A coworker was recently telling me about an idea she wanted to do around our workspace. It’s to bring in a poster board, decorate the edges of it, and then hang it up on the wall. Then, everyone on the team and anyone who comes into our area can write on it. Now, they wouldn’t just write any old thing. They’d write something that they liked about themselves. Usually, a board like that would be for people to write their favorite things about each other, but it’s a lot harder to write something you like about yourself. My coworker proceeded to tell me that when she was discussing the idea out with others, it really made them pause and think. And one had the bold bluntness to say that they didn’t like anything about who they were. Thing is…I find that hard to be true.
Everyone has to like something about themselves. Big or small.
Yet, when it comes down to it, it’s a really puzzling question. What do you like about yourself? Do you like your looks? Your attitude? Your hobbies or personality? Are there any traits you have that you would consider honorable? Small habits that you do that you enjoy? It can be something so simple as “I like that my eye has a spot in it” or something deeper like “I like that I can stand up for others.” Or something innocent like “I like how I hum while I work.”
I started thinking about my coworker’s question after she walked away. What do I like about myself? A couple years ago, I’d probably tell you that I didn’t like much. Yet, pondering it now, I can think of quite a few things I like about me.
I like that I’m taller than the average height. I like that my hair is long and curly and gets sun kissed at the ends because I wear a hat all the time. I like to think that I’m physically strong and someone anyone can go too for help. I like that I’ve grown a lot this past year in leadership qualities and boldness. I like that I’m busting out of my timid nature. I like that I’m quiet and observant and I love that I’m a daydreamer. I like that I’m a writer, an artist, an animal lover, and that I have a calm disposition. I like that I have hobbies and that I’m a total geek over my favorite games. I like that I can see the good in people and default to giving them the benefit of the doubt. I guess what I’m saying is…
I like me.
Now, nobody’s perfect. I’m certainly not, but you’ve gotta be able to see those good qualities in yourself. What’s that saying? Love yourself? And don’t the shrinks say that’s healthy? I’m sure everyone can find one thing they like about themselves and improve on it. If you can’t find something you like about yourself. Then that just means you have something to work on. You can’t grow or improve something you don’t like. You’ll have no effort for it.
So, if you’re struggling to say those three little words of “I like me.” Then ask yourself: “Why not?” Why don’t you like yourself? Is it your appearance? If so, change it up. Give yourself a make-over. You may not be able to do anything about your height, but you can always find a style that helps you like your height. If you don’t like yourself because of your weight, then get out and exercise. That’s something you can do something about. Then, there’s the thought of maybe what you don’t like is deeper? Maybe you don’t like being timid or you fear you talk too much. Make it a point to take baby steps to bravery or focusing on listening over talking. If you don’t like your habits, then change them. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, work on it until you do.
Now, this is definitely easier said than done. It took me a while to get the courage to stand up and try to be a leader and when it came down too it, I didn’t have the courage. There was no way I had the courage to ease into stepping up, because that allowed fear of not being good enough to slow me down. So, I just held my breath and dived in. And I’m getting better. It’s not hard anymore to be the one to give instructions. Do the difficult stuff no one else wants to do. I mean, sometimes all it takes is 10 seconds of courage and once you’re in, might as well go deep. But it took time for me. It took YEARS. Because when I was a kid, I was the last person to step out and step up.
It may take years for you too. It may take many attempts to change what you don’t like into something that you do. I just hope you never give up and when you stumble and fall, you get right back in the race. Then, when your coworker asks you to write down something that you like about yourself maybe you’ll come to the conclusion I did. Maybe you’ll discover a whole new perspective and many things you like about yourself. I certainly hope you do.
I certainly hope you say: “I like me.”