There seems to be this belief in the world that you are either born with it or you are not. The ‘it’ being an implied talent or skill. I’m sure you have heard this phrase time and time again and you may have even felt this in your own mindset at times and not realized it. Today I want to tell you a bit about me because, Girl, I was not born with it, either!
This post comes from years of hearing other women tell me they could not do the things they want to do or are inspired by because they were not born with it– the talent they assume that others were born with, This is the reason I wanted to become a life coach and the reason I work so hard to empower women with confidence. So here we are…
Hey there, I’m Jenn!
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Girl, I Was Not Born With It
Growing up with money tight I learned you do the things you have to do that you can not afford to have done for yourself. That’s a mouthful!
If something breaks you fix it, you don’t just go out and buy a new one because that is money that just does not exist at that moment. If you want something extravagant you make it because you can not afford to buy it. Sure, it is a crappy money mindset but it is also an empowering DIY-get-the-creative-juices-flowing mindset.
In my school years, I was fortunate enough to have the option to choose Industrial Arts classes which included blueprint design, woodworking, stained glass working and welding if you chose. I did not try my hand at welding but I sure would like to learn someday.
I also had the opportunity to do Art/Music and Home Economics which included painting, sketching, sewing, cooking and learning nutrition.
Admittedly, I was terrible at the projects I made but I made them with pride.
At the time, I thought the poodle I sewed my grandmother was beautiful, the owl that read “Happy birthday you old hoot” on a single piece of wood was hilariously marvellous and my ability to make a Monte Cristo meant I would never starve in the kitchen!
However, those works never gave me an A, not even an A for the effort, I’m sure.
Honestly, I loved it and hated it.
I think the love I gained from it was the ability to give what I could create and see the faces light up of the ones I loved. Perhaps that gave me a boost of confidence that would hide within me for years.
I hated that I was not born with it.
I failed more often than not on my trials and I hated low marks and always wanted to have high grades. This ate at me to keep working and try harder. I knew I could learn it if I just kept trying.
Fast forward fifteen years to the time I decided to make my oldest daughter a quilt for her room.
I had no idea what I was doing but the lady at the local quilt shop was extremely helpful and over the course of the next few months I made my 4-year-old the most beautiful thing I had ever made.
Sure her quilt had flaws, and sure it took me countless months and many late nights to have it ready for Christmas, but I did it! And I sure the hell was not born with it!
When I say I had no idea what I was doing, I truly mean it. I had used a sewing machine maybe three or four times since high school and I could not hand-sew anything I would dare show another human being.
I went on to make her matching curtains because I felt a ping of confidence in my ability. Before I knew it I had this thriving love for sewing that I had no idea I could ever have. This talent that earning to grow.
I could create something from a few pieces of fabric and utilize sewing tools. I was hooked.
I put my new “talent” to work and I grew a sewing business.
Going for it even when you are not born with it!
Honestly, I flew by the seat of my pants and learnt as I went. I could remember the things I had made in the past and how people had reacted to them and I felt confident that I had this ability so I kept motivated and I kept moving forward.
I did not think it would be too hard and if I got stuck I asked an expert rather than dwell on it. Then I would get right back to it. I did not allow procrastination to seep in resulting in a very quick turnaround.
People trusted me to hem their police uniforms, remake their mother’s vintage wedding dress into something modern for their own wedding (I died of nerves several times haha) to do things I had never done before. Those people gave me the ability to learn from experience.
I would take a few deep breaths and say “You have got this, you CAN do this!” And I would and I did. I did not know much about affirmations then but I was on the right track to building up that confidence.
My confidence grew stronger and stronger and I started to dabble in other creative ways. I started a custom design shop and I made so many beautiful designs such as hilarious shirts, mugs and various other items that people loved. My business flourished as well as my confidence in the new found talent but my gosh, I was not born with it.
My confidence grew more and more. My happiness grew more, I felt like I had a purpose!
I slipped into woodworking again which I had dabbled in on and off over the years.
I was always fixing stuff around the house with scraps of wood or using a few ‘easy’ to use tools. I was scared to use some power tools but I acknowledged that the fear was because I lacked the know-how therefore I needed to learn.
My husband is an amazing carpenter and I convinced him that if he taught me then I would leave him alone with my Hunny-do-list. He humoured me and I slowly began to gain courage although I still held some fear.
My friends would tell me how beautiful things were that I made (thank goodness for friends who build you up instead of tear you down).
My confidence and independence began to grow in this area of my life too. Although, once again, I was not born with it.
As my confidence grew so did my projects. I did not always make beautiful, perfect projects, but I learnt from my mistakes and I laughed at my failures and then I would try again.
