09 Nov Appreciating your OWN self!
When was the last time you explored all the things you like and appreciate about yourself? We humans are often too quick to focus on our faults, and this spills over into focusing on the faults of others. We can’t truly appreciate the good qualities of others until we appreciate our own.
Seeing the good
Seeing the good in yourself enables you to see the good in others, and this creates a more contented, joyful life. As you grow to appreciate yourself and others more, you will find that more people tend to appreciate you!
Oh, sure, there may still be some qualities you don’t care for. In ourselves, we can learn to relax about our imperfections, stop judging ourselves, and work on whatever most needs to change.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
– Carl Rogers
In others, you may find that their less-than-stellar qualities tend to fade in significance when you focus on their good qualities. A sort of “benign blindness” happens in relationships based on mutual appreciation.
Appreciating your own qualities
Find some quiet time to create a running list of qualities you appreciate in yourself. Note down instances when you lived up to (more or less) your ideal image of yourself. Think of times when someone thanked or complimented you, and realize that they were appreciating you.
Also list anything you did to lighten someone else’s day. Maybe you made someone smile or laugh, or helped them with a task, or listened quietly without interrupting. Keep adding to your list every day, and read it often.
You could also ask 10 or 20 people to each write you a letter, telling you two or three stories about what they appreciate in you.
The point is to start focusing on what is likeable and loveable about you!
As you start noting all the things you appreciate about yourself, say out loud what you appreciate in others. It is impossible to change other people, but changing your own behavior often makes it possible for other people to change their behavior.
“A good person”
Aging well can take time. I once met a man who, in his fifties, told me that his current stage of life was the first time he had ever been able to think of himself as a good person. It took me a long time to learn a spirit of appreciation well enough that it soaked into my very being, to become more of an everyday part of who I am, so I know that change is possible.
You might find that meditation or coaching helps shift your perspective about yourself. When you start noticing and appreciating all your good qualities, you will learn to truly love yourself and see yourself as a good person.
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