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Tis the Season of Gratitude!

We usually reserve it for the things and other people in your life, but have you ever shown it to yourself? Have you really thought about why you’re thankful for yourself (not why others are thankful for you)? Gratitude has been known to decrease feelings of stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain. Yet, we often leave it to someone else to thank or show appreciation for us. Sis, you’re just as deserving as everyone else! Instead of waiting for someone else to offer gratitude to you, it’s time that you take that into your own hands.

Why Showing Gratitude For Yourself Matters:

Think about how you talk to yourself. How many times a day are you subconsciously telling yourself you can do better, be better? How often have you said something like, “Oh if I could just get X thing together, then things would be so much better?” or “I’m never going to be able to XYZ thing.” We can be so critical!

No more negative Nancy attitudes! Our negative self-talk takes such a toll on us and most times, we aren’t even aware that it’s happening. Research says it takes 5 positive comments or interactions to combat just 1 negative one. So let’s take that 5:1 ratio. If you’re speaking to yourself negatively and there are people around you who are also negatively affecting you, then listen up buttercup: You better start boosting yourself up in this cold cold world.

How To Show Yourself Gratitude:

At a minimum, you need to pat yourself on the back because you’ve done such a great job this year! No, things haven’t been perfect (they rarely are so let’s forget that notion) and maybe things turned out differently than you expected, but that’s okay! It’s time for us to get rid of that all or nothing mentality and cut ourselves some slack. You can show gratitude for just about anything for yourself–your qualities, your knowledge, your physical traits, your accomplishments, and the list goes on. Here’s a few simple ways:

  • Keep a gratitude journal

  • Use affirmations

  • Engage in some pampering

  • Treat yourself to something out of the ordinary

Now here’s a slightly more elaborate way, but it’s my absolute favorite. I like to take some time to reflect on the following questions:

  1. What’s something new you tried this year/quarter/month/week?

  2. What’s something you learned?

  3. How did you grow?

  4. What’s something that you put in the past?

  5. What’s a boundary you set for yourself?

  6. What is something you were afraid of, but mustered up the courage to do it anyway?

During this, if you’re thinking, but I didn’t do anything new, or learn, put something in the past, or grow, or set boundaries, or face my fears, I can almost guarantee with 99.9% certainty that you’re being too hard on yourself. You need to start to give yourself more credit because you’ve likely done something! Even reading this blog all the way through is something that lets you know that you want to show up for yourself differently. Be proud of that!

Now that you’ve thought through those initial questions, it’s time to extract the lessons:

  1. In doing that new thing, what does that mean for you in the future?

    • This doesn’t mean, “oh I know how to do that new thing.” Think deeper! Does this change your future in some way? If you didn’t do something new, then take this time to name something new that you want to do. Nothing is too big or too small!

2. Given what you learned, how will you now operate in the world?

  • Knowledge is nothing if it’s not applied! Be more confident, more of an expert in your field, or even avoid a mistake you may have made!

3. Growth is an evolution and is usually based on the previous, something you learned.

What did growth look like for you?

  • Maybe you learned that you can do hard things. Maybe you learned that you might be counted out by others, but you’ll never be knocked down. Maybe growth for you looked like learning to say no! Whatever it was, take that and hold on to it so that it continues to shape your experiences moving forward.

4. The past can continue to plague you if you let it. For that thing you put in the past,

thank it for showing you something, and move on.

5. In setting your boundary, how did it make you feel? How has it empowered you? What’s

changed as a result of it?

6. Fear is a tricky feeling. It’s actually the same physiological sensation as excitement

(increased breathing and heart rate, sweaty palms for some) so moving forward, how

can you affirm yourself that you can do hard things?

Sis, you came, you saw, you conquered SOMETHING! That’s amazing and worth celebrating even if you have to “Cheers” your glass to yourself! Seriously…do it. You might feel silly, but you’ll also feel a little inspired. And if you can inspire yourself, well boo, you got a good thing going! If you want a multiplier effect, send these questions to some friends, get together to discuss, and use this as an end of the year ritual. Having discussions like this strengthens friendship bonds, allows others to speak life into you, and also lets people give you alternative perspectives. You could also use your answers to set some goals for the upcoming year when that time comes. However you decide to do this, just never ever ever forget to incorporate gratitude for yourself as you stay on this journey to DATEYOURSELFGIRL!

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