Skills are Good. But Follow Your Gift.

Why Finding the Room to Operate In Your Gift Matters

Clinicians have skills.  And we also have gifts.  The gifts are on our insides.  They help us climb over the tough stuff they didn’t teach us in school.  You know hits, jabs, snarky conversations, and (my favorite), the bodily fluids.    Gifts are what make us move lightly over the slippery rocks that we see day by day.  Can a clinician have gifts?  Absolutely. 

And while skills are not static – they shouldn’t be at least.  There is a sequential climb for skill.  Gifts, on the other hand, may not make sense.  As they move you towards where you should be.  This is where YOU come in.  The real you…the evolving you.  As a clinician, I’ve learned that tapping into this keeps me whole and honest with me.  And from this place, I mentor and support people around me better.  I also learn at a magnitude higher than if I just depended on skill alone. 

As I write this, I find myself physically in Stamford, CT.  Connecticut is one of my favorite places, and for many reasons, I hold it dear to my heart.  Today, while driving, I got lost.  Not only did I get lost, I had a small anxiety attack as I drove the hilly Merritt Parkway at sunset.  It all started with my idea of taking a little drive. Harmless, right? To drive along the Post Road, see what changed, and listen to music. 

The Merritt Parkway is a hilly – no light – two lane fast lane.  In the past, driving here was a no brainer.  I had the skills for this.  Except today, as I merged onto the parkway, I was immediately aware that this was no longer my place of belonging.   My entire body was screaming  “Landria.  This is not a good idea.”  Honestly, I never thought my skill area would no longer fit here.  I thought I could always go back…like riding a bike.  But, I am reminded of several conversations with my husband and he reminds me to ‘move forward’. 

My nostalgia and love for the things and people I pick up along the way are sometimes my biggest hindrance.  I want to carry them and those experiences with me.

But as we climb – move – we need to keep the words of Erykah Badu.  Pack Light.

It’s not that I didn’t have the skills for this place of familiar.  I was out of fluency AND I needed to learn that recapturing the past is not the point.  It is possible to visit a place of familiar and create new memories and experience new things.   Maybe you’ll use the old skills…maybe not.  Be open to the possibilities of THIS lesson.  

Learning that the Merritt Parkway level of alert driving has prepped me to be a voice for other soon to be drivers and helped me to navigate tougher unfamiliar terrains in the future.  But, THIS particular path was not for me anymore.

How many times have we done this in professional career spaces?

Ignored the whole body rejection of a career assignment?

Continuing to do something with our skill, when the gift has moved on?

Tried to make something work and felt your personal battery draining faster than ever?

It’s JOY we are after.  Not chasing it.  But being attuned to where it is for us.  That’s an individual answer.  And there is no single answer.   Multiple paths…multiple spaces…multiple experiences.  But BE where your joy is. 

Where the #joyresides  will require your skill.  But always follow your gift.

As we journey on together.  Be empowered always and be blessed.


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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