As the end of the year approaches, more and more conversations are turning to the things we think are wrong with ourselves. We're talking about resolutions and promising to transform into perfect people on January first.
This year, I want to do something different.
Most of us are great at reeling off a list of our faults but, the fact is, we all have something we're not that bad at. So, today, rather than sitting around thinking about all the ways in which you could be a better person this coming year, why not spend a little time admitting to yourself that there are some areas in which you're already doing pretty well?
Here are mine:
- Only eating crap in moderation. My mum imposed a two biscuit limit when I was little; most of the time, I continue to stick to that.
- Finding time to read.
- Seeing both sides of the story.
- Walking short distances instead of taking the bus or cadging a lift. Not that this applies right now, of course. I consider anything under 3 miles a "short distance".
- Getting rid of things I no longer need. I love doing this.
- Noticing (and photographing) the little things. One of the best compliments I've been paid (by three different people!) is that they always see more detail when they're walking around with me.
- Making new flats feel like home.
- Listening to people's problems without imposing my own solutions.
- Making and sticking to budgets. A skill which is likely to come in handy this year...!
What's that? You don't think you're good at anything? Hey! "Self-loathing" is not allowed on that list. Here are some suggestions to get you thinking about your skills:
What are your hobbies? Perhaps you feel like too much of an amateur to call yourself "good" at your hobbies, but there's bound to be at least one element of them you're getting pretty proficient at. For example, I feel confident saying I'm good at writing but less so at bragging about my photography - but I do feel confident saying I'm good at spotting things to photograph. If you're not the best seamstress, are you good at picking out the perfect buttons or binding to finish your garments? If you're a novice runner, are you good at choosing nice places to practise?
What have you done a lot of? I've moved house loads - more than thirty times - so I can confidently say that I'm really good at moving into somewhere new and making it feel familiar. If you've done a lot of temp jobs, are you good at learning new systems quickly (or at keeping out of office politics)? If you've been involved in lots of events, are you good at organising a team?
What do people ask you for advice on/what advice posts seem like they're stating the obvious to you? For example, I don't need anyone to tell me how to de-clutter! Do you make amazing Pinterest boards? Are you confident talking to new people? Is your wardrobe beautifully arranged by colour? Don't be afraid to say so!
What does your mum say? If you really can't of ten things to like about yourself, ask your friends or your family. They stick around for a reason, you know - perhaps it's time to find out what that reason is.