Many of us go around focusing or reflecting on the things we can’t do, mess up on, or fail in. For some we also acknowledge our strengths and gifts with appreciation.
The value of seeing the positive
For all of us though it is imperative to truly know ourselves and see the positive in us in order to have a positive view of ourself. High self esteem is directly related to our ability to see ourselves in such a way.
At a professional level we can complete feedback surveys and obtain objective information. I think this insight is invaluable for raising awareness and behavioural change.
However many of us do not have access to such resources or the capacity to embrace the process of self development involved. Plus I find some people can get drawn into their development areas at the expense of seeing the strengths they have already on offer.
Do it yourself morale boost
So here is a modified self awareness activity that also provides a nice boost of self confidence and uplift of self esteem.
Decide that you want to know what others think of you in a positive sense and are willing to receive this information without embarrassment, inflation of ego or denial.
Invite people to give you feedback
Then, compose an email (or letter for those in the world you may know who still don’t use email). In the email / note ask people to write back to you and send back one word that comes to mind most when they think of you in a positive sense. They are not allowed to send anything back constructive or negative (that’s another exercise). No one word, but blah blah blah.
Send the email to your close friends, people that know you well, colleagues you trust and family.
Do your own list
While you are waiting for their replies AND before looking at any of these create your own list. On this list write down the positive words only that come to mind when you describe yourself. If a negative word does come to mind simply challenge yourself to turn it into a positive.
Accept, acknowledge and record responses
Then as you receive the words from others create a summary on a separate page. Highlight each word so it stands out on its own. You may even want to list in small fine print the person that sent the word as this may help in your relationship awareness assessment at another time.
Then step back and look at the two lists. What is it that people see in you that you don’t see in yourself?
What is it that you see in yourself that others don’t yet fully appreciate?
Decide on the top three aspects of you that you would like to express more to others and make a plan.
Also take time to acknowledge on a daily basis the way others see you.
You may want to post or file the pages somewhere where you can see the words every day to remind you of how wonderful you are in so many different people’s eyes including your own.
Let’s go there…