What are you good at?

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Me, hiding in a jumper I knitted

 

Writing my first blog post From wow to how? was very cathartic for me. I meant every word I said and I feel as if that post has set the tone for all my future blog posts. Self-worth is a very hard thing to quantify, isn’t it? It’s one thing to dish out advice to others, often using our own experiences as examples, yet, it’s another thing entirely actually putting these words into actions. Why? How many of us have sat with friends or loved ones listing all of their qualities in an attempt to boost their self-esteem? How many of us have had our self-esteem boosted by friends and loved ones? These exchanges feel good and they can work because much of the time we allow ourselves to be boosted by those we trust. Why can’t we do this for ourselves? Do we not trust ourselves? Do we not believe in ourselves?

Why is it so much easier to believe the negatives about ourselves rather than the positives? On any given day we are likely to receive more compliments than insults, but it’s the insults, the negatives that we are more likely to remember, more likely to dwell on. Why is this? We are taught from a young age that bragging and being arrogant is a negative thing, a flaw, if you will. However, it’s not as if there is an extremely thin line between putting ourselves down and being arrogant. There is a huge space between these two states, and, plenty of room for some self-belief; there is even room within that space to admit out loud that we believe in ourselves.

It seems that putting ourselves down has been fashionable for a very long time. Perhaps being self-deprecating is quite charming when done in a humorous way. However, I think it’s a real shame that we find it easier to put ourselves down rather than put ourselves out there. I’ve recently been writing a lot of cover letters and I find them so difficult to write, even though it’s not in person I find it so difficult to sell myself. If I were to write a critique of myself I feel it would be much easier and a great deal longer too.

I thought one thing that could be nice and positive for this blog post would be if we all post a sentence or two in the comments listing a few things we are good at. It can be anything, absolutely anything, as long as it is positive.

I’ll start….

My name is Lesley-Anne. I am good at talking, hiding, looking after animals, handling animals, studying animals, presenting Science shows, knitting, making candles and being a good friend.

Go!

 

Getting things done

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If I ever allow myself to really think about all the unfinished projects I have, I feel physically sick. The paper I never pushed to be published, the Etsy shop that could be better promoted, poems, short stories, blog posts, knitting, sewing projects that never get finished.  The list could go on and on. I do finish many things, most things, but the amount of uncompleted tasks is ridiculous.

What stops us from completing these tasks? Is it laziness? I wish it was, but that would be too simple. We all have to overcome laziness at some point, often daily, just to get out of bed, to leave the house, go to work, etc. It seems, in my case anyway that what stops me is that horrid little voice that tells me I’m not good enough, that I am destined to fail. It’s such a personal battle that it’s difficult to express and share with others that may be able to offer some words of encouragement. It’s a private and rather brutal battle that stops us from enjoying the present. How often are you dragged down by thinking about what you should/could be doing that you don’t even have time to think about where you are and what you are actually doing? You find yourself procrastinating instead of just getting it done.

I have always been a worrier, I’ve accepted that it’s part of who I am and I do love that fact that it sounds so much like warrior, when I say it anyway.  I think it’s important to care, but I am self-aware enough to know that I worry too much. I’m constantly working on it and I feel a strange sense of achievement if I get through a situation having worried less than usual. I really wish I was more laid-back. I’m one of these people who will leave things to the last-minute, which may suggest I am quite relaxed about it, when actually the reality is that I have spent so long worrying about a task that I have barely left myself time to get it done.

However, I did manage to get through many years of studying and very rarely submitted a paper late, suggesting that I respond well to deadlines. I try to give myself self-imposed deadlines, but they rarely work.  When it comes to an actual job, it gets done. I will work my arse off. But,  it’s often these things that I have to make myself do for me that I can’t finish, I can’t fully commit to. Why? I really don’t know.

I do know that I’d like to learn how to set myself stricter deadlines that I could take as seriously as those set in University. I would like to attack these projects with such vigour that I nail it and then have to move on to the next. I would like to just work on one or two projects at a time, be it a blog post, job application, story, scarf and that is what I am going to try to do. I am going to start tomorrow, just kidding, I’m going to start now. Who’s with me?

Does anyone have any tips on self-imposed deadlines? I’m hoping this blog could be good practice. What do you think?

Visit my Etsy shop – http://lelsloom.etsy.com/