Figuring out Why You Are Not Good at Something May Not Be as Important as You Think

by Don Smith

All products and services featured on this site are independently selected by our authors and editors. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Solving problems has been my life for the last three decades, so I know that solving the root cause or getting to “Why” is important. Figuring out why you are the way you are might not be nearly as important as you think in changing your habits though.

There are times when trying to get to the root cause is counter-productive. If the root cause of a particular issue has already been analyzed and a solution provided, you can skip that lengthy process and go right into applying the fix. In the IT world, we have entire knowledgebases dedicated to that process, because it dramatically speeds up a resolution when you can cross-reference previous issues that other clients have had and the solutions to those problems.

Let's take wanting to be more assertive for example.

Finding Your Why - Question Mark in Tunnel

It is possible to spend weeks, months, or even years trying to figure out why a person is how they are, yet the solution remains the same.

Let's say we spend three weeks digging into why Susan is not assertive. We finally figure out that her father was very strict and so she learned growing up that being assertive was not effective, and in fact only got her punished. She was also constantly reminded to put others' needs first, so she feels guilty expressing her own needs.

Where does that leave us? Well, it might make Susan feel a little better to know why she is that way, but we are no closer to her actually being more assertive. Three weeks later, we are right back to the original question, how does Susan learn to express herself? Now, as a paid coach, that might be good for me because I got several extra sessions out of it trying to figure out why Susan isn't assertive in the first place, but it doesn't really help Susan become more confident in expressing herself.

The answer to that question is like wanting to be a better public speaker. It doesn't really matter why you are a lousy speaker. If you would like to be a better speaker, you will need to practice speaking and get feedback from a coach or a group like Toastmasters. We could spend weeks, months, or years analyzing why you are a poor public speaker, or you could use that time to start becoming a better speaker.

If Susan wants to be more assertive, then she will need to practice being assertive and get feedback to learn how to express her needs, regardless of why it is difficult for her at the moment. We get better at things by practicing them and getting feedback. Anything that you haven't practiced is going to be uncomfortable, sometimes very uncomfortable, which is why it helps to have someone guiding you.

That's why figuring out why you are not good at something isn't always productive. If you want to get better at anything, the quickest way to do that is to start practicing and have someone give you feedback. Before long, whatever you are practicing won't be quite as uncomfortable as it once was.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

My wife checked flight tickets to Costa Rica yesterday. We intend to spend 3 months in the Land of the Ticos beginning

Read More
Mind Blowing Lives Are Rooted in the Mundane

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Do what you love, and you'll never work a day again in your life.”? I think

Read More
Do What You Love — It’s 3AM and I’m Writing

One of the strangest causes of business failure unfolds before my eyes routinely. Preventing this root cause of struggle is incredibly easy.

Read More
1 Bizarre and Easily Preventable Cause of Business Failure

Somewhere along the way, people came up with the phrase “woo woo” for unconventional, non-scientific beliefs. Mystical experiences, spiritual schools of thought

Read More
Why Mind Training Is Practical

A self-help blog or any personal growth blog is targeted to imbibe inspiration amongst the followers and readers of the blog. These

Read More
15 Self Help Bloggers to Follow in 2021

The more you grow as an individual the more skilled you become at helping other people grow. The less you grow personally

Read More
1 Fascinating Aspect of Personal Growth

I still have to guard against living in Survival Mode sometimes. After being an entrepreneur for 10 years, you would think I

Read More
Make this Shift to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

I developed one skill over the past 12 years of being a blogger that stands out from all else. I accept myself

Read More
Stop Needlessly Judging Your Work

I recently had the pleasure of watching A Walk in the Woods, and I loved it. What I think I like most

Read More
What A Walk in the Woods Can Teach All of Us

I find it amusing when my ego deems itself fearless. Of course I have fears. But I also boast a partial fearlessness

Read More
Cut the Strings of Attachment and Fear Will Find You

I'm a little bit of a skeptic when it comes to life coaches in general. I've been mentoring people for decades and

Read More
Life Coach Certification Course by Kain Ramsay: My Review

I knew from the tone in her voice that something was wrong the moment I answered the call from my wife.  

Read More
You Can Do Everything Right, Yet Have Things Still Go Wrong


Get new articles and course discounts from leading providers every Friday in your inbox with your free subscription!