Self gratitude is the ability to appreciate self without the benefit of an outside influence and it is something that is very difficult for most people to do though without a doubt it is the most powerful thing any of us can learn to do.
There are so many different tools and systems to success that it could boggle the mind if one was to spend too much time looking around at all the options. There is, however, a single unifying thread that makes any or all tools and systems work – or not – the user. Each tool and system is powered by how the user feels about them selves. Gratitude in any form is a powerful attitude that will net results, however self gratitude is a power tool that can change all things. It is the key to personal success – whatever that means to you.
Many of us picked up where our parents left off with the practice of berating ourselves anytime our performance is less than what we perceive as our very best or beyond our capability. In many cases, we have set ourselves up by expecting the impossible which we can’t live up to, and then beating on ourselves for not being able to live up to our expectations. For those of us who do that, we have left little or no room to let ourselves off the hook.
The interesting thing about that little game with ourselves is that like our parents, we would never reward ourselves for substandard performance. Having a successful business that offers freedom and flexibility is a very big reward – that would feel much like it would have felt if our parents actually did buy us that brand new Porche for our 18th birthday. The problem is, few of us actually feel deserving of rewarding ourselves with such a big prize.
There is hope in the power tool called self gratitude or self appreciation; it’s just a matter of learning how to use it and applying it as consistently as possible. Here’s the rub: Often, people will dive on this idea and try and perform it perfectly – which is nearly impossible at the best of times never mind just starting out – allowing their ‘not good enough’ thinking to propel them right back into the ‘beat them selves up’ game.
It’s time to tell ourselves, ‘enough already!!’ It is time to break that self defeating heart breaking cycle that keeps us from grabbing the golden ring, that is – in every respect – our birthright. What that means is that learning to practice self appreciation requires that we begin to appreciate ourselves when we are less then satisfied with our accomplishments as well as when we are satisfied. It’s time to get off our own backs!!
But how do you get there?
Most of us are used to making a to-do list so that might be the easiest place to start. How about starting a ‘done’ list? I have been using done lists for several years now and my experience is that a done list supports me in appreciating myself by giving me a visual way of acknowledging everything I get done. This will be particularly helpful to women who are taking care of a household while at the same time trying to build a business.
Your done list should include everything on your to-do list, every house hold chore you do, every phone call you make, every errand you run and also everything you do for yourself. In fact, that last piece – what you have done for yourself – may be the most important part of the list. We will come back to that part in a minute but first let’s look at house hold chores.
When I said EVERY house hold chore, I meant exactly that. If you pick up some clothes off the floor, let the dog in or grab the mail; all of this needs to be noted because every action requires time out of your day and if you just happen to have an entire day of handling little things that aren’t listed, you run the risk of thinking you wasted your day. This done list is an important snap shot of what you accomplish that will help you recognize that you do a great deal and therefore there is much for you to appreciate about yourself.
There are a few reasons to list everything you do for yourself and the most important one is: You are the most important person in your life. If you don’t recognize the things you do for yourself as important, you are discounting the value of yourself and definitely not in a position of self appreciation. If you find at the end of most days, there is nothing on your list to take care of self, then it is time to squeeze yourself into your day. That might seem hard at first but it is well worth the effort.
Always start by appreciating what is. If you took a shower, put it on your list and appreciate yourself for doing something for yourself. Did you read something you love? That also goes on your list and don’t forget to appreciate yourself for doing something for you! The time involved in doing for self is the most important time in your day. Let’s face it, if you aren’t taking care of you, you have less energy to take care of others and your business. Take the time you need to recharge and let the gratitude you feel for yourself spread to the other things you do and the people you are doing for.
You will find that as time passes, your done list will get longer and longer. There are a couple of magic things that happens with appreciating what you actually get done. First, you will find that you get better at the things you do which will make them quicker to perform and therefore less time consuming. Second, you will find you have more time in your day to do things. As to why that happens, well that is another several page article so I wont explain, however, it is my promise to you that if you are diligent over time, these things will happen.
Another useful tool is the self appreciation list. It’s a simple thing to do and it may change your life faster then most other things. Take 5 minutes at the start and end of your day and write down 10 things you appreciate about yourself. It can be things that you are like ‘I am brilliant,’ ‘I am an awesome parent,’ ‘I am love,’ actions you’ve taken like, ‘I helped an elderly lady with her groceries today,’ ‘I smiled at the cashier,’ ‘I assisted my child with their homework,’ abilities you have such as ‘I am a great cook,’ ‘I love to make bird houses,’ ‘I am a wonderful networker,’ or anything else that you can think of that shows what a special and wonderful person you are – to yourself.
No one else will see your lists so go wild, get crazy and shine so that you can see your magnificence. I personally applied this method for almost 3 years and the transformation has been glorious, permanent and life changing. I became my own power tool.
Arrogance vs. Appreciation
Many clients who begin this journey are concerned they will seem arrogant or conceited as they move more fully into appreciating themselves. Nothing can be further from the truth. Folks who seem arrogant or conceited are not in a space of appreciating self; they are instead doing and saying things with the intention of getting others to appreciate them to fill the void they feel because they don’t appreciate themselves.
Arrogance is an outward journey of someone who believes that what they need and want are outside of them selves. Self appreciation is an inward journey that will assist you to allow your light to shine outward to the world around making you more attractive, more magnetic, and more effective and most importantly – more of who you really are.
Ever know anyone whom everyone liked, who built massive down lines without hardly any effort and everything they touched seem to turn to gold? That someone that your kids can’t wait to see, always has a smile for everyone, is helpful at every turn and always seems to make any gathering even better? Ever wish you were more like that person?
There is one common thread for every person who fits that description – they appreciate themselves, whether they know it or not. They are their own power tool!
The good news is, you too can be that, and it is just a habit of appreciating yourself until you are your own power tool!