Who would you become if you didn’t fear using your natural gift to earn living?
Who would you hang out with and where would you be?
Call it your talent, inborn gift, natural gift, God given gift; whatever rocks your boat. But you flow in it and it in you.
And when you indulge in it, time ceases to exist; life is blissful. Invigorating. Exciting. It turns on every cell in your otherwise dead brain and all the other cells in your body shout Hallelujah!
This is what you were made for. It is your reason for living.
So now I will ask again but in a more intimate way.
Before you tell the world that there are no opportunities, discuss the state of unemployment or stagnation of your small business, remember the last time someone complimented you on that special ability.
“You sing so well!”
“Wow! I love the way you flow in conversations when you meet new people.”
“Goodness, I wish I had a slice of your kind of courage!”
“You are so good with numbers, ever thought of pursuing accounting?”
What did you take these compliments for? Comic scenes?
Think of the many times you have seen masses throng at Justin Bieber’s concerts or when friends refuse to leave after a party just to watch Ellen DeGeneres show on TV. What makes them celebrate these celebrities thriving in their natural gifts?
When you use your natural gift as these people do, you to will be celebrated. But you need to lose the fear of using that gift to earn a living. Monetize it.
See, you could offer it at your place of work if you already have a job to boost your productivity. If you don’t have one yet, include it in your resume and let potential employers know that you flow in that field.
Better still, you could adopt it as a means of self-employment. Offer services in the area you flow in as an individual, a sole proprietor that is, with the aim of turning it into a business.
Bake and sell cakes to friends. Sing at a friend’s birthday party. Shop on behalf of your busy friends. Whatever it is your friends praise you for, offer it as a service and at a ‘convenient’ fee. And don’t let fear deceive you that your natural gift is just a hobby. That’s a lie from hell!
But there’s more to this, so hang on and let me share the painful wisdom.
Common Lies Told By Fear
While going through the list of writing jobs on Upwork several weeks ago, I came across one I believed I could handle. It was a request for a 3000 word article in B2C niche. I submitted my proposal and included two links from this blog to convince my client that I had the muscle to deliver.
To my surprise, the client responded 8 hours down the line. He was convinced I could do it. But he posed one question; the kind that makes your knees knock like angry bulls.
“I need the article in three days, can you meet the deadline?”
Deep in my heart I knew I could. I had done such before and my brain longed to dig through all the evidence the Web and print could offer on the topic. I also wanted to put across my personal opinion as requested by the client for the world to feel, through this article.
But at the sight of the question, every fiber of my being froze.
Under the Influence of fear of using natural gifts
My hands refused to open Upwork mobile App and engage the client on any further needs. I didn’t want him to know I was online and had read his message.
So I planned to do one stupid thing; to answer him the following morning when I hoped he would be sleeping. His message had revealed that he was in a different time zone.
7 hours later I gathered the courage to log on to Upwork and respond to his question. I reread his message and begun typing the response. But something dared me to investigate the job post further.
Upwork has an uncanny way of leaking details about the job posted on their board; the approximate number of proposals sent for the job, if the client has begun interviewing any applicants and if anyone has been hired.
Guess what I found out?
“The client had interviewed two applicants and hired one. The job was off the market!”
Let me decode the quoted sentence above just in case you didn’t get it.
If the client had hired one of the two applicants he interviewed, it is obvious I was the other applicant; the one he didn’t pick.
Understood the picture yet?
What if I had responded as soon as I saw his email notification from Upwork, would I have landed the job?
Did my 7 hours delay cost me $300; the amount the client had set for the project?
What is the probability that I also lost an opportunity to have a long-term client?
What is the worst that could have happened if I had looked fear into the eye and engaged the client anyway?
Fear wears several hats to deceive you, but in each instance holds you back from taking the right action. It is that delayer spirit that convinces you to wait even when the lights state ‘go’.
It lies to you that you haven’t done enough research and keeps you digging without knowing what you are looking for. It keeps you walking along the street with beautiful houses whose road leads nowhere. Its lights are always on ‘Wait’, anything to drain the energy needed to raise your hand up and shout, ‘Pick me!’
So the next time any of these sentences pop up in your mind, remember this; fear stole my $300, an opportunity for more writing jobs and more. And it has no plans of apologizing. That’s what it does for a living.
Now, look back into your recent past for a quick lesson. How many times have you lost such awesome opportunities because fear convinced you that you weren’t good enough?
If you have been hiding behind invisible curtains in fear of using your natural gifts, soon you will have losses to count like I did. And trust me, it hurts. Now I know.
Lessons Learned From Lies Told By Fear of Using Natural Gifts
Fear convinced me that despite owning the gift of writing, in this particular job, and many others, I didn’t measure up. It sold doubt in volumes holding me hostage for 7 hours.
But something even worse came to mind that morning. I convinced myself that maybe the client wasn’t done hiring. Maybe responding to the message would make him change his mind.
