We all do it. There is something someone once told us that we believe that’s not actually true. Especially things that were internalized when we were kids. One for me was that being an artist meant I had to be able to draw. I can’t draw better than stick figures, or even color inside the lines, but I am a juried artist and photographer. I am grateful to the friends who helped me see that drawing is just one artform. It changed my life to value and pursue the creative things that provide joy and balance to my big, dramatic life. This week’s three tips are about unearthing the lies you believe about yourself.
Tip 1. What stories from childhood do you still believe? One for me was art. It also used to be about my writing. I was better at math in school, so maybe they were right that I couldn’t write. What did someone tell you when you were a youngster that you still believe?
Tip 2. What do you do that comes easy to you that you undervalue? Lots of us were taught to value what we work hard to learn. The harder the skill was to develop, the more we value it. But what if our real genius is in the things that come naturally that we love to do? What if your big picture thinking, that you have always had, is what’s most needed? Or your curiosity? Or your compassion? What comes easy to you that is difficult for others? What comes naturally to you that your colleagues and friends turn to you for regularly? THAT’s your genius zone, and it’s valuable.
Tip 3. What compliments make you squirm? Another way this plays out is in compliments. People say “thank you,” or extoll your capacity at something and you are tempted to brush away. Not just because you are being humble or feel embarrassed, but because your reaction is to say, “it’s nothing” or “not a big deal.” It may be easy for you – but not for others! – and even if it is, it’s valued by someone else.
What answers did you come up with? What did you discover?