By Lesley Ingves
“Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
~ Henry Van Dyke
I speak a lot about using your gifts. The other day a client told me they have no gifts. This kind of shocked me. I guess that because I’ve spend so many years and time and energy leaning about my personal gifts and determining how I can use them, I lost the view that not everyone is in the same boat with me.
Without discovering what your gifts are, it is not possible to experience life to its fullest, highest level. Time is ticking. We all know how quickly the days fly by, but are they giving you any special memories and feelings of satisfaction? If you just made it through the day, then the past few days, weeks and months are probably just a blur.
Discovering and making use of your gifts doesn’t mean making a radical change. You don’t have to quit your job, sell all your belongings and move into a lean-to in the woods. I’m suggesting you take a time, and I mean specific, scheduled time, to look inward and listen to your inner voice, reminisce about the pleasures you’ve enjoyed during your life and create the space for minor changes in your present life course moving forward.
The following steps are a sample of how I work with clients and workshop attendees to create their life by design and start living with more purpose and joy.
Discovering Your Gifts:
1. Wake up and open your eyes! I’m serious about this. Any time I hear someone say that they don’t have any talents, I want to slap them. Once and for all: you DO have lots of gifts and talents, so stop ignoring them! Open your mind and your heart to all you love and do. Look in the mirror of your life and acknowledge the things that come easily to you and when you flow. Talents and gifts are not always some huge prodigy type of exceptional thing. They are phenomenally diverse things that everyone is awarded at birth. Your gifts may be a quiet talent for noticing when someone is sad and you take action to cheer them up. You may be the person who stays calm when things are chaotic and although you are not the best at solving problems, you are the anchor that allows others to come up with solutions.
Open your eyes to where you flow in life and feel peaceful in doing it. Look to all the clues that surround you and speak to you. When you converse with others, what experiences that they share interest you the most? By this I mean, as they are sharing with you, how many times do you think something like: “That sounds so great! I wish I could do something like that!”
Your inner voice, or soul, is always sending you information. This is good intelligence, for it comes from the deepest part of you, and you should listen to and trust it. Some call it a “gut feeling,” some say that “something just said to me….”
Countless times, I’ve heard someone say that if they had only listened to this intuition, they would have had a better outcome to some decision or situation. Let this be your guide too in the discovery of your gifts.
2. Add to this your driving factor – your reason WHY. Answer the questions: What is going on inside of you right now? Are you feeling a sense of longing for something else, something more? Are you fed up with things as they are and feel a need to get away from it all?
Humans typically are motivated by working away from displeasure/pain – or – by workingtoward something that will give pleasure. Answering the above questions honestly will give you an idea of which motivation stance you are working from. When you answer the questions and your thoughts flow out quickly and easily, this is the sure sign of which side you are on.
Working from this place, build on your responses. For example, if you easily answered that you are often having thoughts of wanting something better, wishing you had more life, more vigor, more enthusiasm in your life, then you are working towards attainment of those feelings. Now add ideas about what it would feel like to be at a place in life where you felt excited and energetic. What would change? What would your life look like? Allow yourself to visualize this ideal and set it firmly in your mind.
Now, it’s time to make your why something you keep in your awareness at all times. I’ve learned that “Pinterest” is a wonderful tool to create your vision board. How cool is that?! You can write a few lines on an index card and look at it during the day, or I’ve created a recurring appointment in my calendar which pops a reminder to me on my phone and keeps reminding me of my motivating whys.
Now that you have become aware that you have gifts and are on your way to discovery, you subconscious mind will provide more evidence to you. Keep searching, your answers will come.
Remember that this is only part of your journey. There is no final destination, it’s all a journey. Enjoy and learn along the way, but be sure to stick with it, the rewards are great.
Source: Clear Pathway
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