People who feel good about who they are produce better results in life – personally and professionally.
Everything we do starts with a thought. And that first thought is shaped by the way we view ourselves. If we see our Self as confident, creative, compassionate, and contributing to the betterment of Others, then feelings associated with these positive attributes arise within us and direct us into actions that reflect those thoughts about our Self. If we feel we don’t matter in the big scheme of things, that our feelings are not important, or that we lack something, an education or training, or feel we’re too old or too young, or that it’s too late to change, then these negative perceptions create feelings that brew anger, resentment, apathy, and prevent us from achieving dreams and living our best life.
Much has been written about gratitude. Being grateful comes from an awareness of one’s blessings, good fortune, a sense of appreciation for one’s own experiences in life. How does one feel gratitude if one does not appreciate one’s Self? When people receive acknowledgement their social, physical, and emotional lives significantly improve. Ad when we are healthy, creative and confident – we affect those around us. Our self-esteem is reflected and has a magical power to influence others in profound ways. Helice Bridges, The First Lady of Acknowledgement and who founded the Who I Am Makes A Difference Blue Ribbon Movement writes, “…and every time you stop to tell a person that they matter – they do.”
Most people go about feeling good about themselves based on the acknowledgments they receive from others. It’s nice to receive compliments, to feel appreciated, to be rewarded for one’s efforts. However, what happens if no one sees that great job you did cleaning the kitchen? Doing the laundry? Making your bed? Getting your car serviced? Helping a loved one who needs special care and attention when you are on your last nerve? Do you see your Self through the reflection of Others without regard to your own sense of Self and Purpose? If so, now is the time to consider having a fabulous relationship with the Soul that resides within you.
Here are some simple steps for discovering who you are and perhaps, some insight on the person you want to BE.
1. Who are you, really? We all have a story. It’s the story we tell our Self and Others that defines us. Take time to journal your story.
2. What are the words or virtues that best describe you? Make a list. Circle the ONE word that sums it all up.
3. Think of something that you did that benefited someone else. It was done out of love, kindness, a desire to make a difference – not a sacrifice, duty, or with an agenda for recognition. How do you feel when you recall this event?
4. Think of something that someone did for you. A small kindness – an act that you’ve never forgotten and you know it made a difference in your life.
5. Go back to your story. When you re-read your story, how does it make you feel? Do you feel a sense of gratitude for your life and the experiences you’ve lived? If so, then acknowledge your Self. You have chosen to see your life as meaningful. If you read your story with a sense of sadness, regret, bitterness and resentment, then acknowledge your Self. You have told your truth as you know it. The truth of you is not your experiences. The truth of you is how you choose to interpret them. You have the power to rewrite your story at any time. You cannot change the facts. You can change your perceptions.
6. Go back to the one word that you selected that best represents your Self. If you want to BE this word, continue. If not, choose a word that best described how you WANT to be.
7. Start each day to live by your word. Be mindful throughout the day of your word. Write it on your bathroom mirror, put it on a post it and stick it on your review mirror, make it your cell wallpaper, put your word where you can see it often. Set your intention to BE your Word.
8. Be grateful. Think of one person who you want to acknowledge. Who is someone you know who has made a difference in your life? Tell this person and let them know exactly why you are acknowledging them. Do this daily.
9. Acknowledge. Before retiring at night, journal how you used your Word. And then list 10 Self Acknowledgments. Pay attention to your Self. Give your Self appreciation, recognition and a mental “pat on the back”. We thrive on attention. If we do not get positive attention, we will resort to negative attention. You have the choice to give your Self positive attention. It will create positive results in your life. You will be a positive influence on Others.
10. You make a difference. Whether you want to or not. Choose to make a positive difference by choosing to create a positive relationship with Self.
This material is from our Creating a Relationship with Self Workshop. If you discover that you don’t like your story and need help re-writing it – feel free to contact me for a complimentary coaching session.