Turning Your Gifts into Your Purpose
As I step into adulthood and tenuously attempt to find my footing on the tightrope called life, it is almost impossible not to lose my focus and plummet into thoughts of inadequacy. Although this may be particularly pertinent for people in my age bracket, I know many people off all ages who are held back by self-doubt. One of the most common things I come across in my clients is a weak sense of self and subsequent lack of self-love, which is ultimately what inspired this #SelfCareSeptember challenge. My clients are intelligent, capable, talented, and motivated…AND seek my services because they seem to have lost sight of that somewhere along the line.
This makes for an interesting trajectory. Let’s look at this as a kind of equation.
Motivated and insightful individuals — a clear sense of self = people who continue to move forward in life…but further and further away from their purpose.
In almost all cases, I have noticed a trend: These people are all extremely talented, know and understand themselves to a degree, but can’t seem to synthesize their seemingly disparate skills and abilities into a “divine purpose”, “passion”, or “mission.”
It’s basically like their life depends upon their ability to put together a puzzle, to which they have all the pieces, but they don’t believe that they can do it.
I myself was once in that same position. About four years ago, shortly after I arrived in Thailand for my study abroad program, I rode with 12 others in the back of a red pick up truck that had been converted like many others into what is called a song-tao. As we sat in a human knot on the long and bumpy ride into town, I spoke to a new friend of mine, a sage young man named Abel Cano. He asked me about myself and my past. As we were both very ambitious, we swapped stories of our accomplishments, passions, and dreams. Later, I divulged to him that I secretly hoped to quit school when I returned to the states. I had no real direction. I understood that I was blessed with talents and ambitions, but I could not see what kind of future they could possibly lead to. I will never forget what he told me. He said “You may not see the connection, but the connection is there. All of those awards, accolades, and skills that you have developed *will* fall into place, and you will pave the way to change for others in a really significant way.”
That obviously touched my heart, and I knew in that moment that it forever changed me, but I don’t think that I internalized that logic until quite some time later.
What does this have to do with self care, you ask? Well, let me tell you!
What I did today
Sometimes, this just happens to us. Some days are more difficult than others, and we momentarily lose our way, doubt our direction, or consider abandoning our path. Like every other human being, I still have these days from time to time where something is simply, seemingly insurmountable. Today was one of those days for me. I was faced with a challenge I just did not believe that I could tackle, and it took me to kind of a dark and lonely place. Hence, this post isn’t appearing until almost midnight. So, I decided to partake in a feel-good exercise that I encourage many of my clients to do. It’s something I call a Greatness Grid. This is where I ask them to create a kind of web on a sheet of paper, where they first write down all of their skills, talents, interests, passions, accomplishments, and goals, leaving the center blank. This is not done in any sort of methodical way, but rather organically and metacognitively. Then, in no particular order, I ask them to begin to imagine the connections between them all one at a time, until they are all united. This finally leads to the center, where a space is waiting to be filled that will symbolizing their cohesive overall purpose or direction based on where they have been, where they stand, and where they hope to go. By this point, they are usually so enthralled and invigorated by the process, that determining the title for the center is not only easy, but exciting! It had been a long time since I had done of these for myself, so I decided to give it a go. Not only did I feel validation in my purpose, but I was comforted and encouraged by seeing all of my best qualities and accomplishments listed together. By dedicating my “me time” to truly celebrating myself and my journey, I renewed my outlook on my circumstances, my aptitude for maneuvering them, and felt better equipped to take on what laid before me.
“I am a gifted, competent, and capable human being. I have been blessed with many skills, abilities, and talents that are unique to me, because I have something important to share with this world.”
What about you? Maybe you love to take pictures, energy work, and animals. How can those things come together into a purposeful passion? Perhaps you are fond of film, motor sports, and are a talented writer. The connections may not be obvious…yet…but what is obvious, is that YOU are YOU for a reason and everything about you, is perfectly and divinely created to help you share your light with this world. Namaste. xo