In order to truly live the lives we are meant to live, we must discover our gifts. We are put on this planet to embrace and share our gifts with the world – that is our purpose. The problem is, we are held back by four major limiting beliefs that sabotage our ability to discover our gifts and pursue our purpose.
All of these beliefs have one thing in common: they protect us from feeling shame. I’m going to break down why these beliefs are false and how you can turn these perceptions around to embody the life you are meant to live.
#1 We have to know what our gifts are before we pursue them.
The first assumption is that we need to know our gifts before we take the leap of faith and leave our work or change our path entirely. We get scared that if we’re not 100% sure what our gift is, then we risk embarrassing ourselves.
Here is a quote from David Whyte that I want you to think about.
“Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take.”
When you focus on the second or third step, you alienate yourself from your path. It keeps you exiled from a forward momentum into what you might discover when you take the first step.
#2 Gifts must be easy, lucrative, and praiseworthy.
Most of us feel that unless our gift appears to us naturally, earns us money or is admired by others, it is not a true gift. We hear stories of these breakthrough experiences of people finding and following their dream and all of a sudden their world is transformed.
They start businesses and begin to receive appreciation and recognition from others for sharing their gifts with the world. This gives us the false impression that unless we are 100% sure that the pursuit of something will lead to admiration, fame or monetary gain, we won’t take the plunge.
Here’s a quote from Ira Glass that speaks to this belief.
“It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
If our gifts were to pay us, give us recognition, or offer us money straight off the bat, then we’d be doing it for the wrong reasons. Our gifts do not always come naturally to us. They take hard earned craftsmanship to be of value to others.
It will take time to build on a gift that is worth something to someone else. You can also refer to this as developing a craft.
#3 My Gift has to change the world and make an impact
The third misconception is believing that our gifts have to change the world and make an impact otherwise it’s self indulgent and wrong. We feel that it has to lead to a solution of a problem, or an issue that is important to us. We believe that until we find the leverage point to make a change in the world, then a gift is not worth pursuing.
Here’s a quote from Howard Thurman that may help change your stance on this belief.
“Do not ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
You can’t change the world, but you can offer your gifts. You can tenaciously do what you love to do every day and in doing so naturally offer these gifts to the world. By doing this, we operate from a radical place of ownership and maturity.
#4 A gift cannot give me joy
The fourth belief is that we cannot feel immense self-indulgent joy from our gift, and that we are simply privileged and therefore it must be wrong. If we feel an autonomous sense of happiness then we feel we are taking advantage of some forms of oppression or systems of power. We might also feel that if we exceed expectations we will reinforce limitations from our family or community by choosing to pursue our gift.
Here is a quote by Mary Oliver for you to think about.
“You do not have to be good. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
It doesn’t matter what your excuses, your grief, or your shames are; you have the capacity to get through it and become an agent of healing of trauma. You can help others by simply becoming a transmission of what that permission feels like.
If tomorrow, I had to wake up to a world where either everyone contributed every minute of their life to addressing racial inequality and climate change, or where everyone simply grants themselves permission to experience what their true embodied joy would be, I would choose the latter. I don’t think that systems of control, oppression, and other issues of injustice would exist in a world where people give themselves to the soft animal of their bodies.
You have to discover your gifts. You have to embody your gifts. Start close in, take the first step. I’m here to support you. Reach out and book a connect call with me if you want to explore what that might look like.