It’s like an epidemic, this inability to own – to admit – how amazing we all are. It seems as if somehow we’ve all learned that it’s just not okay to accept and love ourselves, and to even think we’re hot shit. So many of us are on a seemingly endless quest of self-betterment – or at least of calling out (and maybe working on, or feeling bad about the fact that we’re not working on) our faults.
I spent a few days in a learning program in a room full of coaches, and part of our process involved sharing bits of our story with each other – our past, our journey, our experiences. As each person spoke, two powerful thoughts reverberated through my mind. “How amazing you are!” was my first thought, time and time again, as I learned a bit of what was inside each person and beneath their public shell. And “How can you not see how amazing you are?” was my second. Especially as I witnessed them downplaying their strengths and gifts, or as I listened for the themes of their life story, and was painted a picture of self-doubt and lack of self-acknowledgement.
How do we learn this so well?
How do we learn to not own up to how amazing we all are? We all are. It’s like we’ve been taught that it’s dangerous or wrong to admit what we’ve got going right.
I can’t pretend I don’t do it as well. I shared my story – a brief overview of my story – with a few people. People who, when I heard their stories, I was overcome with amazement at their strength and the beauty of the human spirit. And what did they say, in return, to me?
“Lisa, you are amazing.”
“Lisa, you are so courageous.”
“Lisa, you know that part of you you’re struggling with right now, that critical nature?” (I was telling her how I didn’t like that the feedback assessment I’d taken had revealed a tendency of mine to be critical, and not just of myself.) “That critical side of you? I think, just maybe, it saved your life. Multiple times.”
I cried when the coaches I was working with said these things to me. They cried when I said similar things to them. The truth, as I see it, is that we’re all pretty damn special, and amazing, and courageous. And we all deserve to own it and revel in it.
And to toot our own horn. (I mean, come on, if we don’t, who will?)
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