What Can I Possibly Offer This World?

Posted: September 29, 2011 at 7:02 am

Morning, friends!! It seems like the mornings just come earlier and earlier this week. That will happen when not getting as much sleep thanks to night time potty training. Oy! Plus, I keep feeling like it’s a day ahead. At least tomorrow is actually Friday.

About to head off to the gym now for some more treadmill fun. I plan on doing my recent treadmill interval workout again this morning since I had such a good time with it last week. It felt kind of weird printing off a workout from my own site this morning, but at least I can remember what to do in my sleepy fog.

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Which reminds me – the “Print This” feature didn’t show up originally on last night’s two strength training workouts. If you were interested in those workouts and want an easy print option, I fixed it for ya! Smile

How Do We Recognize Our Gifts And Talents In Life?

For the longest time, I would hear others talk about their passions or seem so naturally fulfilled by something they loved. It seemed like certain parts of their lives just flowed. They could somehow tune in so perfectly to their skills and really make a difference.

I felt like I stumbled through life, going through the motions, with nothing that I could call my own. Nothing that truly lit me on fire. Then came motherhood. And then came sharing my story.Then came the a-ha moment that I needed my decisions and actions to mesh with who I am at the core.

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How do we even know what our gifts are? Our discussion in our adult study group this past Sunday focused on identifying two things:

Step One: What Comes Naturally To You?

  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What do you spend your time thinking about that makes you happy?
  • What can you do with ease while others seem to sometimes struggle?

Pay attention to those because they almost definitely add to your life, but also to others’ lives as well. Especially when you consider…

Step Two: What Do Others Compliment You On Often?

Really think about the compliments you receive most. They are people recognizing your natural talents! Strong organization? A good listener? Motivational? A creative mind?

The message we watched on this topic made a point that took my breath away:

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Talk about a wake up call with that part of the discussion! I know I do that.

We don’t have to use our gifts as our careers. We don’t have to use our gifts every single day. But we should be in tune with them and leveraging every possible opportunity to use them. It will add to our lives.

I’m still learning myself, but I know paying attention to what ignites me and what I do well really helped me find me more and more. And I couldn’t be happier for where it has led me.

  • What do you think are some of your gifts?
  • Have you ever thought about dismissing compliments in that way?

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44 Comments to “What Can I Possibly Offer This World?”
  1. I love this post. We did “The Purpose Driven Life” in our church for a sermon series and for a bible study small group. I think it’s so important to really hone in on what you are good at as a person and let those gifts shine! I think one of my gifts is helping people – whether it be teaching at school or writing on my blog – it brings me great joy!

    Does eating peanut butter count as a life gift? No? Darn.

    • Claire says:

      I love the purpose driven life books!! And peanut butter consumption ABSOLUTELY counts as a life gift!

      Tina- You did an awesome job on this post. I feel like motherhood is my “goal” and “gift” to offer and cannot wait to experience this part of my life!

      Other than motherhood, my creativity is where I excel. Creative writing, and using creative methods for helping others! :-)

  2. Jess says:

    This post made me think (as usual), Tina. For me, I KNOW what ignites me, what fires me up, what I LOVE but the question I struggle with? How do I use what I’m passionate about and make a living that’ll pay the bills too? It’s something I’m struggling to get to the bottom of right now, and seeing you chasing what you love and achieving it is SUCH motivation for me. And an inspiration. Truly.

    • Tina says:

      In our talks on Sunday we talked a lot about the same things. And the message touched on it not havign to be our careers completely but using certain aspects of our gifts that can still shine through in some way…then having hobbies and other parts of our lives that use our gifts to their full potential as well.

      Definitely don’t settle for unhappiness though!

  3. Great post! I actually have not thought what my gifts would be, this post definetly got me thinking :)

  4. Great post :) I have problems praising myself and giving myself a compliment but I am really working on that! But the one gift I know I have is that I have an in dieing need to want to help people in anyway that I can which is the main reason I am a social worker.
    I have an unrelated question how do you add the print it button? I want to add it to my blog.if you have a minute could you email me [email protected], don’t worry about it if u don’t have time.

    • Tina says:

      It’s a plugin for WordPress. It’s called “Print This”. The plugin adds a button so you just highlight the area you want print options for, click the button, and bam! :)

  5. This is a really great post Tina! And something that I always need to hear. I don’t really know what my gifts are and what comes naturally to me. I really need to start reflecting on myself more…I feel like I should know these things. Also, I totally dismiss compliments too! I really like that quote. Would you care if I “pinned” it on pinterest?? :)

    • Tina says:

      Go for it! Even though I’m not on pinterest yet (i know I will get sucked in…like everything else LOL), but I would love for you to share it.

