By Lindy Earl
We all have multiple lists in our heads. One might be a list of books you hope to read some day. One is your bucket list. Some that change frequently are our To-Do lists and grocery lists. Here’s a list you may not even know you have: a list of justifications that you keep at the ready. We don’t need to go there.
For now, the list that I hope you are on is a list of people you most admire. It occurred to me recently, when discussing this subject, that I’ve never thought to include myself on a list of people I admire.
Now, I think this list needs to be written carefully, and pride and humility need to be considered when making it. There are some great people – entertainers, athletes, politicians – in the world whom I might consider great, but they are already so convinced that they are marvelous that they don’t need or even care about being on my list. Don’t be that person. Keep yourself humble but consider putting yourself on your list of people you admire.
List some attributes you respect about others – knowledge, communication skills, athletic ability, talent, kindness, compassion, empathy, self-motivation, etc. Which of these characteristics do you offer? You may, and probably do, have many of the traits on your list—maybe even more of them than some of the people on your list of people you admire. That means that you belong on your own list.
If you’re not on your own list of people you admire, ask yourself why not. Are you missing some of the attributes you like in others? Are you just being too hard on yourself? Do you have the attributes but you won’t acknowledge them? Are you too humble to state your strengths?
If it’s the first, that you feel you are missing some of the attributes you admire in others, can you begin emulating them, starting today? If you find generosity a trait to be admired, then start being generous. It doesn’t have to be financial generosity. Share your time, your talents, your compliments. If you admire it in others then you will love it in yourself, and there’s a good chance you are already exemplifying it. If you’re wondering if you do, ask a good friend. They’ll tell you the truth.
Maybe the attributes you admire do describe you, but you are too hard on yourself to include them. You can see kindness in others, but even when you do something kind, you minimalize the behavior. You dismiss it as not a big deal or not that important. Yet if another person had done something half as kind, you would laud them. It’s okay to acknowledge your good points. Add them to your list.
Maybe it’s truly humility. My generation was so overwhelmed with the idea that pride is a sin, you should never toot your own horn or sing your own praises, that a large group of people will not admit to simple traits or talents.
Look, if you can sing like a bird, then admit it. Others know it, and your denying it doesn’t make it untrue. If anything, if you are denying an obvious and factual talent, then it may come across as false modesty, and that’s not good.
We all have talents. They are not all obvious. Serenity, patience, goodness – these are some hugely important, incredibly impressive, too rare talents. If you are lucky enough to possess them, acknowledge them. You will be the person at the top of the list the next time there is a need for patience, so your abilities will help others. That’s a good thing!
The point is, we all have good and bad things about ourselves. Know what your talents and abilities are and be willing to admit yours so you can share them. You belong on your own list of people you admire!
That’s Life After Divorce.
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant.
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