YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE

I wonder whether we have more to offer this world than we give ourselves credit for?

TAKING A FRESH LOOK AT OURSELVES

I read two quotes recently (within a few days of each other) that gave me something to ponder upon. I wondered whether we have more to offer this world than we give ourselves credit for? I find it really interesting that I can see the great character traits that others have, and yet fail to see them in myself.


HOW WE SEE OTHERS

I think we get so focused on our faults - or the faults of others that they distract us from seeking out the good. It's so easy to be ambushed by someone's bad behaviour, or their character flaws that rub us the wrong way, but what if we took a little bit of time to look deeper and seek out their good points? Everyone has good stuff - they might be needy, but they're also kind, they might get angry, but they're great  conversationalists, they might be sad, but they're fighting a valiant battle and pushing through. Life isn't all about sunshine and rainbows, we all have less attractive parts to us, but they are often only a small percentage of the whole and if we can look past those obvious flaws, then we will find the hidden gems.

Maybe you don't see people looking at you because you aren't looking at them

GIVING OURSELVES GRACE

Maybe we could then extend that grace to ourselves as well. Maybe we can acknowledge that there are parts of ourselves that still need work, but there are other great qualities too. Why not turn our spotlight onto the good we carry for a change? Why not admit to ourselves that we have a great sense of humour, or we're a good listener, or we care deeply, or we light up a room, or we are quietly reassuring when in stressful situations? Why not delve a little bit deeper and find the gems that are just below the surface - and the more we polish those gems, the brighter they'll shine. Over time the good qualities will out-shine the less attractive ones and we'll start to see ourselves more clearly.

SEEING OURSELVES AS OTHERS SEE US

The idea of seeing ourselves through the eyes of others can be a two edged sword. When we think about this concept we often focus on all the awful things we're sure others see in us. We're sure they notice all our insecurities and imperfections - that they are as critical of us as we are of ourselves.

We'd be wrong though, because other people are often attracted to us because they see our good points - they like our smile, they like the way we see the world, they like how interesting we are (while we're busy thinking how boring we are!) Other people are much kinder to us that our inner voice can be. Maybe it's time to start looking at the great stuff we have to offer and becoming less critical of the small stuff - to let our lights shine and not worry if we're making someone else squint with the glare. If other people are overwhelmed then they'll move on - but the important ones will stay, and they're the ones that truly matter.

I know it sounds fake, but you really do have a lot of silent lovers on this planet

LET'S BE KINDER TO OURSELVES

So, my aim for 2019 is to be kinder to myself, to give myself the same measure of grace I give to others. I want to shine and I want to be confident, no more hiding my light under a bushel! I hope you'll join me and shine your light too. It's time to shake off the covers and to see ourselves as others see us - good and bad - but I bet the good far outshines any not-so-fabulous parts.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you shining your light? Do you want to join me in the year ahead in recognizing the qualities others see and focusing on those, instead of worrying about all the little flaws and faults?


I wonder whether we have more to offer this world than we give ourselves credit for?

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49 comments

  1. I love this idea. I dwell on the parts of myself that I'm not great at or happy with and in doing so reduce the value of what I am great at which, when I'm thinking logically, is rather a lot.

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    1. I'm the same Jo - I spend too much time picking holes in myself and not enough time appreciating all the good aspects I've worked so hard to develop! Time for a change.

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    2. Sometimes I think we believe we are going to make ourselves better by focusing on what needs improvement but why not build on the strengths--or just appreciate them as they are? Thanks Leanne and Jo for the discussion. You're right--you both have rather a lot of amazing qualities. Cheers!

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  2. Hi, Leanne - This is a very inspirational message for 2019. Being kind to ourselves, and to others, is a wonderful way to enter the New Year!

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    1. Kindness is a big part of it isn't it Donna? If we use that as our starting point then we (and the people around us) all benefit.

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  3. Inspirational and so true! I'm beginning to think that the reason I often judge people so harshly is because I judge myself the same way. I'm working on making 2019 a year that I suspend judgment on the behavior of other people and give them a chance. And likewise for myself.

