Feeling Good About Oneself

Posted by Harriet on

As we see with Temple Grandin’s success, one of the most important things we can do is help people feel good about themselves. 

We  don’t have to be the doctor or lawyer or rich business person. 

But we do need to feel competent and good about who we are as a person. 

Happiness comes from how we feel inside about ourselves. 

It’s not what we do as a profession; it’s who we are as a human being. 

This attitude and way of thinking has taken shape and evolved through raising my daughter with special needs. 

When Nava was a baby and we lived in the Chicago area, we used to visit a farm community for adults with disabilities during their weekend crafts fair.  I loved the land and the environment but I used to leave feeling sad;  sad that Joe was just making popcorn and Mary was just bagging at the cashier.  That’s what they did in life?  How can they be happy with just that?  I can still feel the pit in my stomach as I drove home from the farm.    

I realized I was looking at these people’s jobs and happiness through my own lens.  No, I would not be too thrilled {just} making popcorn all day or packaging people’s purchases. 

But that’s the content, the product.  Perhaps the process, the inner workings of the person, was relaying a completely different message – one of joy and gratitude, of appreciation and feelings of competence and pride. 

The ‘farm people’ certainly radiated joy and showed such pride in what they did. 

And so my focus  became helping Navi  feel good about whatever it was she was doing and  attempting, however small a feat it was. I didn’t know what she would be capable of doing when she grew up.  But I wanted her to be armed with as much positive feelings and high self- esteem as possible.   

It was about instilling in her feelings of self pride, competence, success  and overall good feelings about herself.    (Truth be told, we know  each and every person needs these core and fundamental traits of the soul in order to lead a good life and be able to withstand challenges and troubles along the way.) 

Navi has stuttered since she’s 5 years old.  Besides the obvious speech therapy she received for years, the important factor was in trying to not have her stuttering interfere or take away from her wonderful people-person personality.   

It hasn’t.  She appears quite comfortable with her {stuttering} self.  Perhaps if she’d be more bothered by it, she’d work harder at controlling it, as she does have some techniques to use.  But I let it go.  Again, the most important thing is for her to be at ease with herself.   

Nava has been working at Trader Joe’s (a unique food market) for the past 8 years, where she bags people’s purchases (sound familiar?), helps customers, shelves food products;  basically everything except check out/cashier.  And she is thrilled.  She gets her highest ratings for friendliness, helpfulness and cooperation (although she occasionally gets reprimanded for schmoozing too much).   She is eager to learn new things and is proud of herself when she gets it and can do it.  She recently stood up on a low ladder (for the first time) to shelf something, with a supervisor near her.  She was tickled pink that she was able to do it.

So let’s tickle each other pink as we help bring out the good in one another and foster those feelings of worth and competence.   We must meet each other where we’re at and promote a sense of pride and joy in our efforts and accomplishments.  For this is what carries us forth in life and gives us incentive to continue on.

Thank you for coming by and reading this post.   If it moves you in any way, please comment and share.  And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to receive posts automatically in your email. 

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  • http://www.davidstevenslifecoach.com.au personalpower4me

    Hi Harriet,
    This is a lovely story told in the right spirit. We do need to share and care about and with our fellow citizens. It’s often the seemingly insignificant that can make the biggest impact, we are all different and as you astutely pointed out “looking through my own lens” can be a lot different to actual reality. We need to look through multiple lens’ to fully appreciate.
    be good to yourself

    • http://rebuildyourlifecoach.wordpress.com rebuildyourlifecoach

      Hi David,
      Thanks for your lovely comment. We certainly do “need to look through multiple lens’ to fully appreciate.” It widens our ability to embrace more of the world with true appreciation. So many of us are stuck in our own narrow scope. By widening the lens we can take in so much more and thus hopefully enhance our understanding and tolerance of those who are different, as we all are, one from another.

  • http://www.fredtracy.com Fred Tracy

    Hey there. I can definitely see that this article was written in the strongest Harriet way possible. I loved it. :-)

    I often thought the same as you – that people who were doing simple jobs couldn’t possibly be happy. But when I started meditating and really getting into spirituality, I found that not only could I be happy doing something simple, but I can be happy merely existing.

    There such an incredible joy to be found in just being alive. I think that a lot more special-needs people are in touch with this than us “normal” folks. We really do have a lot to learn from them.

    Take care.

    • http://rebuildyourlifecoach.wordpress.com rebuildyourlifecoach

      Hi Fred,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and reading and for your great comment.
      Perhaps this is why many special needs people appear happy – it’s simple- they’re alive and taking in the joy from that. As you say, “there is such incredible joy to be found in just being alive.”
      We “normal” people make things so complicated that we can’t see the simplicity of the beauty of life and just being alive with all its surroundings. We may be too sophisticated for our own good; which is maybe why things like mindfulness, meditation and stillness have become so much more mainstream and poplular. We’re realizing we must get back to some of this simplicity and basics of living, with focus and appreciation, so that we can improve the our quality of life. We’re allowing ourselves to be swept away by all our technological advances and our fast-paced and stresses of everyday life, that we’re quickly losing our grip. We certainly know we’ve already lost our balance.
      As you say, “we really do have a lot to learn from them.”
      I recommend you to this beautiful blog – http://www.awishcomeclear.com

  • http://gravatar.com/cari313 Caroline McGraw

    Harriet, thank you for sharing this post with us ~ it’s great to hear about Navi’s journey. I can just imagine her lighting up Trader Joe’s! I especially appreciate your point that, while tasks and skill sets differ, what matters is finding an employment that supports and affirms one’s gifts.
    You must be very proud. :)

    • http://rebuildyourlifecoach.wordpress.com rebuildyourlifecoach

      Hi Caroline,
      Thanks for coming by and commenting. I thought this was in sync with the topic of your blog.
      Finding employment that supports those with disabilities is so important. Trader Joe’s has been a true gift in her life, and in ours. They set the bar pretty high and ‘should’ be an example to other places of employment.
      I am proud of Nava and I am proud of Trader Joe’s.

  • http://gravatar.com/cari313 Caroline McGraw

    Also, I just read your comment above ~ thank you very much for the recommendation!

  • http://rebuildyourlifecoach.wordpress.com rebuildyourlifecoach

    Hi again,
    You are most welcome. Your writing is so beautiful on a most sensitive subject.

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