To paraphrase Dr. Carl Jung, “The bigger the gift, the bigger the shadow”. This statement is pointing to the lightness and energy of those things we think of as our strengths in the world. The more we have, the bigger they are, the bigger the shadow that will be cast when the opposite of those things appears in us; commonly called our weaknesses.
When something shows up within you that creates struggle, self-doubt, or self-deprecation, it is this time when we need to call forth and remain fully awake and conscious to whether we are overusing a strength. The great thinker if overused will cause analysis-paralysis, risk aversion and downright confusion. The wonderful, gifted and charismatic communicator might overlook the loss of connection when two different communication styles don’t match up. Our ability to move quickly to action in a particular circumstance might cause us to miss important information that might have lead to improved action.
Many times in my coaching practice I have asked the question, “what are your biggest gifts in the world, and what is your offer?” I am often met with a blank stare as my client is initially stunned by the question. It’s likely a place not visited often as we are conditioned that to talk about one’s strengths is egotistical and selfish. Actually my assessment is that spending time in quiet contemplation of our gifts and strengths helps us to stand in them more powerfully and completely as our rational mind brings them into consciousness. How can we live them and honour them each day in service to others if we do not know what they are?
Your coaching assignment this week is to:
- List out 10 things that you love the most about yourself
- Ask three friends what they value about you
- If you were standing fully supported and powerful in your gifts what would be showing up for you?
- What body would support you to stand up fully and completely?
- What shifts are you willing to play with in the coming week when you find yourself “overusing your strengths” and suddenly the shadow side appears (your niece, nephew, son, daughter or friend who actually would prefer you to listen rather than offer advice for those of you who like to sort out the world!)
Give yourself a gift this coming week and find your gifts!