How do you figure out what your sweet spot is without having it crushed by the fact that you don’t have the right degrees, awards, or universal recognition?  Sometimes people don’t venture out to do what they really want to do because their family and friends believe that they have to be a recognized genius before spending time or money investing in their passion.

My personal hero is the guy who, while “between jobs” re-brands himself as a poet, starts writing poetry and with no twinge of apology, boldly tells everyone who asks what he does, “I am a poet!”

What if the criteria for becoming a poet was sitting down and writing a poem – not becoming the poet laureate of your town, state of country?

Of course, if you want to succeed in your sweet spot, you have to practice, use discipline, stick with it, and sometimes get a few lucky breaks.

I had a client who wanted to be a writer, but her parents told her she had to win a writing award before she could do that. I know others who didn’t write because they didn’t have a degree in writing.

Many people are stopped in pursing their sweet spot in exactly this same way, thinking, “How can I take myself seriously if I don’t have any awards?”


Frankly, it doesn’t make sense that a person should be an acclaimed genius in order to be able to justify the time and energy it takes to become an acclaimed genius. Lots of people make a great living doing what they love-ALL WITHOUT WINNING ANY AWARDS OR HAVING AN ADVANCED DEGREE IN WHAT THEY DO.

Things are changing in ways that make this much more true than it has ever been. I’ll use two common examples that people consult with me about regularly: 1) being a psychologist and 2) being a writer.

In earlier days, a genius writer may have taken a broken pencil they had carved to a point with a knife and scrawl on scraps of paper her masterpiece. Now, anyone with a laptop or a smartphone can write anything they want from anywhere and post it to a blog or Facebook for free, and within minutes of the thought crossing their mind. With a little more craft they can even create an ebook.

The barrier to becoming a writer with an audience is virtually non-existent.

So let’s say you would like to be a psychologist so that you can either tell people what to do with their lives or listen to them sort it out themselves. It used to be that to get a Ph.D. in a clinical psychology program, there were not many training programs, and they generally accepted between 4 and 8 students each year. Since that time, new programs have developed, new degrees have developed – one a Psy.D, and these programs can take hundreds of students. In addition, a whole new field of Coaching has popped up, allowing a person to a take on-line or face to face certification training to become a life-coach.

 Just like writing and other careers, the barrier to becoming a person that people to pay to talk to about their life is virtually non-existent. In fact, like my personal hero who calls himself a poet because he is writing poetry, the main barrier to bringing your genius to the surface, can be the fear you have of moving forward in realizing and carrying out your own sweet spot.

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About the Author

Dr. Lara Honos-Webb

Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and author of multiple books.

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