Whatever You Have – Just Own It

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Hello! Happy September! This month I have a silly story to share. I may have shared it with some of you – it’s an oldie but a goodie! Several years ago I had a personal breakthrough. I was having a conversation with someone about the sitcom, “Friends,” and which characters we most resemble. My answer was obvious and immediate; I am Monica. Can you imagine how not excited I might have been to realize that? But the funny thing is, it was exciting, because the realization gave me permission to say, “I’m totally Monica…” an ambitious, demanding, particular, know-it-all. Though I would love to think I am (clearly) funnier and more dynamic than Monica, it’s fairly safe to say that she and I are cut from a similar cloth.

This is who I am – take it or leave it.

The thing is, this isn’t really news; I have always known about my quirks. What changed was my choice to own them. By owning who I am, a huge chunk of self-judgement that I had been holding onto for years simply evaporated. Along with that came the awareness of how beautiful those quirks really are. Yes, I’m demanding, and even though it can be annoying it has also helped me to not settle for less. Yes, I’m particular, and even though it can be annoying it has also helped me to be very detail-oriented. Yes, I’m a know-it-all, and even though it can be annoying it has also propelled me to create a successful and fulfilling career.

Every strength is a weakness; every weakness is a strength.

None of this means that you cannot work on, temper, or change certain qualities about yourself or your life. But it does mean that you will be more successful in changing those things if you start with a clean slate by acknowledging and accepting them first. Simply look for the beauty. Each time you catch yourself judging yourself or your life, make a choice to look for the beauty and see what you find. How do these “annoying” characteristics help you? How might they be endearing, attractive, and even sexy?

As you make a practice of looking for the beauty, you will find that you are kinder to yourself. As a result, you may find the outside world to be a little kinder as well.

Have a beautiful month!

John Kalinowski
John Kalinowski is a Redding native based in New York. He’s an NYU-Certified Life Coach, Mindfulness Expert, Columnist, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Art-Lover, and Truth-Teller. You can connect with him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, or visit his website at johnkalinowski.com.
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9 Responses

  1. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Great article John! I’m older than you but for years I tried to “overcome” some of the characteristics I have so I could be more like other people. Reading the book “Quiet” by Susan Cain made me realize that I can only every be a pseudo-extrovert and there’s nothing wrong with introverts at all. Two of my best friends might be labeled with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) but those characteristics make them the most methodical and organized researchers possible. The “an ambitious, demanding, particular, know-it-alls” are the ones who make things happen in a community or a family. Thank you for this article. Would that everyone could know and embrace the knowledge about their different strengths at an early age.

  2. Adrienne Adrienne says:

    Given that I am many, MANY miles further down the path of this life than some, I have to admit that it took a large percentage of those years to come to the realization you have articulated above. Owning those aspects of oneself is, indeed, affirming; however, one should never cease the endeavor of trying to include the other parts of the spectrum in one’s life. Back in November, 2014 I wrote an article for ANC that said much the same thing: Know thyself, and knowing, allow yourself to appreciate . . . . but be open to growth in all directions.

    Thanks for the reminder . . . and some of us need those reminders over, and over, and over . . . .

  3. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    As a know it all with extraordinary memory I would say I am like Cliff on Cheers. Always spouting my knowledge as if everyone was dying to hear it when I was really just being a Pain-in-the-a..
    When I quit talking and started listening my circle of friends grew.

    • Adrienne Adrienne says:

      A VERY UNDERAPPRECIATED TRUTH THERE, BRUCE!! Shut mouth, open ears. Seems like such a simple recipe but one that some of us are slated to have to learn over and over and over and . . . ad infinitum!

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      Heh. I feel sorry for people who are around me when I’ve had beer AND caffeine.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      I want to be a mix of Sam, Coach, and Woody. Am I a mix of Diane and Frasier? God, I think I’m a Diane/Frasier hybrid.

      I hate this game.

  4. Avatar Eleanor Townsend says:

    Hmmm, thank you for this September start, John. I am fairly aware of the characteristics/behaviors that may once have benefited me but really don’t serve me well any more. But that is not the same as knowing how to use them for my best interests, and they will always be there lurking! It has been a difficult couple of months, so I shall consider this a new start, and thank you for pointing us towards ‘looking for the beauty’, and leaving some unhelpful thoughts in the dust.

  5. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    I’m an arrogant, sloppy, blameful, adult ADD-suffering, do-nothing slacker who exhibits daily signs of early-onset dementia. If I take my spouse’s word for it. As I must, because I also might have borderline personality disorder, and thus lack any sense of self.

    Quick, some sugar, so I can make lemonade out of that. 🙂