Ignore the lines
“Operating in your skill-zone” is modern slang for “stay inside the box.” It’s another way of saying, “Be scared of new, of danger, of failure.”
That’s the last thing you want.
The excuse to only work in areas of competence comes from the lean productivity obsession we have developed. The more we can do and the faster we can do it, the better off we seem. Conference speakers will tell you to do more of what you are good at and worry less about your shortcomings. At the same time, they probably use to suck at speaking, and if they had given up, they’d not be there to tell you their stories.
Had Alton Brown not forced himself through science and math, he would just be another chef hoping for a successful cooking show. He fought the Resistance and found phenomenal success — revolutionizing the way many people prep and cook meals.
Coloring inside the lines makes for a great piece of refrigerator art. Lots of “ooo”s and “aaah”s will come your way for playing it safe and being moderately successful. Or you could throw out the coloring book and make your own art.
Your weaknesses make you who you are just as much as your skills. Embrace them both boldly.