Our Real Work: Jess Ryan, MS

Coaching and consulting. Something's calling. It's your life.

Who is the Real You?


Take a moment to consider your most precious qualities and traits. Have you ever tried to hide them completely or play them down around certain people?

Several times, this past week, I had multiple clients ask me how I do what I do.

Amongst life coaching, teaching skills and a healthy dose of pragmatism, I also have an uncanny gift for sensing how people’s bodies hold messages, blockages, energy, and life experiences and how those things keep people out of alignment with the life they truly want to live. I can sense it in-person or 1800 miles away over the phone. It doesn’t matter. (If you’re interested what this looks like, try it out.)

For decades, I ignored it and thought it wasn’t part of my life’s work. It’s certainly not a very practical gift… or an easy one to explain to people –– “Hey, looks like you’re carrying around some mom-shit in your left leg that’s keeping you from feeling safe and that may be one of the reasons why you feel like you need to work so hard to succeed in a job you hate. Here are some things that might help…”

Yeah. That never goes over well in social settings. And what does that even mean –– mom-shit in your left leg?

From the outside, it sounds crazy.

But, if we let everyone outside of us dictate what’s normal or crazy inside of us, we aren’t living our The Real Youlives or sharing our gifts. We’re letting others do that for us. I’m fairly certain we’re not on this earth to live someone else’s life.

Each of us has a unique soul, unique gifts, and a unique way of sharing those gifts. We aren’t meant to be the same, look the same, or share the exact same life experiences.

I’m not quite sure why I got handed this gift instead of being a brilliant mathematician or musician, which, I’m sure have their challenges, but seem a lot more socially acceptable.

. You can try to stifle your gifts, play down your traits, and hide your life experiences, but once you believe you are on this planet for a reason, something bigger will ask you to share it with the world. It might start as an internal nagging or voice, it might show up as an event that makes you stop so you can finally hear it, or it might come in the form of someone who’s life is changed by you being you.

Take a moment, right now, and think about your life and your gifts. Are down-playing them or playing small?

They might just be your message, your gift, your life.

I’m certain the world is ready for you. It’s time to own it.

I’d love to honor your bravery and for you to share your gifts, the real you, in the comments below. Trust me. The world needs you.


  1. What a wonderful question. To be honest, I’m not sure what my real gifts are but I do know I think of myself as “a bit much” and tone it down quite a bit. But I like the idea of playing to my strengths. Thanks for the nudge!

  2. My singing voice is my gift. I tend to pick up on others’ inner feelings rather easily, and can understand the “why” behind their actions without much time or communication. I seem to be a person that people share their worries and problems with, and I seem to help them through their struggles. I also stifle my thoughts and wants sometimes in order to best meet the needs of others. I don’t always speak my truth because I’m worried that others may judge me or not like me if I do.

  3. I agree with Becky, it is a wonderful question to ask. However, just now I feel a little silly…wondering why I haven’t spent more time pondering that question in the past. We are pushed in highschool and college to pick a career path. I got attached to something very young, and part of me wonders if I stayed with it because it was expected. I feel like perhaps many of us enter into a career and eventually build skills that we become good at, but that may not necessarily come natural. I am this way. I know what my precious qualities and traits feel like (but not sure what they look like or define as), and I know I haven’t been able to access them through my career. How do I begin to explore what I may be supressing?

  4. I believe I know what my purpose is. I feel I am a teacher; a spiritual teacher. I really don’t know what that looks like and the thought of putting myself out there scares the living s#@t out of me. Taking baby steps. I’m going to start by putting myself out there with something I feel really good about which is meditation. I want to host a meditation/coaching hour each week this summer at my home (it’s in the trees and by a creek so it feels perfect). Wish me luck.

  5. I like to think I am creative. I’ve collected ideas, information and a lot of materials on several different projects… that I have yet to start on or get completed. It’s been four years since quitting my full time job and I seem to keep spinning the days away, always needing to “do that first, THEN I can create”. One issue is I want to do things well, not half-assed when I do do them, which in turn ends up taking me a lot more time to get anything done.
    Also on another topic, I have super strong reactions to pictures, news, commercials or anything relating to animal cruelty. I know this is a disturbing topic already but for me I feel it is unusually intensified and wonder why this is?
    Sorry if this got a bit off topic, but if these are my “gifts” I would welcome suggestions on how to deal with my road blocks 🙃.

  6. I am deeply introverted, and yet ironically, I worked in public relations for 15 years, and was darn good at it. I once told someone that my public relations self is very different from my private relations self. I appear friendly and confident, but I am afraid to open up to others who do not share similar life experiences and a need for deep conversation. Small, surface-level talk is my biggest nightmare.

    I have a wicked, sardonic sense of humor that only amplifies assumptions about my personality. And yet I am sensitive, sympathetic and a good listening ear for deep issues. I connect with other people’s struggles and that is where I am most relatable and pragmatic. I do not offer solutions, and will not. My role is supporter and friend–what I needed in dark times. And concrete ways to share that need were enlightened recently during my own dark time.

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