Barbara's Blog

Put Yourself on Your Gift List

Posted on 11/30/2017 by Barbara Blake in leadership development executive coaching leadership

We often neglect our own development and growth. This time of year is a perfect time to think about how you can change that dynamic. Think of giving yourself the gift of growth.

In addition to all the other items on your plate, for many this time of year, gifts rise to the top of the to do list. As you add the names of the people to your gift giving list, don’t forget to add yourself.

What gift would you give yourself? Would you gift patience? Listening more closely? Keeping your temper? Better relationships with team members and peers? Would you pick up a new skill? Brush up on industry trends?

At first blush these seems like big gifts, nearly impossible to do. Start small. Good things come in small packages. As an example, you decide instead of reacting you will respond differently to a given person or situation. To get started, pick one person or situation where you want the gift – every time. When you are in a situation in which you need patience, imagine opening a box filled with patience. You now have an abundance of patience to respond productively.

Or when you want to build better relationships, imagine a movie clip in which you are living in those better relationships. Be the person in the movie clip. Act, speak and listen as they do. Neurological science has demonstrated that we can act our way into thinking differently. Thinking differently leads to more positive responses.

Don’t overthink what gift you will give yourself. Have a bias toward action. (You can give yourself more than one gift.) The real impact is in the doing, the daily receipt and opening of the gift.

Some gifts you must give to yourself, no one else can. By giving yourself a gift, you also give a gift to those around you. What a deal – at least two for the price of one.

The greatest gift that you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention. Anthony J. D'Angelo