Crystal's note: This post is a very important building block to increasing your self-worth. Do the exercises and you'll begin to see how worthy you really are.
Pink flowers by janoma.cl on Flickr
Are you getting the appreciation you deserve? We often want others to appreciate us. We want to be noticed for our efforts, rewarded for our hard work, and simply appreciated for who we are.
Most of us will go through a time when we feel unappreciated. Someone didn't notice when we went the extra mile- or worse, they criticized us for what we did.
When we live in a state of feeling unappreciated, we develop resentments, and begin to see the world as an unfriendly place.
We see ourselves as the martyr, the one who selflessly does for others, even to our detriment.
In truth, we are the only ones who can appreciate ourselves.
Hearing “I appreciate you” from someone else's mouth won't change our minds or make us feel more appreciated.
We're simply looking for someone to affirm what we already know- that we worked hard, that we're proud of it, and that it had a positive effect on someone else.
Instead of looking outside for that affirmation, we can begin to look within.
How to Appreciate Yourself
1. List all the incredible things you've done that you don't feel you were properly appreciated for. That anonymous bouquet you sent to the woman who was having a bad day, the time you pulled strings so a friend could get a better position. The extra mile you went to make sure your family was well-cared for, even when you were tired yourself. The way you balanced that incredibly hectic day, plus pulled off a completely selfless act in the microminutes you had to work with.
Even if you just list one, write this down.
2. Honor the incredible strength, kindness, creativity, and selflessness it took to perform this task. Take a moment just to say to yourself, “That was me. I did that. It was hard/frustrating/extra work, but I did it. I didn't have to.”
3. Place a value on your actions. When we devalue our actions “oh, it was nothing” when it actually was, we create subconscious resentments. What was that action really worth? Two hours' time? Three days of upset schedules? $500? Take a moment and put a value on what you did. This will help you value yourself, your time, your money, and your actions. In the future, you'll have a clearer idea of what it's actually worth when you volunteer or agree to do something extra.
4. Understand that the feeling you got from completing that action was your reward. “I didn't do it for anyone else but me.” This is not an egotistical or narcissistic moment, but one of truth. You enjoyed the feeling of pushing yourself, doing something wonderful, going the extra mile. You wanted to see how much you could balance. You decided that doing the task was more important than saying no. Love that about yourself. Love your ability to go the extra mile. Be grateful for your energy, your balance, your intelligence, your unselfishness.
5. Appreciate someone else for something they've done. It's wise to balance a lot of internal “me me me” work with appreciation and gratitude for others. Who helped you be the person you are today? Who taught you how to go the extra mile? Who inspires you to be a better person? Write them a thank you note. Even if you don't send it, you're sending out appreciation and gratitude into the universe and you'll receive so much more of what you've appreciated.