To be liked and well-regarded is a natural and valid need. But we are reluctant to appreciate ourselves. Instead, to fulfill this need for affirmation, we do what we believe will bring appreciation from others. Yet, we are reluctant to appreciate ourselves. We are quick to overlook and even disregard our integrity, sense of humour, courage and wisdom. These are precious gifts we can unreservedly give to one another and ourselves. Indeed, the reality is that you cannot truly and sincerely affirm others if you cannot or will not honestly value yourself.

Exercise 1: Write a description of yourself in the third person. Start with the words “(Your name) is an interesting person who . . .” Use information about yourself that you know to be positive.