1. Patience. Give yourself a pat on the back for the patience you had while waiting for something you really wanted, a dream job, a vacation, a partner, a cure to an illness…waiting is not easy and it is not something we know how to do very well.
2. Pain. Give yourself a pat on the back for the pain you had to endure while going through a hard time, the moments you suffered and the tears you cried over any sort of loss or heartbreak, the times you hit rock bottom. You are still here, which means you were stronger than whatever tried to destroy you.
3. Forgiveness. Give yourself a pat on the back for forgiving someone who hurt you, or forgiving someone who let you down, or forgiving yourself for the moments you were not so proud of. It means you are compassionate, understanding and open-minded.
4. Risks. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying something new whether it worked out or not: applying for a job you knew you were under-qualified for, going out with someone who was not your type, going somewhere by yourself or even trying online dating. Small risks come a long way.
5. The past. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying to move on from your past, or simply not identifying with it as you used to. The fact that you are making it through another day means that you have moved on or trying to move on, either way you are on the right track, keep going.
6. Smiling. Give yourself a pat on the back for smiling everyday. Even when you are tired, even if you don’t feel like getting out of bed and going to work, even when you don’t feel like celebrating your friend’s birthday. You showed up and you smiled.
7. Vulnerability. Give yourself a pat on the back for being vulnerable, for putting yourself out to there, for opening up to someone. For taking care of a friend who needed you. The best moments in life are those that fuel your vulnerability.
8. Balance. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying to have a work/life balance. For trying to find balance in your life or in your relationships. For trying to balance yourself on the ball of life. For trying to balance your contradictions and your perplexing thoughts.
9. Decisions. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying to make the best decisions for you every single day. For deciding to do a better job or be a better person. The more options we have, and the more access we have to people’s lives on social media, the harder it is for us to make sound decisions, but we still do no matter how hard it gets. Decide to give yourself credit for having to go through this dilemma every single day.
10. Progress. Give yourself a pat on the back for the progress you’ve made, and the progress you are making. For making resolutions, for setting goals, for seeking mentors, for staying up late to study, for working overtime, for pushing yourself to do what you thought you couldn’t, for starting over, for switching careers. For anything that requires you to work, to get out of your comfort zone, for anything you do to hold on to your life and live it!