A few years ago I joined a yoga class where we stretched, learned breathing techniques and meditated. At the end of every session, my instructor would ask us to thank our bodies. The very first day that I attended, I was so confused when I heard those words. What the heck am I thanking my body for ? She would then walk us through how to show gratitude to our bodies. " Thank your body for helping you get through the day, for getting over this cold, for dealing with the every day stress that we go through, for allowing us to rest at night, for staying healthy" … the list would go on and on. That was so foreign to me. No one had ever told me to thank my body before.
Why am I sharing this with you ? Because every time we get to the end of a year, we go through all the things that we didn’t get to accomplish, and all the failed resolutions. We get disappointed and beat ourselves up. This year I challenge you to do something different. I challenge you to thank yourself. So much has happened this year, yet I doubt that you ever took the time to give yourself some credit. Allow me today to help you do so by reminding you of a few reasons to thank yourself before the end of this year.
1. For Trying
Before you punish or belittle yourself for all the things that you didn't accomplish this year, ask yourself one question: Did you try?
So what you didn’t get that promotion, or get approved for the loan that you applied for ? What matters is that you tried. Perhaps you didn’t reach your end result but you're one step closer, and that is progress. Anything that didn’t work out in your favor this year wasn’t meant to, and that's okay! Pat yourself on the back for having the courage to try, to confront your boss for a promotion, or trying out a new business venture. Allow yourself to be proud of yourself for all the progress you've made.
2. For Being Strong
When I started this gratitude challenge, I had a conversation with friends discussing the things we love the most about ourselves. One of them told me that she liked the fact that I am strong woman. I laughed ! " No I’m not ! I’m not nearly as strong as you", I replied. Truth is I’ve seen so much strength in people around me, that I honestly couldn’t consider myself "strong". The things that I’ve seen people overcome, I often question whether I have that much strength in me. But then I remembered that we are all strong. We all go through tough times and survive them. Some of us even grow through them. No one knows how much they can handle until they are have no control over the hardships that they encounter. If you’ve gone through some tough times, and you’re still here, that’s strength. Strength grows in the moments you think you can't go on but you keep going anyways. So if you only give yourself credit for one thing, let it be for the strength that you mustered to keep going.
3. For Your Accomplishments & Achievements
Some of us accomplished some pretty awesome things this year ! From starting a family, to passing board exams, purchasing homes, starting businesses, traveling to different countries, publishing books. Whatever you’ve achieved this year, big or small, you owe many thanks to yourself !
4. For Your Courage
It takes courage to live through suffering. It takes courage to grieve the lost of someone you love. It takes courage to leave an abusive relationship. It takes courage to quit your job. It takes courage to pursue your dreams. It takes courage to set aside fear. Whatever it is that you went through this year that required courage couldn't be easy. Some of us buried loved ones, others lost people who meant the world to them. Many of us had to make tough decisions, that kept us up all night. No matter what is was, or no matter what it is that you're still going through, it is evident that pain is tough companion, and dealing with pain takes courage.
5. For Being Kind
So many of us go the extra mile for the ones we love, and even sacrifice part of ourselves for others. I have personally encountered so many people who have blessed my life by being kind, and I also know that I have always done my best to be kind to others. No act of kindness, however small it is is ever wasted. If no one else thanked you this year for showing kindness, be sure to thank yourself. The worlds needs so much more of people like you.
6. For Taking A Risk
The biggest risk, is not taking any risk. Kudos to you, for taking that risk this year! I've seen first hand life changing decisions that people have taken on a leap. whether it was taking a job in another country, or trying something for the first time. If you allow yourself to take risks, you will surely win in life! Whether or not it works out, it is better to know that you gave it a try, than being paralyzed by fear. One of the risks that I took this year was launching this blog. I was nervous about whether my content would be good enough in a time where blogging has become so saturated. But I knew that I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. I knew that I would quickly become a public figure by exposing information about my private life on social media. I knew I would be loved by some and criticized by others, and I definitely knew that reaching an audience could be challenging. My only regret today would've been not launching this blog based on other factors that have nothing to do with my passion for writing and my purpose for blogging.
7. For Not Giving Up
You've encountered many roadblocks of that I'm sure. But you did not stop. You did not allow anything to stop you in your journey. You did not give up on getting that degree. You did not give up on your marriage even when the odds were against you. You did not give up on your fitness goals. You did not give up on that business plan. You never gave up, even when you didn't feel like going. That my friend makes you a winner!
As you reflect on 2017, may you take time to say a few words of gratitude to yourself. There are so many other things that we can thank ourselves for. If we dig deep, the list can be endless.
What do you want to think yourself for?
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