So, have you ever tried to list qualities in others that you find attractive? Not necessarily “sexy” attractive, but more just stuff you are naturally drawn to? Have you ever noticed how many of these qualities are in the people you love and admire most? Have you ever noticed how many of these qualities you’d like to have? Or better yet, have you ever noticed how many of these qualities you DO have?
Self-affirmations are funny things. People generally HATE being tasked with talking about good things about themselves. It’s a very difficult thing for many (most?) people to do. It seems that we teach our young people that being proud of good traits and behaviors is a bad thing yet being proud of accomplishments is a good thing. It doesn’t really make much sense. Because typically without the good traits and behaviors, the accomplishments likely wouldn’t happen in the first place.
Imagine if we celebrated hard work and drive as much as we celebrate a “hard-earned win?” Imagine if we celebrated all the learning that goes along with designing something new and not just how much money the new widget can make. Imagine if we celebrated honesty and effort and kindness and integrity instead of wins and trophies and high scores and money. What a world it would be.
So here’s the challenge. Go ahead and try to create your own list of self-affirmations, or, better yet, your own human resume. We all know what a professional resume is. It’s a list of accomplishments (there’s that word again) and details of why someone should hire you.
What happens if you make a resume of reasons why someone should LIKE you and want to be your friend/lover? What happens if you focus on all of the good stuff that you bring to the table and start spinning the negatives into things you are working to improve instead of things that make you worth less.
Answering basic interview questions like, what are your weaknesses, is all in the “spin.” So for example, if someone says, “well, I’m a perfectionist and don’t take constructive criticism well,” a more effective answer would “Well, I’m a perfectionist and take constructive criticism kind of hard. I’ve realized over the years that I’m like this because I put so much of myself in my projects. So over time, I’ve figured out that I need to take a step back and remember that the feedback is only meant to make the project, and me, better.”
Boom. The perfect answer. It takes an imperfection and spins it into a positive. It shows insight, awareness, and an effort to improve.
So what happens if you view all of your imperfections in this light? What if you view all of your “stuff” as nothing more than areas that are designed specifically for you as learning opportunities? What if you write your own human resume and look at all of the amazing things that you are and all of the things you are putting effort into? Do you think you’d feel better about yourself? Maybe even good about yourself?
This exercise is important because you, yes YOU, are important. And you deserve to know this and to understand the reasons why.