Point to Ponder:
What label (about yourself) do you need to drop?
My sister Shonna (the same direct communicating sister I wrote about last week) has never considered herself creative. If asked, she’d say I was the creative one in the family while she wasn’t creative at all, however, over the past year she began baking and decorating gorgeous sugar cookies (pictured above). This was after only taking one decorating class! Now, she's decorating elaborate and delicious cookies and taking regular orders from friends and neighbors...but she's not creative. Nope! Not at all.
Then yesterday while talking to iGnite Leader Alli Phillips, she began talking about her sister, who also doesn’t consider herself creative, yet she writes beautiful and articulate letters…oh, and happens to choreograph inspiring dances. What the heck?! How can neither of our sisters consider themselves to be creative? Alli and I are of the opinion that somewhere along the way (most likely many years ago in school) they were not labeled “creative”. Rather, they were labeled “good at math”, “athletic”, "a dancer", "gifted", "smart", "talented", but not creative. Then, as life went on they likely unconsciously compared or judged their creativity to the creativity of someone else who in their minds, was creative.
Whether or not we realize it, we all compare, judge, and label ourselves. Maybe it's flexibility, strength, athleticism, math, organization, tall, short, fast, slow, young, old, intelligent, big, little. The truth is (key word is truth!) we can do anything to the best of our ability and that is all that matters, but because of comparison, us believing a label or having labeled ourselves, we often stop short of trying. In the words of Alli,"Drop it!" Drop the labels and comparisons.
In my words, "Enough already!" Enough judging our gifts, talents or treasures to the likes of someone else. Enough of the self-rejection and criticism. Enough thinking we have to be approved of or measure up to our neighbors, social media "friends", or total strangers. The big question is who and what are we comparing ourselves to and why do we really care? There will always be someone who is different, has more, or can do more, but that should never diminish what we do
have and it certainly should not prevent us from
doing what we can do.
Malaine, my five year old daughter, is a perfectionist. From coloring to throwing a ball, if she “messes up”, she gets very frustrated and says, “I’m no good!” Rather than tell her how good she is, I ask her this question: “Who told you you are no good? Did I tell you that? Did someone else tell you that because I didn't hear anyone tell you that?” and I follow with, “Is that the truth? and/or are you telling a story?" I then encourage her to remember that being perfect is not the goal. The goal is to do her best, have fun and to tell the truth.
In conclusion, I’ll never forget the time a friend told me she hadn’t worn shorts since middle school..all because a classmate told her her legs were big. This was like twenty years later…and she still believed the lie. Yes, the truth is that words matter, but the other truth is it's up to us to believe them or not.
Pick one label you have accepted, drop it and do something your label has prevented you from doing.