Why Self-Celebration is your New Personal Weapon
by Valerie Cabadonga
“Everything seems to go wrong when you feel weak and depressed. But when you choose to be cheerful, everyday will bring you more and more joy and fullness.”
Proverbs 15:15 TPT
A few years ago, I found myself in what I believe to be another rock bottom. This time it wasn’t a loss of a relationship or a loved one, but the complete loss of self-confidence due to comparison. During that season, I only had a month left in my work contract and started comparing my career to the girl close to me.
The more I compared her life to mine, the more I found myself not just comparing my career with hers, but now, I started to compare the way I look, the way I talk, my mannerisms, my personality and everything else. It was toxic. Sometimes, the most toxic relationship we have is with our ourselves. And most of the time, the ultimate remedy to that negativity is God’s light and clarity.
After one moment of clarity with God on a morning run by the riverside, the shattered pieces of my confidence started to fall back to its place and slowly I learnt who God made me to be. Piece by piece, I’ve learnt to become confident in my own lane and the urge to compare have decreased and diminished.
As I look back on that journey, I realized that there was one valuable weapon that God has forged and made available to you and I to fight against the negativities of life. According to research, our brains tend to remember negative events with greater accuracy than positive moments because they cause a stronger emotional reaction. We are more likely to remember the times that we’ve failed and told we were incapable more often than the events we succeeded in.
While this is an automatic thing that our brain does, we need a weapon to highlight the good and fun times, and make those moments our benchmarks. So the weapon?
Yes, gal, celebrating yourself is your new personal weapon against comparison (and to many other things).
What is self-celebration?
Self-celebration is a form of self-love where we celebrate who we are, where we are now and how far we’ve come. According to Psychology Today, we build resilience and protection to any future negative thought or opinion when we pause and take in the good moments. The writers even suggested that celebrating even the tiniest of victories can help manage our daily life challenges.
Practicing self-celebration will help you achieve your goals, remain hopeful for the future and see failures as stepping stones towards success. Self-celebration helps you build a positive self-image of being powerful and able. It gives every single event of your life an opportunity to grow, expand and dig deeper. Practicing this makes you more optimistic about the future and its possibilities.
Self-celebration helps you acknowledge who God made you to be and the season that He has placed you in, embody the fruits of the Spirit, and give others permission to do the same.
How you celebrate your tiny victories is completely up to you. Seriously gal, you do you. Just make sure it is something beneficial for your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Growing up, I’d personally find it hard to celebrate myself. I’ve always seen myself as a perfectionist (in some areas) with a mindset of “if it’s not up to [the standards], then it’s not worth celebrating just yet.” Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh, but I could honestly say that the moments where I celebrated who I was and how far I’ve come were massively less than the times that I should have.
Now, I reward myself with a walk after a long day at work...and also I really have to walk my boys (I don’t really call my four-legged kids dogs). I find it soothing to hike up a mountain, sit on a bench or the ground, and just take in the view. Oh, and the good old fashion, “treat yo self” shopping with a limit of $50 or even less.
And comparison? The thoughts come and go, but whenever it starts to creep into my head, I celebrate by declaring God’s truth over my life and focusing on the things that make who I am. Those very things are something worth celebrating and to be proud of.
Often I have been asked whether celebrating ourselves is a selfish and arrogant thing to do.
My answer: a big fat NO.
Here’s my take: being proud of who you are and your journey is not being arrogant. Practising self-celebration is giving yourself a pat on the back for all the overtime, sleepless nights, hangouts that you’ve missed, date nights that you’ve cancelled, the amount of coffee that you have chugged down and the countless times you have pushed yourself back up to get the job done. Those sacrifices were worth the goal that you’ve achieved and you deserve to celebrate that.
This is you saying, “I am proud of me.”
I know that this is something that takes practice (I'm still learning too) and one of the things I've learned to be useful is finding where and how self-celebration fits in the different circumstances and negative pulls we experience in our lives. And this is where we come in!
We want to help you apply this practice in your life. So here's a survey that we would love for you to take.
By answering this quick survey, you are letting us know the different areas we can help you in your life and letting other women know that they are not alone in their struggles.
Just think of it like we’re on a date over a cup of coffee and a good slice of cake.
So girlfriend, sip, eat and chat away!
Ps: once you have finished doing the survey, pass it to your girlfriends. Let's help each other shall we?