August 17, 2010
A friend of mine on Facebook recently posted this question:
“If you ask kindergartners who is a good singer, or good at anything, every hand in the class goes up. Why do we devalue ourselves so much when we grow up? C’mon–what are you good at?”
HOW TRUE IS THAT. It reminded me of another article that Torrie linked to a while back about something called ‘Imposter Syndrome‘ It’s not an official disorder or anything, but basically it’s the phenomenon (particularly among overachievers, which, oh HELLO THERE!) where we are in complete denial of our gifts and skills- too wrapped up in hoping nobody finds us out as IMPOSTERS, so filled with self-doubt that it often clouds our ability to do our jobs well, even if we are truly talented and good at them.
And just a couple of weeks ago, Casey posted about her winning photos at the Indiana State Fair. She is an amazingly talented photographer, and that’s not just my opinion- I mean, she won AWARDS! But still, as she wrote on her blog, there is doubt in her mind as to if she really deserves the credit. And it can take some of the joy out of doing what we love, you know?
It seems we all do this, myself included. But why? Why do we insist on being humble (either genuinely or as an act- which, I’m willing to bet most people aren’t just acting, we really DO have trouble accepting praise for our talents and skills)? And how do we lose that from childhood? How do we go from being unashamed to dance around the room like a complete goofball in front of strangers saying “LOOK MAMA! LOOK AT ME! I’M A GOOD DANCER!” even though we maybe look like we’re having a seizure to hiding in the corner at a party, afraid of making one awkward move (in a room full of, let’s face it, about 30 OTHER people making many awkward moves on the dance floor!)
I say we embrace our skills. Whether it’s dancing or singing or cooking or cleaning or being really, really good at plucking eyebrows. So the question: What are you good at? SEVEN THINGS. (Why seven? Because that’s how many I came up with quickly and it’s my blog so I make the rules!) Toot your own horn! Post it on your blog if you want! Then come back here and leave a comment with a link to your post.
It’s time we all start celebrating our talents, however minor and silly they may seem.
THINGS I ROCK AT (besides ending a phrase or sentence with a preposition. HOLLA!)
1. I’m a good cook (also a good eater… does that count? ha) I mean, I’m not making gourmet dishes over here, but I do pretty well. Dan’s not starving, is what I’m saying. And I get more brave and independent in the kitchen every day. This week? I might even make up my OWN RECIPE.
2. I am very very good at managing (and saving) our money. I do all the banking and bill paying. Though I do clue Dan in now and then for what we have in savings, checking, major bills that popped up, etc.
3. I am good at being a mom. Even though my three-year-old sometimes acts like I’m trying to make her life SO. MISERABLE., I know that I’m doing a good job.
4. I can sing! Not like, super-star level or anything, but I can sing on key very well and my voice is decent. I sang the National Anthem a few times in high school and college for sporting events. (Ask me about the time I got SHOCKED- like 4 or 5 times!- by the microphone on my MOUTH while standing on the ice, singing at a hockey game. AND I JUST KEPT GOING.)
5. I’m great at keeping up with emails. I see horror stories on Twitter from people with literally HUNDREDS of unopened messages and I start to sweat just thinking about it. It comes mostly from my tendency to get a bit twitchy if I have something hanging over my head. And really, I get a lot of email (at least I think so- during a normal weekday, I get anywhere from probably 30 to 100 emails between work, friends, and my blog. Is that a lot? It seems like it is.) I keep my inbox as a ‘To Do’ list and that helps. If something needs a response and I can do it in less than 5 minutes, I try to do it immediately. If it will take some time on my part, I star it and come back later when I have time to focus on it (but not TOO much later!) If it doesn’t require a response or action on my part, it gets labeled and archived- boom! Done. If I have more than 10 ‘needs attention!’ emails in my inbox at any given time… I’ve been slacking, yo.
6. I have a very good sense of direction. I’m typically The Navigator when we go somewhere new, and I’ve only misdirected us a few times (and honestly, IT WAS THE STUPID SIGN THAT WAS WRONG, MAN. NOT ME.) Also: I love maps. Not a skill really, but a related tidbit.
7. I am an excellent speller. (I may have typos all over the place, but trust me- it wasn’t because I didn’t KNOW how to spell it, I SWEAR! Stupid keyboard.)
Okay, your turn!