You shouldve been a teacher.
You should write.
You should go into politics
You could be an artist
You could make money doing that
You should publish, sell, educate, inform, teach, build, heal ….
Have you had someone tell you ‘you should’ve been, you should be?
Well guess what … You already are
Instead of the reactive niggle inside, the hint of sadness at where your life path went, all the could’ve beens, think again. What you’re being told is that you are good at something/s. In fact you excel at these things. Someone has recognised that at the very least you made the cut in a field, in fact you even mastered it.
You may not have the piece of paper that goes with completing satisfactorily a prescribed course of study, but you have truly qualified in the field in the university of life. How many of us acknowledge that a piece of paper does not maketh a good teacher, historian, photographer, politician, writer etc.
Who do we truly listen to when we seek advice? Predominantly someone we trust in the field. Fair enough we use a tax agent or accountant to do up complicated tax returns (our financial state is at risk). We see a qualified doctor to diagnose an illness. A lawyer to fight our case in court. Mostly, but not always. Definitely when our money or reputation or legal implications risk a drastic change in our life path. And yes not every qualified, university degree in these fields means that they are in fact 100% correct, 100% of the time. They are after all human beings with faults and weaknesses just like every other person.
There is a joke, a favourite of mine…
Q: What’s the difference between God and a Doctor?
A: God doesn’t think he’s a Doctor.
In defense I will say that sadly society itself has allowed this thinking that the Doctor is always right. And man has played into the game by allowing only the very brightest ‘A’ students to enter expensive, long years of study. And yes, there are some in the field that perpetuate the myth by telling medicine students that they are the brightest and the best and worthy of god-hood. Here it is purely ego in its worst form at play. Yet I had one Doctor tell me that he wants to put the saying up on his wall … Because he is NOT God, and wants his patients to understand that he is not infalliable, but a fellow human being too.
A year ago, in my dark nights, a fellow therapist in the clinic I had set up my practice in, asked me to write down an I AM list. Of positive words. Strengths. Capabilities. Characteristics people commented on. It took me a while to agree. And then some to start. And longer to finish. But the flood gates opened. I still add to the list today. We never stop learning and growing. And we never stop peeling back the layers of our beautiful selves.
Looking back, I see this as a powerful tool. List making positively. Have you made a list of all the should haves and could haves that you have been told? Have you noticed this comment being made more than once? In fact perhaps many times in your life? Take a moment to stop and consider these. You should’ve been a teacher = You already teach. You may not have the piece of paper. But someone has recognised you as a teacher. And shake off the little person on your shoulder shouting ‘EGO’. This is NOT ego. It is your reality. Your gift. One of many that you may or may not even realise. Acknowledge this. Smile and give thanks for these gifts of yours. Use them in whatever way you choose. And never regret that perhaps you ‘should have’ gone to University and got that degree. Because if you had, you would not be at this very point in your life, exactly where you are, and exactly where you are meant to be.
There are many ways to use this tool, this exercise. Simply write a list. Create a wheel with yourself in the middle and arrows pointing out. A mind-map with extensions explaining more. Write about it. A poster story board. Use your computer. Pen and paper. Print. Cut out pictures. Fill the page. Don’t stop till you’ve filled the page. In fact, never stop. Keep it dynamic, growing, changing. Place it where you can see. Background it on your computer, your phone. Stick it on the fridge, the mirror, in your car, wallet. Refer to it often, daily. And add to it. Constantly.
Look at your ‘list’. Acknowledge your many gifts. And explore them some more. Especially if you enjoy them, and no doubt you do. For when someone tells you the should’ve/could’ve they are seeing in you your passion for this area. And inside I bet there is a little spark of joy. A glimmer, a glow of hope. Just waiting to be allowed to grow. Allow it to see the light of day in your life. Allow others to see it more fully. To see you embrace your gift and give it full life. In whatever way you choose. Do not hide your light under a bush. Take it out of its hiding place tucked away in a quiet corner of your mind. Shine your light into the world. For when you do, not only do you bring others joy, but you find the meaning of joy, happiness and bliss in fully embracing aspects of who you are. Your own unique soul-gifts.
Never again think that you are a jack of all trades, master of none. Nor that you have nothing worthwhile to share. Everyone does. Sometimes we just need to stop and open our eyes, ears and hearts to what we are being ‘told’.
Related posts previously written:
Faith or Fear, Freedom or Failure
Blogging = Journalling Online
Mind-mapping inspirational books
Creativity flowing constantly …
Inspiration and Stimulation