Well Done Today

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Give yourself a pat on the back today!

Some days, I am much too hard on myself.

I don't know about the rest of you, but at the end of the day, I often look back on all the things I didn't do. The messes I didn't clean. The task I can't check off. The people I should have called.

Taking a step back I realize I do this with my entire life. The college degree I'm not using. The grad school program I haven't applied to. The career decisions I could have made.

It can even go as far as my person. Too often I'm not outgoing, punctual, tidy, charitable, patient, kind, soft spoken, etc.

My girlfriend and I are doing a strength/talent assessment test and reading the accompanying book. The test results are interesting. But the thing I've most taken away is our cultural dominance on fixing our weaknesses rather than building our strengths.

As a woman (wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend) I constantly find myself in this trap. If you ask me what my flaws are I can rattle off a list quick as a wink. But, if you ask me what I am good at I'll stammer off one or two things and then falter.

And those "strengths" are often just a few positive traits I've heard my mother say.

I know I'm good at things. And taking the time to sit down and think about it has been very revealing. The Lord has blessed me with some awesome talents. But I am too often caught up in trying to "fix" myself, rather than foster and strengthen my good qualities.

I'm the first to admit I covet the talent of others. Too many times I've wished I was organized, tidy,artsy-fartsy, funny, high energy, outgoing, etc. And I've wasted my time trying to teach myself to be _______. Sometimes it works. Just a little bit. But, how much more productive (and happier) would I be investing my time strengthening an existing talent rather than developing a new one.

Try as I might, my dinner parties are never going to naturally look like Martha Stewarts. So I have a choice: drain my time and my good attitude creating majestic center-pieces that don't come easily for me OR throw some wildflowers in a vase and have fun cooking up some simple grub we'll eat off paper plates.

Lately, I've been starting to figure this out more and more. For example, the other day I told RJ the following: Honey, we've been married for 6 years and its time you realized that I'm a "messy." My natural state is cluttery. Now, I don't like dirt, but this clutter (hand sweeping across the living room) doesn't really bother me. I know it bothers you, so I do my best to clean it up at 4pm everyday. But I do love to cook (and you love to eat it), so when Landon is grown, I want him to say - "My mom made me amazing meals. And we had fun in the kitchen together. Even if we had to wade through piles to get to the table for dinner."

My new goal is to expand on my gifts. Not dwell on my weaknesses. At the end of the day we should examine our accomplishments - small as they may be: My son had fun today. We ate on paper, but we ate all together. My husband was welcomed with a kiss. I listened to a friend.

Take a moment to think about your talents. Your passions. What drives you and excites you?What do others appreciate about you? And dwell on these things - not that unchecked box on your To-Do list.

5 comments:

Annie Brothers said...

This was very inspirational Anna. Thank you for posting this. You are right how we dwell on all the flaws we have. I am going to start focusing on and growing with the things that I can do and what I am good at...I am going to start today! I love reading your posts. Keep them coming :o)

Jessica Roy said...

I love this post! I think you are amazing...and I love that you're a part of our lives.

It's true...Lately I've been trying to identify what makes me happy - truly joyful - and focus on working towards those things instead of dwelling in the un-choices that I haven't made. I can relate - the college degree that I'm seemingly not using (though I think all Comm Majors are using their degrees in one way or another!) the not-exercising, those times where I could have been more graceful, understanding, or loving...but in the end I pile together all of that junk and ask God to please take it from me. And to use it for good instead of my self doubt and fear. He's really good at that! :)

I think you are marvelously talented - I see it every time we make our way down to see you guys. Just dealing with my lovable, yet difficult brother makes you a rockstar in my book. :)

Dallas said...

I've heard it said, "if all we ever do is work on our weaknesses, the best we'll ever be is mediocre."

I fully subscribe to that.

The best leaders are those who focus on their strengths and appoint others (who excel in those areas) to cover their weaknesses.

I'm proud of you, Anna, and I appreciate the strengths God has placed within you!

Meg said...

I love you and all of your beautiful strengths:)

Meg said...

I love you and all of your beautiful strengths:)

Two Cent Sparrow.
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