Is Your Work Smothering Your Natural Talents?

I’ve never met many people who can say that they’ve never wished for a day off work.. there always seemed to be those days when you don’t even want to get out of bed – or worse, that you would love to get out of bed and go anywhere but to the office? Well, in truth, it’s probably because what you’re here to do is being smothered at your workplace. It doesn’t happen for me anymore, but that wasn’t always the case!

I’ve come to recognize my natural talents now, but it wasn’t always that way. I am competitive and I like to be challenged. And so I would always do my best, and, as I assumed was rightful at a time, I’d be promoted into a management role. Looking after a team, responsible for their outcomes and in charge. The boss. Or at the very least, the supervisor. And I’d be satisfied because that’s what was ‘meant’ to happen – I got more money, I got more responsibility, I got more satisfaction from it all. Because I was being successful in my career.

Well, that’s where things would start to fall apart.

I found that, although I am great at motivating myself, I suck at motivating others. Although my attention to detail is almost to perfection – I find it super frustrating that not many others have the same quality. Even though I love to immerse myself in my work and spend all my time doing it or at least talking about it, not everyone else feels the same. And, most importantly, I really don’t like working in a team! I know that sounds terrible, but I much prefer to do my part and then hand it over to someone else to do theirs.

You can imagine how successful I was in a management role. And then would come the stress, and then the resentment, and then the wanting to be anywhere but at work, and then the next job would come along… and it would all start again..

This vicious cycle lasted probably half of my working life. Until I finally figured it out.

I have unique and exquisite natural talents – and if I stick with them – I am happy, content, satisfied, and I love my work. It was enlightening, relieving and totally motivational for me to understand the things that come easily to me – and thanks to technology like Shae, it was simple!

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As a matter of fact, the concept of ‘work’ doesn’t even exist for me now. I simply live a life doing what I naturally do well. And it’s not a high-faluting, wining and dining job that I have. It’s not a celebrity lifestyle, or a laze-about lifestyle either. It’s simply a combination of everything I do well – task oriented, creative, detailed and, most of all, I feel it with a purpose. It’s a simple role that allows me to express who I am and how I fit in the world.

So how do you recognize your natural talents?

 

  • Firstly, set aside all the conventions of what society says you must do to be successful. Sure, some people are driven to achieve, but others just aren’t. And it’s actually physiological. Studies have shown that some body types are higher in dopamine, making it necessary for them to feel satisfaction by achieving1-3. Whereas other body types have naturally higher levels of prolactin, making them find their joy in nurturing others4-7. We’re all made up of the same chemicals but we’re all a slightly different balance – our own unique cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters if you like, that give us our natural qualities.

 

  • Find out what really makes you tick. There are many ways out there to assess what you’re good at, but what you really want to do is find the innate sense of happiness. Find out what makes your body sing! Your body holds a wealth of information about your natural tendencies. You’ve got this body for a reason. What’s in your genes? What were you built for? Is your body strong and made for long stretches of physical labour? Or is is much better suited to being tucked away at a desk in the warmth? Is your personality naturally a people lover or do you much prefer the quiet to explore the creativity in your own mind? Were you built to dynamically expend your energy or to conserve it? Physical traits can correlate with our levels of hormones. And our hormones can dictate how we respond and react to the people and tasks around us in everyday life. Find out what your body does naturally and experiment – give it a go and see if it’s different to what you normally do. Does it feel natural? Does it feel good? Does it feel easy? If it does, then you might be on the right track.

 

  • Find out when you tick best. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Well if you’re a night owl, then being up early for that 7am job can really put a stress on your body, increase your cortisol levels and therefore increase your blood pressure and stress on your circulatory and digestive system. If you’re an early bird and you’ve been repeatedly asked to stay up late, then this may impede your ability to get restful sleep, which affects your body’s ability to heal, recuperate, detox and rejuvenate. Even worse are shift work positions where you may have super early mornings one week, super late nights the next week, and occasional double shifts in between. This type of work doesn’t allow your body to find any rhythm at all, which affects it’s chronobiological system and circadian rhythm. All of this can lead to chronic stress8-13! Chronic stress, (and in turn chronic illness) caused by keeping hours that are not natural for your body can make it difficult to function well, even on a day-to-day basis. Never mind being able to nurture your natural talents!

 

  • Redefine success for you. Do you consider yourself successful if you’re happy? If you’re getting praise? If you are changing jobs or staying in the same job for an extended period. Scientists have shown that some people live longer in a steady work environment, but others are stimulated by variety and constant change. Refining your definition of success can immediately remove the pressure of having to ‘live up to’ a certain standard. And it may be society’s standard, conditioning from your family, or the people around you – it doesn’t matter where it came from, what’s important is to define success for yourself.
  • Go easy on yourself. Some of us don’t do that naturally but remember, we are all on a journey to discover ourselves… and the journey is half the fun!

