I bet you do something fascinating on a regular basis (Didn’t you just run your first half-marathon? Wasn’t it you who out-lifted your trainer at the gym?). If you forgot to pat yourself on the back, self-love is retroactive. You can always make up for lost opportunities! It’s not uncommon to feel squeamish about giving yourself praise. Here’s how to get the hang of it.
Recall Small Acts of Awesomeness
Think of something you did in the last 24 hours that made you feel proud. Did you eat healthy meals three days in a row or finally squeeze into your favorite pair of jeans? That counts! Take a moment to realize the hard work it took to achieve it. Next time you’re in a self-sabotaging frame of mind, remind yourself of how kind and generous you’ve been in the past. That reflection can help you move past negative throughts.
Do you disregard the good things others say about you? Perhaps you don’t believe the comments are true, or you’re trying to be humble. Stop! The next time someone compliments you, instead of feeling nervous or awkward, look that person in the eye and say, “Thank you.” When you embrace positive feedback from others, you reinforce your own self-image.
Challenge Yourself Physically
One of the easiest ways to show yourself appreciation is to challenge your body daily. Take a new exercise class, or run a little further than yesterday. Test what you think you’re capable of. That helps establish trust between your mind and your body.
Andrea Metcalf has been teaching fitness and nutrition and training clients since 1983. She is the author of the book Naked Fitness and has produced a number of fitness DVDs. You can follow her on Twitter at @Andreametcalf.