‘Whoever treats himself badly, who can he be good to? Remember that too: “Treat yourself well!” I don’t say: always do this, I don’t say: do this often, but say: do it over and over again, over and over again. Be as you are to others and be present to yourself ’. – Bernardus of Clairvaux
Appreciate yourself, that is easier said than done. We are all valuable individuals. We are all special, worthwhile. However, this is not always easy
for everyone to realize. For most of us, it is not. Therefore, here are three steps to help you grow in appreciating yourself. Because, whoever treats
himself badly, who can he treat well?
- Recognize yourself
- Embrace yourself
- Be kind to yourself
1. Recognize yourself
Appreciating yourself and validating your own worth start by listening carefully to yourself. Listen to yourself with your head. This means using your mind to discover yourself. This means discovering your history, talents, personality, values and designing where to go from here. Listening to yourself with your heart means becoming silent and listening to the voice of your heart and your feelings. What motivates you deep down? What relationships mean a lot to you? Why? Which fears plague you and how do you want to deal with them? How can you relax positively? The theme of ‘Silence’ plays an extremely important role in this. In order to be able to listen to yourself properly, let the following ritual help you:
In order to listen properly, you must first STOP for a moment. For example, half an hour a day. One day a week. Or a day a month. Alternatively, for starters, twice a year for a couple of days. Not just to learn to listen to yourself although this is important. Someone who appreciates himself ensures that he regularly stops and recharges – he renews himself and stays fresh. The next step is to go OUTSIDE. That can literally mean you are going outside. Nevertheless, the most important thing is to step out of your normal work environment. You can also find a quiet place inside. If your body and your senses find rest, then your mind and your soul can also find rest sooner.
The next step is the search for SILENCE or becoming QUIET. That is the hardest step. In the beginning, hundreds of to-do’s, unsolved themes, new ideas, and whatever else go through your mind. It is better to let them come. You cannot really stop them. Write down the most important things, this often helps to get them out of your head. After a while, it becomes quieter. Then the final step of LISTENING begins.
Most people need at least an hour to go through this process, so that they can actually listen to themselves.
2. Embrace yourself
When you start to recognize yourself more and more and can face your strengths and weaknesses, there will come a moment that you can also accept and embrace yourself. I appreciate myself, I respect myself, I trust myself, I dare to be myself, I dare to give myself. It really starts with recognizing your value, your uniqueness, and your vocation. As a result, you will grow the ability to accept and embrace yourself. In order to actually accept and embrace yourself, you have to make a choice. This takes courage. Romano Guardini describes the virtue of ‘courage’ as follows: “Courage is the skill and will to fully accept your entire existence as your unique calling in this life.” I would like to invite you to take the time once or twice a year to acknowledge yourself, to embrace yourself and to be kind to yourself.
3. Be kind to yourself
In conclusion, I would like to give you this thought: Human being, you are valuable! You are unique! There is no one like you – there never has been and there never will be! You are worth living, developing, discovering and enjoying.
Tips to Appreciate yourself:
- Write a letter describing 5 or more specific attributes you appreciate about yourself.
- Do the exercise of STOP, OUTSIDE, QUIET and LISTENING for 2 hours every second month.
- Do something special for yourself twice a year.
This blog series is written by Paul Ch. Donders, author of his new book, Appreciation.
Restoring the dignity in humanity
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