How would you answer the question “Who are you?” Would you list who you are to everyone else, or do you know who you are? Would you list your accomplishments, or would you list your failures? Would you start with good qualities and end with, “But I’m not good at such and such”? Who are you?
At times, I have struggled with this. I would start with saying that I’m a mom and a divorced woman. I work at XYZ Company; maybe I would share my job title or the tasks in the role I fill, but that would be about it.
Is there no more to me than that? Really? And again, all of that is the role I play for other people, not who I am.
When I began this new part of my life and was trying to heal after my divorce, I had a friend ask me that same question, and when I couldn’t answer, she said, “Let’s start with listing your accomplishments.”
My first stab at that list was, “I’ve almost raised my kids.” That was about it. I couldn’t say I had a successful relationship; my kids were my only constant.
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 completing. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. What have you done that has made you feel happy and proud?”
Well, I would love to say I picked up the pen and scribbled down many, many things. After all, I am forty-eight years young (yep, “years young”—ha ha!), and that’s quite a few years to rack up accomplishments, right? There were many years to do things that made me feel proud or excited. Nevertheless, this task was not easy, and it took me some time to wrap my head around it and think of myself differently.
You see, I realized I was in a bad habit of judging myself, putting myself down, and not recognizing what I did that was good. I had lost track of who I was, and I didn’t feel my accomplishments were important. I was busy taking care of and encouraging the other people in my life; I didn’t think about me. They were more important, and I did not matter. I did not have time to see me.
I have come across people in my life who focus on judging or punishing themselves for the things they felt were failures in their lives. They downplay their accomplishments, maybe thinking they were not a big deal or they were not worthy of attention, and in doing so, they lose themselves.
We become our own worst critics. If you have a relationship with a family member, significant other, friend, or coworker who is critical of you, the criticism you receive from them can greatly lower your self-esteem. It is said that you attract what you focus on: if you can’t see your value, you will draw people with that same mind-set to you.
I encourage you to change your story and take control. Find the strength you were born with and stand strong. Stop focusing on the negative in your life, what you feel you have done wrong, or the mistakes you have made. Instead, turn your attention to the positive. Let that beautiful light within you shine! God created you in his own light. You are amazing, you are beautiful, and you have accomplished more in your life than what you give yourself credit for. Get past the clutter that has possibly clouded your judgment for years and find all the wonderful qualities that make you, you!
Write down your accomplishments, you will start to see how amazing you are. Do not shortchange yourself on this. I want you to dig deep and be proud of who you are and what you have done. Let’s uncover the beauty you have within and open your eyes to see yourself differently. You are amazing—believe it!
Sending you peace, love and joy my friend. Sam