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    1. I think that's a really good point Jean - we are so tough on ourselves and then expect others to have the same standards and values. We forget that everyone is walking a different path and may be going through things we have no idea about. Giving ourselves (and others) the benefit of the doubt in 2019 sounds like a really good idea.

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  4. I'd love to believe I could accomplish this resolution. To be honest, after many, many, many years of sometimes merciless self loathing, it will be hard to break the pattern. But, they say "hope springs eternal", so I'm willing to give it a go.

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    1. We are so mean to ourselves aren't we Suzanne? We pick every little mistake and agonize over all the things we could have done better. Maybe this is the time of life when we can be gentler with ourselves and start seeing all the good parts that we skip over as we get caught up in the self-flagellation!

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  5. Leanne, you smart cookie you! What a wonderful goal for 2019.

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    1. Thanks Haralee - I'd like to think that I could start seeing myself with kinder eyes - and also give others the same measure of grace.

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  6. I need to do that. I got some birthday wishes today and a couple of people I know were saying how wonderful I am (for things I did or said during the year) and that inner voice of mine objected: "oh really? what you did was no big deal." Obviously, to them, it was. I have to give myself a chance in 2019. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. That's exactly what I meant Alana - others see all these little qualities in us that we totally overlook. It's time we stop and say "Yes! I am those things" and give ourselves a pat on the back. We've worked hard to be good people and I think we're all doing a pretty darn good job. And happy belated birthday :)

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  7. Oh Leanne, you've hit then nail on the head again!! This is so true and it's exactly why I wrote 'be kinder to myself 'on my list of goals for next year! I love all that you say here and am so glad to have you among my friends to remind me of these things. Why do we not see in ourselves what others see in us?? Thanks again for sharing your wisdom and inner thoughts. xx

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    1. I really don't know why we are so blind to our good points Deb. People can tell me over and over and I still don't really believe them. I guess we need to get the little voice in our head to change its show reel and things might start being more positive.

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  8. I agree Leanne. It's time to start focusing on our good qualities! I also like what you said about looking for the good in other people as well. Thanks for another great post Leanne. I'm happy that I can finally leave a comment now that I've set up a Google account.

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    1. Hi Christina - I'm so glad you set up an account so you can comment. I had to set up a WP one so I could comment on WP blogs, so I guess it's no different vice versa. I love the interaction that commenting allows and it's great having you on board here and no just on FB :)

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  9. Hi Leanne - Focusing on the good qualities and being kinder to ourselves are wonderful ways to enter the New Year. #MLSTL

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    1. It was quite timely to write it now wasn't it Natalie? I really want to encourage myself more in the year ahead - start putting more emphasis on the good stuff and less on the not so great aspects :)

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  10. I used to worry what others thought of me. That was my younger self. Now, I realize that it doesn't matter what others think of me. Its important that I love myself.

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  11. sorry the above comment was me Bree from 3sistersabroad.com..

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    1. You are so right (and thanks for letting me know who I'm replying to!) I think it's SO important to get your relationship right with yourself - then things with other people tend to fall into place all on their own.

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  12. I love this message and find it very true. We are so hard on ourselves! The voice in our head says things we would never say to another person. We all have many good qualities. I love the idea of focusing on our good qualities more in 2019.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family Leanne. I have enjoyed your posts and getting to know you better through the MLSTL links this year.

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    1. Hi Michele - Merry Christmas to you too and I loved reading about your daughter's wedding and the lovely family time you had. I think the voice in our head has a lot to answer for and it's time we turned the record over and tried playing Side B for a change - we might like it a lot better than the critical Side A we've been listening to for decades!

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  13. Hi Leanne I love these two quotes and often wonder why we can't give ourselves the acknowledgement and cudos that we deserve, when we freely give it to others. I read a quote once about being our own best friend - perhaps then we might treat ourselves with more respect and grace. Thank you my BBB for another wonderful year of friendship. Our project for #MLSTL has been so successful and I know that is because we make a great team and also have such wonderful blogging friends. I wish you and your family happiness for Christmas and the New Year and looking forward to our IRL meeting. xx

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    1. Hi Sue - I think giving ourselves more grace is a really big one. If we were kinder with our internal dialogue, we'd be less critical of ourselves and also of others. The harshest people are often that way because they are hard on themselves too.
      And yes, MLSTL has turned out to be all we'd hoped for and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year with your support. We do make a great team and it'll be so much fun when we get to meet soon - weird to think about and exciting too!

