Recently, I was the featured speaker at a women’s event, and I made this request of the audience: Please raise your hand if you feel good about yourself. There was some squirming, shifting in the chairs, and a sudden need for everyone in the room to look down at the floor. One hand hesitantly began inching its way up past her shoulder, and she sheepishly responded with “maybe.”
Hmm, interesting. The uncertainty and hesitancy I experienced from the audience caused me to rapidly shift from what I was going to present to something very different. These women needed help! Today! Right now!
I operate on the premise that every woman wants to feel good about herself. I also know, after coaching women for 14 years, that most women don’t know how to feel good about themselves. They are so caught up in the striving for more that they have no space or time for fostering a sense of inner peace. They don’t realize that who they are is all they need to be, and that acquisition of external wealth and prestige does not necessarily provide a fulfilling and happy life.
If I sound like I know what I’m talking about, it’s because I’ve been there – chasing the next promotion; the perfect mate; the house, car and clothes that others dream of having. I chased that and abandoned my core beliefs – all the while thinking it was the path to make me feel good about my life, my relationships, my work and me. I had assumed the identity of the title – and lost myself in the process. Did I feel good about my professional achievements? Of course. Did feel good about what those achievements cost my family? No, I did not. That’s when I knew it was time for a massive overhaul of my thinking, beliefs and behavior.
You may not have to undergo an event as traumatic as I did. To feel good about yourself, you may only need to make a few subtle shifts. Big or little, major or minor, here are five suggestions I shared with the audience that I hope will provide you with the opportunity to feel good about yourself.
- Accepting compliments: When you are given a compliment, own it! Take it in, enjoy how it makes you feel. You may even want to repeat it to yourself a few times. Then take a deep breath, pause and say these two words: “Thank you” (and nothing more) to the person who complimented you. Own it, savor it, feel good about yourself.
- Keeping physically fit: In today’s world, with all of the media focus on how out of shape we are as a society, keeping fit is touted as the key to feeling good about yourself. This isn’t about weight loss; it’s about healthy living with good nutrition, physical activity and mental well-being. When you’re in the doldrums, the best way out is to take a walk, to feel the sun on your face and a breeze in your hair. It raises your heart rate, increases the oxygenation in your blood and gives your spirit a boost. Inhale deeply, and feel good about yourself.
- Clean off and clear out. This is one of my absolute favorites. I love to clean my house (OK, call me crazy), clear off the clutter, clear out the old and make space for the new. When I have an empty drawer in the guest room or an empty shelf in the linen closet, then I’ve been successful in releasing what I don’t need and making space for what is to come. When I look at that empty shelf, I feel great about myself.
- A good book: Living in the information era, we have access to the world of knowledge – it’s just a few clicks away. Whether you read a book, a Kindle, a newspaper or the Huffington Post, consciously taking in new information expands your thinking – even if you don’t agree with the author! Absorb the content, and feel good about yourself.
- Time for friends: When I spend time with friends, whether its 10 minutes or an evening out, it matters not because friend time is heart time. Sharing, caring, laughing or crying, friends are a gift. I didn’t know how to be a good friend and, as a result, I didn’t have friends. Sad but true. When I acknowledged this and committed to learning how to be a good friend, the results were amazing. I have tons of friends, delight in hearing from them and, likewise, reaching out to connect with them. Today, as I think of my many friends, I feel good about myself.
OK, now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear from you about what you do to feel good about yourself. When you try any or all of my suggestions, I’d love to hear how it works for you.
As we grow and share, we can feel good about ourselves!
Quote to ponder:
“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion.” Abraham Lincoln
Question to Ponder:
What could you do on a daily basis to feel good about yourself?
Want to see what I have going on this month? Check out my calendar and join me on a complimentary webinar. When it starts, grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up and enjoy a stimulating conversation. Learn how you can up-level your life and tap into the uniqueness you hold within.
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