I first experienced the value of this practice, when - hokey as it may sound – I wrote myself a birthday card. I was going through a difficult time: my mother was sick, I was commuting to NY back and forth from California, and my business was on the back burner. I had tremendous support from loved ones, but it was tough. In my card, I acknowledged the difficulties and challenges I was going through, and expressed my pride and appreciation for my efforts and myself. It was a simple card, but by the end of writing it I was in tears and felt very loved and appreciated – by my own good self. I had no idea how nice that would feel! It gave me strength and courage and opened me to more fully appreciate and experience God’s love and the love of those around me. It was like I needed to hear it from me! I needed to know I had my own back.
The Power of Giving Thanks – to yourself!
Since then I’ve practiced some form of this every year. It’s evolved into an integral part of my life and business review – yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly. I teach my clients this practice as well – and I insist they don’t skimp on acknowledging themselves, appreciating their efforts, and celebrating their accomplishments. We all need it, and don’t do enough of it! A client will have a success at work, an important inner shift they’ve been pondering for months, a job offer, a courageous conversation, a big decision - and it’ll barely register on their radar – they mention it in passing, hardly taking a breath before moving on to the next topic. Bing bing bing! – I sound the celebration alarm – Did you just hear yourself?! That’s huge! Congratulations! How are you going to celebrate?
The reason it’s so easy to slide by our accomplishments, efforts and insights is that we’re focused on our big goals – where we want to be – out in the future somewhere. Our steps along the way, significant as they are, don’t seem worthy in comparison. Even once we reach our goal, we’ll have a new goal that’s still ahead of us. My coach calls this perpetual space between where we are now and where we’re headed - the Gap. When we’re constantly focused on where we want to go, what we want to achieve (that we haven’t yet) we’re always looking at the Gap. We need to stop and look back to see our progress to recognize that we are moving forward!
Regularly practicing gratitude and self-acknowledgement helps us celebrate where we are and who we are, with joy, love, and self-kindness, while we work towards our goals. We begin to see that it’s not just about our destination; it’s about learning to appreciate our journey, our growth, and ourselves each step of the way. It’s great to have goals, but the only place to find fulfillment is here and now, so pause to smell the rose called you!
So, I challenge you - write yourself a heartfelt thank you card! Acknowledge where you are with love, appreciation and gratitude – because that is huge, and there’s no better praise than from our own good selves.
To learn more about how to succeed with self-kindness, sign up for my free Simple Celebrations play-sheet below.