One red gummy bear among many white gummies

Because I coach entrepreneurs myself, some people are surprised I need a coach. Or, that I even have feelings of inadequacy or timidity. But of course I do!! And recently those feelings got triggered.

As I explore the blogosphere, wise voices say, “Be yourself. Let people get to know you. You are so wonderful people will just fall in love with you and follow you. You are so special, let that come out in your posts.”

I am not by nature a shy or even private person. It doesn’t bother me for people to know where I’ve come from and what I’ve done, some of it offbeat, scary, smart, bold, and yes stupid. What really bothered me though was labeling myself as special. I could hear my mother’s voice advising that people didn’t like people who thought of themselves as special. So how could I be “special” online? It seemed to violate my beliefs and upbringing.

So back to my coach. I was talking to her about my discomfort in parading my accomplishments. Yet the reality is, I have had and continue to have a life that is satisfying.

She asked, “So what makes you special?”  My whole body curled up. I was embarrassed by the question and told her so. She said stand up and take a breath. “So what makes you special?” she repeated.

I started out slowly at first; talking about how even though I grew up in a small town I ended up in New York, then later in South America. That I have close relationships with my sisters and their families and my children and grandchildren. That I’m bi-lingual, have written a book, and know a broad range of obscure information. I meditate daily, know how to ride a horse and shoot a gun, although not at the same time. Then I continued to go on and on. She said, “WOW,  you are special. How do you feel? Do you feel proud?” 

Yes, I could finally say, and then added, "and that’s OK."

It’s not only OK to feel special and proud, it’s required. If I can’t feel special and proud of myself, how can I help others feel special and proud? Well, I can’t!

When I was growing up, if you thought you were special, that implied you thought you were better. But that’s not what special means. It means special. What makes you, you.

So I’m here to tell you, I’m special and proud of it.

Make a list of all those things that make YOU special. Or better yet, stand up walk around and say them out loud.

Let me know what makes YOU special and BE PROUD.

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About The Author

Elizabeth B. Crook's picture

Elizabeth B. Crook is CEO of Orchard Advisors. For over twenty years, she has worked with CEO's and entrepreneurs to think and act strategically to grow their companies' bottom line and have more overall satisfaction. She has a gift for making sense of complex situations and mapping them so creative and practical approaches emerge. Clients speak of her insight, skill, authenticity, and willingness to ask the hard questions in a gentle way. 

She is also the bestselling author of Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next. Recent media features include ForbesFast CompanyDaily WorthPBS Next AvenueThrive Global, Conscious Company, and BetterBook Club.

A mother, grandmother, and ardent hiker, she lives on Music Row in Nashville. 

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