Have you ever wondered what your calling is? Have you ever invested time into discovering the unique wiring and gifts God gave you so you could positively impact the world? And, biggest question: have you ever forgotten what those traits are or not been at a place in your life where you were ready to hear about them? I’m guilty of all of the above…
Let me back up a bit.
A little after the one year mark of my husband, Andrew’s, passing, I went to see a man named Bill Hendricks who runs The Giftedness Center in Dallas, TX. I wanted to sit down with a career coach who could give me guidance on what career would be a good fit for my personality and gifts. Bill took me through a guided interview process that pinpointed the key elements of my inborn motivation by using my Motivated Abilities Pattern (MAP) and the System for Identifying Motivated Abilities (SIMA). I hoped his process would help equip me to select a career in which I would be successful and feel satisfied.
Up until the point I decided to see Bill, I’d only been speaking for six months, determined to share Andrew’s book, A Gray Faith, with as many people as possible. At the time, I did not believe I could make a long-term living as a speaker. I knew I needed to financially support my family, so I hoped Bill’s insight would also uncover a career that might be a good long-term fit for me. After finishing the entire process I felt inspired, motivated, and clear on my next steps.
Life happens, though, and just last week I found myself back in a place of feeling confused and uncertain about the gifts God created me to use. Like a lightbulb going off above my head, I remembered my Giftedness report and pulled it out to read in hopes of reconnecting to my essence. When I realized Bill audio-recorded our session, I spent the next three and a half hours listening to it. What I heard was even more profound than I remembered hearing the first time around, which makes sense considering I was still so fresh from our loss. The results reconnected me with how God uniquely wired and gifted me in order to share those gifts with others. It also reminded me we are all uniquely wired and gifted, so I want to share some of the insights I’ve had in the hopes it inspires you to seek out or remember your own special traits as well.
My report revealed three descriptors that, when combined, capture the essence of my core motivational drive. The first is the desire to give concrete expression to certain concepts, images, or roles. I want to live out my ideas and ideals and live up to a self-image or role I adopt or am cast in. Bill said I become whatever role is necessary or needed with the intent of the second descriptor, making an impact, connecting with the heart of others, and inspiring, while doing the third descriptor of meeting the challenge and surmounting my fears so as to prove to myself that I have what it takes. He shared when I fall short of the ideals I have for my life, it lends itself to depression, which I can attest has been a decade long struggle in my life. He revealed I can get my roles and identity confused. I lose myself when I’m not in a role. This rang true for me because after quitting gymnastics, then cheerleading in college, or during times I’ve struggled with my faith, I felt I’d completely lost my identity.
Bill told me I was wired for more intimate settings (speaking to smaller audiences) because of my desire to connect with others. He said I have an instinct toward depth and I bring hope to people. He shared for me, preforming isn’t about the show, but about the impact it will leave on others. He also said I tend to compare myself to a standard and measure myself by what others are doing to see how I stack up. Bill also shed some light on the times when I don’t feel I measure up. I tend to ask myself, “What do I have to offer?”
Have you ever felt this way? Bill had a great suggestion: instead of seeing someone as better than you, try to see it as God gave each of us a gift we love to bear, and gratefully, He gave someone else a different gift to bear. For me personally, Bill suggested I work in an environment in which I’m able to work with or through values that are consistent with my own. He concluded a writer, storyteller, coach, teacher, trainer, spokesperson, and/or performer/speaker are the best career fits for me.
I didn’t know this about Bill until I met him, but he also lost his wife to cancer, becoming a single father many years ago. He’s since remarried, and during my interview he kept stressing what a vulnerable place I was in as a young single mother and widow. I couldn’t help but listen closely to what he was saying, as I knew he could relate to my circumstances. I took his wisdom and advice to heart and have truly applied it to my life.
After listening to the insightful audio interview I realized now, two years later, I’ve done all the things we talked about in the interview. I am certified as a life coach and started my coaching business, co-authored The Ellie Project, and I’m now making a living as a speaker. Even details I forgot we talked about, like my passion for singing when I was a little girl, which Bill recommended I pick back up, I’ve done! I realized I’d recorded a song last year a family friend wrote for us inspired by The Ellie Project. Thinking about all of this reminded me to not be so hard on myself, to celebrate the victories along the way, and to remember I am using the gifts God’s given me. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and just as importantly, so are you.
If you’re like me and temporarily forget about the gift’s God’s blessed you with, then I encourage you to do some soul searching of your own to identify your unique gifts and interests in order to reconnect to how God created you to make a difference in the world. Because they must be shared! Love and Blessings.
PS – If you’re like me and enjoy self-discovery, here are some of my all-time favorite and most insightful assessments: The Giftedness Center, Strengths Finder, DISC, Baptist Gen Convention of TX Leader Report, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
PPS – If you’re looking to motivate, inspire, and encourage a group you are a part of, I would love to come share my message of how each and every one of us can transform our most challenging times into the most meaningful and purposeful path for our lives. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org