In The Moment magazine are holding a love-yourself-challenge this week. You can find out more about the challenge on their website site here. Their first challenge is for you to write down your best qualities. The idea is to start writing, and aim to make it to ten qualities.
I’m not going to lie. Having to stop and think about my best qualities, yet alone write the down feels rather uncomfortable. I already find myself thinking up excuses. Other things to do. Reasons why I shouldn’t write this post. Let alone actually publish it… But then that’s just it isn’t it? What’s so wrong about loving yourself?
You probably find it easy to list the ten best qualities of each one of your loved ones, so why not your own?
My 4 year old son tells me on a daily basis that he loves mummy, daddy, Siena and “myself”. I love that. I love how he automatically includes himself in that list. Everytime. He doesn’t worry about how he comes across, what other people might think, or focus on the negatives. He loves. Simply, and beautifully. So why can’t we do the same as grown ups?
It can be especially hard to think of your best qualities when you’re feeling a little down, or stressed or upset. But this is a great opportunity to help you build your confidence. In The Moment writes that keeping that list of your best qualities can truly help at times when you need a little booster.
So here goes… Here are what I believe are my best quallities:
I care… a lot. About things that matter, and things that don’t. This can be a negative, as caring about silly things, things people said, worrying about what people think… it can be upsetting. But generally, I see this as a good thing.
My mum tells me I always looked after my brother and sister when younger, even though I wasn’t specifically asked to. A trait that my daughter seems to have inherited.
I honestly believe that if we were all a little more caring, the world would become a much better place.
A little generosity can go a long way. Whether it be to my loved ones, to giving a homeless person the leftovers from my dinner, I like to give people things. Even when I haven’t got a lot to give away, I love getting gifts for my friends and family. No matter how small.
I’ve also greatly benefitted from people being generous towards me. From my family always being there, to neighbours offering us hand me downs when we had Siena and no money (even though we didn’t know them that well). I’ve always been grateful for people’s generosity, and the least I can do is pay it forward.
3. No Regrets
I don’t believe in having regrets.
Yes there are times that have been hard. I spent a year studying a subject I really hated in Paris, and things went from bad to worst. I’ve been told that if only I had known, I could have changed my degree and spent a year in Italy or Spain instead, having a more fun year. Yet I don’t see it that way. As tough as that year was, I learnt a lot about myself, about depression, living alone, failure. Through it all I got to like a city I previously never liked. I wouldn’t want to relive that year, but I wouldn’t change it.
I strongly believe that each action, every step I have taken in life, has brought me to where I am today. And for that, I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened previously. Therefore, no regrets.
I do make a good lasagne. One of my basic recipes, which I have done many, many times! Over the years I’ve perfected it. From adding more pasta sheets, to getting the bechamel sauce right, it’s a firm favourite and probably my best recipe I can make from scratch without following a recipe!
I’m also pretty good at pancakes, again making them on a regular basis without following a recipe.
I love my curls. I know so many people who straighten their hair on a daily basis and it makes me sad that they can’t see how beautiful their curls are. I’ve straightened my hair too in the past, but I’ve come to realise that curls do suit me best. Curls rock!
I may have had a block at this point and so I had to walk away from this post and come back to it the next day… It is harder than it looks!
I LOVE hosting. Whether it be having people round for coffee, having friends round for pizza and games or hosting workshops, I love it! I think I get this from growing up in France, and having parents who are always happy to welcome people into their home. Our wedding proved this as my parents were incredible hosts to all our guests, welcoming them into their home for up to two weeks (thanks mum & dad!). Our Best Man even said in his speech he could see where I got my hosting skills from. I can’t wait to live in France again, where having people round for an apero is part of the lifetsyle.
I think Siena will be the same, as already when we have parties she likes to make sure people have food and drinks, and keeps them informed of what’s happening.
When I left my job in the law firm, my supervisor told me that I will be missed in the team, as whenever anything needed doing and they needed a volunteer, I would always offer to help out. At the time, I felt as though I had been hit on the head with a revelation: That’s why I’m always ridiculously busy I thought… But since then, I see it as a pretty nice thing to be known for.
Siena is the same again… being told at school that she can’t go out to play at breaktime because she hasn’t finished her work, instead she spent time helping everyone else out with their work. I make a point of explaining to her that, she should ensure her work is done first, and then of course she can help others. The same goes for grown ups, new mums, etc: if you don’t look after yourself, how you can look after others?
I also volunteer at the school library twice a week, help out with school trips when I can. I don’t think anything of it, and I know if I wasn’t self employed I wouldn’t have this luxury. But when I have the opportunity, I like to help others and give something back.
Whilst I can be quite shy at times, and usually struggle with small talk, I tend to smile easily. I smile at strangers, smile at children, smile when I see a beautiful sunset or think of a funny thing my brother or sister did, smiling is my favourite!
Years of wearing braces have helped too in having a big smile. But I love how smiling is so easy, and by smiling at others, you can immediately brighten their day. I love how young children will smile and wave at everyone, just because. So why not do the same as a grown up?
9. Connecting People
Growing up, we moved around a lot, and I also went to a different school to my friends as I went to the International school in Grenoble. As such, I’ve always had many different group of friends. However this never stopped me “mixing” my friends, introducing them to one another. Whether it be people I know have things in common, people who would work well together or simply people who are in the same boat, I love connecting people and getting them together.
I think the final one of my best qualities I’d like to include in this list, is that I am good at motivating people to do their best. This can be in very subtle ways… for example with my husband. If I was to tell him pointblank what to do, he’s unlikely to do it (we’re both pretty stubborn like that!). However he often tells me I’ve helped him change his ways. Not in big drastic ways, but in ways which have helped improve his lifestyle. I helped him see that leaving his job as a lawyer, and start again as a gardener, and now a garden designer, is something he can do. From changing jobs, eating better, trying new things… I seem to be able to plant seeds for thought, for them to then bloom into action.
11. One last one for the road…
I tend to see the good in people, and in life. That’s not to say that I don’t get down, or that I like everybody. I do avoid watching the news as at times, as the negativity really affects me. But generally, I tend to see the good in everything. I mostly follow my gut feeling, which has very rarely (if ever?) let me down. It’s when I go against it that things have gone wrong (oh hello again Paris!).
So there we are. What I think are my best qualities. It feels weird writing about myself like that, making a list of my best qualities. It’s not really something I do on a daily basis. But it feels good having found ten best qualities (even if I had to think about it a fair amount…).
What’s interesting, if that I asked my husband for his thoughts on my best qualities, and apart from a few body parts (!), he pretty much said everything in the above list, without seeing what I had written. And that was lovely!