I recently was scrolling through social media and saw a post that said “List 5 things you like about yourself.” So, I casually started listing generic things like “Nice hair.. Pretty eyes.. Funny.. etc.” Then I really started to think about it, and asked myself “What 5 things about you really make you proud to be who you are?” Essentially, what are 5 things that make me “me”? Here is the list I came up with:
#5 – I am a go-getter
Nothing has ever stopped me from getting something I want or achieving one of my goals. Once I identify something I want to accomplish, and truly dedicate myself to the vision, it is only a matter of time before it manifests. Once an idea brews in my head, that’s it – it is happening!
Sometimes I amaze even myself with my commitment to things, but it is just second nature for me. It is how my brain is wired. I have never been the type to sit back on my couch, wishing for something to happen or imagining what it would be like in another lifetime. I only get this one life to be Antonella, so I am going to do it now.
#4 – I root for other people to succeed
I am running like I am on fire toward my wildest dreams – and along the way, I am encouraging others to do the same! Not everyone’s vision of “the perfect life” is the same as mine. Someone else’s success will not take away from my own success. When I see other people living in their purpose, or being their most authentic self, I am so incredibly proud of them. DAMN RIGHT I am rooting for them to succeed! Those are exactly the type of people I want to surround myself with, and even more so if they also are in the practice of rooting for other people’s success as well.
#3 – I embrace change
Change is a part of life. Some people thrive with change. Others fear change. Luckily for me, I have always loved change and have been flexible enough to roll with the seasons of life.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, and fall was always my favorite season. Between the changes in the weather and the changing of the foliage (and of course my September birthday!) that specific time of year will forever represent change, growth, and always moving forward. I have always been the type of person with the mindset that “Something amazing is about to happen!” so I always have something exciting to look forward to even when the current change feels uncomfortable or scary.
Change is inevitable, so it is best to just get used to that fact and go with the flow!
#2 – My sense of adventure
I am always down for a spontaneous adventure! Like last week when I bought last minute tickets to a concert the day of the show that ended up being 95% all in Spanish. Or like a few months ago when I decided on a whim to book a flight to Cuba. Then there was that one time I was exploring the streets in London, spotted a carousel, and in seconds convinced 15 of my mid-life adult graduate school classmates that they ABSOLUTELY needed to take a ride on it with me!
My sense of adventure truly is the spark for my excitement for life. My mom has always called me gutsy and the dare-devil of the family since I was a kid. She reminds me constantly of my grade-school class trips to amusement parks where as an 8 year old I would be riding adult roller coasters with my hands in the air and screaming “Wooooo!!!” while the rest of my friends were all gripping on to the safety bar for dear life.
Very recently the Executive Director at my office casually mentioned in conversation how I am “a kid at heart”. I loved this and truly found it to be the best compliment. It reminded me of one of my favorite books, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and one of its famous quotes: “All grownups were once children… but only a few of them remember it.” I am proud of myself for not only remembering what it was like to be a child, but for also still living with a childlike wonder. I see magic everywhere, and it makes my sense of reality a very exciting place!
#1 – My generosity
I am one of the most generous people I know, and I do not say that lightly. I will help anyone as much as I can, even when I know there is nothing they could do to repay me. I feel that if I am capable of helping someone else, or if I am able to make someone else’s life better, than it is my duty to do so. Whether it is helping monetarily, giving away my material objects, lending a helping hand physically, giving my time, providing encouragement or advice, or just being there to listen to someone, I always try my best to do what I can to help.
This one makes me the most proud, and that is why it has earned the #1 slot. If my legacy in life is to be only remembered in this way, I know I would be honored.
I’ll tell you something – turning 29 last week was a pretty tough moment for me. I now only have 1 year left in what I dubbed “my selfish twenties”, and to be honest I am not quite ready for the end of that era to come. Making this list really made me feel better, and put things into perspective. Age is truly nothing but a number. What is most important is how you choose to live your life every day, and how you choose to exert your energy.
So the next time you are feeling down on yourself, or need a little pick-me-up, I recommend trying this exercise and see what you come up with. What are 5 things you like about YOU?
Antonella is a gypsy soul with a passion for traveling, experiencing other cultures, and trying new things. Her “happy places” include airports, libraries, and Japanese restaurants. She enjoys reading, creative writing, music, kickboxing, risky/high-speed activities, and food! Her favorite things in life are crafting a good story and making people laugh. While she is still on a journey to figure out her exact life purpose, she is on a mission to be what she’s destined to be!