If I could go back and talk to my new mom self, I would have so much I’d want to say.
I would tell her not to worry so much, to trust her heart and instincts, to take care of herself and to routinely highlight what she is doing well and to know her strengths.
The more years, I have mothering, the more I realize we all have strengths, and we need to highlight and acknowledge those strengths.
And the irony, I am sure for many, it’s easier to focus on what we need to improve, or ruminate on our mistakes, than it is to acknowledge our strengths and abilities. Being able to highlight our personal strengths often doesn’t come as easily to mind and requires practice.Which leads me to ask:
Why is it so challenging to highlight what we do well?
The older I get, and the more experience I have mothering, I can comfortably highlight my strengths. This wasn’t always the case.
Early on in mothering, I was developing a whole new part of my identity, and at times was unsure of my abilities. But with each month and year that passed caring for my children, I gained wisdom and confidence knowing what my strengths were and being able to recognize these traits.
Uncertain as a new mother to twins, acknowledging my strengths often came through the observations of others: my mom or dad, my husband, a friend or pediatrician. Over time, I was able to see my strengths as a mom, but it took time and some getting used to seeing my strengths.
Some of my strengths I have as a mother is I am patient, calm, (especially in crisis and stress), and attuned to each of my daughters. Not perfectly, because perfect is unattainable if you ask me, but I am good enough at the right moments or most moments of mothering.
I want you to ask yourself: What are my strengths?
If you are at a loss for how to answer this questions, ask yourself: What do I do well? And, are there phrases or compliments I hear often?
Being able to highlight your strengths is an important character trait.
I think many mothers are uncomfortable thinking in these terms because they may not want to seem as if they are bragging, boasting or conceited. There is a significant difference highlighting what you do well compared to being arrogant or boastful.
Consider this, when helping your child learn something new, or when you want to reinforce a behavior, without much thought I bet you highlight his/her strengths. Take the lead from how you would mother your child, and be the same cheerleader you would be to your child, to yourself.
Here are five reasons why highlighting your strengths in mothering is important:
1. Builds confidence
2. Creates a foundation to build, grow and try new skills
3. Helps you to be a role model to others
4. Develops wisdom
5. Increases well-being and happiness
Don’t be afraid to list and highlight your strengths.
We all have them, and it starts with our ability to recognize the strengths we possess.
© Copyright Dr. Claire Nicogossian 2017
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