CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- We all have our strengths -- and our weaknesses. The problem comes when we buy into the opinions of others -- and let their voices drown ours out.
How many stories have you heard about children who were told they weren't good at something -- and never bothered to pursue it?
Obviously, we can't be good at everything. And it's helpful to play to our strengths and to know our limits. Then there are those gray areas. You know the feeling. You're not confident about your ability in a certain area, and someone else calls you on it. As fate would have it, this often happens in a very public way.
Why do you react so strongly? You may say it's because they pushed your buttons. If you weren't on heightened alert, though, and already critical of yourself on the inside, your buttons couldn't be pushed.
We all have fears of one kind or another. There are primal fears of lions, tigers and bears (oh, my!). And there are fears of all kinds of things, both rational and irrational. What I want to focus on, though, are our fears of interacting with one another.
Many of us walk around, filtering every comment and action before taking it. We wonder what someone else will think if we say this or do that. Sound familiar? If so, you're probably exhausted from all the rehearsing you have to do.
I read a tip awhile back: "Do one thing you're afraid of every day." I thought that was pretty profound, and I've been incorporating it into my life at times. Our fears hold us back in so many ways. They lead to procrastination and worry. And they can take their toll on our health (mental, emotional and physical).
Some fears haunt us within the recesses of our own minds. Some are not even valid. If we'd just take the first step toward addressing them, they'd vanish.
One of my favorite lessons from a past seminar is "You teach people how to treat you." This has proven true for me in so many ways -- both professionally and personally. People do what works; and if you've reacted one way so many times, it's expected.