We all tell stories about ourselves.
If I ask you who you are or what you do, you would tell me one thing while thinking something else.
You might say, “Oh, I’m just a [fill in the blank].”
Your words are telling me that you are an accountant, a bus driver, a carpenter, or a doctor. The internal story you are telling yourself, and unknowingly the world, is that what you do is not something you are happy about or proud of.
How do I get off saying that? I did it for years. The phrase “just a” tips me off that you don’t value what you are doing or you believe the person you are talking to will not value what you do.
Maybe you are like me and add to it, “I’m just a _____ but I want to be a _____.”
For years I believed the story that “I’m just a web designer.” I didn’t see or acknowledge that I could help people by doing anything other than just building them a website.
In talking with people, I heard them say things like the following.
“I’m just a stay-at-home parent but when the kids go to school/grow-up then I’ll do _____.”
“I’m just an English teacher but one day I’m going to be a writer and publish my book.”
The list of “I’m just a _____ but I want to be a _____” stories are endless.
How You See Yourself Impacts Everything
In 2013, Dove soap launched a short film entitled “You’re more beautiful than you think.” In it, we are shown the gap between how the women sketched perceived themselves compared to how others perceived them.
Watch the video, it’s about 6 minutes long. Notice how the women are describing themselves. Then pay attention to how they were described by others.
The statement that Florence makes at the end is so true. She tells us “It’s troubling. I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices and the friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children. It impacts everything.”
I believe it was Melinda at the end that said, “Our self-perceptions are generally kind of harsh and unbecoming when really that’s not how to world sees us.”
How Do You View Yourself?
Remember what Florence said about how we see ourselves? It impacts EVERYTHING and it is not just limited to how we see ourselves physically.
Henry Ford is often quoted as saying “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right!”
If we see ourselves as someone that can’t do something, we’re right. We won’t be able to do.
If we change our mindset and think, I don’t know how to do that- yet. We start to think like a successful person and will be able to grow with each success we accomplish.
You Are More Than “Just A”
Just like the women focused on the negative aspects of their appearance, we often focus on the negative aspect of our life.
We focus on the fact that we are “just a [fill in the blank]” or “but I want to be a _____.”
Remember the Power of Yet.
Being overly critical of yourself does not help you nor the world.
Rejoice in who you are now and who you are in the process of becoming.
If you aren’t in the process of becoming, why not start today.