by Annette Bridges. ©2010. All rights reserved.

Did you not apply for the job you really wanted because you thought you wouldn’t get it anyway?

Do you feel it’s too late to start a new career, so you continue on your current path even though you’re miserable?

Have you settled for a relationship with someone because you believe this is as good as it can get for you?

When someone pays you a compliment, is your first response to deny and discount rather than simply saying thanks?

It could be that you’re suffering from what some consider to be the most dangerous disease — self-doubt!

Perhaps it’s time you grab your pompoms and become your own cheerleader.

Sometime in the past year I recall receiving an email or Facebook post about a YouTube link titled, “Jessica’s Daily Affirmation.” It was this adorable rather precocious little girl standing on her bathroom counter looking in the mirror basically proclaiming all that was wonderful about what she saw and declaring her grand expectations for her day and life.

It seems children are born with an innate sense of appreciation for themselves. This included you and me a few years back, by the way. What happened to our ability to cheer for ourselves and our lives in a positive and passionate way?

Somewhere along our life journey we learned to argue with and against ourselves. And in doing so, we lost the high regard we once had and became obsessed with self-criticism.

The good news is we can learn to root for ourselves again and stop underestimating our potential and settling for less than our best.

Self-appreciation is not arrogance! There is nothing wrong with valuing and honoring our God-given gifts, talents, abilities and skills. I have no doubt that God cherishes and blesses the uniqueness of each one of Her precious children. Why would we not do the same?

And of course we should celebrate our successes! Why should we only have pity-parties?

You are not inadequate, insufficient, deficient, limited in any way. You are not at a disadvantage. When you make an estimate of the quality or worth of yourself or your abilities that is lower than what God makes, you are cheating yourself out of seeing your potential, genius, passion and purpose. And you need to recognize your value, in order to reach it!

You have only become unmindful or forgetful of the child God created. And this child — like little Jessica — knows very well that anything is possible and whatever is possible will be great!

I can’t help but think that Jessica’s daily affirmations are a good way to begin each day. We, too, can make daily affirmations of our strengths and capabilities when we wake up each morning. It makes sense that if we are to reach our full potential, we need to begin by appreciating who we are and what we can do.

So be your ally, your friend, your cheerleader. Know you can count on yourself to be in your corner every step of your life journey. And know that God is right there along side of you cheering, applauding and rooting for Her child with you.

Today is big with prospects, possibilities and potential. And tomorrow is promising to be even brighter. Your enthusiasm and exuberance for each day will give you the sparkle, hope, faith, inspiration and encouragement you need to make each day be all that it can be.

You’ve got a lot in your favor, my friend — stop selling yourself short!