I find myself reflecting on some of the things and situations that at one time I would have ‘struggled’ with. I’m wondering how many of you have experienced similar.
As a mother I would compare myself to the more glamorous of the mums in the playground. Or I would look at the sporty ones who had already been for a run and were off home to do yoga or similar. I considered myself neither glamorous nor sporty.
As a nurse I would compare myself to the nurses who were great with remembering patients’ names or perhaps they could regurgitate facts without hesitation. I considered that I wasn’t good at either of these.
Because this wasn’t where my skill set lay, I would view this as a wrongness and chastise myself to do better. The more I focused on my wrongnesses, the more wrongnesses I would find and the more I struggled. Anyone else? Or just me?
The self-doubt and judgement that I heaped on myself I now realise contributed to crushing my confidence and increasing my mental stress. This went on for years.
What I didn’t know how to do at that time was to focus on my strengths. In fact I didn’t know I had any at that time. The negative drunken monkey that took residence in my head was rather foul mouthed and super critical, loving that she could take charge and I had no way of knowing how to shut her up and the criticism heaped on me.
Over the years I have learnt many ways to silence the monkey. She is rarely drunk or foul mouthed and if she starts, I can very quickly stop her, even when she starts with a whisper trying to get the better of me. No, no, no. Not anymore.
So, today I ask you if you would be willing to become aware of your negative comparisons list that you have formed along with your drunken monkey that are keeping your struggles in place? This isn’t about creating something that you use to judge you. It’s the opposite.
Now that you have your awareness of the wrongnesses you are holding onto, now it’s time to get curious about your specific strengths. When I was first asked to do this, I couldn’t come up with anything and judged me for this. Of course I did. I’d been doing this for so long. I could hear the monkey howling with laughter at my attempts.
Stay with it. When I looked back at both my nursing career and being a mum to three awesome kids there were similarities that began to appear. I was a great listener. I recall being sought out by colleagues so that they could pour their hearts out to someone. My kids, for the most part, could rely on me to listen to them too. I love organising events. I didn’t realise that for other people this would be their worst nightmare. I’m a great general cook. I love reading, knitting and crafting.
For many years something that I denied I could do and was such a strength, a strongness, is my ability to pick up on other people and their perceived wrongnesses. With the tools of Access Consciousness® I have developed this ‘weird’ side of me and embraced it fully. It’s not unusual for a client to stare at me in disbelief as I appear to take their thoughts out of their heads and then gently challenge them.
What are you doing that the person, or people, you are comparing yourself too aren’t? What contribution are you to your family, work colleagues etc? Get curious. Hear what others say about you with their compliments and thank-yous.
Finally I ask you, what would it take for you to appreciate your strengths instead of judging your struggles?
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