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4 questions to find the Core Gift (your superpower!) in you


Each of us has a gift that we bring to the world. It is so essential and such an integral part of us that we have to capitalize the word – it’s your Gift. And since it emanates from the center of us, it is called the Core Gift.

The Core Gift is a bit different than your life purpose because your Gift is something you give – it’s an action you do. For example, my Gift is to help people and ideas achieve their highest potential. My partner’s Gift is to move things forward. Notice how action-oriented those statements are. Your Gift is the action you take within the framework of your life purpose and it’s an essential part of your purpose, but it’s not the same thing.

Why do you need to know what your Core Gift is? The answers could fill up an entire book, but the short answer is that your Gift helps to ground and guide you in life. Knowing your Gift allows you to choose the path in life that is meaningful, flows easily, and inspires and energizes you.

How do I find my Core Gift?

I have an interview process that I use with individuals and groups that elicits each person’s Core Gift, but apart from that, think about these essential questions:

1. When do you feel the most alive? What are you doing when you feel the most energetic and as though your actions flow easily from you? For example, I feel most alive when I’m with a group of people and I’m facilitating a new learning process for them, helping them toward their vast potential.

2. What would everyone you know say was the one thing about you that drew them to you? Your leadership qualities? Your peaceful nature? Your ability to create fun wherever you are? The way you listen deeply? Your capacity for sharing the intricacies of art and music in a way that all can enjoy it? Think about your friends and write down what you think has drawn them to you.

3. What is something you have been doing with ease your whole life? Your Gift is a thread that has been with you your entire life. Looking back, what is something that has always been easy for you and, when you’re doing it, makes you feel alive and inspired? For me, it has always been easy to take groups of people and, using my leadership abilities, form them into a cohesive team to achieve its potential. Even when I was young, although quite shy, I was always the captain of my sports teams. As I grew older, I found myself in management positions, developing social service programs and creating teams to support them. What have you been doing your whole life?

4. What is the opposite of your wound? We all have tender spots in ourselves that come from being wounded earlier in life. The Core Gift tends to be the opposite of this wound as we try to heal ourselves and others around us. While my Gift is to help others achieve their highest potential, I have wrestled all my life with questions about the worthiness of my own potential. What have you wrestled with?

Look for the threads

Write down your answers to these questions. Don’t think about them too long; it’s best just to go with what comes up first for you. Now, look at your answers and see if any similarities, or threads, arise among them. Although the process I use with groups and individuals is more in-depth, these four questions form the foundation of eliciting your Core Gift.

When you find the similarities in your answers, choose the one that resonates most with you and try it on as your Core Gift. Again, ask yourself: Do I feel the most alive when doing this? Is this what has drawn people to me? Have I been doing this my whole life? Does the opposite of this point to the tender spot within me?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to each of those questions, you have likely named your Core Gift. And, as the indigenous peoples do when welcoming a young initiate back to the tribe, I welcome you into our universal tribe with your honored Gift!

If you or your group would like to participate in my Finding Your Core Gift process, please send me a message or call me at 650-529-9059.

Takeaway points: Each of us has a Core Gift that we bring to the world. Naming it requires us to think about the points throughout our lives where we are “in the flow” and feel the most alive.

What is your Core Gift? Please feel free to ask questions about the process as well.



  1. […] up challenges for the young person to face which, while sometimes harrowing, elicit the person’s Core Gift and usher the youngster into […]

  2. Barbara Brown says:

    I will be working with elderly clients in a retirement community and am looking for activities that will help them discover new things and gifts they have.

  3. Ash says:

    Thanks for this 4 question process. I’m having a bit of difficulty figuring out my Core Gift. My answers to the questions are:

    1) When I am learning completely new/different skills, acquiring knowledge and wisdom, planning/organizing objects or my own life, moments of internal reflection, releasing my inner child, at home, cooking/baking, creating and when I am using my brain on a difficult puzzle. In all circumstances I am alone, I am happiest when I am working alone or when I am with children.

    2) I think people are drawn to my authenticity, wisdom, and generally care-free and happy nature.

    3) My whole life I have been writing, trusting in God without question, gathering knowledge (exploring, learning, reading), learning new skills (the moment I realize I can master the skill I am bored with it, that time where I don’t know if I can do it or not is the most exciting).

    4) My wound are all the times when people have thought me to be a bad person, so I strive to be a good person with traditional values/morals. Another wound is when people put me into a “typical” stereotype, like cheerleader/manager/barbie-doll etc. I like being the weird and unique one that doesn’t quite fit any stereotype.

    So I guess my core gift would be Wisdom, Knowledge, drive to learn and acquire skills (especially traditional ones like sewing, gardening etc).

    I have no idea how to use this in a work environment though. I have often thought that the absolute best career for me would to be a housewife, the kind that does all the cooking/baking, childcare, gardening, grocery shopping, budget etc. with the autonomy to pursue my own projects and interests that can be used to the benefit of the household. Pity it isn’t a paying job.

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Bobbi Emel is a therapist who helps people in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View and the greater Bay Area manage their stress and develop their strengths.
She is effective in helping people dealing with anxiety, worry and grief; and also those who want to improve their effectiveness and performance.