The one thing that holds us back from stepping into our genius, is fear. Sometimes we’re afraid that we will outshine others with our talents, and it will make them look bad. Or it will make us look like a brag. Sometimes we’re afraid that more success will bring more demands that we cannot handle. And some other times, we just feel like we don’t deserve it. So, we let opportunities slide by.
What does your zone of genius mean? It is when you are in a state of flow. You love what you do, and all sense of time disappears. Your work feels effortless. And this is different from your zone of excellence, where you are great at what you do, yet it feels like work. Read more about these zones here.
We want you to operate from your zone of genius. You may not be aware of what it is, though. So, feedback is a critical tool in helping us have our genius reflected back to us. For that, Diana Chapman, founder of Conscious Leadership Group, recommends this 4-step exercise:
- Create a list of 30-40 people who have known you from different areas of your life – friends, family, past colleagues, college roommates, ex-partners, run club members, etc. Anyone.
- Write an email to everyone on this list, using the content of the paragraph below. Remember to mention a specific date by which you need their responses. That’s what generates replies.
I’m in the midst of discovering my unique zones of genius – abilities/ skills which I am effortlessly and exceptionally good at. And I would appreciate your support in helping me identify them. Would you be willing to answer a few questions, to reflect back to me what you see? If yes, then I request that you respond to the following questions by (time) on (date).
Briefly answer these questions:
- When you experience me at my best, the exact thing I am doing is ____________________.
- What do you see as a special skill I am gifted with?
- What are three good qualities you see in me?
- How have I most contributed to your life?
- What am I doing or talking about, when you experience me MOST energized?
- Once you receive responses, organize them by questions, so you are able to see themes.
- Thank everyone who helped you, and consider sharing your insights from the exercise with them.
Some of it might catch you by surprise. Let it all come in. Even if you find the appreciations and affirmations uncomfortable, sit with it. And when you have it all, compare the themes to how you work and live. Ask yourself – how can I align my life/ work with these reflections? Your genius awaits.