How Do You Look For The Good Inside of Yourself and Others?

heather o'neill coaching - photo by designingjoe

heather o'neill coachingOne of the things I love about coaching, and there are many, is that you get to hold up a “mirror” so to speak and remind clients of their strengths. Part of the reason I became a coach, or I guess I should say a big part of my mission, is to remind people of all of the wonderful things that make them who they are. We spend so much time beating ourselves up when we perceive we didn’t do something perfectly or just right or we make mistakes or we feel we don’t measure up to someone else’s perceived definitions of what we are trying to be, that that type of thinking becomes our norm. And when that happens a lot of our good and our personal truth gets buried. It gets buried under a lot of shoulds (a word I try very hard to keep out of my vocabulary) We should be like this and we should dress like this and we should have this, that or the other thing. But I like to remind people of the BEINGness of who they are. Of all the great things that make them uniquely themselves.

I often post tips on my Facebook page reminding people to tell themselves they love them self, or to thank them self for contributing to the highest good. We just don’t do those things enough, any of us. And I am afraid most of the time we are completely unaware of just how much we highlight what we find wrong with ourselves. I try to make a practice of complimenting everyone I interact with. And that is not to say I throw out false statements of praise, I wholeheartedly mean the things I say to people. There is plenty to compliment someone on when you are looking. But mostly we are looking for what is wrong with others and at what we don’t like. And really this is the same mechanism that goes on inside of us: as within, so without.

So many times when we have issue with others we can look inside and find that we just happen to have the same issue with our self. For example we may feel like someone we are in a relationship with is not giving us what we need, but are we giving to ourselves the things we need? And when we realize that, we then have the opportunity to radically change both of those things, the relationship with our self and the way we view and interact with others. I am not saying that anyone is perfect or that we should strive to be, but rather I am suggesting cultivating the practice of really looking for the good in others and then doing the same for yourself. If we cannot truly love ourselves than we are not capable of truly loving another. And conversely the more we love ourselves the more our hearts are opened to the greater capacity to love others. And when we can love fearlessly, without the what ifs: what if I get hurt, what if I am not enough, what if it’s not reciprocated, magic can happen. Because it means we are looking at what is good and right with our whole heart, because that’s what feels good and that’s the way we choose to live.

I want to invite everyone to try the compliment practice I mentioned above. And not only with others but with yourself as well. Over the next few days find something to compliment everyone you interact with about. If it is someone you don’t like, do it anyway. Make it about the higher good rather than our smaller differences. Merely complimenting someone doesn’t mean you have to start spending more time with them. And you may notice that you begin getting compliments more too as you engage in this practice. So pledge to accept the compliment and allow another person to give you that gift, the same way you don’t want someone refusing the gift of the compliment that you are giving them. And then lastly, give yourself at least one compliment everyday. You can make it a habit by complimenting yourself on at least 1 thing before you go to bed at night and if it is comfortable for you, expand that to complimenting yourself throughout the day. For who you are along with for what you do. You deserve it!!

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