I believe the foundation of all love is self-love. We must love ourselves before we can love others as we cannot give what we don’t have. In my book, #PerfectlyImperfect I talk about how critical it is to be self-aware. Self-awareness allows us to identify if the choices we make and how we go about carrying ourselves is a reflection of the love we have for ourselves.
Be aware of your energy flow
The energy and state of mind that you’re in is crucial to the decisions we make and how we treat each other. If I am upset and worried, I cannot possibly respond to others with love compassion and understanding. On the other hand, if I am projecting and thinking thoughts of abundance, thoughts of love and all good things it is safe to say that I am taking good care of myself and how I treat others. As you begin to love yourself, your relationship with everyone will change.
Respect your uniqueness and drop comparison. Relax into your being.” ~Osho
Appreciate your uniqueness
There is something unique and different about you. Whatever it may be, appreciate it. Know your truth. Discover who you are and what you stand for because along the way you will come across people and situations that will influence you to believe otherwise. Don’t fall into it. Keep believing that you are powerful beyond measure and only you have the power and control to create your truth and make it a reality.
Take time to do the things you love
In my early twenties I believed in living a fast paced life and taking no breaks or time off. I was always on the go, working two jobs and going to school full-time. I was constantly stressed and viewed “making time for myself” as a waste of time. It wasn’t until later that I realized how important making time for yourself and taking care of your body actually was. Now, it’s a part of my daily life and rarely do I feel stressed or have anxiety, even if I am having a busy day.
You must cultivate your inner advocate and make time for yourself. This is absolutely essential to finding happiness. Your inner advocate is your other voice, the one that defends you and protects you when your inner self critic is trying to judge you and put you down. Setting aside this time for yourself allows for the noise in your head to stop and you become present in this healthier, happier state of being.
It’s critical to pay attention to how we view ourselves. If necessary we should spend some time alone in order to work on our own self-worth and self-image. So often we get into relationships that end up not working out because we haven’t taken enough time to work on our-selves.
Having a clear idea of how you see yourself shifts the focus away from others and allows us to really take a look at ourselves in a deeper perspective. When you accomplish something you are proud of, take a moment to really take it in and enjoy it. Often times, we are quick to acknowledge someone else’s accomplishments before our own.
Here are a few ways to remind yourself of your great qualities and practice self-love.
-Write yourself a note (positive affirmation) and keep it with you. This can be helpful when you’re caught up in a moment and are not feeling your best. Read it, out loud preferably.
-Write compliments on post-it notes and hang them on your mirror, closet, or at your desk (the more places the better).
-Most importantly, reward yourself by doing something that makes you happy.
Forgive yourself (embrace self-compassion)
It’s inevitable that we will make mistakes and get it wrong sometimes. It is okay, we are human and capable of learning from our failures. This is what challenges us and helps us grow. Without these moments of defeat, we aren’t able to progress, get better, or reach our fullest potential.
According to Kristin Neff, PhD, self-compassion involves practicing self-kindness, engaging in mindfulness, and acknowledging common humanity. This is critical to self-love because it’s about self-acceptance. It means loving yourself enough to see past the imperfections and strive for your best in a healthy, loving state.
Finally, believe in yourself
They say that the strongest factor for success is self-esteem; believing that you can do it, believing that you deserve it and believing that you will get it. Identify and ease your doubts. Continue to feed your mind with what you desire and eliminate all thoughts of doubt from your mind. Faith comes by hearing.
Fill your ears with words that support what it is that you want to believe about yourself. Trust and love yourself. Be kind to yourself. You are more worthy than you give yourself credit for. Give yourself permission to attempt again… and fail forward.
Unfortunately, self-doubt doesn’t permanently disappear forever, I wish. Though, if you cultivate a healthy habit of positive self-talk, dealing with self-doubt will be easier. It will surely be there when you are outside of your comfort zone and whenever you strive to do something amazing. Your doubts are only thoughts, not your future. Sure, something may go wrong. But if you never try, you’re losing an opportunity to improve yourself and your life. Believe in YOU!
For more information on #PerfectlyImperfect, please see my contributor bio!
Also published on Medium.