I responded to his message promising that I was up to task despite seeing that the job was long closed. I’m still waiting for his response. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Now every time I remember this incident, I shout in my head, ‘”I’m not buying it!” Then I opt in, brave up and do the job.
The truth is such opportunities come often in life and lead to one of these endings; a lesson learned, riling regret or merry moment. The choice is yours.
Smashing Fear of Using Natural Gifts Right Across its Face
Here is a fact you should take to the bank.
God couldn’t have placed that gift of courage, public speaking, writing, singing, dancing, teaching, helping or listening in you if He didn’t believe you are worth it. He also knew that the natural gift is worthy of you.
So before going any further, stop denying what is true; you and your inborn gift belong together. Your natural gift defines who you are. It is part of your DNA and then deeper. It is the tool God gave you to serve people around you, make money with it and build a happy life for you.
Let me break this down with simple questions.
Imagine if David believed fear and ran away from gigantic Goliath, would he have married the King Saul’s daughter? (1 Samuel 18: 26 – 28)
Or if Oprah Winfrey believed her color and gender were inferior qualities. Would she have left her radio presenter job for the 6pm news co-anchoring job at CBS owned WJZ-TV? This job launched her to the TV world; a world she later dominated.
Imagine if Cristiano Ronaldo feared leaving mainstream school to focus on growing his football talent at the age of 14. Would he have joined Manchester United and later become the most wanted professional footballer?
If these examples do not convince you to smash fear in the face and use your talent to serve people at a profit, I doubt anything ever will. Then, maybe you should stop reading this article now.
Seriously. Just stop reading now.
Then your natural talent isn’t a crappy hobby after all, is it?
Listen my friend, by believing the lies sold to you by fear, you deny yourself the glory of becoming the hotshot you were meant to be. You opt, like me to count losses and mourn in dust and ashes. You turn down the offer of having the whole world celebrating your victory. And you deny your fellow men a service they deserve by right.
Think of it as refusing a royal invitation to the king’s palace or throwing away your inheritance. You wouldn’t call that wisdom, would you?
But by saying YES to serving others with your natural gift and monetizing it like Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan…. You are celebrated.
“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.”The Holy Bible (Proverbs 18:16)
After losing the $300 writing opportunity and realizing how foolish negotiating with fear was, I decided to become a ‘YES!’ girl.
Chances are you have been told to say no to every request thrown your way so you have adequate time to analyze it.
A week after the hurtful loss, a client I hadn’t spoken to in months called asking if I could conduct a team building event at a beach 3 hours away from home. She would pick me up in 2 and a half hours and take me to the designated venue.
At first I was tempted to say no and anyone could understand why under the circumstances. I was engaged in a crucial activity that would eat up 2 hours, leaving me with 30 minutes to prepare and get to the pickup point. I also didn’t know if my family had any plans for the afternoon; a weekend after Valentine’s Day attracts all sorts of outings.
Again, who in their right mind gets ready for a hyperactive weekend event in less than 30 minutes?
I had no doubt I could pick some great games from my ever-growing arsenal of team building activities. But the thought of getting ready in less than 30 minutes for the event was brain-numbing.
Then came the train of questions.
How well would I conduct the crucial 2-hour activity without worrying about the team building event? What would I pack for the event? What if my client didn’t like my job after all the efforts? And anyway, was team building worth my time seeing that I had 3 writing jobs to be completed in 5 days?
Despite my brain producing a critical list of all things that could go wrong, my heart shouted, ‘YES!’
It was settled. To my surprise, the 2-hour activity went well and my family didn’t have any plans for the afternoon. Everyone had too much on their plate to think of partying.
During team building event I got to know my client and her team better. We had 3 hours of intense activities followed by 2 hours of thorough debriefing over sumptuous dinner; a perfect learning experience for all.
Imagine if I had said no in the name of thinking over it.
Saying yes opened the door to opportunities I hadn’t capitalized on before. The client knew me as a team building coach but not an emcee; a service she needed. One of her employees who had seen me emceeing brought up the topic during debrief stating that I had more natural gifts than anyone she knew. Read all about them in my book; I Hate Me.
That marked the birth of a relationship that swung open doors of other opportunities.
All I needed was to say YES!
Who Does My Natural Gifts Say I Am?
Many people see me as a playful, talkative and free-spirited mama. Add to that the love for writing, touring and crazy daring; you have my ever-flowing fountain of natural gifts I have discovered in me so far. Maybe there’s more.
Despite turning 40 amidst shouts of people telling me to take a break, I look fear in the eye, brave up, serve people around me with these natural gifts and ask for a decent pay.
How about you?
Will you stop drinking from the well of fear and polish your natural gift?
Will you begin serving people with it , brave up and push an invoice across the table for a service well offered?
Will you believe in your inborn gift one more time and stop treating it like a passive hobby?
How are you facing the fear of using your natural gifts to serve people and earn a decent living this year? Please leave your comment below.