Recently I was asked a question that totally perplexed me. It was one of the simplest questions in the world yet I felt completely lost for answers.
"What do you like about yourself?"
The words hit me straight like a bullet in the chest. I'm no amateur when it comes to asking personal questions, as I'm generally the one digging deep and coaching others to turn more inward. But this one really hit home for me. It almost felt "too" personal.
I am used to passing self-judgment and of course like everyone else, I am my biggest critic. If you asked me to come up with flaws, I would literally ask "where do you want me to begin." But rarely do I take the time to really think about what I actually like about being... me. It almost seems self-centred to even think about. Initially I want to just throw out the typical answers like "oh yeah you know, I'm really good at staying up later than I should have looking at memes on Instagram." If there was some kind of award for this, I'm pretty sure I would be in the top finalists.
I started by thinking about all the flaws I feel I have:
1. I'm ALWAYS rushing around
2. I am filled with self-doubt and can be pessimistic
3. I spend most of my meals in my car driving around for work
4. My credit card balance is higher than it should be
5. I don't own a home and I am still renting
6. My house plants are dying
7. I can't relate when people ask "did you see the newest Bachelor episode?" because I don't watch TV
8. My house, clothing and basically every thing I own is covered in dog hair
9. I'm not engaged and I have no immediate future plans to have children despite every other people on my social media feed.
10. I haven't contributed to RRSPs (and don't even really even know what they are)
As my list began to grow and grow, at first I thought "damn, I am pretty flawed." But then I started to realize that maybe all of my so called "imperfections" are actually the driving force behind my connection to my clients, passion for health and success in business.
Rather than regarding these imperfections as flaws, I started to change them into one word verbs that I would describe someone if they told me these were their flaws. As I did, I started to see a pattern that maybe there was actually some positivity in not striving for perfection.
1. SELF-DRIVEN (challenging myself to get the most out of my time/day)
2. CAUTIOUS (taking calculated risks)
3. COMMITTED (putting my clients needs first)
4. INVESTED (spent my savings on school)
5. ADVENTUROUS (enjoying traveling the world)
6. FOCUSED (pay more attention to work rather than material things)
7. SOPHISTICATED (dont waste my time doing activities that don't make me think or grow)
8. DOG MOM (loyal to my fur baby)
9. EMOTIONALLY INVESTED (investing my energy now so I can achieve these things later)
10. SPONTANEOUS (YOLO! jk)
Suddenly my flaws didn't seem so "faux pas". Of course, this doesn't excuse me from working on areas of my life that could use more attention. Balancing work life and time for friends and family can't just take a backseat because I am "dedicated" to sitting at my computer programming workout plans for clients.
But slowly I am learning its okay to be kind to myself. It's okay to be wrong. It's okay to get mad. And most importantly, its okay to feel like I don't always have to be doing extraordinary things in the world to feel like I am doing more than existing.