Everyone knows how easy it is to get down on yourself, but I am going to tell you how easy it is to give yourself a little boost too.
So often I am muddling through my days feeling like I have no idea what I am doing and that surely everyone else must be doing it so much better than I am. It is so easy for me to see my own weaknesses and faults. At the drop of a hat I could make up a two page list of things I need to work on, improve, change. It's not that I don't feel good, because I do more often than not, but I am normally operating from an I-need-work position.
I think a lot of people feel this way. I also think that it all comes down to perspective.
Last week someone at church passed me a note to tell me what a great job they think I am doing teaching all the young kids music. What?! Every Sunday I teach music for 40 minutes to 140+ kids under the age of 12. It's crazy. It's hard. I am so unqualified for the position. I don't sing, or lead music, or know anything about teaching kids music. The first week I had to do it, I went to the bathroom and cried because it went so terribly. The note, with all its kind words, planted a little seed in my mind though. Maybe, just maybe, I am doing a better job than I thought.
This week I got an email from someone participating in a blog challenge. This person is someone from another walk of life, someone I don't know. She said that although my blog is not even in her niche, she is using my site as a blog she would like to emulate. Wow! This little corner of the web? This space where I am still trying to figure out how to write, and what to write, and when to write is actually a bit of inspiration for someone.
Two days ago someone left me a beautiful comment and said, "I love that on days like today, when my heart feels like it's in my throat with worry and concern, that I can read what you've written and be reminded of the bravery in motherhood, the warrior in all of us, to carry me through." This made my week. I don't always feel like a brave mother or a capable warrior, but these kind words helped me to see that those parts of me not only exist, but I use them more often than I realize.
I finished off the week with some emails exchanged with my favorite wedding photographer, followed by one long phone conversation. I was shaking in my
boots flip-flops imagining this photographer that I have long admired would kindly, but firmly tell me that I needed to start looking for a new profession.
And then we spent nearly two hours discussing ways to improve my business because, believe it or not, this top of the line world class photographer thinks I've got what it takes! After we talked, I sat down and opened my own website. I went through all the photos with a new eye, and I could see what he was talking about - for the first time.
I am feeling good right now. I've had some serious self-esteem boosts. It was as easy as taking a step back and seeing myself and my accomplishments from another perspective. Sure, I know my weaknesses better than anyone else. And I haven't forgotten them. But it is clear to me that other people can see my strengths and successes, perhaps far better than I can. I had to listen, but when I really heard what other people were saying, I was able to see myself in a more positive light.
Everyone has this opportunity to give themselves a self-esteem boost, to change their perspective a little. Maybe no one has passed you a note to tell you how great you are lately, but have you received a compliment? Did you listen? Or, did you dismiss it?
"You look really nice today."
"Thanks, but I'm having a really bad hair day and this old outfit looks silly on me."
I challenge you to pay attention over the next few days. Listen to the positive things people are saying about you. Accept them. Be pro-active and ask some of the people around you to tell you the positive things they can see. You will be surprised, I promise. Let your perspective change and see yourself, with your successes and strengths, in all your glory. It's there, really and truly.