Let me ask you something. Are you making yourself miserable on the journey to creating your dreams? Are you constantly focused on not being there yet, or are you focusing on all of the things that you think you’re not doing well and right?
If so, I’m going to strongly suggest to you that you start celebrating yourself more. And that’s what we’re discussing in this episode. So, let’s dive in.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
Hello, gorgeous friends. I have spent the last hour celebrating myself. Here’s what it looked like. I put on some really good music. I came into my office, and I pulled out my journal. And I really focused on my accomplishments over the last year. And I was quite blown away.
When you’re in the day-to-day activities of your life and you are focused on your goals and the task at hand, sometimes you forget how far you’ve come. And I was feeling it. I had that moment where I thought to myself, “You really just need to stop for a second, take a breath, look around, and take it all in.”
And I’m like a lot of you all. I am much more comfortable working and staying focused on where I’m going and being in that energy. And I love it. It’s fun for me. And I also know that the best part of the journey is enjoying it and slowing down once in a while to look around at where you are right now.
Just like going on a road trip. You can be so fixated on your destination and excited to get there that you fail to see how beautiful the journey is. You don’t look around and see the fields of flowers or the crops that are growing or the children who might be playing in a yard somewhere, or you forget to really take in the music that’s playing on the radio.
Now, I’ve been celebrating for a long time. And I’ve been saying for years, the more you celebrate life, the more life celebrates you. Every day, I celebrate my life. I look around, in fact, I was sitting at – I have a table by my windows that overlooks – you can see all of the Rocky Mountains covered in snow right now. And I was sitting there this morning having my coffee and I just was in awe. And I celebrated that moment.
Yesterday, my fiancé was laughing at me because I planted this little fairy garden with his daughter. And I noticed that the seeds were starting to come up, and I was just so excited. I was like, “Oh my goodness, you have to come look at this.”
And he was saying to me, “I love that you get excited about the smallest things.” And I told him, I’m like, “This isn’t a small thing. This is a seed that came out of the ground because we gave it some TLC and now it is shooting up towards the sun. To me, this isn’t small. This is a wonder.”
So, I’ve been really good at celebrating life. But the one thing I haven’t celebrated enough is myself. And as I was preparing for this podcast, I was thinking about why that is, and why that is for many of us.
I know I’m not alone here. I am sure the majority of you all listening to this are not celebrating yourselves enough. And we need to ask ourselves why. And I did that before I sat down to record this episode. Why has this been such an issue for most of my life? And one of the things that came up for me – and it’s not as big of an issue now, but I’m sure there’s some layers to it – is that I was raised that you shouldn’t brag about yourself, you should play down your accomplishments, you should be humble.
Which humble means to see yourself as less-than. And I understand the energy around that because I never think I’m better than anyone. And I’ve come to learn that I’m not lesser than either. I spent more years thinking I was less than people than better than people. And we’re all amazing humans who’ve just made different choices.
But I realize, not wanting to celebrate because you’re afraid to come across as braggy is coming from a place of lack and scarcity. It’s saying, “If I celebrate my accomplishments, it’s somehow robbing you of yours.” And I don’t think that’s true any longer.
I believe that there is more than enough for all of us, and we all have our own unique stage of life that we’re being asked to step up on. So, for me now, I realize that that’s not the biggest reason why I don’t celebrate.
For me now, the main reason is that I’m very future-focused. The moment I achieve one goal, I’m off to the races to the next. I’m like, “Okay, let’s go.” And I don’t take enough time to just really take it in.
And so, my word of the year this year is impressive, and one of the ways that I want to impress myself is by celebrating myself more along this journey, before I’ve hit the goal, before I’ve achieved the result. I want to just stop and celebrate the little things that I’m doing every single day and that I’m accomplishing that, a lot of times, I’ll be honest, I just look over it.
And one of the things that I’ve been thinking about recently is this dance between your present and your future. Because the future and the past only exist in your mind. There’s only ever the present. But my mind space these days is spent a lot in the future, visualizing, thinking about where I’m going. And I believe that is an important part of the puzzle of living an extraordinary life.
I’m thinking about my future in the present moment. However, I want to spend more time this year really appreciating what is right now while also being excited and having plans for the future. And celebrating myself is one of the ways that I feel like we can have a more fluid dance between today in this moment and the future that we’re creating.
Another reason why I think it’s so hard for women to celebrate themselves is that we have developed a mental habit of constantly looking for what we think we’re not doing well enough, or we are constantly focused on having not achieved the result yet. And so, that energy constantly puts us in a state of lack and anxiety and fear.
So, I want to share with you five reasons why you should celebrate yourself. Number one, when you celebrate yourself, you are more attractive. Now, I want to be very clear here. This does not necessarily mean that you walk into a room full of people and you start talking about how much money you’ve made or how beautiful you are.
It might mean that you celebrate those things. But here’s what’s most important. You have to check the energy driving those kinds of celebration. What I have noticed is that it really is about the energy behind your celebrations. And I believe this is why bragging has gotten so much bad press, because a lot of times, the people that we’ve heard talking about their accomplishments, it’s coming from a place of insecurity.
