How To Identify Your Unique Gifts And Use Them In A Monumental Way
What would it be like to live in a world where everyone used the unique gifts and talents they have inside them? A world where people thrived and loved their lives?
Pretty wonderful, if you ask me.
But many of us find it hard to recognize our gifts and we can even struggle to see our unique gifts as anything special.
I'm even going to go out on a limb and say that most of us see our gifts as unoriginal. We think that everyone is gifted at the things we are talented at. We don't see ourselves as anything special, let alone unique.
This is simply not true.
I believe that the creator of the universe, the one who made the stars and the sky, the fish in the sea and each and every one of us, made you unique and special. He gave you gifts and talents that leave your fingerprint on the world.
That is why I want to teach you how to specifically pinpoint and recognize your unique gifts. I also want to help you identify ways to use your gifts in your life so you can serve and bless others.
First, let's talk about the difference between your gifts or talents and your strengths.
Your gifts - a gift is a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior. Your gifts are things that you do naturally and are a part of your everyday life, sometimes going unnoticed by you because they are so much a part of who you are. Your unique gifts will show up as a thread in many areas of your life, especially if you are aware of them and seek out ways to use them.
Your strengths - the things you are strongest in through practicing and learning over time. Your strengths can also be your gifts but not always. Throughout your life you have practiced and mastered many things. These are your strengths.
I recently asked my followers on Facebook to answer a quick survey. I asked them to choose between one of the following:
A) I have no idea what my gifts are. I'm just trying to survive the day to day.
B) I have an idea of what my gifts are but need more clarity on how to use them in my life.
C) I am confident in my gifts and I use them daily. They are a part of my work, family and other relationships. I am most happy when I am using my gifts. I am truly living my life on purpose.
This quick survey revealed that most people either don't know what their gifts are or know what they are but struggle to use their gifts in a way in their lives that bring them joy. I could almost feel the despair that some of these women were feeling through the computer screen as I read their responses.
A life lived without using your gifts can many times feel like a life without purpose. We are made with a purpose in mind. The purpose comes through in our natural gifts and talents. Not using them and simply "trying to survive" in this life leaves women feeling empty. And emotionally drained.
I want to do what I can to help you identify your gifts and help you discover ways to use them in your life.
Your gifts and talents can show up in many areas of your life and have different expressions. The key is to find out what you are best at and then let it show up in a lot of different places in your life.
First, you must identify your unique gift. Let's explore four different ways you can start to pinpoint your gifts and talents.
#1 LOOK INTO YOUR CHILDHOOD
Looking back into your childhood is a great first step in identifying your gifts. What did you do? How did you fill your days? What activities or experiences created the best memories? What was the most fun? The common thread that pops out to you will start to direct you towards your gifts.
#2 LOST IN THE PRESENT
When is the last time you lost track of time? What activities do you get so engrossed in that you even forget to eat? Do you have these experiences in your work? Take note of those.
Do you find yourself losing track of time when you are doing something during your leisure time? Do you find time going by quickly when you are helping someone with something that you both love to do? Is there something that you currently do in your life that fills you with so much joy you almost feel like you could explode?
Ahhh...we are getting somewhere.
#3 ASK OTHER PEOPLE
Family, friends and coworkers observe you in ways you cannot observe yourself. Their insights can be quite revealing. Ask some of these people what they observe you doing well, your strengths and when you seem the most happy and alive. Ask them what they think makes you unique. Go on. Be brave and ask. You will be surprised how much others believe in your gifts and want nothing more than to see you thrive.
#4 CREATE SPACE
Life is busy. Life is hectic. Days can slip by without notice if we aren't careful. On the search for your gifts you must create time in your schedule to reflect and think this through.
Spend time in a quiet place journaling and reflecting on what makes you the most happy in your work, family life, and personal time.
Your unique gift is the thing that shows up as a thread throughout all areas of your life. Let me give you an example from my own life to help you better understand what I mean.
Teaching is one of my gifts.
As a young child I was always playing "school" with my dolls. I loved pretending that I was their teacher. My favorite toy was an old school house desk that my grandmother gave me. I loved new crayons, markers, books and any other school supplies I could get my hands on. To this day, one of my favorite places to shop is the office supply store.
When I was in high school, I volunteered to work in the elementary school library. Reading to the students that came into the library lit me on fire. I loved it! That is when I decided to go to college to become a teacher.
My favorite part about being a classroom teacher was watching the light bulb go off inside a student who was struggling and had gained an understanding of a concept or skill. But even more than that, I loved watching their confidence grow.
After teaching for 12 years, I decided to start my first business. I had a craving to become an entrepreneur, create my own schedule, and be available to my two sons more. I also loved the idea of learning something new.
Over the last six years, I have not only grown my own business but have coached other women entrepreneurs in their businesses. Whether it is one-on-one, writing a blog post, recording a teaching video, or speaking to a group of 300 women, I love teaching other women how to be successful in their businesses.
I just recently started volunteering at a local non profit called Christian Women's Job Corp. I am teaching the class called Jobs For Life. Having the opportunity to encourage and teach these women how to not only find a job suited for their gifts and talents but helping them learn how to hold that job and thrive for as long as they want, energizes me each week.
As you can see from my story, my gift of teaching has changed and evolved into many areas of my life.
HOW TO USE YOUR GIFTS AND TALENTS IN A MONUMENTAL WAY
As I mentioned earlier, after asking my Facebook community those three questions about their gifts, I was a little saddened by the amount of women that struggle to use their gifts in their lives. They are left feeling out of balance and even a little unsure of their purpose.
Once you have identified your unique gifts and talents, it is important to use them. I believe that our creator is expecting us to use our gifts. He gave them to us with a specific purpose in mind.
Think about it this way, have you ever anticipated giving a gift to someone and was expecting them to be more excited about it then they were once you gave it to them? Did they seem to miss the point? Did you feel disappointed?
I think that God feels just as disappointed when we don't value the gifts He gave us. He wants us to use our gifts and to not take them for granted or undervalue them.
Ask yourself these important questions:
- Am I making using my gifts a priority?
- Am I not using my gifts because I am afraid of what others will think? Do I care more about what other people think than what God thinks?
- What parts of my life can I alter so that I am using my gifts more and making less excuses?
- What "white space" can I open up in my calendar so I am available for when situations open up that call for my specific gifts and talents?
Related: Here on this short Facebook Live video I teach you how to leave "white space" in your calendar so you can make the time for the things you are supposed to be doing and how to let go of the things you aren't supposed to be doing.
Be willing to open up space in your life to use your gifts. Care more about what God thinks than what other people think. And take risks. Learn and grow.
Whether you are on the search for your gifts and talents or have them identified but are searching for ways to use them in your life, remember that you were created with a specific set of gifts and talents.
They are inside you now just waiting for you to use them and bless others in the process!