Sometimes, it is just so hard to claim something about ourselves, isn’t it? It’s hard to claim that we’re a good cook or good at math or gifted at putting together an event or can string words together in a way that makes them sing or you get the picture. And, yet, claiming those things isn’t arrogant. It is simply giving voice to the gifts we have to give the world so that we can put our passion and purpose to good use out in the world as we each serve as part of the world’s healing.
In Beautiful You, Day 8 asks you to create a self-appreciation jar and it was inspired by some roommates that I met while on tour for Hijas Americanas who had a glass in their room where they were required to make a deposit if they said anything negative about themselves. Once they earned enough money, they went and bought bread for the apartment, turning negatives into a positive.
I loved this idea as it really build self-awareness, but since Beautiful You came out in 2010, I have changed this exercise a bit when I talk about it. I think that raising one’s self-awareness about negative self-talk is really important and so that fining system is always the first layer I suggest with the jar, but what happens if you never speak your words out loud or when the effort really starts to work and your negative self-talk diminishes? Then you lose your turning lemons into lemonade money. And I like lemonade!
So, here is the new take I suggest:
Use the jar to also build your self-appreciation habit. If you live with others who are working on this, too, then anytime you say something positive about yourself (I aced an exam, I love my strong legs, I’m a good listener, etc), then your roommates can contribute change or a dollar into the jar in order to celebrate your claiming something positive about yourself. If you live alone or don’t want to do this as a group effort (which is totally fine), then you contribute some change or a dollar every time you say something about positive about yourself. Use all those self-appreciation dollars to treat yourself to something triumphant for embracing yourself and what you have to offer the world.
Do you pay attention to your negative or positive self-talk? What have you noticed about it? What are you doing to diminish negative self-talk and increase positive talk? Can you see the jar working in your life?