Do you love yourself?
Like whole-heartedly, unconditionally LOVE yourself?
Where would you place yourself on a scale of 1 – 10? (1 = self loathing, and 10 = complete self love and acceptance.) Most women I speak to would only place themselves between 1 – 5. And that my friends, is no where near good enough.
Now when I say love yourself, it’s not in a romantic, lovey-dovey kissing the mirror kind of way, but more in a self-acceptance and inner pride kind of way.
Self love is about the feelings, beliefs and behaviours that define your relationship with yourself – not the external things that we sometimes let define us.
Self love is a huge focus for most of my clients. It’s so important to our WHOLE life – it affects absolutely everything; how we think, how we feel, what we say to ourselves (and others), how we behave, the relationships we build, our belief systems – the whole shebang! Yet the concept of self love is not something that we are ever really taught, and for myself anyway, growing up it wasn’t something that was spoken about a lot. And that right there is where the problem lies.
You get to an age and realise that hang on a second, the relationship you have with yourself isn’t that great, in fact it’s actually pretty poor. It may not be diabolical, but it certainly isn’t serving you. Your lack of self love shows up in many different ways – its the little things you say to yourself throughout the day, what you feel every time you look at yourself in the mirror, what you put up with in your life and tolerate, the choices you make, the food you choose to eat, how you move your body, the limits you place on yourself – notice how incessant this is in your life?
You can’t escape it, you may try unsuccessfully to avoid it, or pretend it’s not happening, but it will eventually find it’s way back to the surface. And that’s because how we feel about ourselves is probably the most fundamentally important thing in your whole life. You embody this mind, spirit, soul for the rest of your life, till your last breath – so you see, it’s kinda important this relationship you have with yourself
The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself.
Your level of self love directly affects the self image you hold.
Knowing this then, it’s paramount that you develop a beautiful relationship with yourself. It’s about honouring, respecting and deeply loving you. This means that you are compassionate towards yourself and gentle – that you treat yourself like you would your best friend, or a small child. It doesn’t mean that you will always be perfect, that you’ll never make a mistake of stuff up ever again – not at all, yet it’s about loving yourself DESPITE those things. That’s precisely what unconditional means, is that you not only just love yourself when you’re kicking goals and winning at life, but that you also love yourself when you fall down, when you stuff up and when sh*t hits the fan. Because, that’s the time more than ever that you really need to be compassionate and kind to yourself. It’s easy to feel good and love ourselves when life is at an all time high, but the challenge comes when darkness appears.
“You see the words you say to yourself affect your self-image and your self-image determines what actions you take. If your self-image is one of a person who lacks the confidence to do anything of value, you will only be able to take actions that are aligned with this trait. One the other hand, if your self-image is one of a radiant individual who is fearless, again, all your actions will correspond to this reality. Your self-image is a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. The beautiful thing is that you can change your self-image, just like you can change everything else in your life if it is not serving to enhance it. Mantras are a great way to accomplish this objective.”
So what areas of your relationship with yourself would like to improve on?
Where do you see the cracks appearing?
What are the warning signs when your self love is at an all time low?
And what are the actions you can take to start to move towards self love?
It’s a constant choice, and I’m sorry to say that it will be a life-long endeavour. Self love isn’t something we can “achieve”, tick off the list, and then put on the shelf to forget about. No. It takes constant practice, continual re-adjustment, high levels of self-awareness, being in choice and huge amounts of self compassion.
Awareness is the first step, because you don’t know what you don’t know, and you cannot change what you’re not aware of. So if you’ve come to the realisation that your really lacking in self love, then it’s ok. Don’t fret. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t think you’re a failure. Just pause, breathe, and re-boot. This awareness is golden, because it now means you have a CHOICE as to what to do with that information.
In any moment of any day, simply check in and ask yourself – how can I move towards more self love right now? What thoughts, words and actions would be conducive to more self love? If I truly loved myself, what would I be thinking? What would I be saying? What would I be doing?
What are some ways that you practice self-love? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life; let it be the day you act upon it.
– Steve Maraboli
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