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  14. From a spiritual perspective, we are God's beloved. How sad that we can't see ourselves as our own beloved! Thanks for this great reminder.

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    1. That is so true Christine - we all get on board with the What Would Jesus Do? concept - maybe we should also start thinking about "Who Does Jesus See?" when he looks at us. I think he'd be a lot kinder to us than we are to ourselves.

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  15. Leanne I'd love to join you in being kinder to ousemves in 2019. I think seeing ourselves as others see us is very difficult. We would do well to focus on that a little more instead of putting all focus on our insecurities. Great positive post. I loved reading it. #MLSTL Shared on SM

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    1. Thanks for your lovely words Jennifer - I find it interesting that we all do this - we listen to the negative soundtrack in our heads and forget that we are capable of reprograming it if we want to. I think it's time for a new program in 2019 - one that says how well we're doing, rather than pointing out our shortcomings!

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  16. I will give it a try Leanne! We all have many dimensions and parts to ourselves. We are all broken and all beautiful. I commit to focus on the beautiful--in myself and others. Wishing you and yours a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! #MLSTL

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    1. I like the broken/beautiful analogy Christie - very apt indeed. And it's long past time to take the focus off the broken bits and start appreciating the beauty we have within us - I hope 2019 is the year we start seeing our own beauty.

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  17. Excellent post. The kinder to ourselves thing...a lesson for us all. In 2019 I am going to be more self-compassionate. Treat myself as I would a friend when things are not going so well instead of criticising myself. Thanks for this link up in 2018 and I will be back in 2019. Denyse #mlstl

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    1. Hi Denyse - I think you're right about treating ourselves as we would our friends. We need to cheer ourselves on and see how far we've come, rather than dwelling on the times we don't meet our own impossible standards.

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  18. Those are so such great words to live by. Thanks for sharing them. #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks Patrick - I'm not sure if guys are better at recognizing their good qualities than women are - something for another discussion maybe?

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  19. Hi Leanne, Just popping back to say I enjoyed reading this again and have shared on SM. Thanks again! #mlstl

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  20. Being kinder to myself is something that I really need to work on.

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    1. Me too Cherie - it should be so easy and yet we miss out on it a lot.

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  21. Leanne, another great post to ponder. If only each person would be kinder, wouldn't the world be a lovely place.

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    1. Thanks Janet - it was just a series of thoughts that made me stop and ponder why we're so kind and complimentary to others, and don't extend the same grace to ourselves.

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  22. Leanne, Very inspiring. I'm adding Kindness to my possible word of the year list for 2019. Being kinder to myself, self acceptance, appreciating the good qualities I have - all things I need to do in 2019. I need to become my own BFF. :-)

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    1. I think we all need to become our own BFF and start appreciating ourselves more - then we wouldn't be waiting around for others to affirm us for our self worth to be fortified. I've already chosen my Word for 2019 - but kindness is definitely another to consider :)

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  23. This reminds me of another quote I like:"If I asked you to name all the things you love, how long would it take to list yourself?" It does seem that we are hardest on ourselves much of the time. As always, great post! #MLSTL

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    1. You're right Leah - we are so quick to name our flaws, and so slow to acknowledge our strengths and gifts. Being brought up not to be proud or vain has a flip side to it where we missed out on seeing what great qualities we all possess.

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  24. It's always so much easier get caught up in finding the things we don't like about ourselves instead of the things we do like. I came across a picture of myself in 6th grade. Back then all I was worried about was the acne on my skin. Now I look at the picture and don't see that. Instead I see how smooth and wrinkle free my skin was. Oh, the wisdom of 40+ years.

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    1. I know what you mean Jennifer - I was so lacking in confidence as a teenager and it's such a waste of those gorgeous fresh years isn't it? At least we can make up of it now - wrinkles, age spots, sags and all!

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  25. Hello Leanne,

    I’m with you on focusing on the good in ourselves instead of the faults. This is something I also find hard to do. I think we cannot truly find contentment unless we can accept everything about us. Thank you for this thought provoking post.

    Best,
    Sigrid

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