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Clear Change Group Business and Leadership Coaching Articles for Entrepreneurs

What Stops You From Giving Your Gifts to Yourself?

By Audrey Seymour

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Do you find it much easier to deliver your highest gifts to others than it is to receive them for yourself? Many change agents don't even think of healing themselves with the same impact they have on others, forgetting the wise saying "Healer, heal thyself!"  

There are several reasons for this oversight.

First, you may find it hard to honor yourself the way you honor others. One of the ways we were taught when we were young to gain social acceptance was the false humility of belittling ourselves to set others at ease. It can be challenging to shed such habits, which are among the biggest impediments to succeeding as an agent of change. "Who am I to do these big things?" These thoughts keep us from taking the kind of risks that change makers regularly face, and even prevent seeing what might be possible.

You are the vehicle of the change that you deliver, which requires becoming visible as an innovator to larger and larger audiences in order to touch as many lives as possible. And, by the nature of your job description, you don't fit in -- because if you did comfortably fit in, you'd be happy with the status quo! Yet, that genetic imperative to belong to a tribe that ensures our physical survival drives us to stay small and falsely humble.  

At the other extreme, others may wear a false inflated ego self to shield a vulnerable deficient-feeling self.

Learning to honor the self includes a healthy balance of knowing your actual capacities and limitations at any moment in time, and how your gifts complement the gifts of others. This form of honoring also calls for profound self-acceptance that appreciates exactly where you are right now, as you embrace the dance of opposites within.    

Whether you have a habit of belittling yourself or exaggerating your capabilities, neither serves when you are speaking about your mission to those who must move into action!

Another key element of receiving your own gifts is life balance and self care. Life balance honors all the choices and commitments that mean the most to you, in authentic proportion.  Treating yourself with the care you give others honors the fact that you are the sacred vehicle of your own purpose. Take a moment right now and lay your left hand gently on your face. Notice how that feels - have you been giving yourself enough of this kind of compassionate touch? 

This shift requires evolving those aspects of the self that regularly push and drive you from the mindset of "It's not enough" or "I'm not enough." Such a mindset leads to lack of presence, as well as burnout, injury and disease. Instead, start noticing all those areas of your life where it's strikingly obvious that you are enough. And then, use the "taking in the good" practice from the March newsletter (see Rewire Your Brain by Taking in the Good).    

Ultimately, it becomes possible to heal your deepest wounds by giving yourself the same purposeful gifts you offer to others. Then, the joy of your complete capacity becomes available to fulfill the mission you are meant to bring to the world.  

© 2014 Audrey Seymour. All rights reserved.