January 13, 2014
I bet if I asked you to give me a run-down of your kids’ personality and potential, you could talk for hours about all of the great things they might do tomorrow, next week, and some day. You’d probably hold back a little because you don’t want to brag but it’d all be there on the tip of your tongue. I’ve even written about it in Help Kids See Their Personality Potential. You see, we easily recognize the positives in our children, but I have a Mom Challenge for you:
Give yourself the same positive benefit.
No, really. It’s time to be honest with yourself, not about the negative (we’re all good at that), but about what makes you an AMAZING mom. I challenge you to have that “potential building” conversation with yourself.
Hurdle 1: Figure out your top 10 personality traits.
What makes you you? I’ll admit, it’s a little hard to see ourselves objectively. Think about which part of your day is easiest and the most challenging. Or consider your natural response to joy and stress. Last year, my husband and I went to a great conference that had us take a Strength Finders personality test from Gallop. It listed our top 5 strengths which really helped me see some aspects of how I behave (and how my husband behaves!) as strengths rather than complications. For example, a “communication” strength put my tendency to talk to a brick wall if another human isn’t available in a much more positive light! If you’re really stuck on this, take a look at some of the lists created by these studies. They might give you a perspective you’ve never considered.
Hurdle 2: Brainstorm how these can benefit your others around you.
Just like my questions for the kids, ask yourself how these things you do HELP others. We all have personalities, which means we all have things we do well. Others, especially our children, profit from these. We don’t tend to see them because these things come so naturally we barely have to think about them.
Hurdle 3: Put those people you compare yourself to in perspective.
You know the ones. Their Facebook page is plastered with posts and picture that highlight exactly what you wish you could be. Or you talk to them and feel like they accomplish more in one day than you will this month. Acknowledge that they have talents that are not yours. But then remember that no one can be everything, so you have talents that are not theirs. You are both operating out of your strengths. They just look different. If possible, have a conversation with them. I’m blessed with such amazing friends. I admitted to a friend that she sometimes intimidated me with her impressive organization in the face of four young kids. Do you know what she said? She sometimes feels envious because our family always seems to be having adventures that she’d never be able to handle with her need to put things in order. I told her she wouldn’t be envious if she could see my house on a typical school day!
Hurdle 4: Grow.
Stop telling yourself what you can’t do. Stop feeling less worthy because you’re not organized/artistic/studious /adventurous … perfect! Instead, accept your skills and find a way to bring in some of those other aspects. Just because my house doesn’t naturally stay neat doesn’t mean I have to live in a pig pen. I frankly told my kids that I tended to be chaotic. We have slowly set up routines to keep the chaos under control. Somewhat.
Hurdle 5: Celebrate yourself for the wonderful parent you are.
It’s the simplest and most difficult. Use your powers for good!