Are you showing yourself enough love??
In my book 9 Rules to Sort Your Shit there is Rule #7 Self Love & Self Belief… In that chapter I write this:
‘When I think about self-love, I believe it’s about looking after yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, respecting yourself, putting yourself first, and filling your cup, remember that cup of water that I talked about way back at the start. Self-belief is having the confidence to love yourself.
I know many people that take a lot of care in their personal presentation, but really struggle with lots of other things. They are always well-presented but are really not happy with their weight, social life and / or relationship status. They have enough self-love to present themselves to the world in a particular way, and they have enough self-belief to have awesome jobs, but it’s not connecting to all areas of their life.
There is something inside that stops them loving and believing enough in themselves.
You may be really fortunate to have people in your world who do believe in you and encourage you, that’s great, start listening to them because not everyone has that kind of support around. The unfortunate thing is most of us at some point have had people put us down, embarrass us in public, or told us we are ‘too big for our boots’ and that has been enough to plant the seed of doubt.
The name itself ‘self-belief’ means that you should be validated by the self rather than external sources. We go through life being validated by our parents, teachers, bosses, partners when really if we are living by our values, their opinion, nice as it is to be externally validated shouldn’t be needed.
One particular fear I always had around self-belief and self-love was about coming across as being arrogant. Who am I to think I am great at what I do?
Embracing and accepting imperfections are all part of the process of believing in and loving yourself. I mentioned earlier in the book that vulnerability is one of your greatest strengths.
If you believe in and love yourself enough you can put something out there and accept that it’s not 100% perfect. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need to put in any effort, everything you do should always be the best you can give in that moment. The first edition of this book wasn’t perfect, neither is the second but I know that they are works in progress and that I am the one being overly judgemental. I am sure that there will be someone reading it that will pick up on grammatical errors or have a better way of doing things, or that they have heard it all before. – I don’t care (anymore). The feedback I have had from many is that it really helped change lives. The reason it has changed lives is because a reader has been inspired enough by something I said to trigger the motivation to change – that’s what’s important to me.
When we are striving for perfection, it creates stress, anxiety and exhaustion. As a recovering perfectionist I can contest that. You never feel like you are good enough or that you will ever be good enough, you set the bar high (which is a good thing to have high standards and expectations of yourself) but, as soon as you get close you put it up another 2 steps. By doing this you are never allowing yourself to feel or enjoy the success of your achievements because you are always focused on the next step.
Stop for a moment and look back over the last year at how far you have come. Life moves so quickly that we need to take time to appreciate our journey. We forget so easily the achievements. I often have to refer back to my social media photos or my journal to see what I have done.
We all have things that we see in ourselves that we don’t like (think back to the exercise from rule 3), but if someone looks at you, they don’t see what you see. Things you may be self-conscious about (crooked teeth, chubby cheeks, lopsided smile, big butt) they will either find endearing or not even notice. When we look at other people we are instinctively drawn to what we find attractive.
You are going to embrace your imperfections and make them your own, everyone else is too busy worrying about their own imperfections to worry about yours. You are only the most important person in the room to yourself. Make friends with yourself, how would you speak to your best friend? Speak to yourself with that same love and compassion.
Learning self-love will let you be the first person you look after. Think how nice it will be to take some time to care for you first. You need to create yourself a morning routine that is all about your own self-love and self-care. When you start the day right, it helps the rest of it fall into place (or at least gives you a better footing to deal with things that don’t go the way you hoped).’
What are you doing this Valentines day for your own self-love?
Be Kind, be curious