When you ask yourself that question, or if someone asks ‘Who are you’, what is your response?
Do you list your accomplishments? Or do you list your failure?
Or do you start with good and end with bad?
Who am I?...
My standard answer was [my kids] mom. Sometimes I would share a job title, but that would be about it. No more to me? Really?
When I began this new part of my life, I had a friend ask me to write down my accomplishments. My first stab at that list was ‘I’ve almost raised my kids’... that was about it. She looked at me and said “You need to think about it more and add to that list. Write down events or tasks you felt proud of after completing. Big or small, it does not matter, what has made you feel proud?”
I would love to say I picked up the pen and scribbled down many, many things. I am 47… that is quite a few years to rack up accomplishments (ha), a lot of time to do things that made me feel pride. Well, it was not that easy.
You see, I got into a very bad habit of judging myself, putting myself down for things from my past that I am not proud of, and not recognizing what I did that was good. I was also busy taking care of and encouraging the others in my life, I didn’t think about me. Or I would judge myself for what I felt I did wrong yesterday and couldn’t see past that to see me.
I have come across many people in my life that focus on judging and punishing themselves for the things they feel they failed at in their life. Maybe it was a mistake in a relationship or doing something, that at the time, seemed fine, but as you look at it now, it really wasn’t a good thing. We often feel that others look at us and see us in the negative light we see ourselves; others can only see the bad, because that is all we see in ourselves.
I encourage you to change your story.
Stop focusing on the negative in your life, SEARCH FOR THE POSITIVE! Let that light shine!! Write down your accomplishments. Seriously, get a pen and paper and WRITE THEM DOWN!
Once I really started thinking of things, I came up with a pretty good list. I even had small things on the list that no one other than me knew about. For example, I am a creative person by default, but the ‘nerd’ in me, loves to create an excel spreadsheet that calculates, copies, and translates data easily into the end report…. with colored columns, making it pretty of course. (ha) Silly, right? But when I have a project like this, I love when I have made it do what I want, I feel so proud of myself for the outcome. I am proud of the nerd in me. (ha)
An accomplishment doesn’t have to end with fireworks or a cheering crowd, it doesn’t even have to be known by others, it is just something that challenges you, you complete it, and it makes you feel good when you think about it.
Write down your accomplishments. And to add to it, celebrate that list of accomplishments with someone who loves you, someone who is proud of you for all the good within you. When I shared my list with my friend, she told me to celebrate it. I thought that was pretty silly and I told her I had no clue how to celebrate the list or with whom. Her words of wisdom were perfect… “If it was your child, or someone who is special to you, how would you celebrate them; their accomplishments?”
I asked my kids to help me celebrate. My oldest daughter bought the cheap, paper, cone party hats and balloons. She made me leave the room while they blew up balloons and when I came back in, they had noise makers too. When I read my list to them that night, my oldest had tears running down her cheeks, she smiled and said how proud she was of me. I felt very special. It was perfect. It was a simple event, but it made me feel good and helped me change my story.
[proud mom sigh]
Get a pen and paper, write down your accomplishments, encourage your loved ones to do the same, and then share and celebrate them!! Stop judging yourself for the negative in your past, celebrate what you are proud of, remind yourself of all that makes you proud to be you. Focus on your good.
*Disclaimer: If you don’t feel you have someone to share your accomplishments with, send them to me, I would love to celebrate you!!
Sending peace, love and joy to you my friend. Sam