There is a lot of talk about love. There is a lot of focus on showing our love for others.
Yes, that is important. It is a good feeling to be valued and appreciated by another. Likewise, showing that love and appreciation for others is a nice thing to do.
What About Self Love?
I feel self love is even more important.
Self love fills us up. It enables us to give more to others.
Self-love brings us satisfaction, and inner-peace
When we are more accepting of ourselves, our true self shines through. This is confidence in motion.
What is Self Love?
Firstly, let’s think about love for another. I feel this is much easier to define.
To me, love is about valuing someone and accepting them. Their traits, their strengths, their quirks. Warts and all.
When we love someone, we care about them. We want the best for them — in terms of health and happiness. We cherish them.
When we love someone, we let them know we love them. And we let them know we care, value and cherish them. Through our words and our actions.
Well, self love is exactly that, only directed toward ourselves.
Think about it. If we were to care about our health and happiness. If we were to value and appreciate our qualities, warts and all. If we were to show ourselves that we cared, through our words and actions. That would be self love.
And if we were to truly do all those things, with love, we would improve our self acceptance. And in turn, our confidence. Because we would see, know and believe that we are worthy.
Why Practice Self Love?
Thinking about the ways we currently show our loved ones how we care for them, there is lots of ways to practice love.
But when it comes to self love, I feel there can be connotations of being selfish.
I want to bust that myth.
Say it with me now… Self love is not selfish!
The analogy of putting our own life mask on before helping others is a good example. It is also one where I know some people are horrified at the thought of saving themselves before another.
But picture this. If we run ourselves down, if we neglect to nurture and care for ourselves, then we are showing up as one who needs saving, and one who needs care.
Whereas when we care about ourselves first we have more to give. We don’t need the help of others to feel loved.
Instead, we show up as a true version of ourselves, ready to experience, ready to give and take all that life has to offer.
Self Love How-To
Not sure where to start?
Here are three easy ways we can get in the habit of practicing self love.
1. Feed Your Brain Positivity
When we don’t feel confident, or worthy, our thoughts can be destructive.
Being able to recognise this pattern can help. Once we are aware, we can then try adding a positive comment to the mix.
In time, our ability to trust and believe the positive comments will become a habit. And the habit can turn into our routine.
Easy ways to feed our brains with positivity include reading uplifting writing or quotes, affirmations, dreaming of our goals and mentally complimenting ourselves.
2. Prioritise Yourself
Thinking, saying and doing that which puts our needs and wants first.
As a former (recovering) people-pleaser I know this can be really hard. It takes time and practice.
Again, it is about forming habits through progress, until it becomes our way of being.
Examples include saying no to invitations or activities that we are not interested in.
If saying no is too hard, try saying ‘yes, when’.
Person: Will you do this (insert request)…
Me: Yes, when I have done (insert my priority), I’d be happy to help out
Another example of self-prioritisation is doing the things on our to-do list that bring us most joy first.
There’s many weekends where I would focus on responsibilities such as cleaning the house, gardening, groceries etc… first. This resulted in getting to the end of weekends feeling like I did not get any me-time or any down-time. Resentment grew.
I told myself I couldn’t relax until the jobs were done. But this simply isn’t true.
I can do something fun or relaxing. Then some jobs. Relax some more, do some more jobs.
Recognising that feeling free to do the things I enjoy is a responsibility to me. I owe it to myself. You owe it to yourself.
It doesn’t come naturally. We’re told to eat our dinner before our dessert. But it is fun to eat dessert first.
Why not try it?
3. Do Things You Enjoy, Regularly
Being aware of the things that makes us feel happy, or relaxed, or joyful is a start.
If we have a go-to list of activities that light us up, then when we find the time for self-love, we can get straight to it.
It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant either. Reading a book, enjoying a cup of tea with your feet up, going for a walk outdoors, meditation, listening to our favorite music…
The place to start is being aware of how we like to enjoy our down-time.
The next step is… just do it!
I encourage you to think about ways you can practice self love.
Then feel your self acceptance, worthiness and confidence grow.
What is one thing you can do today, or even this week that will increase your self love, and in turn, your confidence?
Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to know ♥