There are times when I forget how incredible I am. Like when I have a disagreement with my partner, raise my voice and then feel terrible about it.
Or when I get frustrated with the mess my twins make and turn into an overwhelmed, depleted, frustrated meanie-of-a-mother who sternly says “Go clean that up right now!” The terrified look in my kids’ eyes reminds me that there must be a better way to handle the situation.
I have collected many techniques and practices over the years to bring myself back to feeling good about who I am. It matters more to me to love myself than to be right, effective, successful or just about anything else.
One of the most frequent tools that I use to return to personal alignment after I exhibit some of my “shadow” tendencies is a game called “Why I’m awesome!”
First, some background. I received the following email a few days ago:
“Your story is amazingly inspirational and, hands down, the best birth story I have ever read. Ever. I never even knew twins could take that long in between births and I am a doula! Absolutely incredible, the focus and patience you had for them. Just incredible. They should teach your story in med school. You are the definition of a woman. Wow.”
I frequently receive emails like this from those that have read our birth story. Almost every time, I go back and read what I wrote after the births almost three years ago. Sometimes it feels like someone else wrote it.
I wonder: who was this intuitive, powerful, patient person who trusted so completely?
Sometimes I forget just how amazing I am. Does that ever happen to you?
Trick question. You’re human. Of course it does.
For the last two years, I have been saving emails, hand-written notes and cards, even text messages that express gratitude or appreciation for who I am and the things I’ve done. When I go through a time when I feel unsuccessful, defeated or incapable, I break open what I call my accomplishades (accomplishments + accolades) folder and allow myself to re-receive the love others have shared with me. And little by little, I begin to thaw out the awesomeness in me.
In a mastermind group that I’m a part of, we sometimes do a fun exercise: simply talking for a minute or two on the topic of “Why I’m awesome!” At first it’s a little weird to sit there and boast about myself. I usually start slowly, remembering and sharing with the group the successes that I recently experienced with my clients and children. Then the momentum begins building and, before you know it, I am full-on gushing about just how incredible I am!
I can’t tell you how exhilarating and empowering it feels to recognize myself for the awesome me I am meant to be. (So awesome that I rhyme spontaneously!)
So here is a recipe for the “Why I’m Awesome” Empowerment Tool:
1. Begin collecting compliments, praise and accolades by either writing them down somewhere or keeping them as mementos. Looking through these will be a sure-fire way to negate a negative story about yourself when you feel low. You can’t feel like a failure and read about the amazing successes you’ve had at the same time. Let the feeling of the incredible things you’ve already accomplished embrace you as a warm blanket of self-worth.
2. Find a friend or a group of friends and propose taking turns speaking about “Why I’m awesome!” You can do this in person, on the phone, through text messages or email. You could even record it on your phone or voice recorder to listen to later. Friends that praise together, exponentially soar together!
3. And if keeping a list of accomplishades or screaming from the roof-tops about how awesome you are is not your thing, then just take a few moments right now (yes, now!) to think of the amazing qualities that make you you and how you’ve been successful this week. Bask in this knowing of your innate goodness and then resume whatever you are doing. But beware—you have just stepped into a new phase of your life where praising yourself is going to become addictive, and your life will begin to reflect back to you just how fabulous you are!
I would love to read about how marvelous you are in the comments below (the perfect opportunity to practice this empowerment tool!) and would be super-happy if you shared this post with others who would like to remember how freakin’ phenomenal they are!
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Ed: Dejah Beauchamp & Brianna Bemel