Scrolling through Facebook the other day I saw a meme that asked, “What was your favorite subject in school?” Though I kept scrolling, I thought to myself, “Writing of course.” And then I thought about why.
I took a creative writing class as a freshman in high school. The teacher would omit the name of the student, but copy good writing examples and share them with the class. She would use them as a teaching tool to point out what was good about the writing. How the student executed the assignment well, or how the description pulled the reader into the setting, etc. She used my writing a lot.
That shaped me as a writer and as a person to have her validate my work like that. It gave me a confident foundation to start from. How powerful it is when you believe you know what you are doing! It encouraged me to continue. I didn’t pursue writing as a career immediately, but when I finally circled back to it, I still held onto the belief that my foundation was strong enough to build on.
I’m basically a million years old now (or maybe just feel like it) and it has been a minute or two since that teacher shared my work again and again with my classmates, but look at me – I’m still impacted by the experience. So, I challenge you. Look around in your life. Who can you impact like that? If someone is good at what they do, or if they make you feel good about yourself, shouldn’t you take the time to tell them? And recommend them to others if the opportunity comes up. Validate them and provide them with a solid confidence from which they can grow.
Please, take the time this week to look around for the people in your life who make your life worthwhile and let them know what it is they do well. Is it a store clerk who always greets you with a smile? Tell them how much that means to you. Is it the bank teller who keeps you informed on the best services their bank offers? Is it your freshman high school creative writing teacher? If you can – tell them why you appreciate them. There’s a chance they’ll think, “Oh, that was nice.” And then never think about it again, but there’s also a chance that you will be the tenth person to say something and they’ll finally think, “Huh, maybe this is what I’m best at. Maybe this is who I need to be.”
Do the little things to make big changes.
What is one of your defining moments? I’d love to hear who and what has helped to shape you.