Sunday, April 11, 2010


I recently attended an event highlighting the accomplishments of some young people and it was interesting to see their projects. Yet, none of them was in attendance for their event. I said to the instructor, “They don’t get who they really are. They don’t realize their significance.”

A sense of personal significance is what has you show up – ready, willing and able. It is what has you make a difference in the Life of someone else, and it is what motivates the desire to pursue excellence. A sense of personal significance is a key ingredient for success. It is also a necessary component to successful relationships.

When you do not think that you matter in a situation, it is easy to turn back, be absent, or not interact in a meaningful way with others. When you do not fully embrace your significance there is room to not give your opinion, not respond to others (like return phone calls, respond to mail and emails) and essentially you allow yourself to think that things don’t matter that pertain to you when others are involved.

There are a myriad of ways we can begin to build a greater sense of self-worth, or personal significance. It can start at home with yourself and how you treat yourself.

This past year has been a remarkable journey. As I found myself moving towards something new, I also began to assess the things around me. In the fall, I came across two Still Life pastels I created about 18 years ago. I thought they looked nice then, but I never did anything with them. Sometimes, I would have them out on a dresser or display shelf. Most of the time, they were in a plastic bag shuffled from space to space.

I looked at these two works of art of my creation with new eyes of appreciation last fall and decided that they were expressions of me at a key time in my Life and they were finally going to get their due. I took them to the craft shop and spent two hours playing around with frames and mats. I finally placed my order. It was an extra treat to hear the framer praise my work and inquire if they were for sale and if I show at galleries. No, they were just for me: after 18 years, owning my significance to create and have it be valuable to me, at last.

Where can you own a greater sense of your personal significance?

© Dr. Ethel Drayton-Craig, 2010

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