"I Have Many Skills"

As I was driving along one of my favorite congested San Francisco freeways, a car with a bumper sticker boldly proclaiming “I Have Many Skills” cut in front of me.  I was more curious than angry and waited until I was safely out of my car to look up the origin of this quote.  It seems Xena, the warrior princess from the cult television series by the same name, made this proclamation bumper sticker and tee-shirt worthy. 

I like it.  I remember decades ago when positive affirmations were all the rage.  People would plaster their mirrors and refrigerator doors with messages that affirmed their worth and lovability.  This was the age of I’m OK, You’re OK

“I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough…”

Positive affirmations have not exactly gone the way of floppy disks, but they’ve morphed into more of a tongue-in-cheek variety.  At about the same time Saturday Night Live spoofed the self-help movement with their “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley sketch in the early ‘90‘s, people began going underground with their positivity.  And in some circles, the I’m-OK, I’m-Not-So-Sure- About-You attitude emerged.

In the late ‘90s, Xena’s in-your-face ‘tude struck a chord. Truth be told, we all do have many skills and we need to own them.  Our society does a pretty good job of discouraging us from recognizing our strengths.  Many of us walk around believing we’re not good enough. 

…”and Doggone It, People Like Me!”

Some people still swear by using positive affirmations; others believe they don’t work. The reasons people don’t ascribe to positive affirmations include weak science and an aversion to woo-woo practices.

Whatever your attitude about using positive affirmations, we can all agree that negative self-talk does no good.  Over the years, I’ve asked my workshop participants to write three positive adjectives their best friends would use to describe them.  I’ve been amazed by the numbers of folks who can’t even come up with three measly positive traits.

Take Stock

Every now and again, we all need to take an inventory of our positive characteristics, our unique talents and skills. There are the obvious ones that go on resumes such as organization, communication, listening, and technical skills. Sometimes overlooked, reliability and conscientiousness are worth their weight in gold. And how about those hidden skills such as the ability to laugh easily? Gotta love that! I met a man at a bus stop who told me he “waits well.”  Although this could be categorized as patience, it’s actually something more.  He goes everywhere with a book in case he has to wait; that involves planning and touch of curiosity. 

So, sit yourself down, get that negative monkey off your back, and draw up a list of your attributes and skills.  You’ll be amazed by the length of that list. Then order yourself a bumper sticker or tee-shirt that proudly proclaims, “I Have Many Skills.”