I find myself reiterating this on a daily basis to patients, on summits, and even on podcast interviews. It all stems back to my huge life lesson from 2016 when I lost my health by doing keto and intermittent fasting all the wrong ways… even though I knew what I was doing was wrong, I wanted so bad to be “accepted” by being skinny. As I always say in my interviews now, I wish I would have learned to be “ok” first before ever going on that horrific journey. That being said, we’re always our worst critic. And like I continue to say, we need to pay attention to how we treat ourselves, because, let’s get real—if we treated our friends the way we speak to ourself, we probably wouldn’t have any friends.
So, I’m jumping away from health and nutrition for a bit, and we’re gonna talk about appreciation. Appreciation of OURSELVES, because, you've got to be looking out for yourself. YOU CAN NOT POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP.
It's often more challenging to see what we're doing right than what we're doing wrong. Even reflecting on our admirable characteristics makes some of us nervous. Appreciation and compliments can make us uncomfortable, and we sometimes don't know how to react without appearing self-conscious.
So, how can we positively appreciate our great traits? I suppose the key is self-compassion, which entails treating oneself with compassion, a feeling of shared humanity, and consciousness when we evaluate our apparent shortcomings – but differently. I prefer to refer to it as "self-appreciation."
According to LifeHack, "To love yourself is to experience freedom – freedom from doubt, self-hate, and oppression created by you. To love yourself is no longer holding yourself back from what you deserve. To love yourself is to grow and enjoy your life. Self-love is a necessity if you want to live a comfortable life. Self-love is a choice, a commitment to yourself that you will love yourself, despite all the social and biological obstacles in your path. It is not found in a place, person, or item."
Here are 5 ways to better appreciate yourself:
Decide To Do It
Self-appreciation is a decision you have to make yourself; it is not bestowed upon you. It is not found in another person or an item. You get self-appreciation by choosing what you desire. It would be best if you decided to let go of this toxic thinking after a lifetime of loathing yourself for not being enough.
Say no to all of your internal self-hatred and tell yourself the truth: you are not perfect, and that is good. Begin by giving yourself license to appreciate yourself more. Even if you convince yourself otherwise, you are deserving of more appreciation.
Take time to tell yourself this and permit yourself to enjoy yourself. This is the first step in acknowledging the reality that you can appreciate yourself.
Check Your Negative Beliefs
Disrupt mental patterns that are solely focused on failures and defects. When it comes to self-esteem, our subconscious is not always on our side.
It takes time and effort to educate your mind into healthy habits, but the first step is to recognize the falsehoods it tells you:
- Recognize that feeling like a loser does not imply that you are a failure.
- Examine the evidence to support your findings. Even though the negative thought spiral makes it feel that way, a friend not replying to your text does not indicate they dislike you.
- Recognize that good happening merit your attention as well. One negative comment should not deter you from appreciating positive feedback.
Compassionately React To Your Blunders And Setbacks
You don't have to berate yourself for every blunder. According to research, reacting to your own mistakes with compassion boosts your self-esteem and makes you a more competent and resourceful individual. Fight back against the inner critic who distorts reality:
- There are hardly any things in life that are "all or nothing." Even if things did not go as planned, it does not imply that nothing good came from it.
- One setback does not define you for the rest of your life.
- Call that feeling of pessimism into question by reminding yourself, "Things didn't go my way, but that doesn't indicate they always will. I can't foresee the future."
Let Go Of The Perfection Ideology
You will never be flawless; no person will ever be. Don't allow this to prevent you from appreciating yourself. It's easy to despise oneself for not being perfect or sufficient. However, this leads to self-hatred since you focus on what you do not have rather than what you do have—self-appreciation blossoms in a great attitude, which requires you to appreciate what you have. In a worldview founded in perfection, dubbed "never good enough," your ability to understand yourself suffers, fades, and dies.
Learn To Say No
This was my big ah-ha. It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to take care of yourself first. That entire line they use in the safety message of an airplane is true here… YOU MUST PUT YOUR OXYGEN MASK ON FIRST BEFORE TAKING CARE OF OTHERS.
SAYING NO IS A HUGE PART OF THIS! Trust me, I learned it the hard way. You’re not being selfish, you’re taking care of yourself which is the priority. If you’re not at your best, you can’t help anyone else.
Instead of overcommitting, prioritize your personal needs. Respect your boundaries and learn to decline obligations that aren't worth the stress. The unthinking "yes" in answering any request is a sort of "people-pleasing" action that prioritizes everyone else's interests before your own.
You got this! Dr. Lisa O
Hey there, Rockstar! I’m so glad you’re here. I know you’ve been struggling for a while, trying to figure out why things just aren’t changing. I’ve been there. I get you. I see you. I know how hard you’re trying. I’m here to let you know there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m here teach you the simple steps to becoming that healthy, vibrant, best version of YOU. Whether we're talking keto or natural health, I'm here to show you that healthy living can be simple. Let's do this!
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