Appreciating Yourself

Since I’ve been writing about getting away from blaming yourself, I thought it might be good to offer ideas of what to do instead. What’s the flip side of self-blame?

According to the thesaurus, the opposite of blame is applaud, commend, praise, and thank. So how can you do that for yourself?

Well, here’s one practice I love to do. It just feels so good and puts me in a great frame of mind at the end of the day. It’s originally from Jack Canfield, with a little twist of my own added to it. It’s simply called Appreciating Yourself.

This is a short exercise to do before you go to bed. You acknowledge all the little (and big) things you’ve done during the day and appreciate yourself for them. Doesn’t sound like much, but the impact of this little practice can be surprising. It’s different for everyone, but here are some possible benefits:

  • Personally, my stress level dropped. Do you ever focus only on the things left to do? Wonder where the day went? Or criticize yourself for not getting enough done? Well, that was my story. This practice totally changed my perspective when I saw how much I was accomplishing.
  • For some people, this can be a real confidence-builder as they give themselves the recognition we all want. Now they’re not so driven to seek approval from others.
  • It can also help with gracefully accepting praise and compliments, if that’s a struggle for you.
  • You might cut down on your self-critical remarks. This helps set a new norm for self-talk.

So here’s how the practice goes.

This exercise is best to do just before bedtime, when your day is still fresh in your mind.

Stand in front of a mirror. First, look yourself straight in the eye for a few seconds. Then maintain eye contact throughout the exercise.

Then say, “(your name), I appreciate you for the following things,” and follow up with:

  • any accomplishments – personal, emotional, business, financial, educational, household, spiritual, interpersonal, etc.
  • any personal disciplines you followed through on – dietary, exercise, spiritual practice, study, etc.
  • any temptations you refrained from – staying up too late, watching excess TV, that second brownie, bad-mouthing somebody, etc.

Finish by saying, “(your name), I love you,” and continue looking into your eyes for a few extra seconds.

So it could sound something like this: “Janet, I appreciate you for the following things today: You got up early and did your spiritual practices. You ignored your craving for a sausage croissant and ate a healthy breakfast, and went to the Y and had a good workout. You had a good talk with Jackie and were honest with her. It made you both feel better to clear the air. You got those packages in the mail. You contacted the Yoga House about workshop space. You gathered your notes to write the blog post and put great TLC into it. You checked on the size for Jim’s birthday gift, and will really be getting him something he wants. Good job – not easy to buy for a 16-year-old boy! You wrote some great copy for your website. You called Robin back to set that appointment. You answered all your emails. You called the new graphic designer and started a good relationship with her.”….., etc.

Now go to bed, filled with good feelings, and beneficial neurochemicals flowing through your bloodstream.

Some people find it uncomfortable, especially looking into their own eyes, because it’s new. Some people feel embarrassed and some people even cry! That’s okay. Any discomfort soon goes away as you practice.

Here’s a PDF copy of the exercise for you to print out to help you get started.

(I keep a copy between the bed pillows so I don’t forget to do it.)

For extra punch

You can tap around the tapping points while you’re doing this exercise for even more powerful benefit. It’s another way of using affirmations with EFT– always a great way to work with your positive side.

So let us know how it works for you. Come back and leave a comment below.

  • Janet, what a great nightly ritual! I’ve been doing this in bed just before going to sleep and adding a nice hug. But I love the added benefit of looking into my eyes – and even tapping the points.

    Thanks!

    Natalie Hill

  • I love the addition of the hug, Natalie. Thanks for the tip! And thanks for joining in the conversation — great to hear from you.

    All the best,
    Janet

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