“So, what is your special gift?” I asked my client, trying to get herself out of her negative “funk”.
Her reply was typical of the many people going through a tough time – “I haven’t got any. There is nothing special about me – I am just a normal person!”
Stop right there. There is no such thing as normal and each person is special and unique in a wonderful way – we need to believe that.
One way of understanding our uniqueness is identifying our special gifts.
Ever notice that when we get in a negative space, everything is negative, and we can’t see our way out? We almost need a circuit breaker. The more I think about this “breaker” it all comes down to your gifts.
What is a gift? The way I describe it is a natural given talent that resides deep inside of us – so deep that we don’t even know it’s there. It is this nagging itch that every now and then starts to emerge but because we don’t understand or value it, we push it back down and ignore or underplay it.
Your gift is more than a personal strength or talent – it is a quality that makes you uniquely you.
I am increasingly convinced that the path of joy and wellbeing is identifying, unlocking and applying your gifts in that order.
The first step in identifying your inner gifts is to believe that you have them. Some people have a mindset that things like gifts are for other people – that they are not worthy of such things. We need to open up – for self-reflection and to accept feedback from others. We need to believe we ALL have gifts and perhaps sometimes it takes a while for it to be developed. It’s also important to understand that gifts aren’t always something tangible such as being exceptional with a specific sport or instrument – gifts can be something much more inherent. I greatly admire people in my world who have the gift of wisdom. After talking to my mentors (both young and old), I often find myself thinking, “how did they know that?” Simple. It’s a gift.
In others, I see the gift of generosity, or the gift of happiness. It’s something intuitive that they may not even realise they are doing it because it is so much a part of them – and that’s why it needs to be discovered through examination and discussion.
Consistently having compassion, empathy or listening is something you do that everyone can benefit from – it is a gift.
A great way to identify your gifts is to “get outside yourself” and ask others what they notice about you and value as a person?
You will find that these gifts will emerge in a moment of adversity or hardship – when we are under pressure is when learn most about ourselves.
An understanding of our own gifts completes us and shapes our individuality. It also helps us understand our own world and enhances our sense of self-worth.
Once you’ve identified your special talents, it’s time to put them to work by exploring ways of building your life around them. You can do this by discovering what it is you’re good at and getting creative with how you can use those talents to serve yourself and others. Unlock your talents and start applying them in your world – for your own benefit and that of others. Apply them into your work, in your relationships or use it to make a positive impact for others through volunteering or community roles. A great way to build wellbeing in yourself is to talk about your gifts as well as the gifts in others.
So again, what is your special gift?