It may not be in the best form to start off a piece of writing with word definitions, but I’m going to do that today because there’s a lot of overlap in acceptance and appreciation and I want to determine the difference.
While both accept and appreciate, denote some kind of action, I think of appreciate as demonstrably more actionable than accept. Accept, which means to give approval, is, in my opinion, more of an inner choice; while appreciate, which means to be grateful for or value highly, is, in my opinion, more of a behavior.
Appreciation is synonymous with gratitude.
When I’m grateful for the sunrise, I stop to watch it. When I’m feeling grateful for my husband, I let him know. When I’m grateful for a clean house, I light a candle and melt into the couch. I express my gratitude for beautiful things and people, but it’s a little harder to do that for myself.
Appreciation, in regards to personal growth, is a little bit like self-care, and self-care is a highly personalized routine or process, so rather than generally suggest ideas, I’m going to share some things that I do to appreciate and care for myself.
1.Keep track of my positive qualities
I have a habit of glomming onto the negative, and because I’ve been doing it for so long I have to make concrete attempts at noticing the positive. It feels hokey and cheesy to say phrases like “I’m good at ____,” or “I’m proud of myself for doing ____,” but the more I’ve practiced it, the more genuine it has become.
“Your real self moves with inconceivable rapidity as your thought moves.” – Prentice Mulford
2.Focus on my strengths
Besides just keeping track of my positive qualities, I try to focus on them above my weaknesses, which is a difficult balance because I have a habit of ignoring, too, but if I can tip the scales in favor of my strengths, then I have more motivation, energy, and peace.
3.Express gratitude for who I have been and how that has made me who I am
There are times where I find myself in deep regret over my past. In high school, I completely withdrew from the world. I thought my social anxiety was a phase and that I’d grow out of it in college, so I waited. I didn’t grow out of it. Sometimes I wish I could go back and shake myself. Sometimes I wonder who I’d be if I had tried harder to have more friends or do more normal teenager things, but then I realize that it’s probably all for the best. I was so lonely in high school I probably would have done anything to fit in. That shy, timid girl made me who I am today. Eventually, she showed me what it means to struggle and overcome. She gave me some unwavering values, and I can be grateful for that.
This was a short post because, I have to be honest, I ran out of steam. I think that the last fundamentals I have lined up for the year will be more varied and provide more interest. I hope.
What do you do to appreciate yourself? Besides trying to be positive in your self-talk, as I’ve outlined here, I’m curious, do you take yourself out for coffee? Run a hot bath? Order pizza?