General Question

wundayatta's avatar

For those of you who have done so, how have you figured out what is special about yourself?

Asked by wundayatta (58635points) August 13th, 2010

There seem to be times when, all of a sudden, I can’t think well of myself. I make all these bad judgments about myself. I feel like I do not compare well to anyone else. I have nothing special to recommend me; no talent; no nothing.

I don’t know why these moods suddenly take me. Just a couple of days ago, I felt fine. None of this mattered. Now it does.

I’ll probably grow out of it in a few days (I hope), but right now my head hurts and if anyone could tell me how they figured out what was special about them, I would be grateful, because maybe it would help me counter this mood.

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26 Answers

mrentropy's avatar

I had a lot of people tell me. Even people that didn’t know me very well.

ichthus's avatar

Comparisons of our own performance to that of the more successful may be useful in egging us on to doing more than we thought we could, but they have at least three drawbacks: (1) We cannot absolutely know what the comparisons really should be. Perhaps my competitor had more advantages than I and thus should be expected to perform better. (2) My worth is both earned and intrinsic. Humans have worth regardless of performance because they are humans, but performance is a responsibility. (3) Often the categories of our comparison are trivial because we obsess over the little things and substantially ignore what really matters—which often cannot be measured and compared, like motive and love.

Aethelwine's avatar

By surrounding myself with people that care about me, or doing something that I enjoy. When I have these two things in my life, I feel good about myself.

missingbite's avatar

Look in the mirror and realize that there is nobody else in the WORLD exactly like YOU. Even if you have a twin, you are different. If that doesn’t make you special, nothing will. Good luck and God bless!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t know if there is anything different about me that makes me special apart from others but I do know that I have qualities (that many others have) that others are drawn to and these are: confidence, passion, consistency, morals. I appreciate all the people who have expressed to me why they like me and that’s how I learned.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Whenever I feel the way you described above, I take a moment to remember what people have told me in the past. I also remember some of the things I have been able to do and that seems to help to.

aprilsimnel's avatar

You’re a work in progress, as are we all. There will always be new things to discover about yourself. I was told yesterday, and I think it’s true, that the there’s “gold in the shadows”. Go ahead and look.

Jude's avatar

People like that I’m genuine.

Cruiser's avatar

For years I couldn’t understand why people were standing and applauding and throwing money at me until someone whispered in my ear…from that day on I knew! ;)

Coloma's avatar

We are all special and not special both! lol

I like myself and am pleased with my strong sense of wit, fast brain, creative side, and well developed sense of humor, along with, as @jjmah says, my authenticity and lack of pretense.

BUT….I try to keep in mind that “I” am not responsable for my traits, or my expressions or successes, God is. I am merely the conduit for these expressions.

I use the word “God” meaning creative intelligence works through me and is not “me.”

iWitch's avatar

I think that everyone has this… something inside of them. This unique higher being that is who you really are. It notices more than you do and it is the part of you who knows what you really want and need and feel at your core. It’s the part of you that makes you special. It is… your energy, your chakra, etc., your real self.

frigate1985's avatar

I thought about all the proud moments in my life. I also looked at photos and other things thay reminded me of those times. Then I’d get all happy and proud of myself. Works every time for me :)

wundayatta's avatar

@ichthus Do you have any tips about how to stop obsessing about this stuff? Shit! Where is my harmonica?

RareDenver's avatar

I looked in the mirror ;-)

CMaz's avatar

I am the only one I have. and, what @RareDenver said. :-)

Frenchfry's avatar

Alas we are moody creatures. We have are good days and bad days. Today I was grumpy. Just mad at the world. I go through days of feeling sad. Like there has to be more to life then this. Like you said it goes away. If it doesn’t maybe you need to seek a doctor. The only one who can improve ones self or life is you… I also sometimes sit back and think that are some people a whole lot worse then me. So I should not act this way…. Oh ! One thing that is special about me that I know is true, I am a good mom.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I figured out what I was good at ( not what was “special” about me ) by trying different things. There’s nothing “special” about me when compared with everyone else, I just worked at figuring out who I am and what I can do better than the average bear. : ))

Blondesjon's avatar

I came to my senses when I realized that nobody, including myself, is special.

