I put on a health and wellness retreat a few weeks ago and the “ice breaker” of the event was to have everyone pair up. They were to introduce themselves, give some basic info (where they lived, if they had kids, etc.) and then I told them that they had to tell the other person two things that they loved about themselves. After about 15 minutes we re-grouped and each pair got up and introduced their new best friend and shared what their friend loved about themselves.
As I explained to the group, we are our worst critics. We will be meaner and more cutting and cruel to our own reflection that we would be to any other person, animal, or thing. (Except the ottoman in my living room, I still curse that stupid thing every day.)
So this was an opportunity for everyone to share, brag and fully own something fabulous about themselves. Without worrying that it sounded conceited and braggy. I think we downplay our badassery too often. And I think it has to stop. Here’s a little exercise to help you channel some self-love.
Claim Your Awesomeness
- Sit down, set a timer for 5 minutes and write every fabulous thing about YOURSELF. Don’t edit, don’t spell check, don’t ERASE anything. Just keep writing. And if you need further direction, let’s stay away from things like “I keep a tidy house”. That’s all well and good but when you die do you want people to say “She was lovely and her house, so tidy’? ‘Nuff said. You can use “I am” statements such as “I am a good friend”, or “I love” statements like “I love my hair”.
- When you’re done writing (and I hope to God you were still frantically scribbling when the timer goes off), read your list. Out loud. Full disclosure, you’re going to feel pretty silly with this step. But please don’t skip it. The power that comes from saying these things out loud is huge.
So you have your list. You’ve read it. You’ve read it OUT LOUD. Yay you! Yay growth!
Now I want you to keep this list near your bedside table, or near your computer. Perhaps you make a copy and carry one in your purse or tucked into your wallet or daily calendar.
You want it handy so you can read it every day for a few weeks. Maybe even try reading it out loud. I promise it won’t take you long. In fact, the list I made in 5 minutes, took me 49 seconds to read. 49 seconds. Surely you have 49 seconds to read something that will make you feel better about yourself. Right? (That’s rhetorical. Of course you do!)
You can also use this list is when you need a perk or a pick-me-up.
- If you’re having a shit day where you feel that you’re a bad Mom, bad wife, horrible person. Read your list.
- If you’re preparing for a presentation and you’re feeling overwhelmed and a bit intimidated. Read your list.
- If you’re ready to apply for a new job or want to talk to your boss about more money or a larger role but feeling that you’ll never get it. Read your list.
However you use this technique, let it be a constant reminder that you that you are amazing. And please, keep adding to it. I bet you left out at least a dozen things the first time around.
Now go run!