“Work while you have light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.”
– Henri Frederick Amiel
We’ve all felt the itch. The itch to create something significant.
The itch to express what we really think and feel, the itch to make a serious impact and create positive change.
It’s that mixed feeling of invigorated and nervous you sense in your gut, urging you to do something audacious!
These are your gifts trying to emerge and be liberated.
Unfortunately, many of us will ignore this urge and won’t scratch the itch.
Why do we ignore the urge? Because we’re afraid to put ourselves out there. Being bold and going for it is followed by vulnerability and uncertainty.
It’s terrifying to be seen and possibly rejected, so we follow the path of least resistance and block these feelings through binge watching Netflix or any other mind-numbing course of action.
The real problems is, your calling will continue to vie for your attention, despite how proficient you get at distracting yourself.
If there’s a work of art in you, a vision that keeps reappearing or an unfinished project that just won’t stop calling to you, it’s time to take notice.
That’s the way it works. Your gifts are meant to be given and shared with the world.
So how do we get the courage to share our gifts?
Focus on excellence not perfection
Greatness doesn’t come from perfection. Neurosis and sitting still immobilized comes from perfection.
Perfection keeps us stuck because we aren’t willing to fail and therefore don’t try. We just beat ourselves us and shatter our own confidence.
Focus on excellence instead. Focus on cultivating your craft and growing your gifts.
You’ll have to be willing to get messy and it may be really uncomfortable at first, but overtime you’ll get better and better and be able to reach more people.
I’m not the best drummer. I’m not the best writer.
In fact, if I was really self-critical and compared myself to the countless people more talented than me, it would be easy to hide my head in the sand and leave all this “making a difference” stuff for someone better suited for the job.
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”
– Michael J. Fox
But that’s not how I look at it.
The way I look at it is that there’s something I can give back and offer, even if it’s in a small way, and that’s a gift.
There’s someone out there whom will benefit from my art, my ideas, and my experience. It’s worth being vulnerable to make this connection.
You don’t have to be the best to offer your unique expression to the world.
You don’t have to be perfect to make a serious impact.
You just have to be willing to give, and to work at becoming the best-version-of-yourself.
The best version of YOU is what matters!
There’s a leader within you ready to emerge. There is a mission for your life.
It takes courage to share your gifts. It’ll push you to your edge and challenge you.
Your gifts are meant to be given
You have talents, strengths, unique self-expression, and original ideas.
You also have dreams, passion, and ambitions for a reason.
Your unique blend of passion and talent is where you can make a difference in the world and ignite your purpose.
If you’re not giving your gifts, you’re keeping them from others.
Does it really make sense to keep your gifts to yourself?
Of course not!
So why are you holding back?
Are you worried about what others think?
Do you not believe you can?
If you had a loved one or close friend tell you, “I’ve always wanted to write a book but who would read it, what’s the point?“
Or your child says, “I want to play soccer, but I’m not as good as the other kids.”
What would you tell them?
If you cared about them, you would tell them to start writing, to cultivate their talents, to keep practicing.
In The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield shares about his inner-battle with being a writer. He illuminates that giving his gift wasn’t easy but was of crucial importance.
He writes, “Why am I doing this? Am I crazy? All my friends are making money and settling down and living normal lives. What the hell am I doing? Am I nuts…? The truth was, I was enjoying myself. Maybe nobody else liked the stuff I was doing, but I did. I was learning. I was getting better. The work became, in its own demented way, a practice. It sustained me, and it sustains me still.”
Your gifts are not an accident, they’re yours to cultivate and give back to others.
Meaning, significance, and success come from contribution and making an impact in the lives of others.
You are meant to give back through your gifts.
“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.”
– Mary Dunbar
Find Your Zone of Genius
We can consider your gifts to be what author Gay Hendrix calls your Zone of Genius.
This is where your passions and talents intersect.
When you live in your zone of genius you are more energized and fulfilled!
It’s a win/win! You will be happier and be helping others at the same time.
We all have a zone of genius. Start listening and paying attention to this aspects of your DNA!
To start with, answer these questions.
- What is most important to you?
- What are you most passionate about?
- What are you drawn to naturally?
- What are you best at?
- What problems can you solve in the world?
Answering these questions will help you get closer to your purpose and calling.
You have a story to share.
You can inspire others.
There is value that only you can offer.
No more comparing yourself to others. Take some time and reflect on who you are, what you’ve been through, and how you want to make a difference.
Are you ready to start giving your gifts?
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
– Albert Einstein
Photo credit: Jamie Schaap