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"Be completely, uniquely, remarkably you"
Fully proclaiming the remarkable essence of who we are.
Each night I read the beautiful book “Remarkably You” by Pat Zietlow Miller1 with my two-year-old. It’s a magnificent illustration of honouring, showcasing several children moving through their worlds in different, and often contradictory, ways. Some children lead the parade, others watch from the sidelines. Some are fast, some are slow. Whatever the children do, they are clearly in a place of joy and accessing their unique gifts.
When we get to the last page and I read the line “be completely, uniquely, remarkably you”, my two-year-old pats himself on the head and exclaims “remarkable me!”. It’s absolutely incredible to see such pure appreciation he has for himself, and there’s not a glimpse of uncertainty that he is a truly remarkable human being.
It seems to me that many of us lose sight of this feeling as we age. I’m not sure if it’s developmental or environmental, but by the time we become adults, particularly in the workplace, we struggle to fully proclaim the remarkable essence of who we are. We experience self-doubt. Perhaps we don’t want to be seen as narcissistic. Maybe we feel we will push others down by lifting our own wins.
Underneath it all, I believe we all have a yearning for being seen as that remarkable child. Someone who brings and lives with joy, and extends it to others by holding space for them to bring and live in their own joy.
What would it be like if instead we could stand with conviction in our own remarkable ways? To fully honour the value we bring to others and the world? To stay in the discomfort and know that by acknowledging and appreciating our own gifts, it actually lifts others to do the same?
It can be tough. There’s an exercise I’ve run with several groups called ‘appreciating yourself’. I ask each person to share something they appreciate themselves for, perhaps it’s an accomplishment from the last week or it’s something they like about their own leadership, and encourage them to clearly state their appreciation without using minimizing language.
Most, if not all, struggle with this. Their stories start with “I’m not usually good at this, but…” or “this part was okay, but it could have been way better”. This is where I’ll step in and encourage them to restate their appreciation without the minimizing language. As each person shares, I notice a shift. People are standing taller. They’re beaming. Positivity resonance2 is growing as they share in the joy of each other’s stories. There’s just a bit more comfort in being completely and uniquely themselves.
Consider what makes you completely, uniquely, and remarkably you. How can you share more of that with others? How can you create space for others to do the same?
“Remarkably You” written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Patrice Barton. https://www.harpercollins.ca/9780062427588/remarkably-you/
Fredrickson, B. L. (2016). Love: Positivity resonance as a fresh, evidence‐based perspective on an age‐old topic. In L. F. Barrett & J. M. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (4th ed., pp. 847‐858). New York, NY: Guilford Press.