The other day I was with a client and we were working through some self-worth and self-esteem issues. The struggle was big and the struggle was real. And it was mostly due to the laundry list of criticisms and condemnations they had about themselves regarding all the things they believed they were not.
And it got me thinking: How many of us find ourselves all caught up in our heads more often than that which is necessary (necessary meaning pretty much never) regarding all the things we’re not, but wish we were.
How often do we find ourselves saying either quietly in our head, or boldly right out loud “If only I was…” “Oh man, it would be good if I could be…” or “I should be able to….” “Why can’t I be…”
And that’s where we sit and simmer and stew and get ourselves all discouraged and frustrated and disappointed and just plain down on ourselves.
If you’re thinking right now: Well, I have felt that way, but I think I’m probably one of the only ones. Most everyone else seems to be doing this life thing way better than me and obviously has it way more together.
And I’m here to tell you, they don’t. At least not nearly as much as most of us think.
We ALL go through times of feeling like we aren’t enough. It may not be every day and all the time for each person, but I think it’s safe to say we have all doubted ourselves at one (or many) points or another.
So as I was talking to this client I asked them flat out, “Okay. You’re struggling right now to figure out who you are, what your worth is, and what you have to offer. Then tell me, who are you? What makes you, well, YOU!”
They then proceeded to share with me their list of all the things they were quite adamant about believing they were NOT. I’m not smart, I’m not the first person to get invited to the party, I’m not as outgoing as so-and-so, I’m not the person who knows the perfectly humourous and witty remark to say to get people roaring with laughter at a party. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not.
But that’s NOT what I asked. Don’t tell me who or what you are not. You can get all up in your own face with that stuff on your own time. But here, right now, I’m asking you to tell me who the hell you ARE.
And it was hard for them. Really, really hard to go there and do that. But because we were both able to make space for patience, empathy, encouragement and understanding in the session we were able to clear the way for some of their strengths, and positive qualities to be identified and brought in to the room.
It’s funny (or really not) how many of us get caught up in who or what we are not and we forget to stop and recognize and acknowledge with courage, conviction, and confidence who we are and what we have to offer.
Right now you may be thinking you are someone who doesn’t have anything valuable to bring to the table, nothing to offer, nothing meaningful, nothing too great at all.
But I’m going to have to be blunt here and tell you: You are not the only human being in the world to have nothing worthwhile to offer. You’re not that special and unique. We all have something to offer, and you are actually no exception. Sorry.
So figure out who you are. What you bring. And what makes you, well, you. In all the good ways. Of course we all have the bad ways too, but I’m pretty sure most of us don’t need to remind ourselves of that stuff.
So be you. And be the crap out of it.
If you enjoyed this, please do share it. And if you do, let me know so I can thank you!
I’m Julia Kristina MA, RCC, an I’m a CBT, Mindfulness, and Positive Psychology registered (aka licensed) therapist and life coach out of Vancouver BC.
If you’d like to work with me 1:1 I do in-person sessions from my office in downtown Vancouver, or virtually to any where in the world via SKYPE.
I specializes in working with and treating successful professionals who find themselves feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or even depressed and don’t want to be feeling that way. I help people find balance and happiness in their lives, and meaningful connection in their relationships. I’m also available for speaking engagements and workshop facilitation. To add to it all, I blog, I scope and I watch “Friends” re-reruns while I’m making supper. You can read and see more from me here on my Good For Me Blog