If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. (Excerpted from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, 1952)
I believe this wisdom can help us be more self-aware, guide our perspective of the work realm, and create self-confidence born of a sense of purpose. The first step in self-awareness is figuring out what unique gifts you have and how to best use them in the world. This will define your purpose and be a guiding light in decision-making. You gifts are related to what you are good at and motivated to develop. When you acknowledge your interests/talents/gifts you are welcoming your authentic, essential self to be the basis from which you move forward. Trust your intuition, feelings, gut, dreams, metaphors and images that present themselves. What are they telling or teaching you? Focus on your unique sense of self, not what others think you should do, nor what others are doing. No one can tell you what kind of a life you should be living. This faith in yourself will help increase your confidence.
Marianne Williamson of A Course in Miracles fame has other wise words. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
I ask you to find a quiet place and reflect on the following questions. It may help to meditate, pray, or talk a walk in nature to give them the attention they need.
- What are you here to do? Gifts, Interests, Talents, Types of Intelligence
- Why, to what purpose? Purpose is driven by values. Where and how do you want to contribute to the world?
- How best to move forward? Education/Training, Entry-level position, Networking, Volunteering, Starting your own business, etc.
- When? If not, now, when? (Talmud)