Each of us has dormant talents that he is called to cultivate and develop on a daily basis. In this article you will find a 3-stage exercise that will help you on this path of personal growth.
The idea that talent is a “natural gift” that can unequivocally determine our destiny (for better, if we have it, and for bad, if we do not have it) is a belief that I have always considered weak. And apparently I’m not alone. According to Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychology professor at New York University and author of the book Ungifted, talent is inextricably linked to practice. Without an initial predisposition, the practice often risks turning into frustration, but without constant exercise, talent almost always remains an unspoken promise. In short, talent is a seed that needs to be watered daily.
The goal of today’s article is therefore to help you develop and best express your talents, even those you think you don’t have, but who may have simply been suffocated by years of frignite and acute procrastination. To do this I will offer you a 3-stage exercise, which I had the opportunity to perform live with Prof. Giorgio Nardone, creator of the Strategic Problem Solving & Coaching model. This exercise will allow you to gain greater awareness of what is currently blocking your potential.
The development of talents and the Theory of Inability
As seen, the development of our talents is linked to a double delivery to the quality and quantity of our daily exercise. Often, however, the ineffective schemes of action that we have been used to adopting (the “attempted redundant solutions”), rather than feeding our talents, suffocate them.
I had already told you about this little problem by presenting you the Success Curve. On that occasion I had used these words:
“Instead of trying a new path to achieve the same goal, let’s go back to the same bankruptcy path to reach a new goal.”
To reveal and develop our talents we must therefore take new paths, but to do so we need to stop, correct the current GPS coordinates and wait for the new route to be calculated. Prof. Nardone’s incapacity theory is based precisely on this approach and guides us to rediscover our hidden abilities starting from what is currently blocking us (incapacities). Specifically, the exercise I will present to you provides 3 levels of analysis. Let’s see them in detail.
Level 1: Solution
Take pen and paper, or create a new note on your smartphone or computer, and first report your difficulty that is repeated over time, something that at this moment is not allowing you to express your talents to the fullest: I recommend , here we are not talking about pathologies or chronic problems, but about attitudes that are not allowing you to achieve your goals. All clear? Write down the behavior that is limiting you on the sheet.
Well, this something that does not allow you to bring out your talents in certain situations, how does it materialize? In other words, what is blocking you?
The inability to find the solution? You are unable to understand what you need to do.
The inability to apply the solution? You know what you need to do, but you haven’t put it into practice yet.
The inability to maintain the solution? You have made some attempts to apply the solution, but you have not been able to be constant (to be clear: you have succumbed to the “who cares” effect).
The inability to sustain the side effects of the solution? You managed to be constant in applying your solution, but you were unable to bear the consequences of this solution.
I try to help you using an easy-to-understand example: let’s assume that you are a university student and that so far your academic career has been marked by not particularly brilliant results. What is blocking you?
You don’t know an effective study method (incapacity 1).
You know the best study techniques, but you are not applying them (inability 2).
You have inconsistent results: some tests prepare them to perfection, others much less (inability 3).
You are afraid of being considered a nerd by your friends (incapacity 4).
Well, write on your sheet what is the incapacity that at this moment is not allowing you to fully express your talent.
Level 2: Reaction
Then there is a second level, deeper, even closer to the root of our limits. This second level investigates our reactions to the difficulties we face. What is your reaction to the blocks we saw at level 1? You find yourself having:
the inability to react? If you are constantly looking for the right solution, if you tend to hyper-rationalize everything, if you have the continuous fear of making mistakes, most likely, at the first difficulties your natural reaction is to block yourself.
the inability not to react? If faced with difficulties, your natural reaction is to indulge in pleasure (I recommend you read here), to have anger or repetitive behaviors, most likely you are unable to not react.
the inability to perceive correctly? Finally, if you have the classic behavior of the “ostrich” and in the face of a problem you deny it, hiding your head in the sand, your typical reaction is self-deception.
Again, write on your sheet what your second-level incapacity is.
Eye, Nardone’s Strategic Coaching is based on mathematical logic, it follows that in the different levels of analysis the answers must be consistent with each other, otherwise it means that you are cheating (with yourself). For example, if you just wrote that you are unable to react, it means that at the previous level your answer should have been: “the inability to apply the solution”. Or, if your natural reaction is the inability to perceive reality correctly, at the previous level the most coherent answer should have been: “the inability to find the solution”. You thought you were being smart, huh ?! 😉 Let’s move on to the next level of analysis.
Level 3: Sensation
We have therefore reached the third level of analysis, the most “primitive” level, that is what is the basis of our emotions and our behaviors: sensations. Specifically, there are 4 basic sensations:
These sensations are at the root of all the inability seen in the first two levels: they condition them, sharpen them, control them. However, when the primordial sensation that is blocking our talents is identified, it is possible to put in place a whole series of stratagems capable of unleashing our potential.
Free our talents by working on the 4 primordial sensations
The elements seen in the three levels combine with each other and give life to that vast spectrum of typical human behaviors, so it is necessary to face each of these “limiting” combinations with the most suitable Strategic Coaching stratagems. I try to offer some suggested by Nardone as an example.
Coping with fear. Imagine knowing the solution to your problem, but not being able to apply it (level 1), also imagine that your spontaneous reaction is not to react (level 2), or to block yourself, and that at the base of everything there is a fundamental feeling of fear (level 3). In this case, one of the most effective stratagems is that of the “worst fantasy”, that is to dedicate every day a set time (30 minutes) to fantasize in detail about the worst things that could happen when you find yourself face to face with your fear.
Manage pleasure. Imagine knowing and applying the solution, but not being able to maintain it over time (level 1), also imagine that the cause of your inconstancy is the inability to not react (level 2): you would like to avoid doing something, but you fall back on time. Finally, imagine that at the basis of everything there is a spasmodic search for pleasure (level 3). In this case, a very effective technique consists in completely indulging in pleasure, but at very precise intervals. For example, if you waste a lot of time on social networks and various sites, even before using a to don’t list, you must be able to browse every day at the same time for 60 minutes in a row: without exception.
Bear the pain. Imagine, once again, that you are unable to maintain the solution (level 1), but imagine that this time you are unable to react (level 2) and that this is due to the fact that you cannot bear the pain (level 3 ). In this case it is necessary to work on resistance and resilience. Working on endurance means training gradually to endure prolonged effort. Working on resilience, on the other hand, means being able to withstand the “shocks” of life (mishaps, unexpected events, dramas). I have already proposed the ABCDE technique to you on this last topic.
Get rid of anger. In conclusion, imagine that you don’t know the solution (level 1) and that this is due to your inability to perceive reality correctly (level 2). The primordial sensations behind this attitude could be multiple, but we assume that you cannot see the solution because it is “blinded” by anger (level 3). In this case it is possible to apply a very funny ploy. Take a sheet of paper, an envelope and a pen. Now start writing a letter, addressing it to the object (or subject) of your anger: write in this letter the worst insults, everything you hate about this thing or this person, then close the letter and throw it away: DO NOT send. If you prefer you can prepare a draft of an email, but be careful not to press “send”! 😉