Friday, December 14, 2007

What if...You Saw Yourself as a Gift?


Last weekend, I spoke to a women’s group for their Christmas dinner event. My topic was called “The Gift of You.” Every time I do this talk, whether it is during the holidays or another time of year, I get the same response each time. In essence, audience members wonder “Do I really see myself as a gift to others?”

For this particular group, after I finished my talk, I had them go around their tables sharing how each woman was a gift to others. Do you think it was an easy task for them to do? No, it was not. As one woman put it, “It’s a lot easier saying how others are a gift in my life, but it’s hard when the focus is on me.”

So why is it so difficult for you to see how you are a gift to others? Here is what I noticed in my own life and lives of others over the years:

1. Too much focus is on performance. If you can’t do something perfect or well, you have nothing to offer.

2. You rely on people and circumstances to define who you are by what you do. I call these ‘externals.’ These externals will wind up disappointing you because they shift and change like the wind.

3. Your childhood environment plays a huge role in your confidence level as an adult. Whether you grew up in the shadow of another sibling, were spoiled and didn’t have to learn responsibility, or other circumstances, they play a part in how you view yourself today.


1. Think about your personality and characteristics. Find the positive. (It’s so easy to be self-critical!) What have others commented to you. Ask for input if you’re stuck from those who really know you personally and/or professionally. Try to come up with your positive qualities by yourself first. “Know thyself.”

2. Take note throughout your day of your interactions with others. What ‘theme’ do you notice about yourself?

3. Notice the people and circumstances that give you energy where you walk away feeling positive. This helps show you how you are a gift-it brings out your true values and qualities.

Live Out Loud and Merry Christmas!!

What if … we changed our philosophy?

After receiving an email from a good friend of mine I had to share this with the What if women. With Christmas next week, I thought another Peanuts video would be great to remind us to not stress during the holidays but all that really matters is spending time with family, friends and loved ones - those who care!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!