You’ve heard all about gratitude, right?
Maybe you’ve even tried writing down things that you’re grateful for each day? Well, what about self-appreciation? Have you ever made a list of things that you appreciate about yourself?
“But wait Kate, isn’t that kinda vain? You want me to write about all the things I’m good at? It feels funny… “
Good! It should feel funny. That’s how you know you’re carving new pathways in your brain.
Now, I’d be hard-pressed to find a mom who doesn’t worry about her mistakes, and I’m willing to bet you’re no different.
Like that time you raised your voice and felt guilty about it …
Or that time you fired up another episode of My Little Pony so that you could zone out on your phone…
Or how about that time you were late for school because you just wanted a few extra moments to yourself before waking up the kids… (that one never goes as planned, does it?)
And to be clear, these are all my examples… I’m just going out on a limb to bet that I’m not alone here… ?
These are the kinds of moments we look back on and feel that swell of mom-guilt, regret, of “what’s my problem?” or “why do I keep doing that?”
And quite honestly, these feelings aren’t all bad…
To care about our flaws, oversights, massive screw-ups… it can be quite useful to dwell on the negative sometimes. But just sometimes.
If we feel uncomfortable about something (like the way we spoke to our kids early that day) then we become motivated to do something differently… because who wants to feel guilt? Ugh.
However, what often happens is moms get lost in a sea of self-judgement, blame, and “I wasn’t good enough” while completely overlooking all the things they did incredibly well that day!
Let’s Do Some Self-Appreciation, Shall We?
So, my friend, that’s what we’re gonna do right. friggin’. now. Alright?
Because no matter how many things you can add to your “fail” list for the day, I bet you there’s twice as many things you did right. Right?
So what are they?
Take out a pen and paper (okay fine, open your Notes app) and create a new note called: “THE THINGS I DID WELL TODAY”… and maybe even add a smily face emoji ?
Now get writing.
Start by bringing yourself right back to the moment you woke up and then play the movie back, in slow motion, with curiosity about all the ways you showed up today!
- Did you get out of bed when you needed to? (or close enough)
- Did you greet your children with love and kindness?
- Did you make breakfast and have some connection time with your family?
- Did you get your kids ready for their day?
- Did you show kindness, warmth, and compassion?
- Did you make eye contact, tuning in to your children?
- Did you send them off to school with everything they needed… like clothes and lunch? (Yes these things count too!)
Mama… I want you to see that according to these questions… it’s hardly 8:30am yet!!
Imagine if you went through your ENTIRE day making mental note of the things you did well? I bet it’d be a HUGE list!
Why This Matters
There’s a reason I encourage you to do these thought exercises… it’s not just for fun or because it feels good… even though it does ?
When we intentionally think NEW thoughts, we literally create new pathways in the brain that become more and more reinforced overtime. If you ONLY think about the negative (your mistakes and flaws), and continue to give your energy to those places, then that’s where your automatic thoughts will hang out.
But if you ALSO direct your attention toward positive aspects of the day, of yourself, of your life in general, then you’ll find yourself naturally having a more balanced mind.
It might feel strange and clunky at first, but that’s okay, you’re learning.
And really, it’s quite amazing to witness this transformation and it doesn’t take long!
Practicing positive thinking, gratitude, self-appreciation… these are ways to expand your thinking patterns so that you don’t keep missing out on the beauty that life offers you because you’re stuck in a cloud of self-judgement.
Practicing self-appreciation will allow you to notice your strengths, your gifts, your value that goes so much beyond how you measure up as a mom.
So, ask yourself at the end of today, and everyday, “what did I do well today?” and “what am I proud of?“
All my best,