Listening is underrated and an underperformed act

Dear Readers,

I had occasion to connect with a dear friend of mine on Sunday and it occurred to me how long it has been since we had time to talk. Scratch that, I talk to people all day long and they talk to me, but do we really LISTEN to each other? I am sad to say that no, that isn’t always the case.

I am diligently working on this skill and am so glad I am because in this chat, he said something I REALLY needed to HEAR. I won’t share what it was because it was important to me and will mean nothing to you. Later that night, I heard a similar thing when a friend opened up and was very upset and I didn’t have an answer which is hard but often true.

I honed that skill further when another friend in need said, I don’t want you to cheer me up (a tall order) I want you to listen, and I want to be in a dark place and be pissed at the world. I also will understand if you need to not be around me right now. Deep breath. Okay. First, you are family, I will always want to see you, and hear what you have to say.

Then in the same week, I needed to listen to myself when I was sick and needed to rest. I tend to be a workhorse, and not stopping for anything as unimportant as a little sickness, but you know what, this was not small, this was non unimportant. I needed to go home and rest. So I did. I do not regret it, your health is no small thing and I can tell you listening to your body is a great skill to develop.  I am posting this picture of a coffee cup a friend gave me which I cherish and I used during one of these conversations to take a thoughtful pause when I wanted oh so badly to talk…. but what my friends needed was a listener. I encourage you to take stock and consider, Do you listen or wait…………………………………for your turn to talk? friendsMartina

Think About It……

Think about it.

You are doing better than you think, just ask!

Dear Readers,

I am in the midst of taking a course on personal growth and advancement and part of the homework assignment is to ask your nearest and dearest what they think are 3 personal strengths you possess.

The point of this exercise is to get you to see things about yourself that you don’t really see (usually because you are focused on challenges and opportunities) You are also supposed to list what you think your strengths are and not focus on your weaknesses which is where most of us tend to spend the most amount of time.

I don’t know what I was expecting to hear but it was really gratifying and humbling to hear things about myself I have not ever thought of as a strength but

“something I just do”

It reaffirms something I have long believed, we are all much more influential and powerful than we give ourselves credit for being. Put another way, we are our own worst critic. So I challenge you to do this for yourself, ask your circle what they see as your biggest strengths and be prepared to really take it in and not brush aside that assessment.

Think about it!

“When you build on your strengths, the activities using those strengths come more easily to you” -Deepak Chopra