What qualities do you admire in yourself? No matter what starts coming to mind, realize there is no one who can hear your most intimate thoughts, so you are quite free to be entirely honest with yourself. So if you think you’ve got beautiful eyes, endless empathy, unbridled enthusiasm, or yes, even a fabulous and sexy body, don’t apologize.
Now some people find it very difficult to find things they love about themselves because they are afraid of being shallow, vain, egotistical or self-centered. However, would you agree that there is something or some things, that are admirable in everyone? Surely if every other person has some good qualities that you can find, then you too must have some qualities that you should be proud of.
Maybe you don’t agree that there are redeeming qualities in absolutely everyone. Many blogs ago I spoke about Hitler himself and challenged readers to find some redeeming qualities in that individual. He was charismatic, a tremendous motivational speaker, had a dynamic personality, mobilized an entire nation, and there are many people today who would aspire to have those qualities for their own. If there’s good in him, why not you?
So what do you admire in yourself? There’s a solid reason for me posing this question to you and it relates to your employment search or your career aspirations. Let’s start with the job seekers. You already know that this period of your life can be one where you are either rejected or accepted when it comes to applications and interviews. Just because you may be rejected for a job doesn’t mean that as a person you are not worthy. It means that the qualities they are seeking, such as education, experience, and aptitude are a better fit with another applicant. Hard not to take it personally, but really from their perspective, it really isn’t all about you whatsoever.
If you feel that you are kind, sensitive, compassionate and an effective listener, then just because a company interviews other candidates doesn’t change those qualities that you yourself possess. You may take these qualities and apply for many jobs in the field of Social Work before someone interviews and hires you – but you still have these qualities whether you get interviews or not. Recognizing this in yourself can help strengthen your shield of self-worth and self-image at a time when you may feel very open and exposed to the judgement of others.
And if you are already employed, looking to advance or solidify your aspiring career, it is vitally important that you acknowledge and review your personal strengths and positive qualities in order to position yourself for the future. This is not an exercise in vanity. This is a process whereby you reinforce your positives, and by keeping these qualities foremost in your conscience reality, you will find you gravitate to opportunities where you can and therefore do, use them more often. Repeated kindness, consistently high self-expectations, striving to maintain exceptional attendance; whatever your great qualities, when you recognize them and acknowledge them often, you’ll show them more often.
And here’s a very key point to remember: Give yourself permission to admit that you really do love certain things about yourself. Maybe nature gave you naturally curly hair and you appreciate that even though you did nothing to obtain it. You can still say, “I love my curls”. And you may have on the other hand worked extremely hard to shed 80 pounds and tone your thighs, lose the stomach and firm up those…well…er…you know. If that was your goal, it’s okay to love those two…er… too.
Beyond the physical, there are the personal qualities we all have; self-motivation, assertiveness, a positive attitude, our priorities, our ability to raise funds for causes, our interpersonal skills, our problem-solving abilities, our vocabulary etc. Be proud of these things!
One of the saddest things I come across in my job occurs most often when I’m counselling female victims of abuse. As part of my assessment in trying to find out where someone is at, I often ask them to tell me one or two things that they like about themselves, and sadly they often initially say, “Nothing”. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to honestly feel there isn’t one single quality or attribute about myself that I wouldn’t be proud of or like. And when there’s nothing to like in yourself, how then it is reasonable to assume someone of any worth could find something in you to like? And so many of these victims feel they are ‘worth less’ and being with someone abusive is all they deserve. They tell me that they can’t believe a kind and loving man would want them because they can’t find worth in themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should line your cubicle up with pictures of yourself and make sure there are mirrors all over the office so you can gaze on your loveliness all day long! That’s narcissistic to the extreme.
Some things you can do however is keep notes of appreciation you may get from others, and another is to write down qualities that others say you have in a notebook or in an electronic file on your computer. Take a private look at it from time-to-time and remind yourself of the things others admire in you. What comes up most often? What would you agree with and what surprises you?