You are an expert in you. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else does.

A client recently reminded me how we use this expertise to focus on our flaws and beat ourselves up. We’re so good at it. We clearly see every little thing that’s wrong with us. In fact, this can become our “go to” place. For example, when you’re embarking on something new or you don’t like what you see in the mirror, you bring out your playlist of personal flaws – with the volume turned up so high, it drowns out all other thoughts about yourself and your circumstance.

I don’t know about you, but most of the time, I’m not even aware that I’ve chosen this playlist. The songs go something like this: “I’m not like you so I’m not good enough,” “I’m never going to get this right,” “this is why everything always goes wrong,” “if they really see me, they won’t like me,” and the oldie but goodie, “if I’m quiet about this, no one will notice that I don’t know what I’m doing.” The tunes are familiar, get a lot of airtime and it seems impossible to turn the volume down and even more impossible to turn it off altogether.

This is not a jam session that leaves you feeling uplifted. Rather, it leaves you feeling anxious, tentative, fearful, and not good enough. These thoughts hold you back – they limit you. When you believe you aren’t good enough, you are blind to your full capacity. You don’t trust yourself to bring your talents to the table.

It’s draining just to describe this way of being. I know it feels draining because it’s a place of second-guessing yourself. The crazy thing is – you have a choice. Even though it feels impossible to escape from such a familiar place, you can.

First, we are all people with legitimate hopes, dreams, and desires. You are. Everyone is. Have compassion with yourself. Give yourself permission to see that you are a whole person with a brilliance that shines.  I bet you don’t talk to others the way you talk to yourself. Give yourself a break and talk to yourself as nicely as you talk to those you love.

Second, what does the world need from you?  In the next hour? On your project? On your team? The answer to this question will help you discover meaning in the moment. It frees you to focus on the wants, needs, and desires of others, such as your team, your organization, or your family. You will see beauty in others as your world becomes one of abundance and love and you’ll notice you won’t have a need for your playlist.

Third, you have strengths. Use them. Embrace them. You have something unique to offer others. Your special talent and way of being is needed by the rest of us.Apply your strengths to live your meaning and you will feel energized and whole, and your family, friends, and co-workers will feel the same way because you are bringing your whole self to the table. It’s like magic. When all of you shows up, you create a space for others to bring their whole self to the table. Showing up this way lifts everyone up.

The world needs you – all of you.  Give us the gift of you!