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Note To Self: You’re Worth The Extra Effort

What if we treated ourselves like we treat other people? What if we gave ourselves the same respect, love, and extra effort? You're worth it.

We all have those people we care about.

These are the people that we would do anything for, because seeing them happy and healthy is worth every ounce of effort.

Yet somehow, we often don’t make the cut.

Consider what life would be like if we treated ourselves the we we treat the people that we truly care about.

Think about all the times you put in the extra effort for someone else. Maybe it was making time in your day so they could talk, or encouraging them to be healthier, or working harder for them.

No matter what, you knew they are worth it.

So are you.

What if we went the extra mile for ourselves the way we do for others?

We should treat ourselves the way we treat other people.

Or an even higher standard is to treat ourselves the way we would treat our own children.

It’s not about sneaking candy under the table so children smile, or buying your grandparents the fanciest new phone, or treating yourself to new clothes you don’t need.

These are moments when you denied the children candy because it’s so unhealthy, or when you made a scrapbook for your grandparents instead of a fancy gadget they may not know how to use.

Or when you went to pick up a friend late at night because you didn’t want her to walk home alone at night, or learning your boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents’ language.

What if we learned another language just because we wanted to? What if we saved memories the way we save them for our family members? Or if we took care of our bodies the way we want our children to take care of theirs?

Our bodies are worth the utmost care. We’ll only get one.

Instead of eating junk food every day, treat your body the way you would want your children to eat.

Before smoking or drinking, think about how it hurts your body, and remember what your body is worth. Of course, abstaining from smoking and drinking is easier said than done, and completely healthy lifestyles are extremely difficult. But even a little work every day towards that goal will be beneficial. Your heart, liver, lungs, and the rest of your body is worth it.

It’s not just your body either.

It’s you and everything you do.

Another example is work. When your career becomes everyday and mundane, it’s easy to gloss over your work and think, “Good enough.” This is your work and your career. Work at it like it really matters to you.

Prepare the next presentation so it shines. Prefect that project until you don’t think it could get any better.

Now, there always will be circumstances when you won’t be able to do this. If your company falls behind on deadlines, it may be a matter of getting things done as opposed to perfecting things. But shifting your mentally in the direction of perfecting all your work will make it better, and these improved habits will stick with you, even if circumstances prevent you from always achieving it.

But if you can put in the extra effort, always put in the extra effort.

This mentality can even be applied to relationships.

Chances are that we already treat the people we care about better than we treat ourselves. However, the relationship itself needs care too, aside from you and the other person.

These ideas can be applied to social and intimate relationships. You will probably meet more people that are only passing through your life than people that are staying. Maybe you will never see most of them again. A lot of it is just a matter of circumstance.

For others, there could be real potential. So put in the effort in your relationships like they will last forever. If they don’t, at least you won’t be left wondering if there was more that you could have done.

If you give it your all and things don’t work out, you’ll know that you’ve done everything that you could.

If you don’t give it your all, you’ll never know if that extra effort would have made a difference.

We tend to put in so much more effort for those we care about, but too many of us forget ourselves. We put ourselves down, or maybe we’re not too confident in our work or how we look, and we blame ourselves far too often.

If you wouldn’t criticize someone else for the same situation, don’t do it to yourself.

Be understanding to yourself. Put in the extra effort for yourself, from your health to work to relationships.

Treat yourself like you matter. Treat yourself like you’re worth it.

Because you are.

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About the Author

Lindsey Zawila

Lindsey graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015 with a B.A. in Global Studies and Communications. She studied abroad in Austria (Summer 2013), Switzerland (Spring 2014), and India (Winter 2014). Her previous internships include the World YWCA in Geneva, Switzerland, the Foreign Service Institute at the U.S State Department in Washington, D.C., and CNN International in Atlanta, GA. In her free time, you'll find her reading, writing, making jewelry or friendship bracelets, sewing or refining her photography skills.