Part 2: If you are going to encourage someone, say it loud and clear.

Like it or not – We find out about most of our skills/talents/gifts early on. First through our parents, then our sibs, then our relatives try to tell us who we are.

Later it’s our friends: First it’s: “Watch her dance!”, “Look how he holds that ball – he’s going to be a pitcher if I ever saw one!” and later, “Mom, “David’s being mean”, “Jean’s a liar”, “Look how fat she is”, “Everybody was laughing at Joey when he had to give his report in front of the class today”. They all feed into how we see ourselves. They all try to tell us who we are.

Whether we believe them or not often depends upon how much or little we know about ourselves, how much self-confidence we may have garnered along the way, or how many opportunities were available to us.

We may have had someone close to us who recognized that we liked doing something and helped us practice, raving about it at the dinner table in front of everyone. Or perhaps we had an aunt who took us to the nursery to buy some seeds to grow in her garden creating vivid memories of beauty she would remember throughout her life.

Grandma might deal with her grandson’s not wanting to “act like a girl” issues by insisting he learn just a few basic sewing, knitting, or embroidery skills, just to show off to the girls. Grandfather can teach his granddaughter to build a birdhouse, all the while praising their efforts and including those that don’t turn out so well (they would be kept as special because they had fun painting them – and they will probably never be thrown away).

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