On the route to discovering better balance in your life, one of the key indicators of your success will be your ability to become more self-content.
One way to develop a strong sense of self-contentment is to give yourself the gift of self-appreciation.  Offer yourself the same respect and kindness you give to others you care deeply for.

Feel good in your own skin
I’ve noticed that women have a tendency to focus on what is “wrong” about themselves versus what is “right.” We tend to pick out and pick on the parts of ourselves that we like the least. These can be physical and/or character traits. A sure-fire way to know whether you suffer from this malaise is to take my “mirror” test. When you see your reflection is your first thought a complimentary or critical one? If you answered critical (like most of us), it’s time to take a new approach.

Being happy in your own skin means getting comfortable with who you are and what you want out of life. Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about yourself, try honoring and appreciating what makes you unique. Is it your attitude, smile and/or sense of humor? What qualities define you as a person? What do you absolutely love about yourself? Resist the temptation to criticize (this is a learned behavior and it can be unlearned).

Do the best you can
We’ve all had those days. You wake up with a busy day ahead of you only to discover your youngest child has the stomach flu. You madly rush around trying to make alternative childcare arrangements (your daycare won’t take a sick child) because today is the day you have to make a big presentation to the sales team. Calls to work and arrangements with your partner finally result in a reasonable schedule. You are feeling stressed because you want to be with your unwell child and you cannot miss this presentation. And all this happens before 8:00 am. You are about to leave the house with your older child and she decides to lie down at the bottom of the stairs and refuses to put on her shoes. You snap back, “Can’t you see that I’m having a bad morning and you are not making it any better.” Not the best thing you’ve ever done, but best you could do under the circumstances. So, you apologize to your daughter and learn to let it go.

Your best is going to be different from situation to situation. It will change depending on how you are feeling, who is involved and where you might be. No matter what the circumstances, just do your best. That is all you can do. By doing so, you will avoid self-criticism, self-judgment and regret.

Apologize and Forgive
To err is human. Most women I know have a long list of things they haven’t forgiven themselves for. These items range from “stealing my brothers baseball cards” to “raising my voice at my children.” Along with this lack of forgiveness comes its partner in crime guilt. If you are beating yourself up over things that have happened in the past, I know an easy way to free yourself from this bondage. Write a list of everything you have not forgiven yourself for and I mean everything. Then go through this list and identify all the people you can contact and apologize to. Now start making some calls. Some situations may be tougher than others; and some might require more than an apology. If property has been damaged, a replacement might be in order. But most importantly, forgive yourself. No more carrying that guilt load anymore.

B) Copyright 2007.  Lisa Martin. All rights reserved.
Lisa Martin is a certified coach who inspires working mothers to achieve success that’s balanced.
Author of Briefcase Moms: 10 Proven Practices to Balance Working Mothers Lives,