There are things that we do so naturally, we do not even realize we are doing them. For some of us, it is the way we connect with others or the ease with which we explain complex material. It might be our willingness to laugh at things that others stress over. Whatever it is, it is a gift. The more we appreciate our gifts, the better we feel and the more we have to give to others.
We run into trouble when we overlook or undervalue the gifts that we have been blessed with. Rather than being a form of humility, it is a recipe for low self esteem and feeling taken advantage of in ways that leave us feeling resentful. Thankfully, now is the perfect time to start appreciating the things we do that make us amazing.
Often times, students will come to the lunch groups in our district with a lost look in their eyes. For whatever reason, they do not realize how gifted they are. They might feel discouraged, confused or resentful. Regardless, it is a wonderful opportunity to shine light on these young people and remind them how valuable they are.
One girl came to the group looking sheepish. She had a great smile and was very kind. Somehow, she felt as though she did not fit in. It was due, in part, to having moved around at an early age. It was clear that she did not feel comfortable being seen and heard.
As we got to know each other and she became acquainted with the other members of the group, her confidence grew. We shined light on the fact that she was smart, considerate of others, and a great role model. Her sense of humor also came out more. While she remained relatively quiet, she started carrying a sense of pride with her when she was at school.
Perhaps you have been undervaluing your gifts and talents. By doing so, you have been short changing yourself and the people in your life. It is not possible for others to value you more than you value yourself. It is time to reassess how amazing you are.
You can start by making a list of all the things that are great about you. No one else has to see the list. The goal is to register in your mind that you are both gifted and valuable. There is no one else who can fill your shoes. As you take time to remind yourself of this basic truth, your world will open up in new and exciting ways, so much so that you will wonder why you waited so long to see the obvious.
Edward Biagiotti is the Inclusion Specialist for Culver City Unified School District. For questions, comments, and ideas for future columns, send an email to: EdwardBiagiotti@ccusd.org