Whether aware of it or not, we often equate being good at stuff with being good people. A person’s value or worth can be linked to what they do rather than who they are in their character. This can lead us down strange paths where we seek to get better at the wrong things.
The popular kids at school were often the ones who were good at stuff, especially things like sport. There was always a sense that if you wanted to matter as a person and have value in the eyes of others, then you need to prove yourself with your talents. So kids would throw themselves into this approval-seeking activity, improving their skills, and trying to be better than everyone else. Within this cultural landscape we were taught that if we want to be considered worthy then we needed to do impressive things.
But this doesn’t ring true to what we know deep down. And as we grow up we may grow out of this mindset. But culture doesn’t.