How many times have you heard someone say “I don’t have any special gifts” or “Shucks, there’s nothing special about what I do” or “I’m not smart, pretty, kind, talented, fill-in-the-blank”? Maybe you’ve even said it about yourself.
Many of us have a strong tendency to downplay our gifts, yet our heart;'s desires are waiting for exactly those gifts to appear. Not seeing how smart, pretty, kind, talented, capable you are is creating a very real barrier to allowing them into your life. In fact, you and your desires could be standing face-to-face and not even recognize each other as long as you are wearing those blinders. Or you may recognize each other and unite only to struggle with creating genuine connection and intimacy. (Notice I'm talking about your desires as if they are relationships. That's a big clue for making them manifest in your life.)
If you are having trouble seeing your own gifts, don’t despair. You have lots of company.
Growing up in the south, it was considered bad manners to talk about ourselves or any of our accomplishments at the risk of being labeled a braggart. Little girls especially were warned about showing off or getting too big for our britches. My guess is the South didn’t have a monopoly on this at all. While learning not to brag is a good thing, this overemphasis on being a shrinking violet has a multitude of downsides.
Downplaying or refusing to accept our best qualities makes it impossible for us to nurture them in any meaningful way. Like plants that are never watered, they will wither and die. We have a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of the world to BE the unique person we were created to be, to birth those talents and share them. A favorite professor liked to say, “Gifts never shared are gifts stolen.” Strong words, but true.
The implications for your heart's desires are even stronger.
An easy example is looking for love. If you are seeking a soulmate relationship, or are in one and seeking to nurture or reignite it, consider this. Any way that you resist, ignore, refuse to see, put down, or otherwise negate your gifts puts up artificial barriers to having the soulmate relationship your heart desires. Your beloved is seeking those specific gifts. Your relationship needs those specific gifts in order to thrive. Would you withhold food from a starving child? I thought not.
The good news is this puts you firmly in the driver’s seat. No one can embrace your gifts for you. You can and must do this for yourself. Here’s a starting point:
Pick one quality or talent you have secretly believed is in you or have never shared with others. Find a private place, your bathroom perhaps, stand in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eyes and tell that quality or talent you love it. Don’t worry if it feels uncomfortable at first. Just keep doing it. Tell it how much you love it. Tell it how glad you are that it’s in you. Thank it for sticking with you even while you ignored or resisted it. Promise to start giving it some love in your life right now. Keep talking love until you begin to feel a spark of belief coming back at you. A spark is all you need to start a fire. If you need several sessions, that’s just fine. Just do it.
Still can’t see the gifts in you? Take a deep breath and ask one or two trusted friends what they see as your best qualities or talents. Decide beforehand to accept what they say as truth. Respond by saying, “Thank you for seeing that in me.” Then go to your mirror and use what they see as your starting point to speak love to your hidden talents and qualities.
Practice makes perfect and sooner or later you will begin to believe it for yourself. And I promise that will be transformational!
Anne Wade is Teacher, Writer, Mentor, and Coach for courageous women in midlife and beyond who want to disrupt their own status quo and design life on their own terms, even in turbulent times. She has developed the Becoming Found process of going within to find and address the inner barriers we have all inadvertently built up against love, happiness, health, wealth and any other desires of our hearts. Teaching women to unapologetically shine like a superstar and live their legacy is Anne’s mission.
You can follow her on her Facebook page “Anne Wade – Becoming found” or join her “Becoming Found” Facebook group.