Do you know how rare it is to appreciate yourself and also show appreciation to others? Most people are better at the latter and avoid accepting compliments with gratitude.
How many times in your life have you shown your appreciation to others and said something like, “you know what I like about you?” and then follow it up with a lengthy list of admirable qualities you see in them? I can’t even count the number of times I’ve told others what I like about them. I think that the ability to quickly identify admirable characteristics in others is a gift, and I enjoy honoring others.
Appreciation provides validation
Appreciation is a powerful motivator; it provides validation and shows your gratitude. It’s part of human nature to crave recognition and appreciation. It’s not a bad thing to want credit, no matter what anyone tells you or what you may be telling yourself. It feels good to be praised for who we are or what we do. Think about how good it feels when someone points out your outstanding qualities. It feels good to be acknowledged. I know it feels great to see someone light up when I point out how awesome I think they are.
Too often in life, I feel like people resist praise and miss opportunities to show appreciation to others. Whether it’s because we’re busy with our own lives, or if it’s because we don’t feel comfortable with that type of conversation, the moments pass and become a missed opportunity to make someone’s day.
Recognize your own greatness
As awkward as it can be to shower others with praise, it can be even more challenging to recognize our own greatness. Many years ago, I realized that I was quick to overlook how awesome I was. After all, I was taught that it was better to appear humble than to delight in adoration. At a young age, many of us learned to play down positive feedback when, in reality, readily soaking up praise with gratitude is the equivalent of thanking someone for giving you a gift. It’s just polite to accept it and say thank you. It’s okay to smile or blush too!
To help you appreciate yourself and others, and to show your gratitude, I have an exercise for you. It’s called What I Like About You. My hope is that you do this simple activity right now and then repeat it often, especially Step 3.
Exercise: What I like about you
Step 1: Take out a piece of paper and write down the top 10 best qualities of your BFF or significant other. Doesn’t that feel good? Aren’t you glad you have that person in your life? I hope you share your list with him or her.
Step 2: On the flip side of that paper, write down the top 10 best qualities in YOURSELF! Was it harder to find the best in yourself? Why do you think that is? It’s time to release any programs that are preventing you from embracing your own greatness.
Step 3: Standing in front of a mirror, read each of the 10 qualities that you identified in yourself, pausing between each one to look yourself in the eyes. Yes, you are telling yourself what is incredible and unique about you! Do this part with your deepest sincerity and love.
“What I like about you” is one of the most empowering activities I do for myself. When I catch myself in negative self-talk, I pause then take a moment to acknowledge a few of my best qualities. Being able to see the fantastic, incredible, badass warrior that I am opens me up to an abundance of grace from the world. I promise it will do the same for you too!
Always remember, you are unique, and you are loved!
For more inspiration, read Choose to Look for the Good in Every Situation