Courage for career women blog

with Vanessa May

Supercharge your gifts

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Discovering core truths, aliveness and authenticity really matters to me. I believe we humans have a short earth walk and sometimes our conditioning has us hold back expressing our gifts.  Bronnie Ware in her book, The Regrets of The Dying identified the number one regret amongst her palliative care patients was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

I think it’s natural to strive, to become, to want to achieve and succeed.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But sometimes that journey of becoming turns into a hustle and has us lose sight of our authenticity and aliveness in the process.  We become a diminished version of who we and wonder why we feel off.

I have a gift of having a wildcard energy. I sense when something’s off.  It comes up as a feeling and it happens so fast it can be overwhelming.  The best way to describe it is internal sensation, a stirring, a quickening and feeling of white heat.

In those moments I have an urge to speak. But my conditioning taught me that it wasn’t always the right thing to speak out.  I should remember my place and if I had nothing nice to say I should keep quiet. I absorbed these external voices and they became internal rules. So, when I felt the urge to speak up at work and speak a truth that others weren’t seeing, I faced a dilemma. The urge would rise up, I’d take a breath and then suppress it.  This led me to either walk away from conversations feeling frustrated or when I did speak up I’d spend ages afterwards beating myself up, wondering if I was a mean person or if my ego was running the show.

I am someone who learns through doing.  Having had years of this debilitating pattern, I’ve come to understand that my energy is a gift and needed in service of shaking things up.  I’ve found new ways to stand behind myself internally with strength, confidence and self-worth.

I remind myself it’s ok to throw firecrackers into the space, they’re needed.  And when I hear that familiar voice that whispers, “what if you upset them or you’re wrong?” I ask myself “Vanessa, who is saying that you can’t speak up?” And I remind myself that it’s ok, and I can.

If you sense that you’re holding back your gifts, try this …

  1. Discern within yourself who’s voice is speaking inside you. Maybe it’s a teacher, a parent or someone else from your younger years.
  2. Bring more love to the equation. Notice if you’re making yourself wrong and stop. Don’t give in to your doubt.  We all have doubt.
  3. Trust your instinct. Feel what’s rising within you and make a commitment to express that and stand behind yourself.
  4. And remember, no one has the gifts that you do in the way that you do. Be you.