Permission to Praise Yourself

This one has taken me a while to write. I’ve had to dig down for every ounce of courage I have. Because in our society, today, it doesn’t seem to be ok to praise ourselves. Which is odd. I mean, if we don’t love us, why should we expect anyone else to?

But that’s not how we’re supposed to work. We’re not supposed to claim our strengths.

We’re supposed to focus on our weaknesses, trying to improve who we are. We’re supposed to shrug off compliments, deny praise, shift the focus back on others’ strengths rather than our own.

And while I completely agree in continuously seeking self-improvement, does that really have to come at the expense of owning what’s wonderful about ourselves? It’s important to be aware of our weaknesses and make efforts to improve them. It is equally important to own the things we love about ourselves. That’s where our strength comes from.

I saw this pop up on my Instagram feed today:

Things We Love About Ourselves

It’s just so on point.

We spend so much time obsessing about the things we dislike or even hate about ourselves. Our hair. Our thighs. Our fears. Our failures.

But what if we obsessed about the things we loved about ourselves? Seriously.

Today we hold our first Heart & Sole practice at the middle school next door to where I work. It will be my first time coaching a group of middle school girls. Over the next ten weeks, I hope to help these girls learn to love and respect themselves, stand up for themselves, develop boundaries, identify the things that make them amazing and to hold those things as sacred.

How can I really do that if I’m not valuing those things in myself?

So, here they are. The things I love about myself.

I love my sense of humor. I have an ability to find humor in challenging situations, which helps me move through those challenges.

I love my strength. I am resilient and full of hope. I am eager to take on new challenges and most of the time, I will kick the hell out of those challenges.

I love the mom that I am. I love that I have raised two caring, strong, intelligent, humorous, giving, loving men who love and respect me. I did that.

I love my eagerness to give back to my community. I work a lot. But I make the time to volunteer.

I love my body. Every day I push myself to run longer, lift heavier, be stronger. And I love the things that my body is capable of as a result.

I love my crazy, curly hair. Even when I hate it. I still love it. That’s a complex one and probably only my fellow curly-headed ladies will get it.

Is that enough? I’m sure I can think of more. But hopefully this is enough to get us started. I still think about the things I don’t like about myself. But I find myself thinking about them less and less the more I focus on the things I love. And I mostly think about them in the frame of how I can improve. And I think this shift has started since my time coaching for Girls on the Run. You really can’t teach girls to love themselves unless you are ready to do the same.

Coaching has been a gift.

So, here’s what I’d really love. I’d love to hear what you love about yourself. Accept that permission to claim your awesomeness and share it with the world. Post it in the comments here. Share it on Facebook. Tell your best friend. Whatever. Just own it. And let people know you’re owning it. And give them a space to own theirs.

… because if you don’t, then this blog post is really just me bragging about me and not serving much of a purpose except to make me feel stupid for sharing. And you don’t want me to stupid, right?

2 thoughts on “Permission to Praise Yourself

  1. YES YES YES! How wonderful it is to learn about your journey, and how familiar this struggle is! I just saw this trailer the other day of movie “I Feel Pretty”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVx9EFK3DWE — and boy oh boy it made me think 🙂 Thank you for the post! And what I love about myself is my ability to bring the sunshine with me, wherever I go… well at least most of the places 🙂 hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

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