How often do you truly celebrate who you are? Because many of us, myself included, spend so much time and energy focused on what we think is "wrong" with us, celebrating ourselves doesn't often come that easy.
For me, I've spent much of my life—as a student, an athlete, in business, in relationships and in general—demanding perfection of myself and, of course, falling short and feeling inadequate on a regular basis. Most people I know and work with have some version of "I'm not good enough" that runs their life. Even though many of us understand this, living our lives from a true place of self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-love is often much easier said than done.
The ultimate goal of being ourselves in an authentic way is actually about loving ourselves in a generous way. If we truly love ourselves, most of what we worry about and even much of what we strive for in life becomes meaningless. We may still have some worries, and we'll definitely continue to have goals, dreams and desires. However, from a place of true self-appreciation and self-love, the fear behind our worries and the motivation for our goals dramatically changes from something we have to avoid or produce in order to be accepted and valued, to something we we're genuinely concerned about or really want to accomplish.
On the flip side, if we don't love ourselves, nothing much really matters. No matter what we conquer, create or experience, we're never able to appreciate it or ourselves or be fulfilled in the process, because we're constantly striving to be validated in an insatiable way.
Self-love is what we're all searching for. Sadly, we spend most of our lives thinking that someone or something else can give us what only we can give ourselves. To be truly fulfilled in life, we have to find that love within us and give it to ourselves. No other person, amount of money, material possession or accomplishment can do it. It's up to us. We have an opportunity to celebrate who we are for any reason and at any time.
Write a love letter to yourself Write a Love Letter to Yourself This is a simple but powerful exercise I do in workshop and share in my new book, Be Yourself: Everyone Else Is Already Taken. This process will allow you to take some time to celebrate who you are and to practice appreciating yourself!
Step 1 Write a heartfelt letter of gratitude, appreciation and love to yourself about yourself. Take some time, put some conscious and generous thoughts and feelings into it and allow yourself to boldly express your love for yourself.
Step 2 Put the letter in a sealed envelope with your name, address and a stamp on it.
Step 3 Give the letter to someone you trust and ask them to drop it in the mail to you at some point in the next year (without telling you when they do it).
It will show up in the perfect time and probably on a day you could really use some appreciation and acknowledgment. And, the best part is that the love and validation will come from you!
Mike Robbins is a best-selling author, sought-after motivational keynote speaker and personal growth expert who works with people and groups of all kinds. Mike is the author of the best-selling books Focus on the Good Stuff and Be Yourself: Everyone Else Is Already Taken. He and his work have been featured on ABC News , in Forbes and many others. To learn more about his work and his books, check out MikeRobbins.com .