Self-appreciation is critical to a healthy self-esteem. Self-appreciation and self-esteem provide the internal motivation for both necessary and desired change. Furthermore, self-appreciation and self-esteem help offset personal disappointment and discouragement. In the absence of self-appreciation, life’s challenges may have a far more negative impact or burden us significantly longer. Self-appreciation stems from “who we are,” as well as “what we do”. All too often, self-appreciation is derived solely from personal achievements and public recognition. This makes us susceptible to emotional highs and lows. This emotional roller coaster can adversely affect our relationships and performance.
Self-appreciation is the gift of self-love. Self-love involves more than merely saying the words “I love myself”. It enables us to forgive ourselves from past mistakes and poor choices. The past is not permitted to accuse, judge and condemn us repeatedly. Self-love allows us the grace and patience to mature and change. I know countless people that have a difficult time forgiving themselves. They work hard to gain acceptance, and expect perfection from themselves at every turn. These precious people feel either really good or really bad about themselves depending on the situation. Self-love is the key to forgiving ourselves, as well as anyone who may have hurt us. If you find it hard to forgive yourself, chances are you have trouble forgiving others too. It is important to note that self-love may mandate and define the emotional boundaries that are crucial to maintaining healthy relationships with those who hurt us. Self-love should not be confused with arrogance or ego. It may be hard to believe, but arrogance and ego are more reflective of low self-esteem and a lack of self-love. Arrogance is an attempt to achieve worth and value at the expense of others.
Self-appreciation and self-love better enable us to take care of ourselves. Self-love ensures that we obtain proper rest, adequate nutrition, emotional boundaries and mutually satisfying relationships. In the absence of self-appreciation and self-love, we can end up physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually depleted. In this state, effective leadership is virtually impossible. Successful leaders have healthy doses of self-appreciation and self-love. It is precisely this self-appreciation and self-love that prepares them to love and value others. Speaking to ourselves and about ourselves positively is another way that we love and care for ourselves. Self-love is not degrading, demeaning or discouraging. Yet, for many of us, much of our thought life is anything but edifying. We are seldom conscious of the debilitating thoughts siphoning our potential.
Celebrating successes and graciously receiving compliments are further indications of a healthy self-appreciation. Many people find it difficult to receive recognition, and often deflect a well-intended compliment. Instead, they may offer a disclaimer or seek to minimize the compliment, in order to avoid discomfort. Self-abasing comments are harmful whether spoken aloud or silently to oneself. They are emotionally tormenting and a form of self-sabotage. Self-appreciation and self-love can unleash potential and fuel performance. In their absence, we are less likely to become our best self.
Take a few minutes every day (from this day forward) to appreciate and celebrate yourself! You are worth it!