When I began my work as a Program Director on a dementia unit, I quickly learned that people, both co-workers and family members alike, saw me as the activity director of the unit. I had recently worked long and hard to complete my degree in social work by going back to college at the age of 44 and I was upset that I wasn’t being recognized for that. I made sure to add my credentials to my name tag as soon as my license arrived, in hopes of alleviating the misconception of my job title.
Now, before I go on any further, I need to say that I hold activity professionals in the highest esteem. Their job is not an easy one, finding meaningful activity for health compromised people living in nursing homes and other group living environments. I very much appreciate all the work they do.
*Forward ahead three years, and many, many “activity director” references later.*
For many reasons I will not get into here, I found myself frequently doing projects with the residents on my unit. People would comment on how creative I was. I began to acknowledge myself as a creative person. When the opportunity came for me to be in charge of a fundraising event, I took to it with a creative mind. I started feeling more confident in my creative abilities. Was I a creative person after all? My younger sister is an artist. I wasn’t like her. My daughter is an artist. I wasn’t like her. Even my mother I could see as a creative person, but not me. The problem is not that I wasn’t creative, it was that I wasn’t seeing myself that way. Comparisons for me have been the main confidence killer in my life. As soon as I put myself up against anyone else, whether it be their looks or their abilities, I immediately fall short of the mark.
While working with my life coach this week, the topic of comparisons came up. It is a subject that we will work on more over the next few weeks. It is time to leave the comparisons behind so that I may confidently and creatively engage in my life.
Always yours in transformation,