Natural-Born Gifts: Insight from Others

In my quest for personal development, I registered for a class entitled, “Designing Life After College,” which has proved to be challenging and thought-provoking. Being exposed to a different method of self-reflection and personal growth has pushed me re-evaluate my priorities and get to know myself better. It’s quite interesting! Who knew that at 22, I could grasp facets of my identity and use them to my advantage, rather than merely saying “that’s just who I am.”

Last week, we were tasked with analyzing our natural-born gifts–who we are without certain developed behaviors and before we made decisions to carry ourselves this way or that in life. We were also challenged to ask people closest to us what they think our natural-born gifts are. This was the most interesting part to me. Often times, when I analyze myself and try to define my identity on paper, I get confused between who I am and who I am striving to be. But asking for the perspective of a friend or family member proved to be quite surprising, yet comforting.

According to my friends and family members:

  • I have my shit together.
  • I am a combination of “book smart” and “street smart.”
  • Others are impressed by me–I have a lot going for myself.
  • I project objectivity and calmness and make others feel comfortable expressing themselves.
  • I challenge others to expand their views and consider other perspectives.
  • I do things “out of the norm” and am constantly trying to learn new things.
  • I am a leader and a people person.
  • I get things done.

I learned a few things while completing this activity. While I don’t think I completely embody each of these characteristics, I take comfort in knowing I am moving towards the person I would like to be. Not that there’s anything wrong with me now–I’m pretty fly. But why not try to be better than yourself? Also, I am blessed to have such strong relationships in my life. The root of your personality and identity is not something you discuss in your everyday conversations–it’s pretty awkward! If you don’t handle brutal honesty well, this type of exercise can be more unsettling than productive. But alas, it’s beautiful to be able to seek the insight of those closest to me and candidly discuss one of life’s most sensitive subjects: me.

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