I have something that is hard to admit, but here goes nothing. It took me a whole year to understand what I truly deserved, and what I didn’t. Give or take a couple days here and there.
I was that person that would complete a daunting task and buy myself a new outfit or 6 because “I deserved it”.
I would get done with a hard day’s work and open up a fresh bottle of wine because “I deserved it”.
I would throw myself a pity party and then eat whatever sounded good from the pantry (chocolate) because “I deserved it”.
I would accomplish everything on my list by 3:00pm and spend the rest of the day watching TV because “I deserved it”.
Any of this sound familiar to you too?
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what it is you truly deserve?
I finally did and realized I had been going about rewarding myself all wrong. I didn’t deserve to do something great, and then throw my money away, or feel hungover the next day, or gain weight, or watch TV and set myself back, but that’s what I was doing!
It’s what a lot of us do because it’s what we were taught, what we’ve always done, what our friends do, and it gives us immediate gratification.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about rewarding myself with a new activewear outfit after I’ve completed X amount of workout classes! But notice I said a new outfit, not six. Big difference. One I feel awesome about, six I feel out of control and no longer awesome about the next day. But that’s what I used to do because of the immediate reward (with an ignored negative consequence).
The truth: I deserve to do something great, acknowledge it, and then do something rewarding that doesn’t set me back, or make me feel like crap afterwards, or have a negative consequence.
Have you ever considered having a kick ass day and rewarding yourself with going to the gym for 30 minutes, or cooking yourself a meal you can feel good about, or enjoying a non-alcoholic bevie, or reading a chapter of a book you’ve been wanting to read, or getting outside for a walk?
I encourage you to think through what you truly deserve after a hard day’s work. It seems that society has taught us to say we deserve things that we may not fully deserve later on, and that are quite frankly a privilege.
The other perspective:
Buying new outfits isn’t something I deserve, it’s a privilege. Drinking a bottle of wine isn’t something I deserve, it’s a privilege. Eating junk food from my pantry isn’t something I deserve, it’s a privilege. Watching TV to unwind isn’t something I deserve, it’s a privilege. There are so many people in the world that can’t do these things, and back in the day they didn’t even exist!
So sure, we deserve to reward ourselves, and being able to even do so is a privilege in itself that we can’t forget to acknowledge. So how about next time you get home from a hard day’s work and feel like you deserve a reward, you try sitting in silence for 10 minutes congratulating yourself, unwinding and loving yourself for putting in the work. Then loving your body for properly functioning throughout the day by giving it healthy nourishment. Maybe even celebrating your mind and body by going on a walk outside.
Make your own list of rewards that you can feel good about today and tomorrow. We all deserve to reward ourselves, but next time you go to do so, ask yourself “Is there a negative consequence to this reward?”, and start with gratitude for even being able to celebrate.
Perspective is everything, my friends!