109. Create a “What I Like About Me” List

Create a “What I Like About Me” list…

Too many missionaries, moms, and rm’s are creating lists of all their weaknesses, shortcomings, and imperfections. This is never a good idea. Not only is this an unhelpful practice, but it also has negative effects on our self-esteem and mindset. Let me explain why…

Our brains operate like filing cabinets, with multiple rooms containing boxes of thoughts and beliefs. When we write a list of our weaknesses or inadequacies, our brains automatically search for evidence to support those beliefs. We begin to see our lives through the lens of those negative thoughts, automatically magnifying every instance that reinforces them. For example, if we believe we are not good enough teachers, our brain will constantly point out every moment we stumble while teaching.

It’s crucial to shift our focus toward positive thoughts and beliefs. Creating a “What I Like About Me” list is not just about wishful thinking or naive optimism. It’s about redirecting the power of our brains to find evidence of our strengths and qualities. By consciously choosing to notice and appreciate positive aspects of ourselves, we open up new rooms in our mental filing cabinet. 

So, if any of you have a list of reasons you feel you’re falling short or not measuring up, it’s time to crumple and throw them away. These lists only create limiting beliefs and emotions, holding us back from recognizing our true potential. Trust me when I say that focusing on our strengths and building up ourselves and others will lead to incredible results. 

Remember, what we pay attention to grows. Let’s choose to pay attention to our strengths, and watch our lives transform.

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Hey everybody, it’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 109. Create a what I like about me list I’m Jenny, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast, how are all of my missionary friends doing and missionary moms? I know I say it on the podcast every week on the outro. But I think about you guys every single day. Hope you’re doing well. Hope you’re managing the hard stuff and figuring out how to be nice to yourself along the way. Because that’s what we’re doing here, right. It’s just learning how to create more acceptance, more love, more compassion, more surrender to the plan, which was always that we would come down here have a little bit of a struggle, but we can be nicer to ourselves all along the way. So thanks for being here. And helping me spread the word about these mental and emotional tools that really, really do make a difference for our missionaries. And for our RMS. It is super fun work to be doing. So thanks so much. I really feel so grateful for each one of you. Today, we’re talking about creating a what I like about me list. And as I like, put this down on paper, I was like, okay, it straight up sounds like a children’s book, like a super cheesy children’s book, or maybe a pre teen book, you know, that just like about self esteem or something like that. So just because of the title, don’t click away or decide you’re not going to listen, because I think that the concept in here is very, very important. And something I’m seeing a lot of. And so I want to be able to share with you what I have seen and how creating a what I like about me list can be life changing. And mission changing. Okay. So I’ve mentioned this a couple times on social media, but I don’t think I’ve shared this story here is that I was working with a client who was on the mission. And his leader at some point during the mission, one of his leaders had told him to write a list of all the places that he was falling short. So all of the things that he needed to work on all of the things that he needed to do better. And all of the things that were he just wasn’t measuring up. And not surprisingly, when I started working with this client, that was having a big effect on him. Now, I didn’t find out later, until we were into our sessions quite a bit that he had this list. But it was a list that he was encouraged to write, and then was encouraged to keep and hang on to. And it sort of was like a list of his weaknesses. And I just want to say first thing, I cannot think of a good reason to write down a list of your weaknesses and all the ways you fall short. And I’m going to tell you why. But first, I want to say when we create a list of what I like about me list, it’s not just some like optimistic, like think happy thoughts, and I’m going to just repeat happy thoughts and then I’m going to change my life because I’m just going to be so positive. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about actually, our brain and the way that your brain works is it’s a filing cabinet. So think of your brain, like it’s a room or a library or an office that has tons of rooms in it. And then in each of those rooms is I have boxes and boxes and boxes. And so when we have a list of things, of reasons that we fall short of reasons that we’re not good enough of reasons that we aren’t meeting a certain standard, what our brain does on default is it finds compelling evidence to make that thought true. So even if it’s a thought we don’t love, like, even if it’s a thought, that doesn’t feel very good, like, I’m not a good missionary, I’m not a good teacher, I never meet my goals. I’m not as spiritual as I should be, whatever it is, our brain, on default, will start filling boxes, file boxes of evidence of that. And then we start to see our lives through this lens of whatever that thought is. So for this client, if he was like, I’m not a good teacher, the brain then, or I need to work on my teaching, let’s say, or I, whatever that is, my shortcoming is that I’m not a good teacher, then the brain, we tell the brain what to look for, and what to find and what to focus on. It’s actually called confirmation bias. It’s a psychological, physiological occurrence that happens in the brain. And then from that moment on, if we’ve opened up that room to start compiling evidence that I’m not a good teacher, then every instance that happens, every stutter every like brain fog, where we can’t come up with a question every time we’re talking to our companion or talking to someone on the street, our brain will be like, see, there it is, again, you’re not a good teacher. See, there it is, again, you’re not a good teacher. And then it starts building this evidence to prove that belief. True, I actually just watched a TV series. And there was these lawyers that were compiling evidence, and it ended up that they had rooms and rooms and rooms of this evidence that they had collected and file boxes. And then pretty soon they had to open a warehouse. And this is what your brain will do is it will continue to find evidence for what’s on that list. So if you have a list of your weaknesses, guess what most likely, they’re gonna keep being your weaknesses, because your brain will find all the reasons that’s true. If you have a list of all the reasons that you fall short, almost guaranteed, you’re keen to keep falling short in those areas. So again, confirmation bias is something that our brain just naturally does, it looks for evidence of what we believe to be true. And this is why, let’s say you get a new pair of shoes, and you’re walking around campus and are at work. And then all of a sudden, everybody has that same pair of shoes, you’re like, oh, it’s because we’ve told the brain what to pay attention to. I actually bought this sequin jacket that I wore to the Taylor Swift concert in March. And I loved it. But guess what? No, I’ve seen it all over. I’ve seen it online, other people that are at the Taylor Swift concerts. I’ve also seen it last night, we were watching AGT. America’s Got Talent. I don’t know if you guys love that show. We do. And there was a singer who was wearing that same jacket. Now nobody else is probably paying attention to that. Except for me, because I’ve told my brain what to pay attention to. And listen, what we pay attention to grows, we find more evidence of it, it feels more true. And those filing cabinets and those filing boxes, just keep filling up. And I’ve said this before on the podcast, but your brain actually wants to be right. Like wants all the evidence in that room to be true. More than it wants you to feel good. And so that’s why it’ll keep finding evidence for a thought. That doesn’t feel good. So one of the days I challenged this missionary, I was like, listen, once I found out about this list, I was like what? Who told you to do that? Not a good idea. So I challenged this missionary to come up with some a list of things that he liked about himself.

