7 ways to teach kids about self-worth through your flaws

I am not a journalist, I am not a blogger, I am not sure I feel comfortable saying I am a writer… but I will.

The BIG REVEAL – writing does not come easy to me. In fact, I am dyslexic. Yep and I wrote a book and now I am writing this. It will take me ages, I will have to write, re-read, write and re-read for what will seem like a million times. The challenge I have is that I do not jumble letters like a typical dyslexic, I jumble my thoughts. Rush them on the page, sometimes out of my mouth. Sometimes those thoughts can be unclear and incomprehensible which drives my husband a little nutty. For me they make perfect sense, however, when someone else reads the sentence it’s a red hot “what the hell does that mean” mess.

As a teen, I was clever enough to hide my “not so smart” flaw but the fear of letting others in on my secret left a sticky unworthy residue on my heart. I didn’t realise how much damage it was doing and would progressively do for years to come.

“She slipped through the cracks” one of my teachers explained to my parents in my senior year! Well it felt more like I slipped into a frickin’ crevasse that Bear Grylls would have avoided at all costs. I worked really hard, frustratingly hard at basic subjects and I rebelled with bad and self-destructive behavior at home. Self-worth slump! My poor parents.

It wasn’t until I took a photography course that I had an ‘AH HA’ moment. I was visually creative! And eventually this passion led to me having a successful career in Advertising for over 20 years.

Even though my flaw led me to one of my biggest career achievements, the sticky, unworthy residue of fear remained and because of it I became a perfectionist, people pleaser and panicker. Oh my!

Upon reflection and some serious self-care over the past few years I have mellowed out; even turned around my 3 pesky p’s (perfectionist, people pleaser and panicker).

That’s another story for another time!

Let me get back on the dyslexic track.

I finally acknowledged the profoundness of this fear when it took 3 months to show my husband the first draft of Sleepy Magic – all 12 pages of it. But once I did it, my flaw didn’t seem to matter as much. Something clicked. I thought I can do this! I faced a fear, worked my tail off and slowly put our beautiful ritual into my own words to share with the world.

This is what I have learned and am still learning about my flaws and failing, and how I can teach my own boys that what they may think are flaws can be their greatest asset and gift. It all comes down to how they feel about themselves. It comes down to their self-worth.

  1. Shift your thinking around a “flaw”. To you it’s the biggest, most obvious thing. But to others it’s nothing not even a blip on their radar unless you let it be. It’s your choice how you handle your perceived “flaw”. Work with it and embrace it. Work it out and change it. Or worry about it and see how that ends up working for you. It’s your attitude around the flaw that either makes it bigger than Ben Hur or not a flaw at all.
  2. You actually can’t fail at anything so don’t fear it. Each step along the way in life is just a step and it always leads forward even if it sometimes seems to go back. Each moment is a lesson and it sucks when you are going through the crappy ones. The trick is to learn from each one. If you don’t get the lesson the first time the universe will keep throwing you curve balls until you do so pay attention.
  3. Ask yourself ‘what are you proud of’ everyday. It’s amazing how tapping into this thought proess adds a new perspective on how you want to leave your mark on the world. You certainly start to realise how much or how little you are truly proud of and what is important in your life. You focus on your intentions for the greatest good and less on you.
  4. It’s guaranteed zillions of others have made the same mistakes so your not alone. Trust that people are so focused on their own issues that the mistakes you make become yesterdays news as fast as you can say ‘yesterdays news’. Don’t beat yourself up, forgive yourself and move forward.
  5. You are the only one who has the power to clean the unworthy residue that may stick to your heart. No person, place or thing can fix this for you, it is an inside job. Ultimately, it’s your choice to shrink or shine but this doesn’t mean doing it alone. Always seek out others to help you when you need it. There are lots of wonderful people in the world to support you.
  6. You are unique. Celebrate this and stop comparing yourself to your best mate, a stranger, or worse celebrities! You are the celebrity in your own life. Being talented or smart comes in many forms and what matters is finding what makes your heart sing. It’s your journey. Same same is boring. Different is grand.
  7. What you focus on grows. If you focus on the flaw it will grow and if you focus on what brings you joy, makes your heart go boom the more those feelings will grow. Give anything and everything a try because you have no idea which one will take your fancy. And when it happens follow it, grow it and trust it. This can lead to being your gift to the world.

So here I am writing, sharing and cracking myself open in the scariest way. This is not natural for me, but with anything I believe in I will work through it and have the faith it will get easier. If you have a passion nothing will get in your way. I have accepted my short comings, embraced my fear of being exposed and realise this is about embracing me, accepting me. This is part of my journey.

Lastly, I can say I did it with my heart and soul, I gave it a ‘red hot go’ and mama I’m proud I did it and so are my boys.