Learning self-appreciation isn’t easy
If you are anything like me and your childhood was less than stellar, then you know the difficulty of being able to appreciate who you are. Finding a way to like yourself and understand who you are can be challenging in a world where we are so efficient at finding faults.
We see them in ourselves and those around us. It’s almost as if there were some kind of twisted contest like the one with the most faults wins. Some days it feels like that to me.
Human beings by nature are not perfect; I don’t even ascribe to the notion that we have to be perfect at any point in our lives. We all make mistakes; we are all learning as we go through this thing called life. Some of us fly by the seat of our pants and hope for the best.
There is no one way to live a life, and there is no one way to succeed in life. There is, however, or there should be a way to be human about it to ourselves and others.
Depending on your personal history you may have grown up with an understanding of how to have an appreciation of who you are. Maybe life dealt you a mixed bag of dysfunctional issues where there was little to no support for nurturing yourself. I was a child of the latter, a home where I got the mixed bag of dysfunction in life.
Being brought up in an alcoholic and emotionally abusing household doesn’t accurately prepare one for the journey of self-love.
One can say if childhood were different we all would have learned to like ourselves more; however, then I also wouldn’t be the person I am now. My point here is that I know I am not the only one who has gone through life striving to find some meaning in who I am; living a life struggling to like the person inside.
These issues expanded as I grew up and left a gaping hole in me somewhere deep inside. For the longest time, I was unable to get on the other side of it and make any sense of this thing called my life.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
Life isn’t always fair
Due to what I considered a miserable childhood, I spent most of my younger adulthood not liking much about who I was. I had issues about not being good enough that spread all over my life back then. There were things to be proud of now that I look back, but my parents were disengaged with life and stuck in their own misery. I fell through the cracks.
Part of me knew I was a decent person, and there was nothing wrong with me, but somewhere underneath I lacked the self-appreciation to have faith in myself and my abilities. At that time in life, I did not have the tools to figure this out.
It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.
Personal difficulties like this, unfortunately, follow us too far in life. Adulthood becomes a mix of how to adult and make life work and overcoming issues we have carried with us from our childhood. Some of us travel these roads and find a way to overcome easier than others. My path was long and fraught with ups and downs that I am sure are all too familiar to many of us.
“Someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” ~ Les Brown
What forms us
Events from childhood throughout life form who we are. Early life sets the foundation, and we continually build on that. If you create a house on a shaky foundation, you can’t expect it to be a substantial house. Same goes for creating life on a crappy beginning. There is no instruction book, no path to follow to ensure success, its a crap shoot, we all figure it out as we go along.
What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.
I wouldn’t change who I am, but I wish I could have found an appreciation of myself a bit sooner in life. It’s easy from this viewpoint in life, to look back and see many things about who I am that I now appreciate but it has taken quite a few decades for this insight to find its way to having healthy self-appreciation.
What is self-appreciation?
Self-appreciation is the process of appreciating who you are, being thankful for you. It is enjoying what you are and what you have not judging your qualities, your body or anything else about yourself.
Use kind words when you speak to yourself. You matter you are great you are who you are, and you should appreciate all the things that makeup you.
Don’t ever doubt your worth.
It’s easy to be negative, to put ourselves down and be hard on ourselves, those are lessons we all learn to quickly in life. Lessons of appreciation can be harder and some of the most difficult ones to learn. Breaking ourselves down is easy that’s familiar territory and letting go of the familiar can be painful. Or at the very least seem awkward.
Not one drop of my self worth depends on your acceptance of me. -Quincy Jones
We all have good in us, qualities we should like and appreciate about ourselves. Being compassionate with oneself for most of us is not the most natural thing to do. Finding faults is far more common, and we mistakenly think that focusing on these shortcomings somehow makes us strive to be better. I don’t believe that to be accurate.
Life has to have some balance.
Noticing the bad can be helpful at times, but we must also see the good. By allowing ourselves to find the good, to appreciate the good in ourselves and others can help build a better stronger version of ourselves.
What’s important is self-appreciation.
Self-appreciation is not an option it is a necessity. Feeling like we are never good enough or weren’t loved sufficiently can be damaging and leave us feeling negative about who we are and have us forever trying to please those around us and still never feeling like we are worth it.
Someone else’s opinion or lack of appreciation of who we are should not define us nor should we value it more than our own. Never let anyone’s lack of recognition for who you are cause you to undervalue yourself, ever!
Appreciation is the secret ingredient
Self-Appreciation is a reflection of how you feel about yourself; it comes from within, it’s a gift you give to yourself; it is gratitude turned inward. Once you have an appreciation for who you are, you can then have an appreciation for others, and together we all become stronger better people.
We live in a society where we are conditioned to pick out the things we don’t like about ourselves and others. Time is spent comparing and wishing we were something other than what we are. Why waste so much valuable time desiring to be something other than the wonderful being you already are?
Take time to recollect what you like about yourself, your achievements, your accomplishments and every little thing about you that has made you who you are. You have cultivated a life full of lots of small moments and experiences that define you. Who you are is valuable, and you should appreciate you every day.
What I like about me
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha
It has taken me quite a long time on this journey to become a person who loves myself and appreciates who I am. Some of the things I appreciate are my ability to listen, to actually hear what a person is saying and feeling.
My creative side that would be the artist in me who just loves to take raw materials and make something out of them. I love socks, I am that person who at Christmas is happy to get new awesome socks.
Human nature fascinates me, the whys of who we are and why we do what we do, what makes us tick. I love reading about psychology and pondering the deep thoughts of life.
Honesty, I appreciate my honesty. While being honest hasn’t always been my most favorite characteristic to other people along the way, it is for me. You can always count on me, to tell the truth, to ask the hard questions, to be there as a friend to help you through and to never shy away from the difficult conversations of life.
Friendship is a valuable thing to me if I call you my friend then you can count on me. I am a real friend, the one who is there when the chips fall, that’s me. We can laugh together we can cry together. I do however also require you be that friend in return.
What do you appreciate about who you are?
Take some time maybe get a pen and paper and make a list of what you appreciate about you. No judgment here, just loving kind observance of what you like and appreciate about who you are. Treat yourself to a nice list of why you are so beautiful.
Be self-indulgent about this list, and you deserve it! Appreciate the little things that makeup you. Acknowledge who you are and bask in the light for a few minutes, now go ahead and list another thing. If this feels a bit awkward or selfish that’s ok, most of us weren’t brought up to think of ourselves in this way.
“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” ~ Sally Field
I promise you if you spend some time each week and make self-appreciation a habit it will get easier and begin to feel quite normal.
Make it a journaling thing, like maybe a daily page or even weekly page where you take time to list things you like and appreciate about yourself. If you stick with this practice, you will soon begin to see what an awesome person you are.
When it comes to words the ones we use to talk to ourselves matter check out our other article on the power of words here.