It's like, “Hey, I just made this much money.” Or “Hey, I just got this promotion.” And what’s driving that is their need to appear better than because they feel less than. So, it’s a way of them compensating. And that’s not what I’m talking about.
When you’re just really proud of yourself and you just want to share it, and not only as a way to just honor yourself but maybe to inspire other people, maybe to let other people know that “Hey, listen, I’m celebrating myself. And listen, if I can do it, so can you.” When it’s coming from that energy, it is felt. It is noted. It is understood. And it’s a very attractive energy.
And when I say attractive, I mean what you attract into your life. When you’re in a place of celebration, your energetic frequency is very different than when you are in a place of beating yourself up and constantly focusing on what you think you’re not doing well enough.
All you have to do is to imagine you’re at a party, and there’s one woman who is on the dancefloor, dancing her heart out to the music, not caring what people are saying, who’s looking. It’s a dance between her and I guess you could say the universe, the divine. She’s just doing it because she’s letting life flow through her. That’s pretty attractive.
We all look at this woman, we’re like, “Whoa, we want what she’s having,” versus, “Maybe the woman is dancing, but she’s doing it to be seen. She’s doing it for the attention. She’s doing it out of insecurity.
And then there’s the other woman who’s just not dancing at all. She’s over in the corner. You don’t even notice her. Think about which one of those women are more attractive in terms of the energy that she is putting out into the world. And it’s like a boomerang. Whatever you put out comes back to you.
And so, when you celebrate from a pure place of just being proud of yourself and wanting to share it in hopes of maybe having a positive impact on other people, inspiring them, but not doing it because you’re trying to be better than, celebrating yourself out of a place of love and joy and excitement is a beautiful, beautiful thing, my friends.
The second reason why you should celebrate yourself more is that when you celebrate yourself, your energy is flowing towards what you want to experience more of. When you are beating yourself up, when you are telling yourself that you’re not good enough, when you are always thinking that you could be better and you’re focusing on the lack of the result that you want, it’s like you are facing north when all of your dreams are south.
There’s an old saying in the personal development space that says, “Your energy flows where your attention goes.” So, if your attention is going towards denying yourself of feeling proud of yourself, if it’s going towards constantly beating yourself up for what you think you’re not doing right and well, then that’s where all of your energy is going.
And wherever your energy is going, that is what is creating your life. So, by celebrating, it’s like stopping the momentum of your energy moving in that direction and it starts flowing towards what you want to experience more of.
Basically, when you celebrate yourself, you’re telling the universe that you’re ready for more. And this goes along with being attractive. You start attracting more things to celebrate. And so, pay attention to where you’re focusing your attention because that’s where all of your energy is going.
Is it flowing towards what you want more of? If not, you need to change your focus to focus on what you want to experience more of. As Rumi says, “What you seek is seeking you.” And a lot of you are seeking more things to not like about yourself because that’s what you are focused on. Basically, as I said earlier, it’s just a really bad mental habit that does not serve you at all.
The other reason why you should celebrate yourself more is because when you celebrate yourself, it increases your confidence. So, confidence is created in your brain, is created with your thoughts. So, think about it this way. If your thinking about yourself is constantly negative and you’re focused on what you’re not accomplishing, it decreases your confidence.
I was coaching a woman not too long ago who is trying to break through six figures in her business. And she was telling me all of the things she thinks she’s doing terribly. And I asked her, I said, “Tell me what you’re doing really well right now. List out some accomplishments that you’ve had in the past year.” And she stumbled at first when I asked her that because she’s so not used to thinking like that.
But when she started to really think about it and come up with all of the things that she has achieved, and when she did that, she had this a-ha moment. She said to me, “I have so much evidence even from just the past year of how I can absolutely do this.” And she left that conversation with confidence to go out there and create the result that she wants.
Last week, I did an episode on dealing with doubt and this is one of the ways actually that I didn’t include in that episode. But you can definitely use celebrating yourself to overcome doubt. I know I do.
Sometimes, when I create a goal for myself and all that doubt comes up, I will literally just sit down and write out my accomplishments to show myself that. “Hey, listen, look at what you’ve done. Look at how capable you are. Look at what you’ve overcome.” To provide myself with evidence that I can absolutely keep going forward into my future.
That is one of the beautiful things of celebrating yourself. So, if you’re someone that struggles with confidence, how often are you celebrating yourself? Chances are, not very much, if at all. And this would be a great place for you to start. Take out a piece of paper and write down all of your accomplishments.
And if your brain immediately goes to, “Well, I haven’t really achieved that much,” that is such BS. If you’ve made it to this point in your human journey, you’ve had accomplishments. Force yourself to come up with at least 50. You should be able to come up with probably 1000 if we looked at the little things that you accomplish every day over the course of your lifetime.
But celebrating yourself increases your confidence. And finally, when you celebrate, you’re focused on the journey. Or you could say you’re focused on the process. One of the reasons why so many of you give up way too soon on your dreams and your goals is you’re so focused on the outcome and you’re constantly feeling the lack of not being there yet, and you think your life will be better when you get there, but you’re making yourself miserable along the way.
