Is it painful to share who you are and what you are good at?
For many of us it is…
I remember way back, when I was doing my psychotherapy training and one of the exercises was to state what we are great at.
It was like a cloud of doom suddenly came over everyone in the room…like they were being asked who they wanted to shoot first.
In fact, answering that question might have been easier! At least it didn’t require you to say anything nice about yourself!
Not long ago I shared something about ‘going first’…
Yes, it’s hard for some of us to proclaim what we are good at, for others it’s really easy…
It’s not easy for me. That day when we were asked what we were good at I literally couldn’t think of a single damn thing, not one thing.
Not because I didn’t think I had good things about me, not because I didn’t think I had any talent hidden anywhere inside me, but because saying it OUT LOUD was to be an excruciating, arrogant, and well, a bit boring (that’s how I saw it anyway).
Plus, I may SAY I’m good at something but how do I know I’m REALLY all that good? How do I know that I’m not sitting next to someone who is a whole load better than me at that? How do I know that everyone is not thinking ‘hmmm, I don’t think you are good at that!’
Well the answer is, I don’t.
But that’s ok.
It’s ok to say it anyway.
Here’s to going first, to being fearless about your greatness and your shortcomings in equal measure.
I am great at listening to you, to seeing the bigger picture between what you do and don’t say, of seeing how your body moves, how your eyes talk and how all that adds up to a picture of how you feel.
I’m great at giving you the tools and the words and the space to help those fears be held safely as you work through them.
I’m great at loving the good and the not so good in you and seeing it all as a whole.
I’m great at giving you a process for how you can move from where you are now to where you want to be.
I’m great at being by your side when you call.
I can hold the weight of both your stuff and mine too and not buckle under the strain.
I can distance myself from your problems and my own enough to come at them with dispassion too, to kick your arse when necessary and to stop feeding the lies that you tell yourself.
I’m also crap at a lot of things, many many things. But if you cannot own what you are good at, how will you ever own the stuff you need to work on too?
Own the whole of who you are with the same emotional passion towards the good stuff as the bad.
If you can rant at yourself for your failings, if you can look in the mirror and be displeased with what you see, if you can feel the gut wrenching disappointment in what life has brought to you…then you can also direct that same force toward owning the good.
I know which sounds healthier to me.
What are you really good at?
It’s ok to own it.
You need to own it.