Overpowering yourself with internal criticism or external coercion makes you feel oppressed and rebellious. The intimidation and pressure eventually leads to paralysis and procrastination. In my experience with myself and my clients, the only kind of motivation that works permanently grows out of celebration and appreciation. It's easy to remember in equation form: celebration + appreciation = motivation When you find a way to appreciate yourself for what you've already accomplished, and to celebrate your previous successes, you will find you are naturally motivated to accomplish more. No struggle, no hassle -- you accomplish out of the pure joy of success!
Guidelines for Learning Self-Appreciation
To become proficient in self-appreciation, try the following suggestions:
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- Make a note: Write positive comments on your daily calendar to yourself for jobs well done or any achievements you want to celebrate. Or you can paste stickers on your daily calendar as you accomplish goals daily frequent positive commentary is a very effective way to reward yourself and remind yourself of your success.
- Look to your childhood: Use activities that felt like a celebration in your childhood: did your family toast a celebration with champagne or sparkling cider, a gathering of friends, or a thankful prayer? Create a celebration environment: use balloons, music, flowers, candles, or set your table with the best china. Use the exercise on your family style in chapter two to find ideas.
- Visible reminders: Surround yourself with visible evidence of your successes. Plant a commemorative rosebush or get a new houseplant to mark a job well done, or display photos of fun events, and sports or hobby trophies. It's a constant reminder that you appreciate yourself and when you see them daily, you'll feel the appreciation.
- Reward yourself: A new trashy romance novel or detective thriller can be a great reward/celebration for reading your required technical books.
- Party!: Celebrate a cherished friendship with an impromptu lunchtime picnic and a balloon. Or with tickets to a ball game.
(adapted from It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction)