I have a quick exercise for you.
– Make a list of five things you love about yourself.
– Make a separate list of five things you wish you could change about yourself, insecurities you harbor, negative self-talk that runs on a repeat reel, etc.
Which one was easier to write? If you’re like me (and many other humans on this planet!), we tend to be a lot better at identifying our faults than recognizing our strengths. You know that quote, “You are what you think about all day?” Your inner dialogue matters. When you spend your mental space in a place of questioning, doubt and fear there is less room for growth, self-confidence and happiness.
I have been trying to get really clear lately about the way that I talk to myself. I can definitely identify reoccurring patterns of the dragon variety and need my inner hero to knock that stuff down. I won’t even start the laundry list of things that wake me up in the middle of the night but it includes things like relationships, career, family, house woes, life direction and more. The thing that is so important to realize is that everyone walks around with these lists but the key is to choose to read the good list. When the negative reel starts playing, stop it and remind yourself all the things that you love about yourself, your life and what you offer to the world.
This may be one of my favorite quotes of all time and it’s so true. When we are happy and full of good thoughts, it shows. It truly does radiate out of us. It’s the energy that draws other people to you and also draws more opportunity to you. When you are flowing in the direction of self-love, confidence and passion nothing can stop you.
Need a kickstart to help you write that list about things you love about yourself? I really love this (terrifying) but eye-opening exercise from Danielle LaPorte that gets you out of your own head and provides an outside perspective.
THE WHITE HOT TRUTH ASK-A-FRIEND SURVEY Sometimes another perspective can create a quantum leap for us. So take a deep breath and…just ask. Yeah, it’s a risk, but value is often proportionate to risk. Send your friend a link to this, paste it into an email, pour yourself a glass of wine and pick up the phone.
: What do you think is my greatest strength?
: How would you describe my style?
: What do you think I should let go of?
: When do you feel that I am at my best?
: What do you wish I were less of, for my sake?
: When have you seen me looking my most fabulous?
: What do you think I could give myself more credit for or celebrate more?
The prerequisite is this: only send these questions (or make up your own) to someone who: you respect, makes you feel more like yourself, and actively adores you. This isn’t about being critiqued or gutted. The purpose of this exercise is to see your self more clearly so that you can rise to your own fullness.
It is okay to believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish whatever you set your mind to. It’s okay to live a unique life and write your own story. It’s okay to say nice things to yourself on a regular basis. We are all different in what makes us happy and in what makes us shine and that is what makes the world such an interesting place. Embrace what you have to offer the world. We can’t be all things to all people but we can fully give of our talents and passions. And it feels really good to do that.
Tell me FIVE things you love about yourself. Pay yourself FIVE compliments. And then I encourage you to unexpectedly compliment a friend, family member or co-worker today and tell them something you love about them.
I will be vulnerable with you. Here are five for me.
1) I am a good teacher with the ability to connect with others and motivate them through instruction.
2) I have a nice smile.
3) I am compassionate.
4) I am a good cook and my creative outlet is in the kitchen.
5) I have a strong and healthy body.
This post is a contribution to Folgers new online community, The Best Part. It’s all about spreading optimism, kindness, self-confidence, happiness and all that good stuff one share at a time through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We can all use a little more of this in our lives!