We spend a lot of time thinking about what's wrong with us. We don't spend much time thinking about our strengths and what makes us amazing.
We've learned that makes us seem arrogant or conceited. It also opens us to being whacked down like a tall poppy. (if you're not familiar with this term - it is a culture where people of high status are resented, attacked, cut down or criticised because they have been classified as better than their peers).
Personally, I don't think we need to be making so much of status in the first place. That would be a good start.
In any case, what if focusing on our strengths actually doesn't make us arrogant at all, but instead makes us more powerful in terms of being effective, kinder and more loving people? And what if we can focus on our weaknesses in a radically different way?
For too much of my life I told myself I was too fat, too sensitive, not smart enough, not successful enough, not noticeable.
None of those things are true.
But I still have moments of self-doubt. Of course I do. We all have much the same conditioning. And we are all human.
It's just that I've learned how to deal with those moments of self-doubt in a different way. You can too. I've also learned (and am still learning) to focus on my strengths, and you can too. Here's a quick guide:
1)Recognise that we are only human after all (this is such a great song).
We are ALL fallible and we are ALL flawed. It is not just you that feels this way. Please trust me on this.
2)Use each moment of self-judgment as an opportunity to be kinder to yourself.
Catch it. Recognise that you've just had another judgmental or critical thought, and then forgive yourself for that. Say something like, "Hey, there you are again (Judgmental Judy). I see you. I get that you're still around. I love you." When you show Judy that you don't hate her or judge her, she can go. But if you get caught in a cycle of judging her, she can't. She'll stick around wanting your attention. That's compassion for every part of you, and using this exercise will help ensure you don't feel split in two.
3)We have all done things we're not proud of or had things happen that we feel (or felt) made us weak.
All of us. When we can own those things and see them as part of our journey, and as something that helped us grow into the better person we are today it shifts our energy to a more empowered place.
4)Focus on your strengths.
Learn what they are (if you don't already know) and how to capitalise on them! Recently I ran across Marcus Buckingham’s book: Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book is great and will deepen your understanding of why using your strengths is so vital to long-term success. But you can also take the Strengths Finder test online (without purchasing the book) for $USD15.00. It's really such an empowering exercise. (P.S. I'm not getting paid to say this. I just genuinely think it's great).
Oh! Today I celebrate my 44th birthday. I feel so loved on my birthday, and I have so much to reflect on.
I am grateful for many things - my health, my family, my environment, my friends and my life coaching practice. And I am very grateful to each of you for the opportunity to show up in your inbox each month. Thank you.
Keep going. Keep growing. Keep moving toward love and the healthy pursuit of happiness,