Our gifts are unique to us. We each have them.
Some are clear on their gifts.
Some know them but struggle to speak them.
Some are not clear… yet.
Our gifts are what we become known for. We excel here. Most often, it’s the activities and resulting changes that we can’t not do or create, even if we tried.
When we are operating from our gifts, we have access to an endless source of energy and creativity. It flows like a river.
The struggle is when we spend most of our time doing what doesn’t allow the use of our gifts. Many of us have experienced that watered down feeling of ourselves. We have felt it in jobs and relationships that suppress our essence.
In those dynamics we sense that we are hiding, and only stepping into a fraction of all that we are. It’s those environments and moments where we can feel disconnected from ourselves.
Often, we know it is happening, and are unclear what to do about it.
When we spend most of our time doing the tasks, responsibilities and jobs that don’t align with our gifts, we feel it. One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and those around us, is to discover our own. Then create an environment where we can thrive from them.
When I was building out a national sales and support team, we had a long scrappy startup period. Dashboards to calculate and visualize our performance was not in the cards for us in those days. Yet, we knew their importance.
It did not take long for me to discover that creating one in Google Sheets was not one of my gifts. The great news, I had hired a manager who had many opposing gifts to me. When I look back on this growth period, he was one of the best hiring decisions I made.
Not only did he have a gift for figuring out spreadsheet formulas. He excelled at creating a visual compass for us. And, he loved doing it.
He would spend hours perfecting measurement tools for our rapidly growing team. Our team thrived because I saw this man’s gifts early on, empowered him to do what he did best, and got out of his way. My main role became asking him what he needed to get roadblocks out of his way.
It was his gifts, that opposed my own, that were instrumental in the rapid growth of our team, market share, and revenue. Without him, there would have been an imbalance in collective strengths. We would not have excelled the way we did without him.
I have three gifts. I can’t not do them.
1) I create spaces for growth and acceleration
2) I activate the potential within those spaces
3) I get to the heart of anything in the way of #1 and #2
I’m an anchor for change in the spaces I create.
This is who I am.
And I’ve been honing these gifts for two decades.
I can look back to early jobs in fast food where I was the linchpin employee.
I worked full time at a drive in when I was 15, while going to high school part time.
I always seemed to know what we needed to do next to support the operation.
I saw the opportunities without much effort. I got to the heart of what was in our way of meeting our goals.
Once the problems surfaced, developing solutions became a team effort.
Fast forward to 2020, when I built a group coaching program in response to the Pandemic. I ran a six month group where I worked with powerful women that ran their own businesses.
One woman had been coaching lawyers for years
One ran multiple international brands and now works with women CEOs
One worked in a corporation. Ran a yoga studio. And now brings training on consciousness to groups
There were three more powerful women on this journey. Each of them with years of experience that converged and diverged at multiple points.
Each of them showed up ready to work. Ready to support one another. Ready to grow. It was time for a change. This lent well to the creation of an environment where transformation was inevitable.
The purpose of our work was building a business from a service first mentality. The way we got there was through connecting them to their voice, gifts, and wisdom.
Each of them have navigated the world leaving a trail of success and impact behind them. The challenge was, they often forgot how they got there. This was the key.
Along the trail they left behind there were clues as to what helped them thrive to this point. It became my role to cultivate an environment where…
Safety was felt,
Bravery was the norm,
And mistakes did not exist.
From here, I slowed time down to get to the heart of challenges presented. Whether it was presenting for the group, or a specific individual on the hot seat. In an environment like this, people thrive.
They connect to the power that always exists inside of them. That power being their gifts and the strength that exists behind the chatter of the mind.
We’ve all felt it in ourselves. When we are quiet, and tuned in, we feel it.
I’ll never forget the feedback I received at the end of our final day. One woman spoke up and said:
“Matt, you held a space for six powerful women. You allowed us to see ourselves, so we can speak and live it”.
I had tears in my eyes as I felt her feedback hit my heart, because this is my work in the world. It’s using my gifts as an anchor, to help others find, live, and thrive through theirs.
It’s women and men alike that are out navigating main-street to inspire and shape a better world, that I work with.
When I spend time with people, change occurs.
For those that hire me, I become whoever I need to be in the moment to support their advancement.
The core, though, is always bringing them back to who they really are, by unlearning who they are not. It starts by connecting with their gifts.
Everyone I work with feels that deeper part of themselves that wants to be acknowledged, felt, and expressed. I help them do that. Then, I help them translate that into their businesses and lives.
Our gifts are a part of who we are. Everyone has them.
And it’s in living from them that we set ourselves free. And as we free ourselves, it’s an invitation for others around us to do the same.
These are my gifts. And leaning further into them has brought personal satisfaction into each area of my life. I’ve seen this happen repeatedly with my clients, too. When we are living from that deeper part of ourselves, life feels balanced and full of possibility.
It’s as if I no longer recognize the man I was, or the life I used to live. I’ve unlearned much of what does not serve me, and leaned way into the nudges of ‘this is next.’
I continue this process today. I will continue until my final breath.
It’s my aspiration that more people live from their gifts each day. The energy and impact that would open up from this, would shape the world quite differently.
As we wrap up today, reflect on this for yourself.
1) What are your gifts?
2) How are you currently bringing them into the world?
3) What stands in your way of doing so in a more meaningful way?
Find your gifts and lean way into them. You won’t regret it.