We have a funny little banter in this house…
Me: “Well, that was Mach 1”
My husband replies “you mean mark 1”
I banter back “nope Mach 1, it sounds better”
He rolls his eyes and I begin to devise my plan of how to fix it and how to start again. what can I do better this time? Assessment is key to success.
Over the years I have slowly come to the point where I do not need to ask him for advice or approval. We have come to a point where he comes home from work and tells me how impressed he is with something I built that day.
Confidence boost, baby!
My passion for DIY grew so much that I started a blog about DIY everything and I shared my projects step-by-step with tutorials. I was so excited to teach others how to do build something and prove to them they could do it too!
I just ‘knew’ others would find their ability like I found mine, that just because they were not born with it they could be confident in building the skills to have the talent to do it.
I love all of my readers but oh my gosh I wanted to grab them by the shoulders and shake the heck out of them while screaming “YOU CAN DO IT!”
I was saddened many times by self-doubting women who would come to my page with admiration and say “I will add this to my Hunny-do-list, there is no way I could EVER do that.” Or “I wish I was as talented as you.” “You are such a natural-born talent.”
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Over time the more and more I would hear this feedback the more I felt like I was not doing what I set out to do, to help women learn a new talent or a new skill. To teach them they had what it takes if they believed in themselves.
There was more that needed to be done before they could get to that point.
The limiting belief of being born with it or not born with it was stronger than anything I could ever have imagined.
Girl, I was not born with it!
I needed them to know I was not born with either, that they needed to change their mindset. I myself had flopped projects many times, I scrapped fabric and wood more than you can imagine. I repainted and stitched ripped more projects than most people ever make in their life.
I learnt that mistakes cost time and mistakes cost money.
I learnt that mistakes are essential to strengthening skills.
I learnt that I needed to keep building my skills and that I needed to slow down sometimes.
I learnt that sometimes I need to learn from an expert (someone who has been doing it longer than me).
But I kept trying and I keep trying to this day.
I was not born with creative talent, I found that I had a passion for it and it made me happy inside. It was my perfect self-care getaway, so I made it a part of my future.
I pushed myself when I wanted to procrastinate, I told myself I could do it more than I did in any other part of my life. I believed in myself.
I pushed back the critic in my head telling me I was an imposter.
When I look back now I see that without my passion (my WHY) and without my motivation to make all things beautiful I would not have kept going.
That scares the crap out of me!
How many other things did I not feel passionate enough about to keep pushing myself forward?
How many other opportunities did I give up and not pick up the pieces to try again?
How many things in life did I miss out on because of limiting beliefs, self-doubt and lack of a goal?
How many things are you missing out on?
The whole point of this article is that I hope you stop and realize that we are all capable of doing all the things we want to do.
If something makes you excited, don’t get in your own way.
When you start with one area of your life and grow your ability at it you will see that it is possible to go from novice to talented. Once you build one area you will be confident in your ability to build another.
We have this ability in every area of our lives if we face our fears, and learn to believe in ourselves.
Our why motivated our future
Last year my husband and I started our own construction company, a dream that stemmed from a larger dream we both have had for years. I had so much confidence in my husband when he had none in himself that he jumped in with both feet. I had his back, I was his partner in business and in marriage. I was his accountability partner.
I learnt a whole new business and a whole new trade and our relationship grew, his confidence to build his own company started to seep in. My experience of building my own business helped me feel confident in building another business. Together we are working towards our dreams every day.
Even when it feels frivolous or too small to make a difference those little things add up.
This year I’m home with the kids because of covid-19 and will be guiding them through an online schooling program this fall. Therefore, my ability to go to work this year dwindled with other responsibilities and new hurdles and goals.
We have found a way to make it work with me working from my office at home. All of these obstacles and hurdles keep building our confidence as we keep figuring them out one by one. Seeing them as a challenge and not the end of something is essential to remain positive.
You don’t need to be born with it!
So the next time you see a beautiful scarf you wished you could make or a successful online entrepreneur you wish you could be like, do NOT allow your self-doubt to jump in.
When the voice in your head says “That’s fabulous, I wish I was that talented, orientated, successful, etc but I was not born with it.”
STOP! Tell it to shut the hell up right then and there!
Think of one thing you can do right now to try!
Please try! And then please try again! And then PLEASE try again!
Don’t ever give up on your hopes and dreams. I know you have got what it takes, so believe you do too!
And remember, Girl, I was NOT born with it! you don’t need to be born with it either! Let’s keep empowering each other!
Take care and chat soon;
Living A Boss Life
Love Your Guts! Take care & Chat soon,