We are always told to express gratitude and return kindness to others. If someone else does something nice for us, we say thank you to them.
Why not do the same to yourself?
After all, you are the one overcoming obstacles in your life, working hard to improve yourself and your relationships with people around you.
At first, the idea of thanking yourself may seem unnecessary or even vain.
Many of us find it difficult to show gratitude to ourselves.
Isn't it funny how we don't think twice before minimizing our efforts, judging ourselves harshly, or beating ourselves up but when it comes to appreciating ourselves, we hesitate so much?
At the root of it are low self-esteem and the pervasive feeling that you're never good enough.
Now, if you continue to downplay your accomplishments, and attribute any success to a fluke, you will keep perpetuating the vicious self-loathing cycle.
To break free from this cycle, you have to start giving yourself credit for things you do and celebrate yourself, no matter how awkward it may feel.
When you practice self-gratitude, you take the time to recognize and appreciate your positive qualities, achievements, and things you do each day for yourself.
Self-gratitude is about valuing yourself for who you are.
Appreciating the good in yourself can bring many positive changes in your life.
Let's have a look at a few reasons why you need to thank yourself more often.
1. You acknowledge your strengths.
Expressing gratitude to yourself helps you direct your focus towards things you do well. This in turn enables you to improve what you are doing right.
You learn to play to your strengths effectively in different areas of your life.
Take note of even the minor things you do well. For example, when you completed an early morning workout instead of sleeping in or the time when you pushed past self-doubt and took on a challenging project at work.
Thanking yourself for these seemingly minor acts can make you feel happier and keep you motivated to pursue bigger goals in life.
2. You will always have yourself.
It definitely feels great when other people appreciate or compliment us. However, relying on others for appreciation won't help you in the long run.
You will always keep looking for validation from others to feel good about yourself. But when you celebrate your achievements, you stay motivated to keep making progress and giving your best effort to everything you do, without feeling the need to seek external validation.
You always have yourself, no matter what happens. Self-gratitude makes you feel comfortable in your own company. You won't always have people to cheer you on or pat your back. Sometimes, you have to do it yourself.
3. Your perception of yourself influences the way your life turns out.
We get so preoccupied with asking for approval and appreciation from others that we forget to pause and give these to ourselves.
Until you know your worth, nobody or nothing else on the outside can make you feel good about yourself. You're more likely to focus too much on people pleasing and attending to other people's needs more than your own.
Appreciating yourself really changes the way you see things around you. How you feel about yourself is mirrored on the outside.
Practicing self-gratitude helps build confidence.
You treat yourself with more kindness, which enables you to bring more positive changes into your life.
Without a healthy sense of self, you're more likely to settle for unhealthy relationships, throw self-improvement out of the window, and just generally have a negative outlook on life.
Moreover, when you feel grateful for the gifts that make you who you are, you will know what you are truly worth. You will protect your wellbeing, completely trust your decisions and build healthy boundaries. As a result, you won't let anyone disrespect you or take you for granted.
So when making a gratitude list, don't forget to list a few things you value about yourself. It will help you feel more kindness and love towards yourself.
4. You counter negative self-talk.
Negative self-talk prevents you from taking chances and making big moves toward your goals and dreams. The more you tell yourself you can't do something, the more you believe it.
This negative voice in your head gets louder when you screw up. You tell yourself "I suck", "I'm incompetent", "I can never do anything right!".
But that is exactly when you need to support yourself and use more gentle language with yourself.
Thank yourself when you realize you have made mistakes. This awareness of admitting your mistakes and trying to be better deserves appreciation.
A self-gratitude practice helps you become more aware of the great things you do that you overlook or take for granted.
You become able to channel your energy towards building yourself up rather than giving in to negative self-talk and harsh criticisms or judgments towards yourself.
So go ahead and acknowledge all the hard work you have done. Make a conscious effort to thank yourself for all that you do.
A self-gratitude practice doesn't have to be complicated.
Simply try to find a moment each day to focus on at least one thing about yourself you feel grateful for.
You have handled many challenging situations with grace. Take a moment to thank yourself for your resiliency and perseverance.
You are constantly trying to better yourself, even when you are faced with many obstacles in your way. Thank yourself for not giving up, being patient and optimistic.
Be your own cheerleader.