place setting for Valentine's day

Did you give your sweetheart a Valentine this year telling them how much you love them and appreciate them? I imagine though that there is one very important person whom you forgot! Do you know who I’m talking about? Yes, I’m talking about you!

If you’ve been reading my blogs for the last month or so, you’ll know they’ve been about planning; a sometimes seemingly, meaningless task that many of us would rather not do. Yes, I know there are those of you that love planning.

Back on point though! Did you appreciate yourself for the planning work you completed or anything else you’ve done over the last month or so? Did you reward yourself for a job well done, or a new challenge tried? Or, on those particularly tough days, did you give yourself a pat on the back for just getting out of bed?

As entrepreneurs and primarily women, we know how important it is to acknowledge and reward the efforts and accomplishments of others. (For you wonderful men out there reading this blog, if this relates to you, take it to heart also. If you know a woman whom this describes please, please share it with her.) Where we tend to fall down is by not acknowledging and rewarding ourselves. We’re typically not good at giving ourselves back-pats, nor are we good at receiving them.

We go from task to task and project to project never really stopping to take the time to review and reflect on what we’ve done. This is one of the reasons I include this in my planning sessions. I’m sure you’re not surprised at the number of times I hear, “I really didn’t do anything last quarter.” That’s why we do the reflection piece and write down what we did. When you do this exercise you’ll be amazed at how much you actually accomplished.

And then, what about the times someone else thanks you or says what a great job you’ve done? I know oftentimes my first reaction is to say, “Oh it’s no big deal,” or “It’s easy,” especially when it’s something that does come easily to me.

Why do we do this? Even if we don’t hear negative comments, most of us have picked up some of the following beliefs because of the collective societal consciousness we live in. See if you relate to any of these statements or some variation of them:

  • Don’t brag
  • Don’t talk about yourself
  • You’ll get a big head
  • Do be a show off
  • Work hard
  • Do your job

If you’re thinking, “This is nice, yes, I should do this, but I can’t” (for whatever reason it just makes you feel uncomfortable),I want to share a story with you.
I have a friend who has been dealing with depression. Her therapist wanted her to work on appreciating herself for what she does for herself when she’s depressed. She tends to focus on all the things she’s not doing and then doesn’t want to do anything else because, she thinks, “What’s the point?”
What she did to support herself in giving herself back-pats was to get two small tumblers and some marbles. She put them in one tumbler and every time she did something she would take a marble from the left tumbler and place it in the right tumbler. At the beginning she would give herself a “back-pat” for getting out of bed, no matter what time of day it was.

Yes, I realize this is an extreme case, and when she shared it with me I realized that while many of us don’t need to be given a “back-pat” for getting out of bed, we do need regular back-pats from ourselves to ourselves.

So tell yourself, “Thank You” for all that you’ve done (please be as specific as you can.) I know many people are keeping gratitude journals. If you are, please ensure that you’re also adding personal gratitudes.

If there is no one to buy you a card or flowers, (or even if there is buy yourself a card and flowers. As one of my clients says, “Jane gave us permission,” so I hereby give you permission to appreciate yourself and buy something just for you!

Happy Valentine’s Day. I appreciate you and me.


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Jane works with Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners who are Overwhelmed.  My focus is helping them regain clarity, let go of ambiguity, uncertainty and fear, while bringing focus to their goals and objectives.  I ask the hard questions knowing that you’re ready to answer them. My clients and colleagues call me a thought provoking Business Therapist.

Women Entrepreneurs in Business (WEiB) an online membership group dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs in creating a business that feeds their soul and pocket book.

The Sage – Grow Your Business an in-person program designed to help women entrepreneurs increase sales and expedite growth of their business.

Jane is also the author of Put Your Big Girl Panties On and Kick Your Fears in the Ass.

Additional information is available at Contact Jane by email or by telephone at 703.981.3157