9:49 And this is a grown like 21 year old person, 20 year old person and he couldn’t come up with anything which to me was no surprise because I had just found out about this list. And I knew that in his brain, he had rooms and rooms and rooms of these file boxes with these files in it with tons of evidence to prove his beliefs true about himself. Of all the ways he was falling short of all the ways that he wasn’t good enough, okay. And he couldn’t think of anything. And I said, Well, okay, that’s okay. Let’s think of one. And he was like, Huh.

10:34 Silent. It’s like, I really got nothing.

10:38 Again, his brain wanted to be right. More than it wanted him to feel good. He was stumped. And again, it makes total sense. Because his brain had been focusing other places for such a long time. So what I said, I was like, Okay, how about this, you like that tie you’re wearing?

10:58 He was like, Look down. It’s like, Yeah,

11:02 I do like this tie. And I said, okay, cool. Did you pick out that tie? And he said, Yeah, yeah, I did pick out this tie. I said, Guess what, I have some news for you. I like that tight too. And I said, that’s our first one, you are good at picking out ties. Now, the amazing thing that just happened, and that was a small thing is a very small thing. But we just opened up a new room. We just opened up a new room in his brain that was going to start collecting evidence that he was good at picking out ties and noticing fashionable ties. And then his brain every time he was tie shopping, or with other missionaries, or whatever, his brain was going to go to work proving that thought true. And compiling evidence to prove that true. And so then I finally said to him, we’re going to come up with 19 more, I want you to come back to me with 20 things that you like about you. You guys, I wish that I could just put that call on this, because when he came back the next week, you would not believe the change in his demeanor, in his mood in his countenance. Just by coming up with the list. Because what we did is we refocused his brain on rooms that created thoughts and feelings that he liked. And he started noticing, Hey, I am good at this, I am better here, I can do this. I do like this about me. And it literally, I do not underestimate us underestimate this statement, it literally changed his mission. So let’s just say this, if any of you have a list of reasons, you’re falling short reasons, that you’re not good enough reasons that you’re not measuring up, please crumple them up and throw them away. They are not helping you. And listen, if I thought they did, I would be all for it. But they don’t. They create emotions, and create beliefs that are limiting and that keep us stuck. And that prevent us from seeing what is good. So I know what some of you are already thinking is like if I let go of those rooms with all those boxes, if I let go of thinking that I’m falling short, if I don’t harp on myself all the time, like you’re not this, you’re not this, you’re not this, you’re not this, then I’ll never end up where I want to go. But the opposite of this is true. And I saw it as clear as day. With this one particular client. In one week, it was completely different. And I’ve seen it with my clients over and over and over again. It’s this idea if the emotion is a useful emotion that feels good if our beliefs are useful beliefs, they will propel us forward. Not because we have to be different or not because we’re coming from lack. But because we already know we’re good. And then we just want something more. Not more goodness not being better, but it just sounds like fun to create something new and different. So stop coming up with the places that You’re falling short, or your district is falling short, right? Like we see this a lot in leadership is like, let me tell you all the things that you are doing wrong. And all the places that you need to work. Instead of doing that, focus on the good build people up, create rooms in their brains for evidence of how amazing they are. And won’t wouldn’t you know, that when we do that, when we do that for ourselves and other people, we get amazing results because your brain will go to work, proving those thoughts true. Okay, my friends, everyone throw away, you’re falling short list. It’s not helping. Instead, maybe this week, before you listen again, create your what I like about me list, show your brain why you’re amazing. And it’ll start proving those things true. All right. Okay, everyone have the most amazing week, we will talk to you next time. Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges. And many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety, serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed up and navigate your post mission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you’ll want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries, my video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you were involved in. Just now that Jennie the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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