There are four things that kill highly talented people: yea, five that bury them:
1. Pride after success
This often starts when a person becomes aware of his or her talents. He sees that he can do certain things in ways people around him can’t readily do, and not necessarily because of his preparation.
Also, when he begins to get recognition for the things he’s doing right, the tendency is for him to bask in that euphoria for so long that he forgets the place of hard work.
So, he stops learning. Stops following rules and stops growing. The end product is just the freezing of his talent or a complete waste of it in a maze of inconsistencies.
Pride is often considered the biggest killer of success, that’s partly true. I say “partly” because pride always precedes destruction, but some of the points listed below can be as dangerous if not more.
Pride can also breed jealousy and envy. Now, those are deadly combinations.
2. Shame after failure
This is a major killer of talented individuals. Because of several successes that they’ve recorded, talented people often don’t understand what it means to fail. So, when faced with failure, they withdraw into their shells to bemoan their state.
Some go even farther by disbelieving themselves and what they’re capable of accomplishing. So, you’ll hear things like “I don’t think I’m talented at all. I don’t have what it takes to do this. If I were talented, I wouldn’t have failed.” Others end up depressed and unable to try again.
Unfortunately, what they don’t realise is that even the most successful people in life failed several times and still fail. That no matter how talented you are, life will present a stark reality to you: “you can only get as far as here with your talent. To go beyond this point, you have to pay some dues.” It’s now left for the talented person to pick himself up, believe in what he’s got and go back to learn why he failed, improve on it and bounce back. It’s easier said than done for some of them.
3. Procrastination instead of being proactive
Yes! This point is so crucial. This is a great waster of talents. If you’re talented, one thing you must recognise is that your talents are NEVER enough; they’re not sufficient on their own to catapult you to the height you dream of.
If you played for the amateur club on your street and competed with the next street, chances are that you’ll win easily because you don’t follow strict rules and maybe the other players aren’t as skilful as you are on the ball. But when you begin to compete on the state or national level, you’ll soon discover that there are many talented and skilled players everywhere, who have mastered the art of dribbling and defence too.
So, added to talent is hard work, consistent training and a winning mindset. But some very talented people procrastinate a lot. They’re never available to work on their talents and improve on their weaknesses.
Procrastination is like not adhering to therapy because you feel that the disease isn’t worth the stress. Well, you’ll take that therapy later but maybe at a higher dosage and for a longer period of time because in the meantime the disease condition has worsened. Take the pains now to train yourself, else your talents won’t amount to much.
4. Doubt (Fear) instead of trying
This could be a resultant effect of point 2 above, that is, the feeling of shame after a failure could cause fear. But fear can also develop in the absence of failure. However it develops, when fear dominates, talent shrinks and its carrier becomes paralysed. This include:
The Fear of not being good enough
Fear of what people will say.
The Fear of failure
Fear of managing success
Fear that people will discover that I’m not good enough after all.
These and many other fears make several talented people waste their talents in local leagues when they should be plying their trade internationally.
5. Thinking of and living for what other people think
This is a brutal killer. It not only kills, but it also buries the individual. Many highly talented people are wasting away because of what they think other people think about them. And sometimes, people aren’t even thinking about those things they think that they’re thinking.
Others believe all the negative opinions and views of their friends, colleagues and people they trust that they’re simply paralysed.
Then, there’s a category of people who live to please others by not expressing their talents. They feel that being average is synonymous with humility or that expressing their talents would discomfort those around them. So, they prefer to remain dormant until further notice. Well, they further notice never arrives.
Happy are those that overcome these, for they shall manifest their talents to the fullest.
What other killers have you observed? Feel free to share them with me below in the comment section.