I have received some very wonderful feedback on my last post Self-Esteem and Making Mistakes. I feel the need to follow up on some things I said. First, I want to acknowledge some recent posts that speak to avoiding assumptions, over-analyzing, and judging.
Naveen Lakkur posted on Active Garage asking Are you diving deep into the matters? He includes a very relevant story that perfectly illustrates the dangers of judging and making assumptions. Ivan Capuzano writes How To Have New Eyes To See The World, about avoiding over-analyzation. His post gives great tips on how to see everything going on around you for what it is, without labels or analysis. Nadine Laman at First Draft also addresses the pitfalls of labeling others in her post called PC.
Okay, back to the title topic now. I realized after reading the comments from suZen and Mindy that I should probably give myself a little more credit. All of my self-esteem is not dependent upon doing everything right and being the best. It is definitely a very strong drive in me and certainly gets in the way when I consider trying something new. However, I read back through all of my blog entries thus far and found quite a lot of uplifting things. Apparently I need to listen to myself a little more.
A post on communicatrix gave me a much needed reminder that failing is part of living without fear. A willingness to fail is also a willingness to try something new, to learn from our mistakes, to improve things around us. Many of the best inventions and discoveries came from failure. Some of my best experiences recently have only happened because I was willing to do something spontaneous without knowing the outcome first. I need to take strength from the times that letting go has worked so well, proof that I do not have to be in control or prepared for every contingency.
I have had a good journey so far through my blog. I have gone from thinking that my way is to help other people handle conflict more appropriately to understanding that my way right now should be in adjusting my life and my attitude so that I can embrace whatever opportunities come my way. I need to trust that my path will become clear once I am in the right frame of mind to see it. Just typing that feels so freeing!
My posts and my blogging friends have taught me the following:
* I will soften in the face of conflict. I will address conflict. I will not place blame.
* I will do everything I can to simply be in the present, enjoying the learning process, engaged in what I am doing at that moment.
* In order to cultivate inner peace, I will relinquish control. I will accept that there are many unknowns and that I am not responsible for knowing them until they are shown to me. I will be patient.
* I deserve to be more forgiving of myself, accepting of failure, and allowed to make mistakes. I do not have to be the best at anything. I do not have to do anything right the first time. I will give myself credit when I do something right.
* I will be motivated by a desire to understand others, not by a desire to be right. I will engage in conversation with others with a willingness to be changed. I will not try to change or control others. I will be more accepting of others and not judgemental. I will be competitive with myself, and no one else.
* I will give myself permission to be open to opportunity and willing to embrace challenges. I will be more flexible and spontaneous. I might even be daring. I will stretch myself and be empowered. I will give myself realistic expectations.
* I will stop talking about it and do it; I will take action. I will listen with no agenda and no internal dialogue. I will think before I speak, and hopefully, say less.
* I will act with authenticity and integrity. I will express gratitide, compassion, humility, and grace. I will own my choices and I will choose to act in line with my values.
* I will breathe, deeply and with purpose.
* I will make progress, gradually and surely.
* I will be the best partner to Donald by being the best partner to myself.
Nadia wrote today on Happy Lotus, The Diamond In You & How You Can Never Be Threatened. This post is such a source of inspiration and encouragement to me. She writes about the importance of being present and reminds her readers that our core is perfect and cannot be threatened. It is up to us to uncover our cores, to remove the detritus of issues and struggle and to allow ourselves to shine the way we were intended to do. Her words give me the permission I need to follow my heart and not my mind, to free myself from the past and not worry too much about the future.
Thank all of you for your help along the way. I look forward to more kitchen conversations with friends.