Why is it so hard for someone to identify a positive trait about themselves? This is the question that confronted me all day today. While meeting with clients today I found myself asking them the same question, session after session. For some it just took me breaking the ice so they could begin to find positive traits. For another I asked her to identify one and I gave her a few examples that I noticed and she broke into tears. I don’t mean one or two tears, I mean almost the ugly tears of so emotionally overwhelmed that it took a little for her to regain her composure. When I asked her why, she stated she has so little self-esteem that she cannot see these positive and when positives are pointed out it hurts. I left that session after giving her the assignment of building on the compliments that I displayed for her. She seemed reluctant but I really hope she will try.
So I’m left with the original question… Why is it so hard to identify positive traits about self? I know we all struggle with finding positive things when we are asked. But how hard is it for you to think something positive when I give you a few moments? How about when I start you off:
“I am caring”
“I am motivated”
“I am….(you fill this in)”
How does this little project make you feel? For me it makes me feel better, happier, gracious.
I don’t think I answered the question of “why” but my hope is that by making more of us aware of this lack of self-esteem others have (and maybe we have about ourselves) we are nicer to others. We give more compliments to others and we ourselves truly believe those positive things when said to us.