If you’re anything like me, you’re the first to admit that you are an imperfect human. Humbling ourselves, to put it kindly, is a solid preventative measure for letting other people know that we are aware of our flaws…so they do not need to bring attention to or remind us of what they are. Why pick at the wounds, right? The problem is, over time, we fail to notice the continual energy that we are putting into what we describe as the most negative parts of ourselves. We are presenting our defects, justifying them if we can, and even going as far as to apologize for them. But where is the balance? I cannot think of a single encounter where I have heard another human tell me what they like, or even venture to love about themselves in equal passion. I don’t blame them, it is far too easy in this day and age to be judged and labeled as “conceited” or “arrogant” if we dare speak of our positive qualities. I mean, we’re not in the middle of a job interview. So, I get it. I am more than guilty of never speaking of what I like about myself. I certainly never speak of what I love about myself. But do you know the honest reason why? Sure, as I said, I worry like any other human about being labeled “conceited” or “arrogant.” But more than that, I hardly remember what I like or love about myself. The downfall of always focusing on what brings us far from perfect, is we forget what also makes us special, what makes us worthy and valued, and above all what makes our imperfection so uniquely ours, and so distinctively beautiful. We all know the truth: there is no such thing as perfection. So rather than apologizing to each other in every opportunity for that, why don’t we begin taking comfort in it? I challenge you to balance your daily efforts for growth with outright acknowledgement and praise for the parts of yourself which you love. For example: “Today I challenge myself to not be short of temper, as I know it can impact my day and the day of those I interact with negatively. And I praise my selfless heart, as it yearns for me to create happier days for myself and others.” There is no right or wrong way to do this, the challenge and the praise do not have to be a perfect fit. The point is that in doing this, you are remembering what you like, and even love about yourself. Do not be ashamed! Self-growth is something we should all continue to strive for, it steers us away from complacency and feeds our spirit the spark it needs to become exactly whom we want to be. But without this balance along the way, we will only be endlessly reaching for the gift we are already denying ourselves – the gift of self-love.