Bridging Hope Counseling provides individual, couples and marriage, teen and parent, group, and DBT skills groups, therapy and counseling for those in the Minnesota Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Bridging Hope Counseling Blog

Professional opinions, insights, and news concerning counseling and therapy.

 

 

“Oh, Heidi aren’t you so cute.”

“Wow, you have a lot of energy” (with an annoying tone).

“How can you be so positive” (with a questioning tone that perhaps it is fake).

I’ve allowed little comments like these to bring me to think my positive attitude and energy is a bad thing, annoying to others, that I need to tone it down. While at times it makes sense to have boundaries and discernment with your audience, what I have done is not allowed myself to truly just be ME. I’ve doubted myself and haven’t felt worthy of who I truly am. I have let the power of words turn into self-sabotaging thoughts that have crept into my mood and even how I view myself.  I live my life as a cup half-full person and I have a lot of energy, and I’ve learned that this is an amazing part of who I am, regardless of any comments I receive.

So, maybe you’re thinking, “am I a cup half-full or cup half-empty person?” But, I’m going to challenge you here that you are neither. And both are a bunch of BS. No one “is” something. We need to get away from labeling ourselves based on what others have commented or that we might “feel” more often. This type of thinking can bring us into holes and spirals that we can’t control and have no idea how we got there. This is so intricately woven into our society that it is hard to dig out.  

For example, you are collaborating on a project for work and your input is “I am not sure if that plan will fit with our timeline”. Someone else could respond to you and say “wow, you certainly see things with the cup half-empty”. If you are struggling with your identity and are in an insecure place (which many of us can be at times), you are going to absorb that comment on and it will be stored in your heart. You may start seeing yourself as a negative person, which will impact how you communicate with those around you and even what you choose to do. This is big. Let’s re-visit this comment. Were you actually making a negative comment? No. You were stating facts. You have really good strategic and time management skills. Your strengths and gifts are not being seen. They’re actually being flipped to bring you down, when you are quite talented and have a lot to offer to the team. So, might you want to blame the person who made the comment? Yes, I’m sure that’s what many of us want to you. So what do you do here? How do you stay strong in who you truly are while responding to someone’s comment like that? You might be surprised with the answer. Here it is:

Ignore it.

That’s right. The most effective way to deal with comments that mean nothing is ignore it. We first must see our value and worth to know that those comments mean nothing. Not only do we ignore it, but we don’t give the person a hard time. We value them as well. We understand they mean well, just are not communicating it effectively, are having an off day, or perhaps something deeper. If it is something deeper, it is NOT your issue. It is theirs. Your job is to accept them where they are at and remember you are amazing and so are they.

This applies to all comments. Not just the cup half-full or cup half-empty. We say so many of these comments we don’t realize it. We are full of fluff to fill uncomfortable conversations and sometimes it’s best for us to just be silent.

The reason I feel passionate about this is because I see so many people who come in believing some horrible truth about who they are. They TRULY believe this. They are lies. They come from big scary events AND also little comments that people think are “meaningless”. Here are some common ones:

I am unloved.

I am unworthy.

No one likes me.

I am shy.

I’m not creative.

I am not a good enough _________. (fill in the blank – mom, wife, husband, dad, friend, daughter, etc.)

Are you doing this as well? Stop and think about little comments people have made about you they thought were “meaningless” and see if you’re believing them and living your life out because of them. Write them down. Then go back through the list and identify where they come from. For example “I’m not creative” could come from an art teacher telling you that you are not talented at drawing. Boom – you write it off as “I am not creative”, when really you are very creative, you just may not enjoy drawing like you do web design or graphic design. You know what I mean? Go back through the list and write the flip side of them.

I am loved.

I am worthy

My dad, mom, friend (name) and dog like me.

I am creative with __________ (fill in the blank)

I AM a good enough ______________ (fill in the blank)

Unfolding these lies takes time. Give yourself grace. You will not unbelieve the little comments overnight. The first step is acknowledging they are not truths. Acknowledge the truths. Then we live out the truth and watch amazing things unfold. The acceleration of good happens faster than you can see. You’ll look back and wonder how did my life get so amazing??!! Because YOU are amazing.

 

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." -Mother Teresa

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” -Yehuda Berg

 

Heidi Waldoch, MA, LMFT, CDWF - Rogers & Lino Lakes
Heidi is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MN Board, AAMFT Approved Supervisor LPCC Board Approved Supervisor, Certified Daring Way Facilitator, speaker and the owner of Bridging Hope Counseling.