Grab a piece of paper (I personally love a good legal pad for this!) and a pen, sit down, and write out 100 things you love about yourself. Whaaat? Did I just assign you to write down 100 things about yourself that you love? Why, yes I did!
What is it about yourself that you really, truly love? Include silly things; everything counts! After you get through about 25 items, you may have to dig deep. This is normal and perhaps a good time to pause and ask yourself if you’re really loving yourself enough. Many men have come to me, unable to get past this point because they simply were not taught to love or appreciate themselves.
Maybe you get stuck and can’t get to 100. That’s ok! This is when I want you to start writing down traits that you want and desire for yourself.
Are the things you’ve written in tune with who you are and whom you present yourself to be? Most importantly, are the things you’ve written who you truly desire to be?
Many times we behave in ways that are in alignment with what we have been taught by our family, community, social circles, religious groups, etc. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this exercise is a great opportunity to reflect and decide if this is in alignment with our true selves. Ask yourself, “Is this who I want and choose to be, or is this who I am being for someone else?”. If the two are in conflict, I invite you to always choose the “you” that is in alignment with yourself and your own personal values.
The next time you are faced with something big—stress, a decision, a crossroads—pull out your 100 things and ask yourself, “If these 100 things are true, how should I handle this? How would this person see and handle this situation?”.
After you have your list, I want you to keep it beside a mirror. Every morning look yourself in the eyes and tell yourself a few things from your list. At some point during this part of the exercise, you can expect tears to flow. That is a great indicator you’re doing it right! When we start to really see ourselves and recognize our own greatness, it gets emotional! That’s a good thing!
If you have children, I encourage you to guide them in this exercise as well. You can break it down to “100 days of affirmation” for them, and either have them write one thing a day or write one thing a day with them and say it in the mirror. What a powerful parent-kid bonding activity!
If you have a partner, I encourage you to share 100 things you love about them, eye-to-eye. Expect more tears. When we hear our own goodness being seen and “called out,” it’s a powerful, moving experience.
It changes everything.
Take the time, do it today, and let us know how it changes your life.