Positive Reflection

rhn-positivereflectionThis blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Leslie Kolb, MSW, ASW.

What do you see when you look at yourself, both externally when you glance in a mirror and internally? Do you focus on your positive qualities, or do you find yourself honing in on qualities you want to alter? Does it feel easy or difficult to look at yourself? Sometimes it can be difficult to take an honest look at ourselves, because we often see parts we want to change or improve. But why not make an effort to be kinder to ourselves, to accept the parts we don’t like as much and celebrate the parts we do?

Often when we reflect on our own behaviors or even just our appearance, we first see what we want to change, but what about the things we don’t want to change? Perhaps you volunteer a good deal of time to charity work throughout the year, which makes you feel fulfilled in a way that would be otherwise impossible. Or perhaps you’ve spent time working on your ability to share and be vulnerable with your loved ones and have become well-practiced at it after years of practice. Or even on a superficial note, maybe you really like your nose, or the shape your body is in.

In order to be kinder to ourselves, we have to be able to identify and acknowledge the things we like about ourselves; in doing so, no only are we kinder to ourselves but we are also able to more clearly see the what we truly do need to work on. If we value our positive qualities, then we can see the value in continual work and improvement of our minds, bodies, and spirits. Think of it like this: if you love the house you live in, there’s a better chance you’ll keep renovating and updating it so it retains value and continually increases in worth. You’ll invest and keep reinvesting as time goes on. The same goes for your body—after all, it is the house for your soul.

Take a few moments the next time you pause for reflection and name five positive attributes about yourself. Try not to focus too much on the superficial, but if you are really proud of the work you’ve done to get in shape, then by all means—celebrate it! In being able to recognize and focus on the positive, the attributes you might see as negative can seem less important compared to the positive qualities you possess. If you keep practicing this focused reflection, you might be surprised how much it can shift your overall mindset.

This week, as you examine yourself in the mirror, don’t forget to look at the positives first. Chances are, there are a lot of great qualities you’ve been ignoring while focusing on ones you want to change. Who knows– in trying this exercise, you may inadvertently change how you think of yourself, and find that you like what you see.


Elana Clark-Faler
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