Today, I discuss how to show gratitude for your efforts at becoming a better person.

Table of Contents

We do not always value ourselves

value ourselves | sad woman

It can be difficult to see how you are a good person who you should be grateful for.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Even when you are on the path of self-improvement, you will find it difficult to like yourself. As you continue to improve as a virtuous individual, you will fear future mistakes and regret past weaknesses.

We see clearly who we should and can be. This clear vision makes accepting our imperfections difficult. Furthermore, because we understand who we should be, we find it easier to demean who we are. This self-attack is vicious and can stall any progress an individual makes.

Gratitude Undermines Self-Hatred

Self-attack can halt your growth by filling you with constant doubts. Soon, you’ll lose motivation and the wisdom to endure helpful criticism.

The best way to stifle self-attack is gratitude. Gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” If you show yourself kindness by displaying respect for the progress you’ve made, you’re less likely to fall into self-hatred.

How to show yourself gratitude

be grateful | sign saying gratitude

Showing gratitude is a crucial step in self-improvement.

Showing yourself gratitude requires a nuanced approach. If you are too giving, then you will become complacent. If you are too strict, then you will become embittered. Therefore, gratitude is responsive to your needs, struggles, and accomplishments.

Before we dive into the best ways to show gratitude, we have to determine a few essential items.

  • What is the nature of your struggle? – When we are fighting for our best selves, we have to get a lay of the field. What are we trying to improve? What are the end goals? Who is involved? For example, the parameters, goals, and expectations of learning a new skill are different from improving relationships with others. Thus, how and when you show gratitude will change.
  • When are you most likely to self-attack? – Determining your weakest moments gives you clarity as to when you should shower yourself with gratitude. Being proactive gives you power when your inner voice is most critical.
  • What do you enjoy doing? – Lastly, what do you enjoy? Gratitude means encouraging words, reflection on your efforts, and rewards. Being able to express gratitude in the ways you enjoy the most ensures your gratefulness is more effective.

1) Always give your best in everything you do

The greater the effort, the better you’ll feel. If you give your all in everything you do, you’re less likely to suffer from self-hatred. For one, you’ll be too tired to self-attack. Secondly, you’ll have the reassurance that you’re doing the best you can with what you have.

Lastly, you’ll appreciate your efforts to accomplish your goals. When you are lazy or distracted, you’re more critical. The more critical you are, the harder it is to express gratitude for your actions. However, if you work hard, you’ll never doubt your dedication.

2) Set clear goals and benchmarks of success

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A. Milne

Ambivalence is never useful. If you cannot see clear progress in your path, you are more likely to criticize your efforts. Why? Because it’s easier to denounce progress you haven’t firmly defined. However, if you can map out how far you’ve come, you will appreciate your efforts.

Therefore, set clear goals and focus on benchmarks of success. Track your time, remain focus, and check off goals when you fulfill them.

3) Reward your efforts

happy | man holding coffee cup and smiling

If you do something good, then acknowledge it.

Rewards are a crucial way to show your gratitude. With clear goals in mind, you can work on acknowledging your efforts. The more you recognize your good actions, the more good actions you are likely to pursue.

Rewards should be things you enjoy doing. Take any small vices you have and rework them as rewards for a job well done. For example, if you like sweets, give yourself an extra cookie when you accomplish a big goal.

4) Remember where you once were

Reflecting on your past is crucial. Remember, you were not always this accomplished, focused, or virtuous – there was a time when you couldn’t control your emotions or get as much work done.

Take a moment to say “thank you.” “Thank you for taking the time to improve your health.” “Thank you for learning new skills so I can better care for my family.” and so on. Acknowledging past efforts helps you understand that this time, right now, can serve your future happiness.

5) Always challenge the negative voice in your head

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle

We all are prone to self-attack. When you are improving, self-attack increases and is more vicious.

Therefore, you have to push back. Flood your mind with thoughts by reflecting on the good you have done, the trials you have overcome, and the goals you have accomplished. Reflecting on your good deeds is a healthy sign of gratitude for your past efforts.

Be Grateful For The Beautiful Life You Are Building

you succeed | man arms extended

Every day, you overcome struggles and win important battles. Do not lose sight of this. Do not be ungrateful.

You are human. You are mortal, scared, prone to injury, and so on. You cannot excel at every little vision or achieve every little perfection.

So, you criticize yourself. This self-hatred grows and bubbles until it drowns you. One of the best solutions is gratitude.

Be grateful for yourself. For your efforts and your actions. If you are working hard, you can be honest in your gratitude and unashamed at your encouragements.

Do not give up. Instead, work hard, say “thank you,” and prepare yourself for the next battle.


“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” – Seneca

  1. What is something that you like to do? How can you take this thing and present it as a gift to yourself?
  2. What are you grateful for? What’s the best achievement you’ve made in the past few months? Why are you proud of this achievement, and what did you have to give up to accomplish it?
  3. How do you show others that you are thankful for the things they do for you?

Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash