I was on the radio tonight with the ‘Gorgeous Danny Smith’ on his Drivetime show on Radio Verulam (you can listen again for a week here – monday 5.30-6pm), talking about ‘Self Love’. It’s a bit cliched maybe, but also really important, and something I’ve been thinking about and wishing a few of my friends would practice more this month.
First off, I need to explain to you why it is so important to you and to the ones you care for, and your success that you love yourself.
1) Healthy relationships – when you don’t love yourself, you will attract people looking for someone damaged. Not being nasty, but they are either a hero type looking to rescue you (not always healthy, as it creates co-dependence) or take advantage of you (which can turn really abusive).
2) Your Vulnerability – This means that you will be much more vulnerable in your relationships, and often rather than considering your opinion of yourself to be really important, you can prioritise that of the person taking advantage of you, who is unlikely to give you a balanced view. This could be someone tending towards the abusive side of the behaviour spectrum, or someone definitely that way, so the temptation to make you feel small and reduce your confidence will be too big for them to ignore. I’m not suggesting that you become an arrogant person who only considers themselves – I’m just suggesting that ‘To thine own self be true’ is an old and wise adage (Danny being much younger than me, hadn’t heard this one!).
3) You Loved Ones – Meanwhile your ability to give the people you love what they deserve will be severely effected if you don’t rate yourself and take care or nurture yourself. You won’t have enough energy to show them you love them or confidence to go out and achieve success and follow through of your purpose.
How To Do It?
So hopefully you have heard all this ‘put yourself first’ and ‘love yourself’ malarkey enough, for this post to be pointing you in the right direction. The problem is, how to convince yourself you are worth it and keep at it.
1) Time: Honestly, this is something that takes a time. For some it could be 6 months, but for many of us, it’s more of a ‘journey’. The good news is, that once enroute, you will start to get immediate rewards; you don’t have to wait for the end when you totally love yourself unconditionally.
2) Compare like for like: You need to start comparing like for like. That is, YOU ARE NOT LIKE ANYONE ELSE, so stop feeling guilty because you need more support than Mrs X or you aren’t as brilliant as Mr N! No you are not as brilliant at that, but there will be SOMETHING ELSE that you are better at. Yes, you might need more help or support than her, but you are in a DIFFERENT situation. Plus you don’t know the whole situation they are in, as people always lie and keep stuff quiet!
3) Stop Aiming For Perfection: All this stuff you judge yourself for; what are your expectations, are they possible? Maybe there is something that you could improve. Great. Go do it, and don’t worry about it anymore. But I bet you a huge amount of stuff is things that aren’t that important, or aren’t you at all, or aren’t possible. I have an issue where I don’t judge other people for their standard of living at all, but for some reason I have very high expectations on myself; ridiculous! The true me is happy wherever she is, as long as she has access to fresh air, a few pretty things (gotta love some vintage pretties!) and happy kids.
4) Think about your loved ones: When you are struggling, think how will it help your loved ones for you to love yourself more. You’ll be so much more able to be present with them, plus you’ll be mentoring a healthier way of living to your children.
5) Your Goals and dreams: In order to achieve, we need to feel that we are worth it, and deserve the success and abundance. So remember your biggest dream the next time you are mean to yourself!
6) Make mistakes: Allow yourself the right to make mistakes, take responsibility for them and gain the confidence to accept them. It is HUGE to be able to feel confident enough to accept when we didn’t get something perfect, or could improve something, or made a mistake. It’s actually a lovely feeling to be able to put your hands up and accept responsibility for it. Only then can you actually move forward and improve things as well. This will ensure you are much better at your job as well; as an employer I can tell you it’s not the mistakes that bother me, but the backstabbing and trying to cover their butts that is the issue (don’t ever try that with me, I always know!).
What is it
So you want to learn to love yourself? How will you know you are doing it? When you naturally act as though you have:
1) The right to the basics: Many mums refuse themselves tea, flossing and peeing, but we deserve those 2 minutes!
2) The right to health: We all deserve refresh air, exercise, fruit & veg, water, rest and sleep. Yes, I know it may not be viable for you to get everything you would like (e.g. Mums), but we all deserve some time every week to nurture ourselves and look after our health.
3) Your thoughts: Think kind thoughts about yourself and stop saying horrible things to yourself.
4) Friends: Busy lives are a given, but we all have the right to see/talk to friends sometimes. I’ve just seen a friend who I haven’t seen in 2yrs. Yes, I would have loved to have seen her more, and no it wasn’t possible. But I took the whole 2.5hrs available when I did get the chance, and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Move soon please hun!).
5) Pamper: It might only be once a year, but we all deserve to have a haircut sometimes, or a treat. I wrote lots of ideas in this previous post about pampering.
6) Hobbies: Again I know that time is restricted, especially if you have a baby. But life comes back to some form of normality (ish!) eventually, and everyone has some kind of creative urge or favourite hobby that is a break from every day life and expresses themselves. I’m not good at it, but I love to draw, and have even made a few things with my sewing machine.
7) Good Boundaries: We all have the right to refuse to be treated badly. I’m not suggesting you start an argument, or create conflict, or try to change your partner. Just that it’s Ok to be clear on what behaviour you can and can’t accept. How to explain to people and teach them how to treat you, is one of my most popular blog posts here.
I hope that this blog post is the one that kicks you into action to show yourself more compassion, love, and appreciation! If not, I hope that it’s not far off and the next time someone mentions it, you decide it is time. Remember that everyone wants to be loved, but the most important person to love you is yourself.