Sunday 15 January 2012

"Simply The Best"

"You are simply the best. Better than all the rest." ~ Tina Turner

I am a Recruitment Consultant so I spend a lot of time interviewing people. A common interview question is, "What are your three biggest strengths?" Over the years I have heard a lot of the same answers: organizational skills, ability to multitask, team-player. Yeah, right. Pretty cliched answers. But how many people are self aware enough to know what their top skills really are? And, more importantly, how many actually feel comfortable selling themselves in an interview - or in life? Candidates often feel like they are bragging so they sell themselves short. Here's my free interview tip of the day: it's an interview - SELL yourself!

People who haven't known me during a depressive episode are often surprised to hear me say that my confidence and my self esteem has suffered greatly during these periods. When I am healthy and well I am confident, outgoing, and pretty quick to smile. While depressed I have often felt worthless, useless, stupid - you name it. Pretty much unable to see my value as a human being. But depression can really play games with your thought processes. You begin to believe things that simply aren't true. So it's not surprising to know that low self-esteem & depression go hand in hand. The key is to recognize that while ill you can't always trust your instincts and that sometimes your mind is working against you.

When I first began battling depression years ago, my mom encouraged me to find a hobby, something creative. As a kid and a teenager I had been actively involved in drama and I loved to sew. But after high school I drifted away from my creative side. But my mom was on to something. First of all, making things took my mind off of my troubles, if only for a little while. Secondly, there is plenty of scientific proof of the benefits of art therapy and recovery from mental illness.

Because of my mom's encouragement and my experience with depression (yes, there is almost always a silver-lining), I started a little card-making business from home. I unearthed my creative side and discovered that I had a real knack for making whimsical cards, cards that you can't find at Hallmark. I began to sell them at my cousin's community craft shop, at craft fairs and at work. Now I get special orders for Christmas and birthdays. I love to turn up my music, lay out all my supplies and get lost for a few hours in my own creative world. It's one of the things that I do best - you could say that being creative is one of my greatest strengths. If you ask my niece and nephew I am the best Aunt. If you ask my friend Tammy, she'll say that I am the best friend. If you ask my buddies, they'll say that I throw simply the best Christmas party every year.

What are you simply the best at? Maybe your chocolate chip cookies rock. Perhaps you give the best hugs. How about that kick-ass report that you prepared for your boss? Find what you are good at and be proud!

KB xo

Don't let depression rob you of your self-esteem. For tips on how to improve your self esteem check out the book: Depression 101 - A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and preventing Relapse by John D. Preston, PSY.D., ABPP and Melissa Kirk

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