I’ve been doing quite a lot of personal development lately and one of the things I’ve been focusing on in learning about has been self-love and building confidence in yourself. What does it mean? How do you get it? Why does it feel like it’s so hard to have and ‘maintain”?
One of the things that have stood out for me around what self-love is, was this “Self-love is liking being with me” – Sharon Pearson. It’s being comfortable with putting yourself first or in other words being functionally selfish. Emphasis on the functionally!
So often we are all about give, give, give to the point where our own cup is empty and so our excessive ‘giving’ eventually leads to burnout and beating ourselves up for not being able to give anymore! Crazy right?! I know I do and have done this all too often. So the question is; how can we be ‘functionally selfish’ and eventually grow into having abundant self-love?
Step 1. Be OK with saying no to putting others first all the time.
If you’re a mum, you will know a little about feeling the need to always put others first; kids, significant other, ‘are the uniforms washed?’, ‘is dinner ready?’, can’t forget about the lunchboxes! and the list goes on… Now I’m not saying stop doing all these things for the ones we love because quite often we are doing these things because we TRULY want to! What I am saying is that you need to cut yourself some slack as well, it’s all about creating balance. Give yourself a time out to just do nothing, have a bath, light a candle, immerse yourself in some nature sounds, and don’t do anything. Giving yourself some “Me” time every now and then will provide you with the peace you deserve, away from the mundane tasks you face on a daily basis. It is okay to say no — and if you currently do not feel this way, you may consider giving yourself small breaks and think that it’s okay and that you deserve it.
Step 2. Start forgiving yourself.
Otherwise, you will keep finding things to beat yourself up over! It is OK to have forgotten to hang out the laundry and now the kids’ uniform is wet, it is OK that dinner is a little later today, what difference is it going to make in five years if these things happen? Really? I can tell you now, no difference. So there is no reason for you to beat yourself up about it! Let. It. Go.
Step 3. Forgive others.
It’s not about giving others permission to do things that hurt or frustrate you over and over again but rather it’s a way for you to free yourself from what might’ve happened. Sometimes all it takes is to gracefully tell people when their words or actions are causing you pain. They might not even have been aware that it was having that effect on you! So why hold a grudge? While it is very wrong of them to do bad things to you, it’s always better to show some empathy and think what if you were in their shoes. That way, you will be able to show empathy and understand them better. And if they choose to disregard your wishes, forgive them anyway. Easier said than done and SO empowering when you succeed in doing this.
Step 4. Keep your promises to yourself and others.
In other words, mean what you say and say what you mean. If you have the tiniest inkling that you won’t be able to keep the promise you are thinking of making, DO NOT MAKE THAT PROMISE! See, when we don’t keep the promises we make, we are breaking trust. Trust in yourself and others’ trust in you. For example, if you promise yourself that you want to start exercising and you don’t do it, on a subconscious level you have just told yourself that you are not trustworthy. Let’s be ‘realistic’ for a moment, if you can’t trust yourself with the small things like “I will start exercising today” then how on earth will you have the capacity to trust yourself with bigger things like “I want to create a successful business and work from home?”.
Start by making small promises to yourself and keep them, this way you are exercising and growing your trust ‘muscle’ and as a result, you will find that you become much more confident and comfortable within yourself when you’re faced with bigger promises!
Step 5. Let perfection go
Seriously, let perfection go, it is not realistic, it will never happen, and there is nothing you can do about it so let it go. It’s as simple as that. Accept the things you cant change and act on the things that you can. It’s the most effective way of reducing stress in your life.
Step 6. Accept where you are at.
Until you can truly accept where you are at in your life and realise that the purpose of the challenges you are facing are to learn a lesson or to outgrow it. Only then will you know true self-love. It’s about getting over yourself and letting go. It is about accepting and moving through, not accepting and giving up.
I trust these 6 steps to self-love have inspired you and served you with where you are at right now. I would love to have a chat with you about your experiences and help you out with anything you might be facing right now, even if it is just to be a sounding board for you. I am here to serve! Please, get in touch and share these wonderful tips with your circle of support and pay it forward to them.
Until next time, rock on!