Don’t let accolades determine who you are.
Why is it that whenever I ask an American person what they are most proud of the conversation begins with accomplishments. It is guaranteed that by the third sentence the discussion turns to their profession; their many awards and accolades that they have accumulated. Professional accolades, academic accomplishments, Heisman Trophies on and on. BORING! And SO PREDICTABLE!!
Ask most individuals from another country what they are most proud of and they will begin to tell you about who they are. They speak about their stance in life and the pursuit of their hopes, and most certainly their dreams. They will talk about their family and their culture. More than all of this they discuss relationships. Personal pride exudes when discussing how these relationships make them feel.
Today, I ponder why American people tie who they are to what they do? I am asking what happens if you can no longer do whatever you are doing? Who then will you be? What motivates you besides money, power and fame? Can you even answer the simple question, what makes you most proud in your life?
Marianne Williamson said so profoundly:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I am not the smartest, the fastest, or the most beautiful; nor am I the sexiest or most talented. I am not a doctor, nor am I a lawyer. I have not accomplished any accolades. But the one thing I know for sure is that on any given day I am proud to be a woman. I am proud to be a mother and a friend. I am so proud of the tenacity and dogged determination that I possess. I am proud that I am kind, considerate, and loving. I am so proud of my family and take great pride in my children. I am not perfect, nor am I a perfectionist. But I am loyal, honest, and I am amazing. Simply put, I am proud to be me.
Have accolades limited how you truly define yourself?