It really frees up your mind and your time.

lifeflame's avatar

A couple of things here.
Number one is that you should recognize that this emphasis on individualism and uniqueness is not a given; and that one can be a very worthy person or create very worthy work without being “special” or looking to be special.

From a creative perspective, when I create (e.g. a theatre piece), I don’t start by looking for what is unique about myself. I start from whatever that interests me, and then I dig there. And I think if you dig deep enough, it gets specific, and that will make it unique. Starting with what is unique about yourself will result in being different for the sake of being different.

Also, when I create, I tend to think of myself more as a channel. So my job is actually to listen, and to be as open and transparent as possible so that the work can live through me. In this sense, I feel relieved of a lot of responsibility to be talented or whatever. It is through the grace of God/the muses/the Powers that Be that I create something beautiful or worthy. My job is to just, do my work.

As we say here, 但求練功, 不求成功; 功到自然成.
[Hard to translate, but this advice to kungfu practitioners goes something like: “Ask not for success, ask instead for the dedication to practice. When it comes, it comes.”]

So my solution, if I ever get this bout of self-doubt, is to go back to my practice; and find the joy within the practice itself.

faye's avatar

I have been told that I was an excellent nurse. I think caregiving is my forte to the point I stay on giving in dead relationships until I’m mostly dead and self preservation gets me out. So I think I have deep strength and belief in myself when I need it.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think the answer is just the opposite. When we realize just how common we are, and so insignificant, nothing really matters anyway, so why worry, just be happy.

There are upwards of 6 billion people in the world, and the majority of them are so busy wondering where their next meal will come from, they don’t have time to reflect on who is special and who isn’t. There are 4 new residents of earth born every time we take a breath, and two people die.

Maybe you need something more important than your own melancholy to occupy your life.
Take some action to make a difference to yourself and other. Try “volunteer match” and if you can find anything there, look at Volunteer Org

On your off time, go to and play games to help feed the hungry.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Excellent, excellent advice, and a great answer! : D

shadling21's avatar

I think @YARNLADY is onto something.

What differentiates us is our passion and our hard work, and neither of those come very naturally. We find things that motivate us and work towards goals.

Lately, I’ve been kind of “drifting” through life, and I’ve been feeling something similar to you, @wundayatta. I do what comes my way. But I have realized that by doing so, I’ve missed out on opportunities to grow. I can’t just live comfortably.

So, I have been pushing myself to pursue those things I love. Sometimes, I discover that I’m not so good at things, but with enough practice I can manage okay. We all start off at square one, as little babies fresh out of the womb. Some people quickly find a way to differentiate themselves from others – through skills or interests or whatever. But we all need to work to put those aspects in motion, and it is in motion that we discover what will bring us the most enjoyment.

So, I intend to keep moving, and maybe one day I’ll be happy with my achievements. If not, though, at least I had fun trying!

wundayatta's avatar

@YARNLADY It’s funny. When I feel worthless, I just don’t see why I should bother doing anything. There are times when I feel fine and that I have gifts to offer, and then the next day, same person, I feel like nothing. It’s at those times that I want some way out. Some way to feel like it’s worth bothering going on.

When I hang out with friends, these feelings seem to disappear. When I’m alone, they start coming. It’s hard because my work is essentially pretty isolating now.

YARNLADY's avatar

@wundayatta To me it all means about the same as lurve points – so why not have fun with it?

stardust's avatar

We’re all special and unique. If we can see that and value that while also realising what @YARNLADY said, I reckon we’d have a fairly healthy balance there.
My discovery of what’s special about me came about by looking inside.

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