I have been thinking a lot about what makes one person live a successful, happy life and another flounder and never find their thing. I realized that it hinges quite significantly on one area, the acceptance of you as you are, in every dimension of your personality.
Parents obviously play a huge role but not everyone has the benefit of parents who can or who choose to give this type of emotional support. This can stem from a dozen reasons – their own beliefs about acceptable pursuits, a need to feed their ego and claim a secondary success through their child, even a negative or fear based idea about a career choice, worried perhaps about the monetary, physical or emotional strain it might cause. Sometimes it is because they don’t really understand or accept their child’s personality. An introvert born into a family of extroverts, a daughter interested in business or maybe a son wishing to pursue the arts.
In addition to the sad result of adults only living a fraction of what they have to offer, are the negative beliefs that develop about who they are as a person, perhaps feeling flawed in some way. This can mean a mighty struggle to become everything that is possible, often because there is a small insistent voice telling you that you are not enough.
One of the best ways to override that path, is for one person to reach out and connect with a child or teen or yes, even an adult. One person who can see the bright light and acknowledge all that is possible because of the very fact they have taken the time to see.
One person and mighty impact
Imagine the impact you could have on someone’s life if you chose to point out the positive qualities and traits that may have been targets for negative or cruel comments. Even better, acknowledge the skills you see. Often those who have them don’t know they are skills and shrug them off as unimportant, or more common than they are. I am going to guess that we all know someone who falls into that group, perhaps even you!
Hand in hand with the attempts to remodel someone into an acceptable “version” are the labels applied to behaviour. Labels can either propel us through life or hold us back.
Would you prefer to be called stubborn or persistent? Too sensitive or empathetic? Arrogant or confident? Of course stubborn, sensitive and arrogant are challenging behaviours and if causing harm to yourself or others, may need to be modified. They can however, also be used against someone, becoming a definition and judgment rather than positive traits that provide for a more connected and successful life.
Children or adults we could all use some positive feedback about the qualities we bring into the world. The question is, are you the one who will do it?
This week, because I am certain that we all want to claim ourselves as change-makers, take note of the skills of others. That’s it. You don’t even have to say anything, it’s enough at this moment to practice awareness. Later, we can talk about how to make lasting change and yes, to be, “the one.”
As always, I would love to hear from you if you have a comment or anecdote to share.