How do I recognise the strength of others?

I was having a meeting with one of my supervisor the other day. She expressed her concern that many people can be really critical about things but not good at praising others. She then continued that many people build their confidence and improve through positive and constructive feedback.

My supervisor taught me the beauty of teamwork where she treasure the strength of everyone. At the beginning, I didn’t know what I can contribute because I had least knowledge and experience. One by one, she has shown me ways that I can contribute to the group. She also invested in me to build my research skills. That had led to build my confidence in my skills.

It is much more valuable to look for the strength in others.

You can gain nothing by criticising their imperfections.

Daisaku Ikeda

I was a person who recognised others’ imperfections more than my own. I had tendency to criticise others and forgot about my own. I remember, I used to get very frustrated because I couldn’t ask people to act as I planned. They are not seeing what I am seeing and I didn’t want to admit I am the odd one out. Probably I was also influenced by how my parents raised me as well. They had tendency to criticise others rather than highlight their strength.

When did I shifted this perspective?
I was talking to a friend that how I am not good enough for the exam I am about to sit in.
Friend: Is that how you prepare yourself before exam all the time?
Me: Yes.
Friend: You tell yourself you are not good enough to aim for higher?
Me: Yes. I want to be prepared for the worst.
Friend: Oh. That’s really harsh on yourself.
Me: Well, I don’t want to aim higher and proof myself wrong.
Friend: I understand how you feel but isn’t that better to prepare yourself to aim higher and get the result you aimed for? Don’t you feel more satisfaction with that?
Me: I guess so but I want to prepare myself for the worst.

We moved to next topic then but it was enough for me to reflect on this point. When I look back, it was my insecurity that was pulling me towards the worst. It then took me years to realise that even for myself, unintentionally, I was attracting the worst result. Of course, life was so hard to live because I was attracting the worst. If it wasn’t worst, it was a bit better than the worst.

It probably took me about 10 years to realised that my life is not as bad as I imagined. Then, it took me another 10 years to realised that I am not as bad as I imagined. How I reach here? It was constant message and reminder from significant others, friends, and family that I have come very far. What I saw as my weakness wasn’t my weakness but it was my character/personality that determines my uniqueness.

When I allowed my weakness as my uniqueness, I then was able to identify others strength. As what my significant others, families and friends did for me, I am able to allow others to blossom as who they are, even what they perceive as their weakness is their uniqueness. If they really want, they can try to change improve on it but if not, it is their uniqueness.

What are the message you are giving to yourself?
Are you embracing yourself as who you are?
What is your unique contribution today?

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