How To Make the World a Kinder Place | Personal

Sometimes the biggest challenge I can give myself is through making my weaknesses known. While there will always be some things in my life that I hold dear to myself instead of making public, I always want to be transparent about my growth as a person. I never want to vaguely tell people about changes without being specific. If I say "I'm growing" or "I'm maturing" I promise to tell you how so that if you've been there you can provide advice and if you haven't, so that you can come along on the ride.

One great area of weakness in my life is showing appreciation - genuine appreciation. I am someone who thrives off of words of affirmation (you'll understand if you have read The 5 Love Languages) and I love it when people give me genuine compliments on my achievements and who I am. Unfortunately, I have never learned the art of returning the favor.

If I am being completely honest, sometimes I am not jumping to think of a true compliment when I see someone else achieve. There have been times of being caught in jealousy or comparison when I do not want to talk about someone else's accomplishments in a positive light. I would rather keep it to myself, which is selfish and hurts only me.

Over the last few months, I have realized that the biggest challenger to jealousy is genuine appreciation. I have intentionally joined with a few ladies in cheering each other on in our lives and businesses. Because of this, I have not only been blessed by their kind words, but my heart has completely changed towards all of them. While I loved each one of them before we joined together to show appreciation, I now find myself overjoyed at their achievements instead of jealous. I get excited when I see growth instead of being self-conscious about where I am.

In light of this (and the fact that everyone can use some encouragement), I am working on the habit of appreciation. In fact, it is literally scheduled into my week! I have given myself a designated time each Tuesday to show genuine appreciation to people who I notice are going above and beyond. I encourage you to do the same - not only will you become a bright spot in the lives of your friends, but your heart will change towards them as you cheer others on towards their dreams and successes.

Never flatter - compliment in a fake way when you don't mean it - but always encourage. Show appreciation in genuine, meaningful ways. All of us can only be better as a result - and the world will be a kinder place to live.

How to Make the World a Kinder Place

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.