How do you show others that you appreciate them? Kind words, a thank you note, a thoughtful gift?
We enjoy giving special recognition to others. It comes to us easily and naturally. Yet, it’s often a different story when it comes to appreciating ourselves.
Take a moment and think about how you treat yourself. Are you appreciative of yourself and your efforts, or do you belittle yourself for not being perfect?
Imagine if you treated others the way you sometimes treat yourself. We often make commitments to ourselves that we dismiss with barely a thought. Would you mistreat, ignore or break promises to others the way that you sometimes do to yourself?
The idea is to turn the kindness you give to others inwards, and to treat yourself the same as you would a cherished friend.
In order to truly appreciate yourself, you must work toward recognizing your full worth, which can be difficult because we’ve been taught to put others before ourselves. But we can give ourselves credit, too.
If that’s difficult for you to do, remember: you didn’t create yourself. You can appreciate yourself without taking the credit!
Even so, self-appreciation can make us uncomfortable because it sometimes feels as if we’re bragging. That’s confusing self-appreciation with arrogance, which comes when we believe we are better than others. Self-appreciation is self-focused and simply means appreciating ourselves as much as we appreciate anyone else.
Perhaps you’ve seen the popular social media post featuring a photo of a Mother’s Day cake. On it was written, “To the greatest mother who ever lived in the history of the world.” Below the photo was the caption: “My mother ordered her own cake this year.” That mom (who has a great sense of humor) really knows what it means to appreciate herself!
Are you ready to grow in value by appreciating yourself?
Many of us allow others to determine whether we’re worthy of appreciation. Regardless of your efforts, others might not offer the appreciation you deserve. The good news is that you can appreciate yourself without waiting for feedback from anyone else. And there’s a bonus. Others are more likely to appreciate someone who appreciates themselves.
You don’t have to wait until you’ve lost 10 pounds or meditated every day for a month to appreciate yourself. Great achievements aren’t required.
Simply start by making a list of things you really love about yourself. Take a moment to write down the attributes that come to mind. If nothing comes, think about the things that you frequently acknowledge and appreciate in others, and find one of those things in yourself. Then find another. Appreciating those things about yourself will cause those things to appreciate as well. The more you nurture them, the more they will bloom.
You can practice self-appreciation simply by using kind words when you talk to yourself. What does the dialogue sound like in your mind? What does it sound like when you lose patience with yourself and address yourself aloud? Try not to beat yourself up or insult yourself. Instead, speak to yourself with the same respect that you would give to someone special in your life. Avoid using words that are harsh, judgmental or that create unnecessary drama, and see how much better you feel about yourself.
Many of us keep a gratitude journal. Boost its positive benefits by identifying at least one thing about yourself for which you are grateful each day. Consider things that you might often take for granted–anything from a healthy heart to a green thumb.
Perhaps the best way to appreciate yourself is to allow yourself to be who you are without judgment. Accept yourself as a person with all of the strengths, weaknesses and quirks that every human possesses — and appreciate those attributes that make you the awesome woman that you are!