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I Dare You…To Celebrate Yourself

By Erica Bartlett

If a friend or family member accomplished something they had been working on, would you want to celebrate them? What about the last time you accomplished something or achieved a goal, no matter how large or how small; how did you react when you finished? Did you just shrug your shoulders and move on? Did you tell anyone else about it? If you did, did you talk yourself up, or act like it didn’t really matter?

EcstaticNow consider, do you feel like you’re worth celebrating? If not, why not? Sometimes it’s because we spend more time focusing on our perceived faults and being self-critical. Or maybe it’s just that we’re so busy that even when we accomplish something momentous, we don’t pause to notice it.

Taking time to celebrate actually increases the likelihood that you will repeat your success in the future!  What would it be like to truly accept, appreciate, and celebrate yourself?

And the winner is…

For several moments, close your eyes and pretend that you’ve just won an award. The emcee is reading a glowing account of who you are, all that you have accomplished in your life, and is describing your most admirable traits. What would he or she say? Now take several minutes to make a written list for the emcee to write their script from.

Notice whether it is initially difficult for you to think about yourself in a positive way. Do you immediately discount the possibility that anyone would recognize you for who you are? Do you minimize your accomplishments? Did you forget about all of the little successes over your lifetime in school, sports, work, church, or your community? What have you created or done that is special? Who have you had a positive impact on—your children, your partner, your co-workers, your pets, perhaps someone who doesn’t even know who you are? What do people say they like about you? Your sense of humor, your generosity, your patience, your sense of style…

When you’re finished making your list, pause for a couple of breaths. Notice how you feel when you’re thinking of all the wonderful things about yourself and your life. Take a minute to acknowledge your accomplishments. Appreciate and applaud yourself just as you would celebrate another.

How could you continue this process as you work toward new goals? Here are some ideas:

  • Make notes about your progress on a goal to reinforce your small steps and so that you can later revisit all that you did.
  • Find a way to reward yourself when you’ve accomplished something – maybe read a favorite book, get a massage, buy yourself some flowers—whatever suits you. Be creative!
  • Tell somebody you feel close to about your accomplishment.
  • Celebrate with others!

Take time to recognize your self-worth and celebrate you. Remember that you are worth appreciation and celebration as much as anyone else. And to help you hold that thought, I’d like to share a poem I wrote.

Dare

by Erica Bartlett

This is not

the childhood dare

to lick an icy metal pole,

eat something disgusting,

or play a prank.

This is much harder.

I dare you –

to accept that you’re fabulous,

to not compare yourself to others,

to rest on your laurels

before charging in a new direction,

to pat yourself on the back,

to proudly share your accomplishments,

to be awed by yourself,

by your strength, courage, tenacity, wit, humor,

loving kindness, dedication,

and everything else

that makes you amazing.

And furthermore, I dare you

to do this not just once

in a blue moon

but every moon,

regularly and unselfconsciously,

not just believing but knowing

that you are wonderful

and accomplished.

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About the author

Erica Bartlett discovered mindful eating in her early 20's, and it changed her life. Not only did it allow her to lose half her body weight and maintain that loss for over ten years, it also helped her discover many new things that she loves in addition to food. One of these newer passions is working with others who have food and weight concerns, which is why she is now a licensed Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating facilitator and a certified Health Coach. Her website is www.rediscoveringfoodmaine.com, and she keeps a weekly blog at www.losingbattle-erica.blogspot.com

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