growth through others’ (positive) affirmations

One of the ways I learn about myself is hearing from others how they describe me. I believe there is truth and value from others’ perceptions of us. Of course there are times when others’ perceptions are inaccurate, but today’s post focuses on the growth we can experience from others’ positive affirmations about who we are. For me, I have found it to be a beautiful learning moment when I hear directly or indirectly from someone how they would describe me. Many times it’s a new perspective of me I didn’t realize! In other words, it’s discovering a part of me I didn’t know or could articulate. The fascinating part is that I’ve always been that person they are describing. However, it’s only once someone confirms it that somehow it becomes a permanent stamp of who I am. For example, different people have used the following words and phrases to describe me: spark plug, encourager, perfect for a sales role, inspirational, and having a beautiful heart. Again, what’s interesting is I would never know this about myself unless someone had told me. (Sometimes it takes multiple people to say it before I believe it). When I hear their positive descriptions, I take time to reflect on its meaning, determine if I believe it fits with who I am, and then if it’s all a green light, I own the description. Meaning, it becomes a description of myself I use and internalize. It actually makes me grow into myself because I’ve moved a step further towards getting to know myself (through others’ accurate perceptions of me).

What’s something new about yourself that you learned through others’ positive affirmations? Why do you think it takes hearing it from others do we own the affirmation?

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About Reaksmey

hi :) i'm reaksmey (reeks-may) and I love to think, reflect, and grow. do you? my life includes a handsome husband and a lively infant. here's where i write about how i grow through life's ups and downs so that i can humbly encourage you daily.
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2 Responses to growth through others’ (positive) affirmations

  1. JohnKennonShea says:

    A mentor of mine once told me how he describes me to others: Bright, articulate but reserved, and somewhat gullible.  Although the last adjective is a negative affirmation, I was able to ask myself what things I had done that made him think that I was gullible, and I had to conclude that his point was legitimate.  This was very helpful to me.  I then asked myself why and realized it was because I had a very sheltered upbringing in a small town where for the most part, what you see is what you get (with people), and I let that carry over into my new life in “the big city.”  I began to change my behaviors by requiring people to back up claims they would make, or by getting other people’s perspectives on a person’s reputation before I put myself in a position of vulnerability with someone.  Positive affirmations can help build confidence and I think a negative affirmation can be just as helpful.

    Reaksmey Reply:

    Thanks for sharing that perspective and your experience. I hadn’t thought of that; that we can grow from negative affirmations (even though that sounds like an oxymoron). I think to your point it is important to listen to the person’s assessment, reflect on it, and discern for yourself if you want to embrace or discard it. I’ve experienced similarly and in addition, I’ve discovered that I will half discard the negative affirmation, and then revisit it in the future and have an “AHA” moment of finally understanding what the person meant. Then I embrace it and grow from it.

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