Anytime’s Good, But A New Year is Best!
A few months ago, a friend thanked me for encouraging her to take a “deeper dive” into understanding her personal-professional motives on an important matter. I’ve been thinking about her comment since she noted it on an FB post and the blog post that prompted her comment.
So what was the “deep dive” about?
“What God-given talents has He asked you to share with others that inspire, encourage, educate or inform them? How are you a blessing in their lives? Let’s hear it. . .”
I posted this beautiful image and message on our Facebook group, The Neighborhood, as the Friday inspirational piece. Then followed it with the question above.
What have we been gifted with that God wants us to share with others so that they are blessed by the gifts we’ve been freely given? Do we know what they are? Do we assume they are the 1st thing that comes to mind?
More importantly, do we see them only as applicable to what we do in business? Or do we dig a bit deeper and draw from life experiences that might otherwise not have occurred to us?
The Value of A Question. . .
I pressed. Not a lot; but enough to make her realize that the challenge of a loved one’s health concern led to the development of dormant skills she had not considered a talent or skill. Yet she is using those same talents and skills in developing a new business that helps women stay healthy and active as we age.
Had I stopped with her answer to the question above; she might not have discovered something of significant value she learned through life experience! It was for that she said “thank you for asking me to dive deeper!”
Asking ourselves (or others) to explore at a deeper level personally, professionally and spiritually is a Gift any of us can give to others. It is perhaps the most valuable Gift we have to offer!
It’s Okay to Go Off the Deep End!
I chuckled as I wrote the headline for this section. Usually when we say so and so is going “off the deep end”; we are not speaking about a positive experience. But when in the process of self discovery; it’s highly encouraged!
My November 16 blog post was an expose ‘of why I write what I do’. It explained the importance of what I call the “soft side” of business. The personal-spiritual growth side. The side that can make or break us when it comes to success. The side that requires us to take deep dives into uncharted waters that reside below the surface of our cognitive processes. Or at least they reside where we rarely venture to travel!
To go off the deep end as I suggest here is to hold the nose of fear and take the leap of faith required of us when seeking to discover more of who we are at the center of our being. . . at the core of personality we think no one else sees. And we rarely if ever see ourselves.
But trust me; others see. And for us to be blind to such things can doom us to failure.
Hold Your Nose and Leap!
I was a decent competitive swimmer when I was young. But I was a chicken on the diving board. Not the low boards as we called them; but the 10 footer. Just climbing the ladder to the top was enough to cause sweat on my brow.
Each season, it was weeks before I could conjure enough courage to climb to the top and step up on that beastly board. Then of course, there was the walk to the end with nothing to protect me; the glistening water below and other divers blocking the exit to the stairs. It was leap, or – there was no “or not” to be had. So I held my nose and jumped!
Strange how once I had mastered the terror in my mind; each climb and each leap became easier and easier. By the end of the season, I was no longer jumping, but diving from that 10 foot beast with all the confidence of an Olympian!
Just Keep Doing . . .
What is the old saying that practice makes perfect? I don’t know that I was perfect; but daily climbing the ladder, walking to the end and leaping into the air gradually became easier and easier and provided the foundation for greater risks as the season unfolded.
It’s the same with personal-spiritual growth. Early on, the fear of discovering something we won’t like keeps us from diving into the deep end. Yet without mastery of our fear; we will not have the pleasure of discovering talents, gifts and skills we never knew we had. Talents, gifts and skills we are to put to work in the service of others; which in turn serves us quite well.
True Friends Urge us to Dive Deep!
But at times it’s not fear that keeps us from going off the deep end. It’s that no one challenges us to do so. I finally climbed the ladder leading to the 10 foot board because friends goaded me to do so. They encouraged by reminding me that only the 1st leap is scary. After that it’s a piece of cake they said. I trusted their wisdom because they reminded me that it was only the 1st leap that brought the sweat.
True friends will challenge us to dive deep and find the pearls that lie hidden in our recollections. Great coaches, mentors, business associates and partners will do the same. That is if they are willing to take the risk; for to encourage others to grow is its own challenge.
God wants us to bless others with our talents. Gifts he has bestowed within and upon. I urge each of us to answer the question – “What God-given talents has He asked you to share with others that inspire, encourage, educate or inform them? How are you a blessing in their lives?
Begin the process with yourself. Stir up the willingness to leap into the unknown (unrecognized or unremembered) and do it. Then be a true friend and encourage others in your sphere of influence to do the same! Then let’s hear it. . .
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
The Neighborhood at Facebook
Affiliated Women International