If we want to find our hero in life we need to start practicing how to be the heroine of his.
When I’m developing characters in a novel the heroine almost always carries some part of me or perhaps a truer statement is the me I want to be. The great thing about writing is I can make her do and say things I’m not bold or courageous enough to. The bad thing about writing is I have to find her flaws and create for her a journey of change. Sometimes those flaws hit a little close to home.
Although it may be painful, take some time to reflect on criticism you’ve received in the past. Discount the contradictory, cruel statements that come from only one person (and by the way, if you’re getting contradictory, cruel statements from a potential hero, here’s a clue—he’s not.)
In other words, if you often get comments like: that’s a good idea. You’re a problem solver. I never would have thought to do it that way. Then one person says: you’re stupid, that’ll never work, where do you get these dumb ideas – that’s a contradictory cruel statement.
But what are similar comments that you have heard time and time again? They may be hurtful. You may become defensive and declare them untrue, but as you take them as a whole, are you sensing a theme?
I’ll tell you mine:
“Hard hearted Hannah.”
“That’s a little harsh.”
“Ouch, you don’t pull punches.”
I see myself as plainspoken, but others see the truth. Obviously, I need to work on my compassion quotient.
Change begins within. If we want to change those around us, we generally need to start with ourselves. It’s certainly easy to spot the faults in others, but introspection is a little more difficult.
But it’s worth the effort. After all, once we find our hero, doesn’t he deserve one in return?