1. Teacher Life

Recognizing Our Own Strengths and the Gifts of Others

As I write this, it is my birthday (April 12), and I was thinking about something that I heard while working out this morning.  

I thought a lot about this quote.

On the one hand, it seems sad because it feels to be true somedays. Anyone can feel unappreciated, underappreciated, and sometimes unfairly criticized.  We all have those days.  

In the last year, I have really focused more on the things that I am proud of and my strengths than on what I can do.  For years, I have encouraged people to look at others’ strengths, but too often have focused on where I have come up short.  Like all people, I have room to grow in many areas. But I no longer feel bad about taking a step back and appreciating things and moments where I am proud of what I have done.

Weirdly enough, this has allowed me to be more complimentary of others and more willing to recognize the gifts they bring. Again, not all the time, and I can grow, but I feel a genuine appreciation for others in a way that I couldn’t when I felt I was so unforgiving to myself.  

The more I have taken care of myself, the more I find that I am better at serving others.

But here is a different perspective.

One of the things that I am still trying to get better at is appreciating others’ kindness and compliments. I know I am guilty of dismissing compliments but spending all day focusing on unfair criticisms. Constructive criticism is crucial to growth, and I am always willing to listen to the people trying to elevate and lift me to something better.  Because those same people show me appreciation when I don’t ask for it, and they also do little things to lift me when I am down.

They do this when I need it most.

Stay Strong Head Up GIF - StayStrong HeadUp Basketball GIFs

Stay Strong Head Up GIF - StayStrong HeadUp Basketball GIFs

(Ugh…that one-second GIF brings me to tears every time.)

I write this blog for myself, but I am also writing it more and more for my own kids to read in the future.

So here is the TLDR of the post for my kids and anyone else who needs to hear it.

Take a moment and be proud of what you accomplished, even in the toughest of circumstances. It will help you be better for others and yourself. But also take a moment to appreciate the kindness of not only strangers but those closest to you as well. They are the ones who will lift you up when you need it the most. 

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