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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Changing Focus

I have never thought of myself as a negative person. I try to take people as I find them and look for the best in everyone. With my 3 boys I am constantly seeking ways to support and affirm them. With myself it is another story altogether. I guess that's a problem for many people. We can support and affirm others but our own weaknesses seem to be so glaringly obvious that they overwhelm all attempts to move forward productively. I have been seeing a psychologist for over a year now. I have seen counsellors and therapists on and off for over 10 years but this particular psychologist has been a great source of encouragement and is helping me to like myself more. In recent times I have made mistakes in my job and let my boss and co-workers down. I have walked away from church and last year was just exhausting with full-time care of my autistic son for 8 months and trying to juggle work and shared care of my two other boys. When my father passed away in January and I had opportunity to return to England to support my mum I decided to use the trip as a chance to think through my childhood and teenage years in England and find a way to return to Australia with a more positive view of myself. I am very fortunate because my boss has agreed, in the face of some contrary advice, to give me another chance and so I resume my job on April 1st. In a recent conversation with a friend they were telling me how they see the positives in me and how they outweight the negatives. I have been pondering this concept for the past two days and, today, when I was sorting through my good which are still in storage I came across a book that I have had in my collection for 2 years and never opened. It is called "Living Your Strengths". The opening chapter of the book explains that many people, especially Christians, have been told that in order to succeed they need to "fix" their weaknesses and so many are drawn into patterns of guilt and inadequacy BUT "(in) Gallup's research into human potential over the past 30 years...the evidence is overwhelming: You will be most successful in whatever you do by building your life around your greatest natural abilities rather than your weaknesses. Your talents should be your primary focus!" I would like to think it wasn't an accident that I stumbled upon this previously unnoticed book. Today I am focussing on my abilities and strengths. Tomorrow I start work with a new attitude and on Sunday I return to church and the past is truly passed. Be encouraged.