We're all a little narcissistic. But most of the time what lay people label as narcissistic* is just someone wanting to be seen and heard for what they value in themselves. We feel invisible, so we try to point out what we think we're good at. Or we step in over and over again hoping someone sees something of value in us.
Unfortunately, I think many people don't really know what they value in themselves. It's like throwing darts at the dart board. Blindfolded. After being spun around. And drinking too many wobbly pops.
Even with so many things stacked against us, we still hit the dartboard occasionally. Sometimes we may even get a bullseye. But because it feels so random, it's hard to repeat.
Was it because I held my breath just before I threw the dart? Was it because I stumbled?
We keep stepping in, we keep trying to add value, and we keep hoping desperately that someone else will see. Someone else will recognize who we are and help us remove our blindfold.
What abut you?
Sometimes I write something I love so much I congratulate myself, "Wow Sarah, great job! You've outdone yourself once again."
I save that little tidbit for later and hope I remember it when I need it.
But I also secretly hope others like what I wrote too. I share it with you, I share it with friends, family, my Dr. When I think of who I am, this is what I'm proud of. This is (part of ) the value I want people to see in me.
It's something I struggle with too. I know what I offer is good. I have at least a dozen books people have asked me to write, at least some people like what I write enough. But I also notice all the people who don't gush over my writing. I notice who disagrees with my views. I notice all the ways I'm not good enough.
I want to be funny. At least a little amusing. That's not the response I hear from people. I hear, 'Wow! I hadn't thought of it like that before." and, "That's an amazing story!" and "This gives me hope." I hear wonderful things, but not what I want to hear. I want people to share what I write. Some do, Thanks mom! I want to make a difference in the world. I want to know my words mattered. If my words mattered, then I mattered.
Hopefully, you're reading that and going, 'Wait a minute! Of course you matter!" That's the standard response to someone else being hard on themselves.
When we're faced with being hard on ourselves though, we don't stop at hopes and wishes. We dig in and go deeper. "No one shared your post because your words sucked." We go deeper and deeper - usually heading straight for the parts of us we value most.
Most of the time we're wrong. If I look at analytics & metrics, I can see that no one saw what I posted. The post ended up in the feed of 10 people. Of those 10 people, 4 engaged with the post, 2 liked it, 1 commented. Those numbers are tiny, but when you compared average engagement per views, or even average views per total followers, then you can see these numbers are high.
Instead of proving ourselves, and all those negative thoughts, right, it's time to prove them wrong.
Today you had a negative thought about yourself or your contribution to something. Don't try to deny it. I have never met a person who doesn't have those thoughts. I want you to ask yourself - in what way are those thoughts wrong? Find some way.
This is not about holding yourself in place.
This gives you freedom to allow yourself to change. You find what you're already good at, get better at it, then begin moving toward more of what you want.
My Connection Coaching Program walks you through discovering who you are, and how to share that with others in a way that is seen & heard. It also shows you how to acknowledge others so that they feel seen & heard.
*Narcissism needs to be professionally diagnosed. The majority of people labeling someone else as narcissistic don't have the information necessary to diagnose. The majority of people labeled as narcissistic by friends (?are they friends?) and family have negative expressions of positive intentions, but are not narcissistic.
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