Monday, June 2, 2008

Love yourself--Half the Battle Exercise #3

Hello friends and readers. Today, we are going to start on exercise three. Now, we have already really gotten a good start on this one. First, I want you to take out that list we made awhile ago. You remember. The list with things we don't like about ourselves. This time, we are going to write the things I do like about myself list. The purpose of this exercise is to see how the good things in us can really address or diminish the bad things.
Step One:
Get out your list and on the flip side start a list of things you do like about yourself. As with the list of things you don't like about yourself, it can be anything.
A sample of my list is as follows:
My eye color.
My hair color.
My compassion for others.
My ability to work quickly.
My desire to do what is right.
Step Two:
Just as in the former list, we are going to divide this list into things that are changeable and things that are not. Now this may seem counterintuitive because we don't really want to change the things we like about ourselves, but these are things we have control over. We can use these traits to improve ourselves, and we can continue to improve these traits. Besides, somethings that are counterintuitive work out just right in the end!
Changeable: My compassion for others, my ability to work quickly, my desire to do what is right.
Unchangeable: My eye color, my hair color.
Step Three:
Pick one thing off your "I don't Like" list and see how you can address it with one of your "I do Like" list items.
My "I don't Like" list contains procrastination. I don't like that I wait until the last minute. But my "I do Like" list contains that I work quickly. Perhaps, I wait until the last minute because I like how working quickly makes me feel. So, how could I take this dislike and address it with my like. Well, this is one I am actually working on right now, so I don't know if it will work, and I may need to come back and modify my approach. But, what I am doing is allotting 15 minutes everyday to work on a project and assigning a certain portion of the project to that 15 minutes (mini-deadlines). This is forcing me to work quickly but at the same time is dealing with my procrastination.

Let's try another. One of my dislikes is that I am overly critical. However, one of my likes is that I am compassionate. After thinking about it, I realize that I am most critical of myself and those I truly care about. It is my desire to see both myself and my friends and family succeed. The criticism could also come from my own insecurities about my station in life or my success compared to others. However, if a person were in need or hurt or acting out, my first response is always to be compassionate. So now, I have started every critical statement I am about to make with "I am compassionate about." For example, the girl up the street from me is missing a tooth. I feel very critical of this because she lives in a beautiful home and should care more about her teeth. However, today when I saw her, I thought, "I am compassionate for this girl because she is probably very embarrassed about her tooth and she may not have access to a dentist or some other health situation may prevent her from addressing it." As soon as I said it, I quit feeling critical of her, and I was able to connect with her on a much better level.

Step Four:

Put this paper in your notebook along with your other self esteem workouts and regularly visit it. Even if you just spend a few minutes reviewing your goals and what you need to work on, it will really pay off in the end.

And remember to Live, eat, and be well.

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