  6. it’s sad, but when I read the question, I could not think of one thing I am good at. I thought of baking-but any monkey can read a recipe right?? I think when recognizing my gifts, I shoot to comparing myself to others, making me feel as though I don’t have any special talents. However, I am going to go with it and say I am really good at baking! Now, excuse me while I go whip up some cookies… Grest post! :)

    • Tina says:

      This was discussed in our message too – you CAN’T compare yourself. At the end of your life, you only will reflect on your own life. You will only have to give an account of how YOU lived. Not someone else. We are all different too…so focus on you. I know it’s easier said than done though!

      • I do the same thing! Whenever I think of something that I am good at, I immediately think of 10 people who are better at it than I am. I am going to write the questions down and then try to give them some more in depth when I’m not at work. Oops–not that I’m reading blogs at work or anything… :D

    • Kamila says:

      I just thought it was so funny, how I always tend to use that same expression “Even a chimpanzee could do ….” whenever other people, or even I dare to suggest that I have a talent or achieved an accomplishment that in any way remarkable!! I’m slowly starting to accept that perhaps my perception of myself until now was inaccurate, and maybe you should too!

  7. Love love love this! I think teaching is one of my gifts. Even though I’m
    not a ‘teacher’, I’m able to mentor girls through my job as we walk through life together. It’s beautiful!

  8. I love this. We had a discussion like this in one of my college courses. (The benefit of attending a faith-based college was we could connect it back to our faith, too!) It really changed the way I accept compliments. While I always said, “Thank you,” because brushing compliments aside is a pet peeve of mine, I didn’t really think about them afterward. It’s amazing the kind of things that can become clear when you listen to what people say about you and to you.

    This was a good reminder on a gray Thursday morning. And also? I need to find an adult study group like yours. Every time you post about it, I find myself wishing I had something like that. I have a difficult time finding other Catholic young adults who want to be involved. Perhaps it’s time to do a little “church shopping.” :)

  9. Oh I love this one. I feel so lost in finding my one true path. While I like my job ok, I don’t love it. Don’t love going to work. Sometimes even dread and it has nothing to do with my boss or coworkers or the company. It has everything to do with me not following my passions.

  10. YES! I love this. It’s something I have been working on for the last year or two. Most people don’t just compliment you for the sake of being nice so it’s important to take what people say to heart. :)

  11. Kelly says:

    I am the WORST at accepting compliments…they make me uncomfortable. Keith always tells me that when I deny his compliments are dismiss them it actually hurts his feelings. He says he cares enough about me to share sweet things with me and when I blow them off it is like I am dissmissing him. I never thought of it that way and am working on it.

  12. I’m so glad I read this post this morning! I work in a mostly male company. I often get compliments about my baking and how I am good with kids. I often dismiss the comments as being stereotypical. But I need to really embrace them because these are things I enjoy and am good at!

  13. Rebecca says:

    I had a whole paragraph typed and then it disappeared. Dumb computer. What it boiled down to was words. I love words. And also languages and helping with the screen at church. I’m relatively certain that writing and words just come naturally to me. Writing words, reading words, discovering the origins of words and finding new words… I love words.

    I’ve heard/read that not not accepting compliments is essentially insulting God, because He created us… That was kind of a reality check, because I hate getting compliments. I never know what to say back (my grandpa once told me that a simple “thank you” will do) and I’m never sure they’re true. It’s weird.

  14. Tina says:

    I don’t have one thing that comes to mind that I think I do well. I feel really bad saying that outloud but it’s the truth. I do tend to brush of compliments often. It always feels hard for me to believe that someone really thinks something good about me. I sound so depressing right now lol. I just have some soul searching to do.

  15. Great post Tina!

    I think I am good at talking to people, building quick relationships, being motivational/inspirational… and clearly, modesty is a strength. :)

  16. Shrinking mommy of 2 says:

    I love the treadmill work out…yet I couldn’t do as fast as you. Will you show us more interval treadmill workouts?! I get bored and need to have a variety.

  17. Awesome!! One of my gifts is my kindness.

  18. Khushboo says:

    LOVE this post! I have such a hard time accepting compliments, even if I know there is some truth to them! I was actually going to put up a post soon about women & accepting compliments! Will be sure to let you know when I do. Thanks for this perspective!

