Last Sunday, Glenn and I attended the Feeding Hills Congregational Church for the Church Tour: Part 3. It’s 2 miles from our house and across the street from the gym we belong to. It was a natural next step. This church was very small and had padded pews. Nice! No annoying kneeling pads either.
As soon as we arrived, I noticed a piece of fabric art hanging on the wall that looked like it was made by children who attended the church. It had words and phrases all over it, like “friendship”, “love”, and “forgiveness”. One phrase stood out to me and was particularly fascinating because of the way it was positioned and written on the fabric. There was a picture of a house with a person standing in the doorway. Over the house, it said “Who Am I?” and underneath the house it said, “Who Do You Say I Am?”. What a provocative set of questions for a child to write, especially in that way.
The way we see ourselves and the way others see us is usually very different. For example, I always disliked being tall. It was hard to forget about being tall because everyone I met for the first time commented on it. I felt like I was an escapee from the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. Everyone was immediately drawn to my height and commented on it. If I ate a plate of nachos for every time I heard “You’re SO tall!”, I would weigh 1,800 pounds by now. I used to think the comments were derogatory and I took offense to them, probably the way someone who is overweight would feel if someone, upon meeting them, said “You’re SO fat!”. I hated looking this way so I preferred not to talk about it. This all changed about one year ago when I realized that being tall is a huge benefit. It was at this point that I realized most women wear high heels because they want to be taller, not just because they look good. I also read that tall people are more successful and have an easier time influencing others. I also realized that I am going to be 6 feet tall forever, so I might as well enjoy it and capitalize on being different. After all, one of the things I focus on with my clients is taking their unique attributes and using them to stand out.
What I’m getting at is that all those people who were saying “You’re SO tall!” weren’t saying that to be rude. They weren’t saying it to point out the obvious. They were paying me a compliment. The way I saw myself and the way they saw me were two very different things. You can see why the questions on the artwork were striking to me.
If you ask yourself “Who Am I?” and follow that up by asking ”Who Do You Say I Am?”, would you have the same answer?
This is a great exercise to start thinking about your image, the person you perceive yourself to be, and how others see you. If you’re looking for an honest opinion about what you have to offer, what makes you different, and how you can capitalize on these elements, call me! I could talk about this topic for hours, which is why I have a business about being yourself to get what you want. It is actually possible to be yourself, be liked for it, and be successful because of the gifts and talents you were given. You just have to believe in yourself and know what you have to offer first!