Thursday, May 5, 2016

Guest Post: Accepting Your Whole Self by Paul Ledebur

Dear Engchik Readers;

We introduced you to Paul Ledebur, Life Coach, Leadership Trainer and Inspirational Speaker, last month on our blog.  
His story seemed to resonate a lot of you, so I am giving Paul a guest spot on my site so he can connect with and keep inspiring you all!

We will feature an article from Paul once a month.  Here is a little taste of what you can expect in the future. This was originally posted on LinkedIn. Enjoy and look for Paul's new post next month! 
What do you think?

Accepting Your Whole Self
What do you see when you look in the mirror? 
Do you see a pillar of strength, a broken person on the mend, a caring or non-caring person? 
Depending on the day or the time in your life, you may see a myriad of images looking back at you. Some may be good and some may be not-so-good.  An important thing to remember is to Accept Your Whole Self.

Every one of us has characteristics that we may not be entirely proud of or may hide from others for fear of judgement. We also have those characteristics that we want to present for everyone to see. The question is, are the less desirable traits any less important? 
My personal answer to this question is, No.

Our desirable and undesirable characteristics combined are what makes us who we are. Hardships of my early childhood created anger and confusion within me. These feelings were manifested throughout my childhood and teenage years in actions that I am not necessarily proud of. I was often closed down, insensitive and even a bully on occasion.

In my attempt to get attention, I was lashing out because that would force others to pay attention to me. It took a couple of years for me to realize that I was getting attention, but I was getting attention for the wrong reasons, I did not enjoy the negativity that I was creating and that was being directed back toward me. 

I took it upon myself to transform my feelings and actions into more positive ones. I began to receive more positive feedback from people, which was the kind of attention that I was looking for.

However, if it weren’t for these undesirable characteristics I would not be the person I am today. Instead of getting angry with someone who is lashing out, I can feel compassion and try to help them instead of turning my back.  My tolerance of someone’s bad attitude is greater because I know that they are, maybe, feeling pain or are confused themselves.  While the underlying reason may be different, I can identify with the feeling and the manifestation of that pain or confusion.

Simplified, I can be a better person knowing and accepting my undesirable characteristics just as much as I can my desirable characteristics.

Some things to remember to help you Accept Your Whole Self are:

You are NOT alone. 
No one out there is perfect. Everyone has their good times and bad times.  These situations will bring out your best and your worst. Identify both and realize how important each feeling is to making you who you are. Like a painting, you cannot have depth and show light without the contrast of the shadows. Look at the whole picture for the beauty that is you.

Own your uniqueness. 
The good, the bad and the ugly that you have experienced has molded you into a very unique individual. Use the desirable and undesirable characteristics as your strengths. One of the greatest compliments I received as a child was from my Aunt. She said, “You are one unique individual.” There is some emotion and meaning lost due to the lack of context of the situation but I can tell you that it made me so proud just to be me. Being unique is the spice of life and what makes the world an interesting place.

Learn about yourself and grow. 
You can’t accept what you don’t know. Desirable and undesirable characteristics stem from ways that you have coped with situations throughout your life.  After a situation has unfolded, take time to reflect on what you did well and what you didn’t do well. An added benefit to this is that when faced with a similar situation in the future, if you didn’t like the way you handled a situation in the past, you now have more power to change the way you react to the situation. You can make yourself into an ever adapting and ever growing individual, making acceptance of yourself easier over time.

As a Life Coach and Leadership Trainer I will guide you to self-acceptance.  I will help you realize the strengths that you possess from your past experiences, good or bad, and we will figure out how to best apply them to your life.  Feel free to contact me for private, one-on-one coaching sessions or group training.   

Written by Paul Ledebur, please contact him via Linked In!

1 comment:

Paul Ledebur said...

Thank you again Christine for this opportunity. I look forward to interacting and inspiring your readers. I encourage comments to further discuss my topics. I am happy to respond to any questions that people have.