Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Believe It and Become It!

I talk a lot. As I've said in previous blogs, I'm an "external processor." It's my excuse for thinking out loud. I've been reprimanded at previous jobs for disturbing my co-workers. My co-workers now (all men who typically talk only when needed) marvel (not in a good way) at my constant chatter. "Do you do this all day long?" they ask, meaning do I talk to myself all day long. Of course I do. The walls need to know that the printer is not working correctly, and the desk needs to know that it's cluttered and the stapler needs to know that I forgot what I was doing when I got sidetracked three minutes ago. 

Some might call me a chatterbox, or say I never shut up. I prefer to say that I "process externally." Just like I prefer to say that I'm outspoken instead of that I have no filter. Or that I focus on the task before me rather than say that I'm scatterbrained, forgetful, and easily distracted. These are things you learn when you build a resume, and I've had a lot of experience building mine! (gentler way of saying I move from job to job with great frequency).

We all know the saying, Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
Not true. Words hurt just as much as physical hurt, maybe more. Most likely a good many of you have also heard that your greatest strengths can also be your greatest weakness. For instance, I am very organized and efficient (strengths), but I've managed to frustrate just about every boss I've ever had because I clean up/throw out things they haven't even read yet. I can be too organized and efficient to a weakness.

Given that, how can we take our weaknesses, those things that perhaps people make fun of us for that are difficult to change, and turn them into positive strengths? I think that sometimes, all it takes is a matter of changing our perspective. We become what we believe. We believe what we hear. If we hear, "You're stupid!" all the time, we'll believe it. Instead, we might respond to, "You learn differently." If a child hears, "She's shy," from her parents because she's a bit uneasy meeting new people, she will become withdrawn, believe it and become it. Instead, her parents may choose not to even focus on the child's withdrawn behavior and just let the child be who she is.

Here is my very unprofessional opinion of how we can change certain characteristics around to reflect positive strengths (Disclaimer: this is NOT a list of my traits...well, some are, but not all).

Argumentative:   Expressive
Opinionated:       Unafraid
Bossy:                 Assertive
Stubborn:            Steadfast
Hard-headed:     Stoic
Moody:                Sensitive
Impatient:            Enthusiastic  
Predictable:        Reliable
Impetuous:          Motivated 
Fussy/Finicky:    Selective
Domineering:     Attentive
Clingy:                 Tenacious
Critical:                Assessing

These are just a few. You get the idea. Come up with your own list of negative traits, and instead of believing them, change your perspective.

Of course, many of these traits can and should be worked out with the Lord if they are a problem for you and your relationships. But sometimes, we are simply wired with a strong characteristic that overshadows the best traits in us; one that others find difficult and we find difficult to live with in ourselves. We can ask the Lord to change us. But sometimes that thing that we see as a weakness, a trouble spot is there to serve us in a positive way. We become what we believe we are. Change your perspective of yourself (and others). Think positively. Become what you believe. Believe in your potential.

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day 
Accentuate the Positive (Andrew Sisters/Bing Crosby)

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