One of my clients, who was very critical about herself, was very surprised when I asked her “What do you like about yourself?” She thought about it for a long time before she found something nice to say about herself and you know what, it is hard to blame her.
In our culture, compliments are statements we are supposed to hear from other people, but never say about ourselves. Kids are totally dependent on the adults in their life to tell them what they like about them and, sadly, most of the time, the compliments are “I like you for doing what I want you to do”. I find it hard to like compliance and obedience in myself, because I believe they comes out of fear. When I do something out of love, my motivation is internal.
Many people, when I ask them what they like about themselves, tell me it is strange to answer this question, because they have never thought about it. Most people spend a lot of energy on making others like them and very little on liking, loving, appreciating, admiring and valuing themselves.
In the Be Happy in LIFE coaching programs, loving yourself is essential to every success, whether it is in your relationships, your parenting, your job or realizing a dream you have. Self-love is fundamental in every personal development program. You are the centre of your universe, so when you love yourself, everything in life becomes a positive refection of your self-love.
A course in self-love
Making a list of things you like about yourself is just one aspect of the self-love course. Once you learn to appreciate yourself, your choices and your desires, life becomes easy. When my clients are down, I ask them to look at their list and lift their spirits. We all have wonderful qualities we sometimes forget, but if we know where to look…
The reason you need a list is to make sure you will never forget that you are good and special and wonderful and worthwhile!
How to list “100 things I like about myself”
- Write all the character traits you are happy you have. Find and write down examples for each of these quality. For example, I like myself when I am determined, like when I went back to school after being kicked out in Grade 10 (yes, I have a degree in Education, but I was kicked out of school in Grade 10 for failing 5 out of 7 subjects).
- The more examples you have, the better, so write a separate item for each example, even for the same quality. For example, I like myself when I am determined, like when I got pregnant again after losing two kids (alas, this one is also true).
- Go over your life and examine your choices. Write down the choices that have helped you move forward and have gotten you to a better place. Remember making tough choices, brave choices and important choices that have made you a better and happier person.
- Write the physical features you like in yourself. Like “I like my boobs because after 5 pregnancies and breastfeeding three kids for 7 months each, they still stand tall and proud”
- Make a list of your achievements. If you consider them achievements, you like yourself for achieving them. I hope you get 100 only writing your achievements. I can easily write thousands of things in this item regarding my kids. Everything I am proud of them doing, I like myself for raising them, for being involved in bringing them to such place. Every success in their life is mine too.
- Add to your list some knowledge you are happy and proud to have. I like myself for being able to study to speak basic Thai, because it was hard for me.
- Add your special skills to your list (which may be connected to your achievements and your choices). I love myself when I teach. I love myself for being creative and coming up with new ideas to explain things and make people understand them like magic. I love myself for being able to enjoy the company of friends, regardless of what we do.
- Think of what others like about you. When you run out of ideas, ask those who love you why they love you and what they love about you.
Remember, this list must be big and full. If you want to learn to love yourself, first make a list of things to love. Do not rest until you finish it. If you are out of ideas, get others involved. Then, read this list every day until you convince yourself you are wonderful!
If you are doing this activity with your kids, talk to them about each character trait and focus on the examples more than the definition. Kids only start thinking good things about themselves when people around them tell them good things about them, so tell them!
Remember Barney’s song? I think it needs to be changed to “I love me, you love me, we’re a happy family…”
Happy list making!
Join me next week for “100 things to ask for my birthday”.
You are gorgeous,
This post is part of the series Make a List:
- Make a list: List Making
- Make a list: About Myself
- Make a list: Friends and Friendships
- 100 Things I Want to Be, Do and Have in My Lifetime
- 100 Things that Make Me Happy
- Make a list: Childhood Memories
- How to Clean Away Resentment and Be Happy
- 100 Ways to Say “I Love You!”
- Make a list: What I like about me
- Make a list: Birthday Presents to Ask for
- Make a list: Improve My Life
- Make a list: Things to tell my parents
- Make a list: Beliefs about Money
- 100 Feelings I Want to Feel (and how to feel them)
- Make a list: If I Could Live Forever
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids
- Make a list: Beliefs about Kids cont.
- Make a list: Events that Have Shaped Your Life
- Make a list: Ways to be kind
- Make a list: Be More Productive
- Make a list: Mistakes (and what I can learn from them)
- Make a list: Expectations
- Make a list: Beliefs about Traveling
- Make a list: Rules I Follow
- Make a list: Good Parenting Qualities
- Make a list: Excuses
- Make a list: Quotes to live by
- Make a list: How to use my time better
- If I Were Santa Claus
- What I Would Do If I Had One Year to Live
- 100 Things that Make Me Happy
- Make a list: Movies I loved
- Make a List: My Fears
- Make a List: Find your Happy-ism
- Make a List: Inspiring People
- Make a List: Books that have changed my life
- Make a list: Inspiring Movies
- Things to Be Grateful for
- Make a List: Ronit’s Gratitude Examples List
- Make a list: Life Lessons Learned
- Make a List: Self-Kindness
- Make a List: 100 Ways to Be Kind to Myself
- 100 Things I Want People to Think of Me
- Make a List: Judgment of Right from Wrong
- Make a List: 100 Reasons to Be Wealthy
- 100 Great Insights I Got from the Coronavirus
- How to Make Every Relationship You Want Good
- If I Only Knew: How to Learn from the Past