Wednesday, June 30
The PROS and CONS of YOU!
I've been writing a book for the last year or so.
OK, let me be honest; I've been writing a book for several years and just never felt like it was flowing the way it should, so I kept setting it aside. Then it hit me! I was writing the wrong book! I was putting all my energy into a work of fiction when I work best with reality. I mean, c'mon, it's my tag line for life. I'm a realistic optimist - yada yada yada...(If you haven't already, you can read my personal tag line for life on the left under the "About Me" section.)
Finally sometime last summer the light bulb over my head illuminated and I tossed the fiction aside and am now happily nearing a complete non-fiction manuscript! Yay!
While talking on the phone with my sister, I was telling her about a chapter in my book where I talk about the importance of truly knowing yourself; as it's necessary in order to begin the journey of self-improvement, and how a good start in that process is to write down a list of the Pros & Cons of YOU, being completely honest in all areas. In my experience, people tend to fall under one of three categories:
1. People who are unnecessarily hard on themselves.
2. People who are more satisfied with themselves than they probably should be.
3. People who claim they don't care to be bothered with all that "pop-psychology" stuff.
The ideal, in my humble opinion, is to get to a place somewhere between 1 & 2. We won't talk about the people who fall into the 3rd category. I'll let them and their shrinks work it out.
Ask anyone who really knows me and they'll tell you I have a tendency towards being very highly critical of myself, to the point of getting on the nerves of those who love me. In very limited doses, self-criticism can be a useful tool to keep us from getting complacent. The danger is that far too easily it becomes habitual, and destructive to our self-esteem. For the most part, I've learned to stop myself when I go into 'let's pick Michele apart' mode.
Writing down my Pros and Cons has been very helpful with seeing myself in a better light. Merely saying aloud what your good and bad points are just doesn't cut it though. The visual of seeing it, and reading it, as well as saying it aloud helps us to actually absorb it more.
If you think you could benefit from any of this, try it for a few days, or even better, a few weeks.
Get a pretty journal, or stationary that you like. Pretty paper and journals make me happy, I'm dorky that way, but that's another blog post.
On the first day, write down 5 things you like about yourself (my dorkiness is actually one of the things I like about myself) and 5 things you don't like about yourself.
This next step is very important in the process, so please don't skip it. Next to each thing you DON'T like about yourself, assess whether it's genuine. If it's something you've just gotten into the habit of picking on, like when I make fun of my nose, that's not really something to add, so cross it off.
My nose is what a few people would refer to as somewhat "ethnic" but considering I have a richly ethnic background, it's something I should embrace. It's a part of my heritage and something to be proud of. So I crossed that off of my list. I'll admit that I'm not at the point of actually adding it to my LIKE list, but hey, it's a start. Bottom line, make sure your DON'T LIKE list is valid.
Once you have your list of dislikes, look them over and decide if it's something that can be improved upon, or changed. If so, set about doing just that.
Every day after the first day, write down THREE things you like about yourself, and ONE thing you don't like. When you've finished that, look back at the previous entries and make a note of anything you've done to improve the things you don't like.
This plan can really help you to start appreciating your good points more, and stop focusing on your less than fabulous ones.
Please let me know if you plan to give this a shot, and report back how it's helped you! I look forward to hearing about your experiments! ♥
Posted by Team Chastain at 10:47 PM