I’m not a natural

At a recent dinner, I heard one of my least favorite compliments.

When discussing my coaching business and my podcast, someone claimed, “He’s a natural.”

They were trying to show support and truly meant well, but I’d like to dissect that claim a bit.

Though it’s not the intention, using the word “natural” tends to ignore the countless hours of practice, anxiety, and discomfort a person must go through.

You would never call Tom Brady a natural. He’s been playing football almost every day since he was a child. Along the way, he’s been intercepted, sacked, and doubted tremendously by others and by himself.

When people tell me…

• I’m a natural at podcasting, they haven’t heard my first podcasts where I couldn’t string a single idea together.

• I’m a natural at coaching, they haven’t seen all the hours I put in each week to be a better coach and business owner.

• I’m a natural at living a disciplined life, they haven’t seen my first 23 years of being a true mess—failing out of college, accruing massive debt, and trying to end my life.

99.9% of people aren’t natural at anything. This shit takes work.

You never know what’s going on behind the scenes. The next time you see a master, don’t think, They’re really good at this; instead think, They must’ve been practicing this for a long time.