The 52 Lists Project: List Your Best Qualities

List Your Best Qualities.

Real Talk

This is the list that has stumped me, has stalled my weekly progression through “The 52 Lists Project.” I had moved seamlessly through my goals and dreams, the happiest moments of my life so far, the things I treasure most. But to identify the best qualities about myself? Apparently impossible.

It isn’t impossible, and I know that. The root of the issue is nothing more than a particularly daunting mental hurdle. To admit, both to myself and to the world, that I possess any sort of redeeming quality is akin to asking me to walk through fire. I won’t do it, I feel like I can’t do it. My penchant for self-deprecation is well documented and has become as much of a safety blanket for me as my bangs (I like to keep myself hidden). Also well documented is how incredibly frustrating this tendency is for people, especially the people who’ve been exposed to it for prolonged periods of time. In small doses, I like to think I’m funny. Over time, much like radiation, I think self-deprecation can do more harm than good.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles like this, and I often search myself for the reason why this is my go-to response. Have you ever watched me try to accept a compliment? It’s pretty painful. So why is it that acknowledging the good parts of ourselves is so hard? Is it because as women we’re often taught to defer, to deflect the credit to someone else, to compare ourselves to each other instead of acknowledging the good in ourselves and each other? Is it because to be confident is often mistaken for arrogance? Is it because Depression has warped our self-perception so badly that we truly believe our best qualities are non-existent?

List Your Best Qualities.

It shouldn’t be that hard, to look within myself and to say “You’re halfway intelligent.” I have a fucking Master’s Degree in English Literature and I burn with shame at the notion of admitting that I have a brain.

List Your Best Qualities.

Kids, DO try this one at home. Let me know how it goes. It shouldn’t be that hard. You are stronger, smarter and more resilient than you give yourself credit for. It’s time to start owning up to it. That doesn’t mean my hands aren’t shaking as I type this out of an irrational fear that someone out there on the internet will read this and decide they don’t like me—but I’m publishing it anyway.

1 Comment

  1. Bill says:

    Uncertainty can be envigorating or restricting …..just depends on your approach. Are you searching for new ideas / experiences / growth or just afraid of ‘them’/ the unknown / criticism? The most successful people in the world are always questioning their last decision…their next direction……and their values.
    They see that as developmental…..not threatening. No one can be the smartest, prettiest, most atheltic, best artist, wealthiest, perfect partner.
    Everyone can be better tomorrow than today.. ….just say ‘yes’ when asked to do / see / go.

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