Many women, including me, find it easier to identify our shortcomings, and the media goads us on with constant messages about how we can be skinnier, cleaner, more energized and on and on. Studies have shown that young girls begin to self-edit before puberty, and even successful older women tend to thank our good luck and everyone around us for our accomplishments. Well, guess what? That’s really dumb.
Gratitude is Easy
Recently, I took part in the five days of gratitude challenge on Facebook and it felt really, really good. I thanked the heavens, my friends and my family for the rich life I’ve had, and for their help through the tough times. I woke up each morning with a period of quiet time to collect my thoughts and found by the fifth day I was sad it was over. Why can’t I be grateful every day?
Then a friend of mine put into the comments field, “What about being grateful for the terrific person you are?” And I pondered…and I mulled it over… and I realized it was easy for me to be grateful, but it’s hard for me to say, “Hey, I am pretty darn good too!” In other words, I’ve had a lot to do with my own success and happiness — it hasn’t all been bestowed upon me — and I should “own” the good stuff I bring to the table as easily as I acknowledge my flaws.
Try Pride for a While
So, here’s my new campaign: The “I like myself” challenge.
- I like my sense of humor.
- I like my resiliency and ability to focus on the long-term.
- I like my ability to find clarity and organize thoughts.
- I like my tenderness.
- I like my legs.
Yes, telling you I like my legs was definitely the hardest, but liking our bodies (even when imperfect) is part of finding self-esteem as women. For the next five days I am going to decide on five things I like about myself, and I am going to keep the list on my desk to review every morning.
I’m challenging you — all of you — to do the same. Most women find it easy and rewarding to be grateful to others, but pride and self-care are good feelings, too. These are the messages we are trying to send to young girls today, but there’s no reason we can’t like ourselves at every age. In fact, as we age, it’s even more important to reward ourselves for a life lived well, or simply for trying our best and being who we are.
This is as true for men as it is for women. Gratitude is easy — try pride for a while!
Gail Graham is Chief Marketing Officer at United Capital, an innovative and fast-growing national wealth counseling firm with a unique approach to the market. Having earned awards in retail investor and adviser marketing,Gail is driving United Capital’s brand development, marketing and lead generation across all channels. Follow her on Twitter: @GailGrahamUC.
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