Every day is a day for celebration! Do you stop and reflect and feel good about all of the progress you make in life, or like most people, do you just let life pass you by without noticing?
My guess is, you aren't completely the same person you were ten years ago, or maybe even ten days ago. We are all works in progress, but so often people neglect to feel good about their evolution.
Similar to paying attention to the simple pleasures in your life, noting our successes and progress and feeling good about them, takes practice. I regularly ask clients to list things they are proud of and/or what they like about themselves. What happens next usually surprises them more than it surprises me, but often they can't come up with much, if anything.
What do you like about yourself? What are you proud of? How do you feel when you think about these questions? Do you feel warm and fuzzy, or are you left feeling worse than before you read this? My purpose for asking is definitely not to leave you feeling like a failure. It's to shine a light on the fact that most people are so busy focusing on what they aren't proud of, what's bothering them, and what they think they aren't doing well, that they don't look for reasons to celebrate.
A few weeks ago, I had a mole removed. For many people this would be no big deal, but I left my dermatologist's office feeling giddy. This is because for years I would get so worked up over things like this, that I would sometimes faint. I would have to seriously prepare myself beforehand, sometimes medicate myself, and then lay on the exam table for a while after until I returned to calm. That day, I went in, had the mole removed with no drama, and left. I felt proud because I have a come a LONG way. This could have been easy to ignore, but instead I used it as feel good fuel.
Another day recently, I noticed that neither my back nor my hamstrings (which for years have caused me pain), didn't ache as I walked down the street. It's really easy to pay attention when our bodies hurt, but do you acknowledge when your body feels good? Just realizing this, added a little bounce to my step. This wasn't something to necessarily be proud of, but it sure was cause for celebration!
I tell my clients, "You don't need to win a Nobel Prize, an Oscar, or write a bestselling book to feel proud," and "You don't need a birthday to celebrate." All you really need is an open mind and a true desire to feel better each day.
Give yourself permission to feel good about any and all progress no matter how big or small. If last week you didn't exercise at all, and this week you worked out once, celebrate! If you completed a project at work that was challenging for you, celebrate! If you pushed yourself to have a difficult conversation, celebrate! If you made a difficult decision, celebrate! If you're reading this because you want to live a more fulfilling life, celebrate! Heck, if you didn't want to get out of bed this morning and you managed to anyway, celebrate!
Anything and everything that is moving you forward towards living a happier life is worth honoring. In order to truly love the life you have today, you must practice admiring yourself. You must pay attention to the good stuff, and acknowledge how far you've come. Try not to get caught up in focusing on all the things you think you "should" be doing, and choose to let go of your illusions of perfection.
Be proud. No one can be you better than you can. Stop looking for outside validation and praise. Only your opinion can really make the difference when it comes to becoming the best version of yourself. Don't wait until tomorrow to celebrate. You can always find reasons to feel unworthy of it, but if you look, you will find that there is no better time than today, and you deserve it!
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