrack (backed by 1970’s music) has also dissipated my focus, creating busy work trying to do everything so I never just slow down and focus on the one or two things that I am good at doing.  (This insight took most of the day, yesterday, and it summarizes so easily belying the occupation that this insight required as I wrestled with my thoughts – I suppose we all make things more difficult for ourselves!) I also realized that, by running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I have let myself off the hook in actually accomplishing anything.  So busy with the minutia that I have taken, I have (wasted? nope that is negative speak), that I have given up the time I can use to test myself, train myself, focus myself, or just my Self show me what I am good at.  For years I have beaten myself up that I never found my ‘bliss’ or ‘gift’ I have to give the world – – and realizing that I created busy work for myself was a way of avoiding failure, taking that risk AND the hard work that I will need to do.  In essence, I have been treading water – doing everything and being pretty good at most things – but I haven’t moved forward at all, I am still in one place, staying about the water, but not reaching any shore.  So now I need to see things differently and also allot my time and energy more thoughtfully.

“Successful people spend most of their time and energy utilizing their innate gifts and talents on things they are passionate about.”

Then Joanna Hackley Davis asked a question I am asking myself – and, in turn, will ask you, Gentle Reader. (You didn’t know that there would be marks for class participation, did you?)

Reading this, what is one thing you would like to focus more of your time, energy, and talent on?


2 thoughts on “Jack of All Trades, Master of None

  1. Myself. Because until the last few years I’ve spent my life thinking my worth was dependent on what other people think of me. Not an easy journey when you start off not knowing how, but a very worthwhile one as you develop the tools to do so and learn that it’s not selfish to want to take good care of your own self. It’s taken me a long, long time to be understanding this. And as I do it? I find some people have disappeared out of my life. With those who remain, the bonds are stronger and better and I can *still* do things for them, just because I want to, not because I desperately seek their approval for my self worth.

    • Thank you for sharing – and I will attest that you are a wonderful listener – offering wise words and support to anyone who needs you. And I know you are a great mom!

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