1 Peter 4:10: Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
I’ve never had the experience of being locked away in a jail cell before, but I’m sure it’s not a very good feeling. I love my freedom and have always protected it at all costs. If I had to guess what the experience would feel like, I would have to say that it is a very lonely place filled with lots of dark emotions. It’s you against the world, and every man for himself. I would also guess that hope runs at an all-time low. But there is another form of imprisonment that very few people discuss. I call it the prisoner within, and that is when we convince ourselves that we can’t get ahead in life, and that we are stuck where we are.
Thoughts have power. Your thoughts can either build you up or kill your chances of growth and success. We emotionally and spiritually imprison ourselves with the thoughts we live by. Thoughts become our reality. If we tell ourselves that we can’t accomplish something, then that is our reality. If we tell ourselves that great things can’t happen to us, then the reality is that great things will never happen to us. Your predominant thoughts have power over your circumstances. I know this first hand because I suffered from a case of self-imprisonment myself. I told myself I was trapped working a job that was not only tough to perform, but that also showed no signs of getting any easier. Because I told myself this, my attitude enforced my reality. I felt like I had very few options, and nowhere else to go.
Your real friends always have a vested interest in your battles and struggles in life. I had a really good friend share with me something that will probably serve to be the best advice that I have ever received, and in today’s blog I will share that same message with you. She talked to me and made me realize that everything I needed to change my situation was already in my possession; that God had already given me many talents. When I was feeling trapped, I gave away my power willingly and without an ounce of a fight. I gave away my power to be creative, to be resourceful, and most importantly the power to dream and to dream big.
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for my current job. I am the youngest defensive coordinator at a great junior college that plays in a tough and competitive junior college football conference. I have coached against some of the countries most talented football players, and I have experienced a good amount of success. I understand most people might say I should be satisfied and content with where I am now, and continue to enjoy my success here. But if you know me, you know I’m always thinking well in advance about the next step in my career, and how I will get there.
The higher you climb in your profession you must understand that employers hire the best qualified candidates for the job. In my profession however, they hire the candidate with the best reputation for results. In my situation I knew I hadn’t established a strong enough reputation for my abilities, or gained a great deal of respect from the coaches that I wanted to take notice of me. I started thinking of how could I gain the recognition necessary for other doors to be opened.
I thought about how I have a degree in Communications Studies with a concentration in Television Broadcast, so speaking in front of crowds doesn’t intimidate me. I also taught for three years serving special education students, and enjoyed having the opportunity to positively influence them. I have completed a good portion of my graduate courses in professional counseling and have some experience in that field. And I must admit that I am a great football coach.
I have an assortment of talents, but it’s my responsibility to use them. I can’t expect new opportunities to come my way if haven’t fully explored the ones that I already possess. With all that in mind, I organized a plan that would allow me to use my natural gifts to my advantage. I recognized that all of my gifts are geared towards one particular mission, and that’s to inspire and motivate others. I believe it is my life’s mission to get others to maximize their God given potential. For many years football was the only thing that I cared about, but God is helping me understand that I must explore my other talents, because they may lead to the doors that I desire to be opened.
Let’s take for instance the Get in the Huddle blog that I post each week. The majority of the time I never get the chance to see who views my material on a weekly basis, but I’m almost confident that someone one day will read my post, and that will lead to another avenues for me to help more people reach their maximum potential. I also hope that my new video series will help open other opportunities as well, so be on the lookout for Get in the Huddle video series coming in November 2013.
Your own resourcefulness and creativity at times could be your only saving grace. Don’t be afraid to channel you own abilities and put them to good use. We all want others to take notice of the super great things that we are doing, but you have to ask yourself, do people have a reason to stop doing what they are doing a take notice of your accomplishments? If you answered no, then you have work to do. I know I do. I’m not any more special than the next person suffering from a self- imprisoned mindset. You have the same ability and power to set yourself free from whatever lie that you are letting run your life. But you have to make the choice to exercise your powers. Your strengths are your biggest asset. Whether it’s making people laugh, caring for the elderly, or just being someone that can and will listen to those you come in contact with, everyone has a gift, and as simple as it may be, you have power in that gift. Take the time to set yourself free. Exercise your power. Most of the time the power to be creative will lead you to the answer on how to solve your problems. You have a gift, if not many. Why not show the world what they are?
Written by Coach Aaron DeBerry