By Sambridhi Shrestha

Military, Warriors, Peacemakers, Survivors, or even fictional characters like Batman, Ironman, and Superman surface on our minds when we hear the word “hero” and that is thoroughly valid. We consider them heroes because of their heroism and contribution toward saving the planet, communities and individuals. As children we aspire to be one. We see their strengths, victories and achievements but have we ever asked ourselves, ‘How do superheroes feel about themselves?’ We tend to overlook one important trait that makes them who they are and that trait is the perception of oneself. 

Self-criticism and self- doubt are two natural thoughts that linger around every human mind. The intensity of these thoughts define our present and future. We need self-criticism in order to bring the best out of us but we have developed a habit of feeling it constantly. We don’t think twice before complimenting others but when it comes to appreciating ourselves, we feel a sense of guilt. There is a fine line between self-appreciation and bragging. That fine line defines whether you’re arrogant or you’re a practitioner of humility. Humility is one thing in common among superheroes. According to dictionaries, Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance. But doesn’t that contradict the essence of self-appreciation and love? The answer is no. Rick Warren defines humility as “not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” The trick is to value yourself the most but not to think about oneself all the time. The reason we struggle with self-love and appreciation is because we don’t value ourselves enough. We compare ourselves to others and comparison is the fuel that makes you think of yourself too much. We seek validation from others because we think of ourselves too much. If we take the path of creating our own values, we start becoming the hero of our story

Our way of life does not change overnight. Consistency is the fuel towards building a ritual. Just like any other skill, self-appreciation is a result of practice. Life is not always going to be a cake walk and even if you master self-love, doubts and criticisms never go away. But in these situations, your values will overshadow your doubts. We can start by practicing humility because it is a doorway to self-appreciation that creates a positive ripple effect on everyone around you. The world is already going through a lot of chaos and in these circumstances, we need to step up and try to make it a better place by helping others. Bottom line: Value yourself. Use the values to love yourself. Don’t think less of yourself. Think of yourself less. Help others and function with love. Why? Because that is what superheroes do!