I wrote about gratitude last week and the power of expressing it. I talked about it as an outward action – thanking and showing appreciation to the people around you… And I left out a HUGE piece of the puzzle. YOU! Show appreciation, gratitude and thanks to yourself!

Years ago when I worked in real estate our office used to have “Cheers for Peers” as part of our weekly staff meeting. It was a way to publicly shout out the people we worked with – it gave a pat on the back to someone for going above and beyond, and it built camaraderie amongst the team. One week when I running the staff meeting I decided to add a little something extra. After Cheers for Peers we had Cheers for ME… I’m not really creative and couldn’t think of anything catchier or that rhymed. But it was a way to shout yourself out at the meeting, share something you’re proud of and let your team pat you on the back.

I assume men are like this too, but I know that as women we are WELL aware of and constantly thinking about all the sh*t we’re doing wrong, forgetting, not getting to, and so on and so on. It is front and center, top of mind, always there to remind us! So we need to put more of a focus on the stuff we’re doing right (right for ourselves, and right by our own standards) and appreciate ourselves for the cool (or slightly boring but important) things we’ve accomplished… EVERY SINGLE DAY!

This is ESPECIALLY important if you work for yourself, own your own business, if you’re the boss, if you work from home, if you’re an independent contractor where you might not get praise or recognition, an annual review, a raise or any other form of acknowledgement. This stuff is hard and honestly I think that most people are severely lacking in receiving praise and appreciation. I mean, if you’re a parent, or are in any way responsible for little people, you’re doing a TON of sh*t that no one is acknowledging… so shout it out to yourself.

In this age of everyone being “so busy” and overwhelmed and preoccupied, we can miss so many of the little things… the seemingly little things. Things go unnoticed and unacknowledged. Interactions are changing as we become more enthralled and dependent on our phones and technology and various apps. People barely make eye contact, let alone any other form of connection. Somedays it feels like everyone is so preoccupied with themselves that the people around us are only acknowledged so that they can be avoided… When walking down the street or down a hallway and staring at your phone, we don’t notice the people passing by so that we can make eye contact and say hello, we take note of their location so we don’t bump into them. If you happen to be the person paying attention to the world around you and not looking down at a device, you’re probably feeling ignored by the world around you.

Through the ebbs and flows of life, there are times when it just seems like there’s nothing left for us… MAKE SOMETHING. Show yourself the grace, the gratitude, the appreciation that you desire and that you deserve!

So, if you’re feeling unappreciated and unnoticed, consider this my formal invitation to you to shout yourself out for something amazing (or something mundane) that you’re proud of or grateful to yourself for doing! Took the stairs? Flossed your teeth? Cooked for your family instead of ordering take out? Ordered take out so you wouldn’t have to cook? Whatever it is, be proud and know that there was an alternative that would NOT have served you, and instead you chose to do what’s right for you, and that’s a big deal! So congrats 🙂

And then remind your friends to do the same!