This is an assignment, when completed even in a 20-30 minute quickie, is essential for Barbara. She focuses on the things she hasn't done or has goofed on (as tends to happen with humans!), so she has only a fuzzy or obscured view of her sustantial abilities.
[The probable end scenario: At first, Barbara could barely acknowledge any positives about herself, and even those had a "but" in them, usually saying it was not as good as it "should" be. When she realized that there is no "should" and that those were untrue concepts behind those shoulds, she then bought into just noticing "what is there (in existence)" that works for her good, period (with no it should be better!). Use the Search Engine on this site and enter "should", eliminate those that just include should in a sentence and read those that are about shoulds.]
Acknowledging strengths and abilities is a major step toward creating more certainty and confidence in life. It is recommended that these be placed in the Reminders Notebook and read at least weekly for 10 weeks and then periodically as part of the morning reminders routine.
Definition of a strength: Capacity or potential for effective action.
SHE RECOGNIZES THESE STRENGTHS IN HERSELF
Ability to communicate, very articulate (though sometimes have a word finding problem)
Ability to edit
Extremely good in being friendly and in some social situations is quite skilled (when she is "balanced")
Smart, though initially she was saying she was not.
ABILITIES, NOT ACKNOWLEDGED AS STRENGTHS
(This includes things that are abilities but which she would not yet acknowledge as strengths. Note the definition of strength, above. Somehow we have developed the idea that strength must be heroic rather than just useful!)
I was able to discipline myself to override my negative self talk.
Unrecognized (or not acknowledged to me):
Until one rises above the "I am my accomplishments" or "I must succeed to prove I am capable" or "I must succeed to win people's approval", it is healthy to gather evidence on the positive side, as most of us are so capable of gathering the evidence on the negative side.
This is an incomplete assignment at this point...
Professor said thesis was so good it should be published
Did quite well at a top university
RECOGNIZED BY OTHERS
Cheerfulness (by one of the people she helps at church)
Helps others, including some very significant contributions
There is much to add to this, but it is up to Barbara to keep a sheet in her Reminders Notebook and to complete that sheet. The point of all this is for her to see "what is there" and to have her stop looking at things from the point of view of what is missing as compared to the unreasonable standards that no normal person could ever meet. Changing her habits of how she views herself and talks about herself is a key to her seeing the world more as it really is - and knowing that in the real world she is actually ok, safe, well-off, and a very good, caring person.