A very insightful friend of mine said something to me that I wanted to share. She said that one thing she doesn’t like about our society is that we are taught not to be boastful, but that it is encouraged to have self-esteem. She was commenting on how we, as people learn to not accept compliments, but instead, disagree with the compliment giver. Here’s an example. If the compliment is, “You’re pretty,” then the trained response may be, “No. I’m not.” We may later learn the polite response is, simply to say, “thank you.” How do you feel when you respond by acknowledging it with a thank you? How do you feel if you respond by invalidating the compliment giver and disagreeing with their complimentary view of you?
We also may learn to apologize for our strengths and if we mention something we are confident about, we, ourselves may feel uncomfortable about this, or others may label us as being egotistical or arrogant. Perhaps there is a belief that if we own one of our gifts are strengths then we are saying others are not as strong in this area.
So what is okay and what is not okay? Are we only allowed to have silent confidence? If we share with others something about ourselves we are excited about, do we risk certain judgment, criticism and less than pleasant responses?
Here is another example. I am a good writer. I think I am a good writer. I have been told throughout my life that I am a good writer. At this point in my life, after years of practice, successful writing projects, becoming a published writer and receiving payment for some of my writing, I feel confident that I not only think I am a good writer, but I am in fact a good writer. I am not a perfect writer, however and I have never claimed to be perfect. Not everyone may like my style of writing, but I am still a skilled writer. Me knowing and stating that I am a good writer does not take anything away from anyone else’s writing abilities. Yet often, when we excel in an area, whether it is a natural attribute or a learned skill, we attract admirers and haters. Some people will love, appreciate and admire our strengths while others will be competitive and possibly feel that it threatens them, effects them in a non-beneficial way, makes them look bad or takes something away for them. Often it can trigger insecurity in someone.
We all have insecurities. We all have strengths and weaknesses. One of my strengths is writing. However, there are plenty of things that are not strengths. I do not know how to fix my broken car, change a car’s oil, do complex mathematical equations, rock climb, fly an airplane, cut a person’s hair, play guitar, sew, play cribbage, work as a barista, scuba dive and you will never see me skydive! Okay. So never say never, but performing risky stunts, like jumping out of a plane isn’t something I gravitate towards.
Okay. So I came clean with you and admitted that I believe I am a good writer. Now it’s your turn. Think of at least one of your strengths and validate it. Take a deep breath and let go of anything that says this is not a strength. Let go of invalidation, doubt and any interference to you admitting, owning and appreciating this strength. It is a gift you have and its okay to own it and let the world see it. Shine baby shine!
Oh and just to share… here’s a link to an article I wrote for San Diego Pets Magazine, which was recently bought by the San Diego Humane Society. A new version of the magazine will be out later this year. The Little Dogs’ Big Problem. By, Sindi Somers.
If you want help letting go of invalidation, criticism and anything else that may be interfering with your happiness and your ability to validate your gifts, I can help. With either a one-on-one private session, energy healing or perhaps learning some of the life changing meditation techniques that I practice and teach, I can help with your process. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 619-797-0705.