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Natural talents may be present, but they still need to be practiced. You may be naturally good at making people feel welcome, supported and loved, yet you spend your whole day isolated at a desk, in a windowless office, talking to no-one. This means that you are spending the bulk of your time in an environment that is not conducive to allowing you to practice your talents. If you never get the chance to practice your talent because you’re busy with so many other things, then you may never excel at it.

Our talents, if practiced and nurtured, can be a great source of happiness. Money doesn’t bring happiness, passion does14-18. When it comes to work, people who earn lots for jobs they hate are more unhappy than people who earn less for jobs they love. So doing a job you love will bring you happiness. Happiness, self-satisfaction and a natural affinity for your role also increase your chances of finding a job that is so amazing for you that you easily get more opportunities, and more recognition for your contributions!

So if you have found yourself feeling weighed down by your job and having no enthusiasm for your work, it may be because your workplace is smothering your natural talents. Discover what your natural talents really are with Shae – then experiment with your natural talents – spend some of your free time doing the things you really love and your natural talents may just make themselves known. And when they do, grab onto them like there’s no tomorrow and you’ll never work another day in your life!

 

References

  1. Comings, D. E., et al. “The dopamine D 2 receptor (DRD2) as a major gene in obesity and height.” Biochemical medicine and metabolic biology 50.2 (1993): 176-185.
  2. Travis, Frederick T., and Robert Keith Wallace. “Dosha brain-types: A neural model of individual differences.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine 6.4 (2015): 280.
  3. Genovese, Jeremy EC, and Kathleen D. Little. “Mesomorphy correlates with experiential cognitive style.” The Journal of genetic psychology 172.4 (2011): 433-439.
  4. Martyn, A. C., et al. “Stress hormones may interfere with new mothers’ prolactin levels and negatively affect nurturing behaviour.” (2013).
  5. Tworoger, Shelley S., et al. “Birthweight and body size throughout life in relation to sex hormones and prolactin concentrations in premenopausal women.” Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 15.12 (2006): 2494-2501.
  6. Brandebourg, T., E. Hugo, and N. Ben‐Jonathan. “Adipocyte prolactin: regulation of release and putative functions.” Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 9.4 (2007): 464-476.
  7. Friedrich, N., et al. “Associations of anthropometric parameters with serum TSH, prolactin, IGF-I, and testosterone levels: results of the study of health in Pomerania (SHIP).” Experimental and clinical endocrinology & diabetes: official journal, German Society of Endocrinology [and] German Diabetes Association 118.4 (2010): 266-273.
  8. James, Francine O., Nicolas Cermakian, and Diane B. Boivin. “Circadian rhythms of melatonin, cortisol, and clock gene expression during simulated night shift work.” SLEEP-NEW YORK THEN WESTCHESTER- 30.11 (2007): 1427.
  9. Puttonen, Sampsa, Mikko Härmä, and Christer Hublin. “Shift work and cardiovascular disease—pathways from circadian stress to morbidity.” Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health (2010): 96-108.
  10. Haus, Erhard, and Michael Smolensky. “Biological clocks and shift work: circadian dysregulation and potential long-term effects.” Cancer causes & control 17.4 (2006): 489-500.
  11. Kudielka, Brigitte M., et al. “Morningness and eveningness: the free cortisol rise after awakening in “early birds” and “night owls”.” Biological psychology 72.2 (2006): 141-146.
  12. Muecke, Sandy. “Effects of rotating night shifts: literature review.” Journal of advanced nursing 50.4 (2005): 433-439.
  13. Berk, Michael. “Sleep and depression: Theory and practice.” Australian Family Physician 38.5 (2009): 302.
  14. Dik, Bryan J., and Jo-Ida C. Hansen. “Following passionate interests to well-being.” Journal of Career Assessment 16.1 (2008): 86-100.
  15. Lane, Robert E. “Work as “disutility” and money as “happiness”: Cultural origins of a basic market error.” The journal of socio-economics 21.1 (1992): 43-64.
  16. Burke, Ronald J., and Lisa Fiksenbaum. “Work motivations, work outcomes, and health: Passion versus addiction.” Journal of Business Ethics 84.2 (2009): 257-263.
  17. Clark, Andrew E., Paul Frijters, and Michael A. Shields. “Relative income, happiness, and utility: An explanation for the Easterlin paradox and other puzzles.” Journal of Economic literature (2008): 95-144.
  18. Judge, Timothy A., et al. “The relationship between pay and job satisfaction: A meta-analysis of the literature.” Journal of Vocational Behavior 77.2 (2010): 157-167.

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