How to Fall in Love… With Yourself – There is a big push in our society to love ourselves exactly as we are, flaws and all.
Self-love is important because it creates a sense of appreciation for yourself. You identify how to respect yourself and you teach others how you want to be treated, too. You define what you will and won’t stand for. And you tackle negative self-talk in the process. The longest relationship you will ever have is with yourself so you need to nurture it.
However, along with this noble act of self-love, is the notion that if you don’t fully love and accept yourself, your body, and your appearance, then you will never be truly happy.
The reality is that most people barely like themselves let alone know how to love themselves. Data shows that approximately 50% of all people dislike themselves. That’s a lot of people.
Pushing the concept of self-love on people who dislike themselves does more harm than good. This message of self-inclusivity doesn’t lift people up, but rather makes people feel worse. Suddenly they aren’t good enough because they can’t fully accept themselves as they are.
So, how do we go from self-dislike to self-love?
Here are some tips from yours truly:
Tip #1: Let go of the idea that self-love is selfish. It’s not.
By showing yourself love, you are showing yourself grace. Self-love, aka self-compassion, does not mean that you’re a narcissist. It just means that you are kind to yourself and you understand the importance of taking care of your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Tip #2: Self-care = Self-love.
I get it. You’re busy and barely have time to yourself. Maybe you work full-time, maybe you have little ones, or maybe you’re running your own business. Whatever it is, you have no time. Have you ever heard people say that you make time for what’s important to you? It’s true. You’ve got to make time for yourself. Start with 5-minutes before bed. Read a few pages of that romance novel, meditate, or listen to music. Then build from there. These little moments add up.
Tip #3: Appreciate yourself.
Here’s an exercise I used to do whenever I felt blah about myself. I’d write loving words on different post-it notes and place them around my house. An example is: “I am kind” or “I am helpful.” Then I’d place the post-it notes in drawers, cabinets, on my mirror etc. When I would find them, I would smile. P.S. it’s okay to write down things that you don’t necessarily believe to be true about you. By doing this, you will begin to shift your negative mindset to a positive one.
Tip #4: Befriend your inner critic.
Your inner critic loves to remind you that you’re not good enough. The inner critic comes from a place of inner fear and uses that fear as a way to protect you from what it perceives as a potential threat. The best thing to do when your inner critic gets loud, is to show her/him some love. Your inner critic wants to be seen and wants to know that you will have her/his back no matter what. Practice this: visualize your inner critic as your younger self. Instead of quieting your inner critic, or giving in to the fear, remind your inner critic that you won’t let anything happen to her/him.
Tip #5: Don’t pour from any empty cup.
Are you someone who gives of yourself to everyone else only to find that you have nothing left to give to yourself? If you answered “yes” to this question, then you are probably a recovering people pleaser who is pouring from an empty cup. It’s pretty common, especially for women. We are told to be all things to all people but where do we fall into this mix? The truth is that in order to fill other people’s cups, you have to fill your own cup first. This means finding joy in the little moments, making time for yourself, and putting your health first. Our partners, friends, and children are only going to be as happy as we are. And energy is contagious. So, be mindful of how you treat yourself and teach others to do the same.
Tip #6: Focus on self-like.
Self-love is a foreign concept for so many. In order to get to self-love, you’ve got to start with baby steps. Do the self-work and then you will get to the self-like. Start by creating healthy boundaries with yourself and with others (remember, it’s okay to say no), acknowledge that your life matters (if you can’t accept yourself in your entirety, then acknowledge that you are a work-in-progress), and let go of the idea that other people’s opinions of you matter (they really don’t. What matters most is what you think of yourself – and you’re working on this!)
P.S. This month I want you to think a little more about yourself and what it is that you need. Then go and do that thing! You’ve got to be proactive about taking care of yourself. Start small –- a few minutes every day – an work your way up from there. For private coaching and to sign-up for our newsletter: https://snipfeed.co/thebehappyproject.
For more positivity, follow @thebehappyproject on Instagram and Facebook.
Dana-Maxx Pomerantz – Mindfulness and Happiness – Coach Founder of The Be Happy Project
Get more articles from our VIP Executive Contributor, Dana-Maxx Pomerantz.