We Become What We Hope For

For the past two years or so, I’ve imagined myself giving these speeches to large crowds saying, “Hey, my life was total bullshit. [insert examples of bullshit] But things got better! [insert hopeful examples] [insert hopeful, inspirational message]” Which is weird, because public speaking is NOT my thing. One day, however, I will give a big talk. I will. I know it. 

-Me, 12/30/13

I was intrigued when I found this quote of mine, particularly because I have made several (informal) inspirational speeches since then, and I’ve loved every minute of them. For a good while, I wished I had public speaking skills. In my mind, as this quote suggests, I spent a lot of time dreaming about being stage-confident, and I always knew that I would one day achieve that wish. I didn’t think it. I knew it.

This same wish-know process applies to my interpersonal relationships today. It’s my intense desire to be able to better communicate with others in emotional contexts. Processing my own emotions is natural; processing others’ emotions is a stretch for me. I really do have an enormous amount of empathy, and I would listen to someone for hours, but I’m not yet adept with it. In my mind, I’m comfortable responding to and interacting with outside emotions, just as I imagined myself as a fantastic orator two years ago. I’m not there yet. That’s okay. Even though I don’t have many opportunities to practice my emotional skills, it’ll happen.

Think of it this way: I was a writer who wanted to extend her linguistic skills to public speaking. Now, I’m an introspective feelings enthusiast who wants to become better at directing those emotions outwards. Chances are, you already have the skills that will help you achieve your goal. Take advantage of opportunities to grow those existing abilities. Keep a positive outlook on your personal development. You will one day become what you hope for, so long as you believe that you really can.

 

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