Tell Yourself How Awesome You Truly Are

iStock Photo

iStock Photo

While at the gym, on the locker-side of the partition, I heard a woman come into the sink/mirror side of the locker room. She immediately began praising herself out loud, telling herself how proud she was of herself and lavishing positive, self-affirming praise. I stood motionless for a moment, unsure what my next step should be. I didn’t want to embarrass the woman – she couldn’t see me and didn’t know I was there witnessing her love fest – but I also felt the need to let her know I was there. I did what any rational person would do and decided to clear my throat. I was expecting to hear her footsteps out, fleeing morbid embarrassment, but what happened next was unexpected: she continued her positive pep talk to herself in the mirror. 

 I hung on every word. She praised herself not only for exercising, but for how that one act was working to make her mind, body and spirit healthier. She praised herself for purposely facing the challenges of a new day and continued for another several minutes with her self-praise. I could tell this woman had faced something and conquered it. As I was leaving and walked past her, she smiled sweetly and wished me a nice day.  She looked just like any other woman you would see on the street; with no distinguishable tell-tales of the things she had been through.  

I couldn’t shake that woman and her pep talk in the mirror for the next several days. It caused me to reflect on my own internal conversations. She spoke so lovingly about herself, I wondered why my own self talk’ is always so critical. It’s always things I need to work on, or change, or how I should have done something differently or better.  I wouldn’t talk to a stranger or my children the way I speak to myself. I’ve read books on this, how important it is, and even at one point wrote compliments on my mirror so that I’d be reminded of the importance of self-appreciation.  

We may laugh at the old SNL skit with Stuart Smalley, and his self-affirmation of “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and, doggone it, people like me,” but it’s not a bad idea to remind yourself of that every now and then.  

The take away isn’t that you need to stand in a public place and tell the world how great you are, but it’s important to remind yourself that you’re worthy. Far too often we don’t do it enough. If you got up today – congratulations for facing a new day and giving yourself a fresh start. If you tried something new – congratulations for being brave.  

And if you need to come stand in front of the mirror in my gym to remind yourself how awesome you are, I’ll stand there with you and we’ll tell the world together.
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