How many compliments do you give a day?  Sometimes, we give them unconsciously…We may see someone walk by with a great color on and we think to ourselves, “that’s a really nice color on them.”  Other times we are very conscious when we give compliments…You might really like the way someone does something and you take the time to actually tell them…”You are so organized!  I love that I can always come to you and you know exaclty where things are!”  The average person gives several compliments a day, whether they are thinking about it or not, but when was the last time you complimented yourself?  That’s right, I said it, when did you last compliment yourself?

At one of my recent workshops this topic came up and I remembered just how easy it is to fall into a pattern of forgetting about the most important person in your life…YOU!  We started talking about this subject, it jarred my memory, and sent me back to a time when I couldn’t see the good in myself when I looked into the mirror…

Several years ago I went through a difficult break up (I’m sure most of you can relate).  I felt devastated and really could not see the beauty within myself.  I had a good friend who was and still is a total diva (I mean that in a good sense).  She took it upon herself to get me up and out of this funk.  She would ask me to meet her at her house to get dressed and go dancing (ahhh, those were the days).  Inevitably, every time we got ready to leave, she would stand in front of the mirror and say, “Damn girl, you look good!”  Yep, she was talking to herself.  I can only imagine that the look on my face must have been of pure horror, because she pulled me in front of the mirror and said, “now it’s your turn!”  I didn’t even know where to begin.  Did she actually expect me to look into the mirror and say something to myself that I really didn’t believe?  The answer is, absolutely… YES!  She even gave me starter words… “I am a diva!”  I barely got the words out and totally did not believe them, but it was good enough for Andi and we were out the door for an evening of fun.

For weeks, my friend would call me to ask if I looked in the mirror and told myself how hot I was.  One day, I lost it and said, “How can I possibly say this to myself when I really don’t even believe it!!”  My friend laughed and replied with, “Fake it till ya make it sista’!”  Over the next few weeks, I did just that.  Every day, I would wake up, take my shower, get dressed and stand before the mirror for our daily meeting.  I would say the words, “damn you look good,” with absolutely no conviction behind them at all.  I don’t even know why I kept doing it, but I did.  Then one evening, I was dressing for a gig (because I sang in a band part time) and rushing around quite a bit.  I almost forgot to go to the mirror for my new daily ritual, but at the last moment I remembered and I stood in the mirror and said, “You look hot!  OMG!  You really DO look hot!  You are one HOT MAMA!”  I finally meant it and so I said it a few more times before I left for the evening.

That night, my whole perspective changed.   I no longer felt like I wanted to hide from the world.  I no longer felt ugly or undesirable.  Suddenly, I felt alive, awake, and damn hot!  Nothing had changed on the outside.  I honestly looked the same, but something amazing had changed on the inside.  For once, in a very long time, I was honoring my inner beauty by realizing that what matters most is how YOU see yourself!

Now, I ask tons of people to look into the mirror and compliment themselves.  I ask my 1st graders to do this, my son, my mom, my sisters, my friends, my collegues, everyone!  Now, I’m asking you…The next time you look into the mirror, try not to see your flaws or the things you would like to change.  Instead, see the beauty.  Better yet, when you see a ‘flaw’ and you feel the need to say something negative to yourself, pause for a moment and take a breath, then say the exact opposite.

For instance, you might put on an outfit that fit last month, but for some reason it doesn’t fit today.  Look in that mirror and instead of looking in the mirror and saying, “I’m so fat,” look deeper at the person standing in front of you and give them love.  Simply say the opposite…”You have beautiful curves!”  It doesn’t really matter if you believe it or not.  As Andi would say, “Fake it till ya make it!”

With practice, you will be loving yourself more and more every day. Now, go find a mirror and make some magic happen!