Give Yourself Permission to Use Your Gift

I‘m not usually speechless, at least not as profoundly as I find myself right now. Three words into a social media post to share fast thoughts about this month’s WORTHY: Online Rally for Hope & Kindness, hosted by an amazing and kind human being and connector who goes by the name of Andrea Sanchez, I quickly discovered this was worth more. And while I can’t explain why it was exactly three words—not two or five or 12 or even one—it may have had something to do with one of the reasons I remain speechless. The “I-can’t-put-my-finger-on-it”; “I-can’t-tell-you-what-it-is” factor.

Cliches are not cliches

While this may sound cliche, it is not; and even to say it is not may sound cliche. I say that to say this: I’m a believer that “everything happens for a reason” and “there is no such thing as a coincidence.” These happenings are electrifying and mystical pieces of energy darting through the sky. Sometimes they are bright and easy to spot; but often the rationale behind them is elusive, hidden in plain sight only to be realized when it’s dark and quiet and you nearly forget about them. The more you concentrate on the “why” of these events instead of the learnings and takeaways—or the best strategic approach to tackle and conquer them—the more you lose their significance to begin with and the further away they seem to drift.

Just be you

This morning was the last Saturday of the month. It was like every other last Saturday of the month for the past 10 months since I started attending this life-changing online event. But today’s was different. In the last few minutes, I felt as if I had been knocked out of myself and could see two of me. That doesn’t make sense I know, let me try to explain it through the scene of an Avengers movie (credit to my husband who introduced me to all these movies). Note: If you haven’t seen the movies, I highly recommend them. The writing and dialogue are witty, humorous, and filled with these golden nuggets of musing.

What I felt is what I saw follows.

In The Avengers: End Game, three of the heroes travel back in time to New York City to collect a few infinity stones before Thanos can steal them and wipe out half the population. In this moment, the Incredible Hulk is trying to get a stone from The Ancient One, who punches him in the chest. As the Hulk begins to fall backward (in slow motion of course), the sheer force of the impact separates mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner (the man) from the giant monster he becomes when triggered with extreme anger. Note: there is no parallel or symbolism between myself and the development of the giant monster “when triggered with extreme anger.”

What this specifically has to do with anything, I don’t know; and how and why it was the image that popped into my head, I don’t know that either. Perhaps a reader has a theory. But I had this aha, epiphany moment listening to this storyteller, and this was my association. I’m still working on the meaning.

The power of three

This wonderful person who shared his deep love of healing and helping people believe they are worthy, good and that everyone has a gift to share, regardless of who you are, your background, experiences, or makeup had this to say: “Accept who you are, and never wait for someone to give you permission to use your gift.” Pause. Do you have chills? I know I do.

Unlocking your gift isn’t always easy and seeing your true potential requires the removal of lenses, blinders, and self-doubt.

I haven’t mastered any of these and toggle between “this is my gift, this is what I offer the world” and “I don’t yet know nor understand my ‘IT.'” But I heard him, saw him, and now his message is boring its way into me like an earthworm. “I’m in a love affair with humanity,” he said. “Accept who you are and never ever quit.” And my heart swelled.

Here is the secret sauce I heard today and why the number three at the beginning of this story has just a startling effect on me: “Think about the three words everyone associates with you—ask them—and the self-enlightenment will come.”

Confidence is a mute button,” said another storyteller.

“I make a world of words,” said yet another storyteller.

This is mesmerizing to me. What is your impact?

‘Crying cleanses’

I can’t take credit for the wisdom or truths in some of these one-liners, like “crying cleanses you;” “vulnerability helps you be creative and strong;” [my favorite] and “pathways in life are like stepping stones or pebbles in your shoes” [my second favorite]. These are but a few of the mystifying pieces of energy put out there this morning that made a zing for my inner core. Thus the feeling of not knowing why or how I feel this way.

As the storyteller shared his journey, not for the first or second or even fifth time during the past 10 events, I was forced to turn off my video camera and sob quietly through the soothing sound of his voice and inspirational, gut-wrenching accounts as if he were sitting next to me and I was his sole audience. And then I realized that my reaction is as much part of his sharing journey as is actually his sharing his journey. So I turned my camera back on and through my tears, shared how his story impacted me.

“Don’t be sorry for crying,” he said. “Crying cleanses. Never be sorry for that. People who show emotion are the leaders in life” [my third favorite of his quotes from today]. “Don’t ever wait for someone to give you permission to use your gift.” [Profound].

When we are genuinely touched by the universe, our reaction is a mirror of something within ourselves upon which a spotlight has been shined. A story stirs us. Its wispy and whimsical arms wrap around and through us, keeping us warm, safe, and secure or they rage through us with a force capable of ripping us apart. Something inside us stirs when someone tells a story that resonates with us, that we can relate to, that has some truth for us.

“If you have a moment of someone’s time, just be you.”

“Acceptance comes when you smile,” said (you guessed it) yet another inspirational storyteller.


Monique Jozwiakowski
Monique Jozwiakowski
As someone with a dream of helping people and companies tell their stories and wonders of "what if...?", Monique Jozwiakowski made the decision to move from the corporate world of limited parameters and a defined sandbox, to one of entrepreneurship and endless possibilities. In 2018, MOJOZ Consulting, LLC was born. She incorporated the expertise of her husband soon after, and they haven't looked back. Working with two Fortune 500 companies and an international media company during her career, Monique has more than 20 years of award-winning information sharing and storytelling experience. Attempting to write a novel, she is also a business blogger. She is a heart-centric communications leader who helps build awareness and cultures around (and about) people, celebrating success through connections and collaboration. She specializes in identifying gaps and needs to craft clear and effective messaging for the most challenging objectives and initiatives helping organizations, their leaders, and people understand the impact of communications through transparency, authenticity, and truthfulness.

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  1. Monique, What amazing impacts all over this page!
    So grateful to hear about the positive ripples and how you have helped them flow, just by sharing here.
    There’s no better feeling then being so deeply touched by someone or thing. Like I always say…when I like it, I like to share it. I share my likes! We all have a gift and when you find it, you like it enough to share it.

    And no one needs to validate you but you! Your sense is what makes sense to you!
    Self belief is the envy of many. Bank on that and you are wealthy
    Thank you for doing that here 😀