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

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I had a new friend say to me in a conversation “You are amazing”. When she said this, a couple of things went through my head and in this order:

I am?!

She doesn’t even know me.

She doesn’t know what she’s saying.

She’s just one of those really positive people and says this to everyone.

I am NOT amazing.

…But…what if I actually am amazing?

Unfortunately, most of us in this world come from the outlook that we are not amazing. And if we think we are, then we must be either selfish, overly confident, cocky, or some other adjective that is not attractive. So, why would I want to think I’m amazing? It would be safer to stay in this world where I am not much of anything and “maybe” something good will happen. Better to think the worse than expect something good will happen. At least I won’t get hurt or offended then. Yeah, that feels good. That feels safe.

The reality is, that this view causes us to have low self-esteem and low self-worth, which leads to an increase in mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, and stress. These mental health symptoms can then impact how we function in our relationships, our work, and can affect our joy. …Which then leads to more stress….which then leads to more mental health issues… It is a recipe for pain. Louise Hay is quoted saying, “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens”. We need to stop doing what those around us are doing and thinking and dare to believe something different.

As I’m writing this, one of the things I’m really trying to figure out is, why is it cozy to be unamazing, silent, quiet, and unworthy? I’ve found that we allow what other people have said or unsaid to define us. We allow other people to have power over us. We have many well-meaning people who have defined our life without realizing this has happened. Parents are probably the most powerful people who influence us, then siblings, spouses, bosses, co-workers, friends, and another big one is society. While these comments are usually coming from a place of love, the way in which it’s communicated may not feel lovely. So our ears and our hearts hear hurtful and squashing things and we begin to believe we aren’t much of anything. Some people say that they are encouraged when people make these comments to them – I understand that because I have been the recipient of many well-intentioned comments. The problem with this can be that the relationship may not be well connected, there can be an underlying control issue or even manipulation that occurs. There isn’t freedom in the “you are amazing from the start”, there is just the comfortable, nagging, negative thoughts.

I hope you’re starting to get convinced that even though it might not feel safe yet, you want to live in the truth that “I am amazing”. The other option doesn’t seem to work anyway, so why not try? How do you actually do this?

  1. Start with amazing. Start each day, each hour, each part of your day with “I am amazing”. Think it, say it out loud, write it on a post-it, sing it, dance it. When we start with amazing, we then have the freedom to be ourselves, live out who we are truly meant to be. When we live in this freedom, our eyes and ears open to things that we need to improve on or things that we dream about. We can start ignoring people who point out our flaws hurtfully because we now start to recognize things we WANT to improve. We are excited for these growth opportunities because we are amazing anyway. Even when we make mistakes, we are still amazing.
  2. You are amazing without anything. See yourself as amazing without doing any job, having any business, achieving any accomplishment or any award. Nothing is needed for you to be amazing. Just you being you, with your personality, your looks, quirks, interests, and gifts. You just being YOU is all that is needed to be amazing.
  3. You are amazing without anyone. See yourself amazing without support from any person. Yes, it is wonderful to get this and it’s actually a good thing. However, it can sometimes replace our confidence with the co-dependence of another person. We can end up relying on it. So if you do get positive support from someone, have it be a bonus on top of what you believe about yourself.
  4. Give amazing away. When you have the recipe for amazing for yourself, you are equipped to give it away. Tell others in your life they are amazing. Fred Rogers said, "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." When you do this guess what happens?! Your amazingness grows when you give it away. The friend I mentioned earlier was giving amazing away to me. I caught it and starting believing the truth of who I am – amazing. From this journey, I started to dream. I used to believe I was a horrible writer and didn’t even try. But look, you’re reading my blogs because I believe I am amazing.

When you believe the truth of who you are meant to be, the world is a better place. We need more people with healthy self-esteem. This quote from Lucille Ball is a favorite: “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” You have more freedom to be creative, come up with ideas, do what you dreamed, have more quality relationships, and become someone’s key to seeing their amazingness. There is more light creating light. When you walk in this truth of “I am amazing”, there isn’t room for the mental health struggle. They start to get squeezed out. It might keep lingering a bit here and there but the more you truly walk out this truth, the mental health struggles are less and less. This isn’t just a try this for a day recipe, this is a lifelong recipe. It is solid truth for you to live out every single day for the rest of your life.

You. Are. Amazing.

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. -- Eleanor Roosevelt

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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.