Are you pleased with YOURSELF (in a good way)? Sound crazy? Well read on to discover how inner-appreciation can be an antidote to addiction …

Why wait to be appreciated by someone else?

Although others may not appreciate you or what you do, what is most important (and what we’re left with at the end of the day) is how we feel about ourselves. Do you appreciate who you are and what you do? If so, you will see, feel and know this truth. You will see it in the way you treat your home, family, job and friends. Everything will look and feel appreciated. It feels like deep inner pride in who you are, it feels strong—unshakably strong in character, it feels confident—so much so that should you be criticized and know the claim is false, you can confidently let it roll off of you, it doesn’t keep you up at night. You will know you are good enough and doing your best.

Start appreciating yourself!

As a kid, I was not taught the art of inner-appreciation. My parents showed me appreciation through 1) words like “good job,” 2) freedom to do activities that were not work-related, and 3) paying me for working for them. These were good rewards, yet, they all required someone else (them, my authority figures) to validate and appreciate me. They had to 1) say to me 2) allow me or 3) pay me so that I could feel appreciated. Even after I left home, I continued to seek appreciation and approval from my parents and others who I considered to be my authority figures. I waited for them to say, allow or pay me so that I could feel appreciated, good enough, worthy, etc.. Having to wait for someone else to give me the “ok” left me feeling empty, unloved and needing a “fix” to feel “better.”

Appreciation: the antidote to addiction.

There is a healthy way to feel appreciated, approved of, loved and worthy. It’s simple, but easier said than done. It’s so simple that when I say it out loud, you may even say, “Duh,” and roll your eyes. But no matter how simple it sounds, it is comprehensively effective and may be the most challenging task of your life.

My easy way of appreciating myself.

I always appreciate myself when I do what I know I should do, and I don’t do what I know I shouldn’t do. Even if I don’t get the result I want from other people (because I’m not in control of everything), it’s a great way to feel proud of who I am. It makes me feel good about my choices, and has built a strong and trustworthy relationship with me. It’s easy to appreciate myself when I am doing my best.

When I appreciate myself, I enjoy time “alone”.

By doing what I know I should do, I appreciate myself and am not haunted by poor choices and behavior. I am not angry with myself for doing things that I know I shouldn’t and I am free to enjoy quiet time with myself and my own company, as well as other people. When I appreciate myself, I feel peaceful, and other people often tell me that they appreciate that. But more importantly, I do!

An appreciation challenge for you …

While reading this article, you may realize that you could appreciate yourself more. The good news is that knowledge is power, and you have the power to make choices that YOU appreciate! Instead of looking to someone else to approve of and appreciate you, how about promoting yourself to be your own authority figure? No need to rebel against authority if you are your own authority. Seek ye your approval first!!! No one else knows what’s truly best for you, not even your parents. Elect yourself to appreciate you!

Now that you have your own monarchy established, it’s seems silly to blame other people for their lack of appreciation, right? You are in charge of how much you are appreciated! You can begin this minute by appreciating your own ability to direct your life. Next, ask yourself, “What do I need right now?” If your answer is chocolate or drugs, go deeper—what need is that chocolate or drug fulfilling? That is your deepest need right now. Instead of choosing a drug, dessert or distraction, find a healthy alternative, one that fulfills your need without the guilt, shame or consequences. If you need love, then hug a friend, family member or pet instead of filling yourself with things that you will not appreciate later. If you need hope, watch a great movie or read a good book or listen to an inspiring podcast. If you need to know you are good enough, do something that makes you feel proud. So … what can you do today that will make you appreciate YOU?

Always with love,

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