And I love what Abraham Hicks says, “There is no happy ending to an unhappy journey. So, I’m always thinking about my future self, as I told you earlier. I always have one foot in the future and one in the present. But a lot of times, I’m leaning way more into the future.
But even so, I’m always thinking about how my future self feels. What is her energy? What is her usual emotional state of being? And what I know is my future self is always celebrating, especially herself. She’s always high-fiving herself. And so, I bring that energy back into the present moment.
My practice is to practice being her now. So, while I’m all for big goals, I love creating extraordinary goals, the reason why I feel like I just keep going when others may have given up by now is that I am focused on the journey, on the process, the day-to-day of the becoming of me.
And so, it’s something I get to wake up and look forward to doing every single day, knowing that if I focus on enjoying the journey, showing up for the journey, that the result will come. It may not come when I think it’s going to come. And it may not happen how I think it’s going to happen. But I just have so much evidence now to prove to myself that this is how it works.
Plus, there is no upside to making yourself miserable right now. There is no upside to denying yourself of your own self-love and self-appreciation. It just holds you back. It’s like putting the brakes on the car when you’re trying to drive south to where your dreams are. So, focus on the journey by celebrating yourself along the way.
So, you may be wondering, how do you celebrate yourself? And so, I want to share with you some ideas of how I do it, how some of my friends do it. And at the end of the day, it really comes down to what makes you feel celebrated?
One of the things you can ask yourself is, “How do you like to celebrate others?” Do you like to take them to dinner? Do you like to buy them a gift? Do you like to tell them how amazing they are? What do you enjoy doing for others in celebration of them?
You may want to ask yourself the opposite of that, how do you enjoy others celebrating you? Do you like when they surprise you with a vacation? Do you like when they send you flowers? Because chances are, that is going to tell you how you can celebrate yourself. Although, it’s hard to surprise ourselves, but we can send ourselves flowers. We can schedule ourselves vacations.
But the first thing I’m going to encourage you to do is to write down your celebrations. You can do this daily. You can do it weekly. Or you can do it monthly. Or you can do all three.
I used to do this more on a daily basis. Now, I tend to do it on a monthly basis. I like to look back over the past month. Because sometimes, when you’re in the day-to-day, you don’t realize how much you’ve accomplished until a month has gone by and you can see it from a distance of, like, “Wow, I did all these things this month.”
And I also want to add in too, celebrating yourself isn’t always just about accomplishments. I’ve been talking about accomplishments a lot on this episode. But it can be celebrating qualities that you love about yourself, how loving you are, how persistent you are, how powerful you are, how kind you are.
So, think about not just the accomplishments that you’ve had, because you’re so much more than your accomplishments. You’re worthy even without your accomplishments. But you need to give those some weight too. And at the same time, what is it that you just love about yourself, and you want to honor within yourself?
So, write them down. That’s the first thing. The other thing that I love to do is I love to text my friends. When I have something to celebrate about myself, like something I’ve achieved, I will just text them.
And I have the most extraordinary group of friends who love that we celebrate ourselves. I have one friend who constantly is texting me her celebrations and it just makes me so happy for her. I love that she is making this a practice. And I’ve also seen a result of her celebrating herself and the results that she’s creating in her life. It’s actually a fascinating thing.
Another thing I like to do – this is so silly, but I love it. I love high-fiving myself in the mirror. Like, at night, I’ll just high-five myself, I’ll be like, “Look at you. Look at what you did today. I’m so proud of you.”
And sometimes, it might just be high-fiving myself for getting out of bed. That’s how I felt when I was sick at the beginning of the year. I was just like, “High-five, girl, you got through this day. I’m so proud of you.”
My good friend Brooke, I love what she does. This is the finniest thing. She will be out, and she’ll just take a glass and cheers herself in the head. She’s like, “Cheers to you, Brooke.” It’s so fun.
You can throw yourself a party. You can invite your friends over and you can all celebrate each other. You can encourage this in your friends, in a safe space, knowing that we’re doing it in honor of ourselves. And it also can be an inspiration to each other.
You can send yourself flowers. I do that sometimes. I’m just like, “You know what? I deserve some flowers. I’m going to celebrate myself.” And then they show up at the door and I act like I’m surprised, “The love of my life just sent me flowers.” Because guess what? I am the love of my life. And I want you to be the love of your life.
You can write yourself a thank-you letter, thanking yourself for all that you’ve done, all that you are, and you can literally mail it to yourself. And you can take yourself on a date, you can take yourself out to dinner. These are just some of the ways that I love to celebrate myself.
But think about how you like to be celebrated, or how you like to celebrate others. Because you may find some other gems in there that I haven’t even mentioned. But the important thing is that you make it a conscious, deliberate practice to celebrate yourself often. Because remember, when you celebrate, life celebrates you back. Have a beautiful week, my friends. I will see you in the next episode. Cheers.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.