Give Yourself Credit

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.


Many of you are guilty of this: The minute you finish something, you immediately look ahead to the next thing. Instead, you want to savor it, to feel it deep in your core for as long as it takes the completion to become a part of you. Every time you do, it sends a message to your brain and body, particularly the third chakra (your solar plexus) and establishes and strengthens the hardwiring for self-esteem and personal power.

Because we have a primitive nervous system (designed to protect us from saber tooth tigers), if you don’t honor your accomplishments, your body will think there is still more to do. This feeling of constant worry that you won’t get it all done sets you up for all kinds of stress-related health conditions. This includes lowered immunity, excess stress hormones, and cellular inflammation.

I’m certain this contributes to the thyroid problems many women have as well. The fifth chakra, where the thyroid is, has to do with your relationship to time. If you feel like you’re constantly rushing and that you never have enough time, you remain in a chronic state of incompletion. One of the best ways to feel rest and relaxation is to remind yourself that you’ve already done a lot.

In taking stock of what you’ve done and what you’ve worked through, you change your relationship to time. You realize that, one way or another, you always have time to do the things that absolutely have to be done. This starts a loop of positive reinforcement that makes you feel like you have more control of your life. If you perceive that there is always enough time, there will be.

Pull out your calendar from 2010 and look at what you were doing in January. Perhaps you can even locate a list of last year’s New Year’s resolutions. You may have completely forgotten where you were in your life or what you were hoping to accomplish in 2010.

Now take as much time as you need to list your completions. In addition to your calendar, you can look through some old emails to see where you were a year ago. Look for patterns, not just events. Perhaps these are some of your completions: an increased savvy about your own healthcare; weight loss that you kept off all year; a better understanding of your financial matters; a new friendship that supports you; a regular exercise practice. You may see that things didn’t always turn out how you hoped they would. But instead of just looking at what was left undone, hopefully you’ll be able to see things with more perspective.

If you’re not digesting your successes, it’s likely that your surroundings are cluttered. In addition to a cluttered desk, there may even be cobwebs in your home or office! Because life—and Feng Shui—is all about energy, anything that blocks the flow of energy, like clutter, will keep new people, things, finances, and experiences from flowing into your life. People who have trouble acknowledging success tend to accumulate stuff, leaving little room for anything good or new.

Here’s a tip: If you’re having trouble listing your completions, choose one drawer or compartment in your house, office, or car and clean it out. Because of the principles of Feng Shui, this can create a lot of forward momentum. It’s also a way to take a baby step toward giving yourself credit for something you’ve done.

Now it’s time to share! My friend Regena Thomashauer says, “Undigested good turns to crap.” (She uses a slightly different word.) So find a friend or family member that’s not a naysayer who you can “brag” to about your accomplishments. Again, this upward spiral of feedback can become a reality. Focusing on what’s positive and fanning the flames of yours and your friends’ completions is a sure-fire way to usher more joy and possibilities into everyone’s new year.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. 
All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.

Last Updated: January 18, 2011

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


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  1. Rachel
    3 months ago

    I bought the diary out of this and I found it interesting. Someone didn’t want it and gave it to the charity shop. I used some of it for artwork to go with my poetry. I like that fact that they have natural hair and I used the plant artwork to go with my gardening poems. Also the windows and I liked the little yoga figurines. I meditated on the one saying October the 18th which is my birthdate , and National Menopause Day.

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