I just went for a massage with an amazing, intuitive lady. Man, it hurt. She suggested that I take a little time out to do NOTHING. Umm, that’s a little outside my field of expertise. Doing things, I’m very good at. Doing NOTHING… Nope. Never done that. I am a serial expert. I’ve never specialised in anything. I’ve tried, oh my word, how I’ve tried. I’ve tried to focus, to be a master of something, to be top of my field in something. I can’t stay interested for long enough. Over my life, I’ve learned how to be a swimming coach, a synchronised swimming judge (and coach), an exceptional cook (thanks to Katrina Ruth for pointing that out because I had no clue even though people have been telling me the same thing for years! I just wasn’t ready to hear it), a pretty awesome mum, a loyal friend, an author, an amazingly perceptive & persistent coach, a manager, a systems expert, an entrepreneur, a successful blogger, a font of diet & fitness knowledge, a dressmaker, a clothes designer, an organisational genius (you should see my pantry!), the list goes on and on. Learning new things is second nature to me; it’s not confronting… well, not much, anyway, and I pick up the new skills very, very quickly because I’ve had so much practise at starting new things.
Am I an expert in starting up an online business? You betcha.
Am I an incredible swimming coach? Definitely. You should see the butterfly of the kids that I’ve taught.
Am I an enticing & clear communicator & writer. I like to think so, yep.
Could I explain to you in great detail how to start a blog? Sure could.
Could I show you how to make your own skincare products & explain about the different skin & body types? Absolutely.
Could I talk to you about health & wellbeing in a way that you’d understand and make you want to change what you eat? Probably (though that’s a tricky one; I could definitely talk to you about diets and stuff, just not so sure whether you’d actually do anything about it!)
Could we have a coaching session where I’d be able to hear EXACTLY what your beliefs and blocks are? I’D LOVE TO! And yes, I’m bloody good at it, it’s one of my Superpowers!
There are a lot of people who get to my age (50-something) who feel that because they haven’t specialised, they can’t create any kind of life for themselves, they can’t go back into the workforce, they can’t really move forward in life; they’re just stuck. And I’m not pointing the finger at anyone or making random remarks here, I’m saying it because that’s where I was, and where I still retreat to, if I’m not careful.
We’re all different. There is definitely a place for the specialists in life, but there’s also a place for us multi-skilled serial experts, too, because, if there’s one thing we do really well, it’s learn FAST. We’re so used to doing new things, we become experts in an unbelievably short space of time.
PLUS, because we’ve done so many things, our experience is much, much wider ranging than any specialists’ would ever be. And we can apply all that knowledge to everything else we do. We can think outside the box because we tend to live outside the box. We’re not used to working within defined parameters because we’re always on the move, doing new things.
So, if you can relate to this, DO NOT DISCOUNT YOURSELF. Your experience is INVALUABLE because it’s so wide-ranging. Now, if that’s the case, if you’re not at the disadvantage that you thought you were, what does that open up for you? If you actually have the perfect experience for any number of things – and we both know that you do – what are you going to do next?
NOTE: I am NOT asking you ‘what are you going to do for the rest of your life’. I’m asking you what you’re going to do NEXT; the immediate future, the next six-twelve months? What new skill are you going to become an expert in next?
That’s the real question to be asking yourself: what next?
Remember: it’s all about the attitude.
PS Don’t forget to tell me what you’d love to do next.
Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, peri-menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...