The world can be tough on us each day. We are surrounded by criticism and judgement and sometimes leave us only seeing the worst parts of ourselves. What happened to the best parts of you?
It is not easy to escape the negativity. In fact, it can mean working very hard at just trying to create a positive mind. And who wouldn’t feel negative when your boss gives a scathing review of your work, or your annual review seems a bit light on positive feedback even when you know you are doing your best? Or when someone gives you the “side-eye” because they thought you cut them in line? We encounter so much criticism and judgement that we soon start to believe we are only as good as the negative comments and situations we experience. It can be quite consuming. Where does that leave you? For some, it causes a bankruptcy in our mental health. We soon label our self as “average” or “broken” or even “disabled”.
How in the world can we swing negativity into a positive? It has to start with yourself and a little acceptance. It can be very challenging to create room in your thoughts that – “WOW! I am pretty amazing!” Yes, amazing. AMAZING! The last blog discussed how we define ourselves. Let’s look a little more in depth and start really seeing the details of how we shape who we are and bring out the best parts.
“But, uh, I’m not good at anything. I don’t have any talents.” Think again, my friend. What we define as talents tends to sway into those things that are fairly obvious. For instance, the only way we know we are good cooks is if someone eats the food we make and gives us compliments. We learn that a good lawyer means she/he always wins the case. We know the best runner has the fastest time. It’s pretty competitive! We need to look at other things that make up our best parts. Maybe the things we take for granted?
Most likely we are doing things that show how awesome each of us really is each day. Small things like courteousness- holding a door, saying “hello”, smiling at a stranger, or just helping someone we see might need some help. Random acts of kindness. Are you good at organizing? It doesn’t have to be a room- it can be a party or just getting a group of friends together. Sometimes we don’t feel confident in a task- such as painting, or do-it-yourself projects. Although it may not turn out be a Picasso or as grand as the Great Pyramids you possess the drive to continue learning. Each of us is unique. When we compare ourselves to great masters or even a very talented peer it becomes a disservice to ourselves. Celebrate your efforts as something great about you! Try to avoid being a critic. The world has enough of them!
Take time to recognize things you do well. You don’t have to be the best at something for it to be a great part of you. By building this confidence- taking notice of your greatness- you can begin to bring positive feelings into yourself. It can create a wellness in you that helps push away the negative. It’s easy to believe that the only way we can truly know how great we are is by waiting for that annual review at work, or waiting for a compliment from someone else. Sometimes people are not aware how important it is to bring up that positive feedback. (It might even be that they are in need of the same and have trouble letting someone know they appreciate their greatness!) Take a more significant role in raising your confidence. Initially you may feel as if you have little to recognize. Allow yourself to explore the finer things that make you great. By working on this you potentially bring more positive thoughts and positive people around you. You are worth the effort!!
Sheilagh is an Artist and Art Therapist who believes in healing with art and creativity.