I want to ask you something. When was the last time you chastised yourself or pointed out a negative flaw that you have? Yesterday? A couple of hours ago? Five minutes ago? Now, when was the last time you actually thanked yourself for something and showed yourself gratitude? If your answers were anything like mine, you probably found it difficult to think back to a time where you thanked yourself for something, and found it all too easy to think back to when you pointed out something negative.
We’re so quick to point out the flaws and negative traits in ourselves– “Why did I do that? I’m so stupid.” “I can’t do anything right.” “I look hideous.” “No one would want to be with me.” “This is why I don’t have any friends.” But, we so rarely practice self gratitude. I’m not talking about starting a gratitude journal so you can remind yourself all of the things you’re thankful for, although doing that is important as well, but I’m talking about thanking or complimenting yourself for things you have done.
The purpose of self gratitude isn’t to brag about your accomplishments or to be narcissistic, but rather to praise yourself and to give yourself a little self esteem boost. Think of it as a personal shout out or a figurative gold star on a job well done. It doesn’t have to be shouted from the rooftops for everyone to hear. It can be a thought or said in front of a mirror. It should be practiced just as much, or if not more, than pointing out negative things about ourselves.
We all work so hard each and every day, whether it’s at work, at home, fighting an illness… we should all give ourselves a pat on the back. Noticing the negative all the time can be bit of a downer, and can sometimes affect your mood for the rest of the day. But, just saying one positive thing to yourself can turn it around. It doesn’t have to be an enormous compliment or achievement; it can be something as small as you thanking yourself for getting out of the house or calling a friend– whatever you feel like you need to hear at that moment.
Personally, I know I need to work on this more, especially when I’m at work. I’m so quick to berate myself on something that I did wrong, but whenever someone praises me for something I did well, I realize just how long it’s been since I said something positive to myself.
Here are a few things I would like to thank myself for:
- Never giving up even when it felt like things would never get better.
- Being constantly curious and learning new things
- Helping others at work even when I don’t have the time
- Giving my body the rest and energy it needs to keep me healthy
- Finding the time throughout the week to work on my blog
What are some things that you would like to thank yourself for?