  19. This is a toughie to think about. I grew up being told that it wasn’t okay to talk about yourself or be too prideful, so to this day I’ve had a hard time accepting compliments and not feeling embarrased rather than proud of myself.

    I know that I love well. I always make my friends and family feel special and loved and that brings me great satisfaction. I guess I’m also pretty persistent when I get an idea in my head. Like working full time while completing my undgrad and graduate degrees, career progress, seeking out true love, buying a house on my own, etc.

    Thank you for this post! :)

  20. I’m so glad you’re covering this topic! Society teaches us that living modestly is what we should strive for in our daily interactions with others. While this is certainly important, humbleness frequently leads to a dismissal of compliments about our strengths. I spent four years of college, and then two years afterwards, searching for an identity because I wasn’t honing in on what I do well: nurturing others. I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at a local soup kitchen, talking to those I was serving about nutrition, and donating baked goods to local charities. Never once did I think I could turn my passions into a career, even though friends and family were constantly acknowledging my dedication to this cause. Had I listened, and been more in touch with that ignites a “fire” in me, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to get where I am now. But I’m grateful for the journey because I did a lot of growing along the way. :-)

    • Tina says:

      I’m with you – a lot of growing happened while I wasn’t paying attention to things God gifted me with…but wow. When you actually open yourself to them – it’s amazing, huh? :)

  21. I’m in training this week and I’ve really wanted to take a back seat and coast, but my natural leader tendencies and ‘get ‘er done’ attitude makes me always step up.

    I can take compliments about my intellect but dismiss those about my looks…weird.

  22. This post has given me a lot of food for thought. I always get complimented on being organised and being able to write in a way that everyone understands, which are both things I love to do. I tend to downplay my abilities more than I should, though. I listened to a sermon on my iPod earlier this week that said that downplaying your abilities is not what God wants us to do – he wants us to be able to say “Thank you!” and use our gifts!

  23. Tina says:

    Tina ~ Oh how my heart needed this post! I feel like I’ve spent so much time over the past few years wondering what my strengths were, and why I was unhappy. It’s definitely a process :) I love how you lay out the steps for us… and what resonated with me most was when you said “We don’t have to use our gifts as our careers …But we should be in tune with them and leveraging every possible opportunity to use them.” <– This was pivotal for me to hear :) Thanks for posting this today <3

  24. Marni G says:

    Great post Tina. I think so many women do just brush aside compliments when we should just say “thank you.” There is nothing wrong with being good or excelling at something. God has give us talents and abilities that we should be proud of and use for His glory.

  25. This is a lovely post, Tina! It is so important to reflect on what our own strengths are and point out to others their own special strengths and gifts, too. That way, we can all maximize our contributions and live with purpose :)

  26. I’ve never thought about viewing compliments in that way. It definitely got me thinking about what I hear from others…I think that, sadly, a lot of people forget they have true talents that they could enjoy passionately, and using our talents is a really important aspect of sharing what God has given to each of us.

  27. Brittany says:

    I am SO happy I read this post. I have been having trouble trying to find my “niche” in college. I never really knew what I wanted to major in or what career path I have wanted to take. I have ALWAYS loved health and fitness. I also have always loved helping people. I want to make a difference in peoples lives and be an inspiration but I still never really felt like I knew what I wanted to do. I STILL don’t but writing my blog has helped me discover a little more about myself. This was a great read and just what I needed :)

  28. jobo says:

    Wow, love this, Tina. FIrst, I ALWAYS dismiss compliments and then get angry at myself because I should embrace them instead of feeling embarrassed! It almost makes me look snotty, I think, NOT to accept them when I actually feel the opposite, completely touched. As for gifts? That is a tough one…right now, I think my gift is being able to share my story getting past divorce and coming out happier and stronger on the other side. I think that is so important for others going through it too.

  29. I dismiss compliments all the time. I feel like I’m deceiving the world about everything and that only I know better, the real truth. But at some point late last year I did notice something that people think I’m good at, that also makes me excited. So I’m making changes on my site (blog now) to incorporate more of that. Using our gifts is a win-win for all :)

  30. [...] and grow healthy food to feed those less fortunate. Healthy and helping?! Talk about a girl who knows her gifts! If interested, Everyday Health TV will be airing her story tomorrow on ABC. Check the link for [...]

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