June 19th, 2015

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Take Full Credit

In 2015 we challenge ourselves to learn and practice Ten Principles for Being Human: How to Turn Every Experience Into Opportunity.

First we learned to Stay. Then we learned the importance of understanding the eternal, inevitable, balance of Gain and Loss and how to stay solid in spite of life’s swings of the natural pendulum. Last month, we examined identity and learned that to find opportunity in every experience we needed to Question the Definition of Ourselves instead of accepting anyone else’s explanation of who we are.

In June, we learn to Take Full Credit for the innate qualities that allow us to be exactly who we are at our very best. Qualities that make us unique, that consciously or unconsciously we call on to create and encourage our journey through life. These qualities are the internal forces we bring to outward events, problems and experiences of all kinds; what we may call our true gifts. Some come to us as birthright; others we develop when young.

These qualities are our best assets but WE TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED! Why? Sounds crazy, right? Why would we not notice our strengths or not allow them to empower us or even fully appreciate them? After many years of consulting and Rise Up! experience, I have come to understand that any quality that is so “you, or me” is hard to actually see or notice. We don’t recognize the influence and power of natural gifts; we discount their value. We value, instead, what we struggle to learn; challenges that push us to new limits, or successes we thought we’d never achieve.

Qualities such as courage, creativity, generosity, attention, leadership, joy, team work, kindness, thoroughness, friendliness, compassion, are overlooked by all of us because they are our natural gifts and the “common” ways we behave. We expect certain things of ourselves but tend to believe only those things that we strive for, that we learn and apply, and work hard at, are of value. In doing so we ignore, dilute, or worse, discount altogether our best selves; our True Selves.

When we Take Full Credit we accept and rejoice that natural qualities have been our touchstones. They are true definitions of who we are and have value beyond what we ever guessed. We look under identity for foundational parts of ourselves that have already made us successful, brought happiness to others and ourselves and celebrate the True Self they represent. We become valuable to ourselves and we are better able to use natural qualities as ‘power chips’ to play, and win, any game. We give ourselves extra insight and strength to Turn Every Experience into Opportunity.


Featured Journal Entry

By the end of our Rise Up! weekend the entire group had been touched by Krissie’s kindness, understanding and empathy. “I am truly fortunate to come from a loving, engaged family. Youngest of four siblings I was the beloved baby; appreciated ‘just for myself,’ I was told. That is, until I realized it meant no one thought I would ‘accomplish very much.’ I overheard my mom sadly tell an aunt I wasn’t as talented academically or athletically as my sibs but ‘so sweet and dear.’ She hoped I would find ‘someone to take care of me.’ She thought I didn’t hear her; wasn’t paying attention. I am always paying attention! It’s one of my best qualities that no one respected about me. At Rise Up! I came to realize a ‘talent for attention’ is only one of my very fine natural and innate qualities.”

Self-definitions head us in specific life directions. As we saw in last month’s newsletter, there may be some benefits to those identities. BUT, concretized identities also make us discount, discard and trample our best natural qualities. Concretized identities, the ones people are firmly attached to, require us to only use certain parts of ourselves. If, for instance, we don’t recognize the courage and intelligence it has taken to live our life and contribute, we may never become the HERO we are meant to be; we may spend our lives waiting for the “real hero” to show up when she has been living inside us all our lives.

Krissie hesitated to take credit for her amazing personal qualities. “In our first Rise Up! session we examined Identity and I found myself HAPPY to relinquish ‘sweet baby’ as the only definition I was known by! I loved the weekend exercises that allowed me to tell about my accomplishments, many of which are ‘small’ by mom’s definitions that center on the financial successes of her children. At Rise Up! we interviewed one another on our real life accomplishments; not just the ‘rewards’ but the hard times, obstacles and challenges that came our way. We asked, what did it take for us to meet that challenge? What are the personal qualities we, I, brought to that situation that helped me survive and thrive?”

Most of us believe we have to go out of ourselves to discover what others seem to have or can do better than we. Frustration, spinning in circles of wanting and grasping after false realities follows. When we examine our own history, not the definitions others thrust upon us, we come to see how much we have done, contributed, been successful at, won, and accomplished.

“Those questions were a bombshell for me!” Krissie went on, “First I found myself explaining how I wasn’t as talented as the rest of my family, not as smart, and certainly not as tough and determined! My Rise Up! group refused to accept that answer. I dug deeper for how I had actually engaged life and met responsibilities and challenges. For the first time ever I was truly enlightened about myself and proud of who I was.”

Krissie’s inspiration touched us all. “I am a low paid and dedicated social worker. I love my work but felt I wasn’t ‘enough’ compared to my family. I never respected the impact of my common qualities: empathy and engagement, and accurate, sensitive and sensible ability to listen. I now honor my natural passion for contributing to everyone I meet. I respect my courage and creativity, helping people create real life solutions in dire situations. I feel successful by my own definitions and ‘take credit’ so I can serve effectively. Because of Rise Up! I recognize my genius: assisting my community to turn ‘every experience into an opportunity.’ I understand how INVALUABLE natural qualities and abilities are to me and I am to my world!”

Take Full Credit! We learn our greatest teacher is our own history of innate qualities coming forth at the right time to support us. We realize we already OWN and USE the qualities that allow us to find fulfillment and OPPORTUNITY in whatever challenge life delivers us. No one led your life but yourself, and even if now, today, you feel discouraged, overwhelmed, sad or unsuccessful, you do have, we all have, natural qualities that have the power to Turn Every Experience Into Opportunity.


Featured Exercise:

  1. When challenges or opportunities come along we often get discouraged that “success” requires something elusive we don’t have and can’t grasp. The truth is when new experiences arrive the best way to face them, assure success and find opportunity is to ask as Krissie did, “what is within me, what do I already know and what can I bring to this situation that will assist me now?”