In the book What I Know Now, editor Ellyn Spragins interviews successful women and asks them to write letters of advice, support and comfort to their younger selves. It is up to the them to choose the age and the topic.
In her letter to herself eight years prior, Gerry Laybourne gives herself advice on straying from her comfort zone to create Oxygen Media. What I found fascinating, however, is that at the end of her list of sound entrepreneurial advice, she drops in a nugget of wisdom that is applicable to all people in various situations:
“Remember to be your own best friend. Turn off the radio station in your head that points out your failures.”
I am very familiar with this station. In fact, for quite a long time, my brainwaves were permanently tuned into its frequency. I, like Gerry, have learned how absolutely detrimental it is to let those tunes play.
Of course we all have our flaws. We have our strengths and weaknesses alike. What good does it do you to dwell on your weaknesses and your past mistakes? Look at all of the good things you have done in your life, and see the beauty that has resulted from those actions.
But don’t ignore those so-called mistakes. It isn’t about forgetting your wrong turns and weaknesses and only thinking about your strengths. The key is to look at your weaknesses as areas on which to improve (for we all are works in progress) and your past mistakes as necessary steps which led to where you are today. If I hadn’t suffered the pain of familial rejection, I would not have realized my own inner courage and strength. If I did not have the so-called flaw of neediness, I would not have turned to help in that dark time and may not even be here today.
So you see, it is of the utmost importance that we all stop beating ourselves up for our past actions that we deem as failures – or for our self-proclaimed faults in character. Turn off that radio station and celebrate all aspects of you! Every bit is precious, and every bit is beautiful.
What are your views on strengths and weaknesses? What struggles do you face relating to this topic, and how do you combat them?