Every person needs to learn to appreciate themselves.  I think this is something women need to learn more than most.  We are more likely to focus on the mistakes we make throughout the day instead of all of the great things we accomplish.  We tend to focus on the things we would like to change about ourselves rather than our great qualities and characteristics.  It’s like we have grown up with this skewed view in life, like we put on the perfection glasses and all we can see is what’s wrong or what we need to change.  It’s time to take off those glasses and see life through a new lens.

There are a few things that we need to learn when looking at life through new eyes:

1.  Learn how to take a compliment from others.

How many times has someone paid you a compliment or even you pay someone else a compliment and it is quickly denied?  We can be so apt to deny that this lovely quality can exist in us.  We need to learn to take these compliments in and accept them.  Someone is paying you a compliment, the least you could do back would be to appreciate it and appreciate yourself.  Take that compliment to heart and make it your own.

2.  Learn to pay yourself a compliment.

We can be so good at showering others with compliments and praise, but when it comes to complimenting ourselves, we become shy.  Take pride in achievements or when you think you look good on a certain day.  The more second nature this becomes, the more you will feel these positive affirmations and live your life with more confidence.  Go ahead and write post-its to yourself about how you are beautiful.  Write about your achievements or characteristics that you like about yourself.  Put these up on your mirror so you will see them and focus on them everyday instead of focusing on the things you want to change.  Soon, you will see less of what you want to change and more of what you like in yourself.

3.  Stop comparing yourself to others.

This is huge.  Most of the time, when we become dissatisfied with the way we are, it’s because we are constantly comparing ourselves to others.  Those other people are not you and you were never intended to be like them.  You were created uniquely by God, with a certain personality and characteristics that separate you from every other woman in the world.  That is the way it’s supposed to be, so stop trying to be someone you were never made to be.  If everyone strived to be the same, then this would be a bland, boring world.  Everyone is beautiful in their own way.   Be you and that is beautiful.

4.  Accept imperfection and delight in it.

This is a hard one for me.  I demand perfection out of myself each and every day.  Every time I make a mistake, I tend to focus on that mistake all day long until I feel like a failure.  I know this is illogical and crazy.  So now, I try to look at my mistakes, learn from them and move on.  No one is perfect.  We all make mistakes every day.  No one expects you to be perfect except for yourself.

This is how I like to look at it: I love to draw, and I love trees.  One day I was sketching a tree, and I decided that I love drawing trees.  They just seem so easy to me, and it’s hard to make a mistake because trees are not straight nor symmetrical.  They have jagged branches and limbs that come out every which way.  They are never the same.  They are all different and all beautiful.  Then I thought to myself, I wonder if what makes them beautiful is their imperfection.  There is beauty in the way they stand against the skyline with their knots and crooked branches.

Maybe we are like the trees and loved by God because of our imperfection… and made to delight in our uniqueness.