Imagine that you are sitting in your living room, enjoying time with loved ones, when some random stranger walks in and starts telling you that you are not good enough, you’re stupid, you’re fat, you’re ugly and you’ll never amount to anything.
It is probably safe to say that you would quickly tell this person to leave and never let them in your home again… if not call the cops to get this crazy person out your door!
So, if you would never let a stranger speak to you like that, why do you allow yourself to tell yourself those types of horrible things?
By the end of this blog post you will know the 7 essential steps to loving yourself a little more, so that you can have the confidence to pursue whatever sets your soul on fire… which will help you feel unstoppable!
While you have likely heard the term that in order to love anyone else you must first love yourself, sometimes this is easier said than done.
Many of us have experiences that have shaped our thoughts around our own being.
Maybe in the form of destructive relationships, family whose expectations you can never live up to, or even in the judgement of others that has managed to consume your thoughts.
The important thing to remember before we kick off our first step to loving yourself is to remember something that I have tried to live by for years and was reminded of again in my coaching experience with Rachel Hollis, and that is that, “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business!”
“When you control your thoughts and emotions, you control everything.” ~Marshall Sylver
The first key ingredient to mastering the art of loving yourself is to stop the negative self-talk. Seriously… STOP IT!
Stop allowing negative thoughts to rent space in your head.
You, my friend, are far too amazing, talented, powerful and capable to allow anyone or anything to cause you to think otherwise.
The biggest shift you can make in eliminating negative self-talk is to be conscious of when it is happening and what is causing it. If you start with a simple conscious act of awareness, you can at least control your environment around you to help limit the triggers.
When you start experiencing negative thoughts, try to shift your focus to what you are most grateful for. Which brings us to our next tip to loving yourself…
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” ~Zig Ziglar
A secret to not only loving yourself but also to living a fulfilled, rich life, is to focus on what you are most grateful for.
Next time you find yourself in a negative state of mind, allowing negative self-talk to sneak in, try telling yourself one thing you are so incredibly, over-the-moon thankful for. It‘s pretty tough to stay in a negative place when you are practicing gratitude.
A simple step in being intentional in your gratitude focus is to start each day by writing down the three things that you are most grateful for. It could be family, friends, experiences, and yes… even material things are ok. This is YOUR gratitude focus and no one else’s!
You get to decide what is important to you, what you are grateful for, and you do not need any else’s permission in doing so. The same goes for goals…
“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” ~Les Brown
When it comes to loving yourself, one easy way to do so is to set goals and stay in alignment with them.
While I am aware of the fact that goal setting is not for everyone, I also know that even those who say they aren’t goal-oriented have things that they want for their life. (Hello… wants you are striving towards equal goals!)
When you set your sight on something bigger than yourself… bigger than your current reality… bigger than the situation you are currently in… it gives you a target to aim for.
A life without goals is like an arrow without a target. You’re simply going to land wherever the wind takes you rather than where you intentionally want to be.
By stating what it is you want most out of this life and then by taking the steps necessary to get there, it helps you to be a fulfilled individual. Not necessarily because of the end goal, but because of the journey on your way up.
For some of us, goal setting comes very easy and has been part of our lives from a very young age. You over-achievers out there know that sometimes the obsession over goals and over the “next best thing” can actually be detrimental to the idea of loving yourself.
It can be really difficult to live a life that is always focused on some future ideal versus just allowing yourself to be present in your current situation.
Dan Sullivan, creator of Strategic Coach, stated that “The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.”
Think about that for a minute… whether you are a goal-oriented person or not, we have all overcome obstacles in our lives that we can reflect on and appreciate where we came from as compared to where we are now.
“Once you have accepted your flaws no-one can use them against you.” ~George R. R. Martin
Sometimes on the path to loving ourselves we look back on our lives and are not always proud of choices we’ve made or actions we’ve taken. It’s ok to have a past that is sprinkled with mistakes, or as I like to call them, lessons.
It is ok to misstep… to fall off course… to do things that are out of alignment to your true self… But it is NOT ok to remain in those places.
It is essential to your growth that you embrace the fact that you have imperfections. That you have acted in ways that are not in congruence to your values, as long as you take them as lessons learned and you try your darndest not to repeat history.
Every single person you encounter has a past, has a history, falls down, fails… but the difference between someone who loves themselves and someone who does not is that those who feel the love pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move on with life knowing that they are still worthy and capable of loving and being loved.
A person who practices self-love knows that they are not their circumstances. They know that life does not happen to them, but rather it happens for them.
They embrace the fact that they are human and with that comes mistakes, but they also know that regardless of what happens, they will carry on.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the most challenging things a person can do is to be authentically you.
In a social media driven world where you are able to show only the absolutely perfect parts of your life and leave the ugly stuff off camera, it’s easy to get caught under the mask of who you think people want you to be. Who you perceive as the ideal version of yourself.
I am here to tell you that most people would appreciate you showing the messes in your life, even more-so than the picture-perfect moments. And those that judge you for it, probably aren’t your friends to begin with.
Think about the different social media apps that have filters which allow you to alter your features, even out your skin-tone, give you killer lashes… all of that completely goes against the principal of practicing self-love!
I know some absolutely gorgeous women who rarely post a picture of themselves on social media without some goofy filter altering their appearance. Why is that?
Have we, as a society, became so judgmental that we as women are not comfortable showing our true faces? The God-given faces that we were born and blessed with?
Take into account your actions and behaviors. Are you the same person around your friends, clients, colleagues and family? Or do you feel that you need to alter your actions and behaviors based on who you are around?
Now, I’m not naive, I understand that certain conversations or language choices are reserved for certain audiences and that there is a time and a place for everything, but what I am referencing is you as a person.
Do you feel that you can be authentically you, regardless of where you are or who you are around?
I can speak from personal experience that by making the decision to be authentically you, that doors will open up that you could not have dreamed possible. By being true to who you are and by being vulnerable enough to speak to what you want out of life, the universe can’t help but conspire to make it happen!
Which brings me to my next point…
“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.” ~Rachel Wolchin
One of the best things you can do to expand the love you have for yourself is to surround yourself with great people. I mean the kind of people who not only encourage and support you, but who truly want to see you get the most out of this life.
There is a saying that states you are the combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So, who are you allowing yourself to become? Who are you giving your time to? Are you making the choice to level up and surround yourself with people who push you to be the best version of yourself?
If you find yourself surrounded by people who bring you down. Who are constantly the negative Nelly’s of the group, it may be time to reassess how much time you spend with those individuals.
I am not saying that a negative person is necessarily a bad person, but the cold, hard fact of the matter is that they are bad for your self-love.
Choose wisely when it comes to who you spend your time with, which brings me to the final way that you can practice better self-love…
“Always know the difference between what you’re getting and what you deserve.” ~unknown
When you look at how you can maximize the love you have for yourself, a great mindset to take is that you should never settle.
When you look at your life, what are the times that stand out to you in the most positive way?
Is it when you were doing “just ok?” Was it when you had accepted something for what it was versus what it could be? Was it in the form of mediocre relationships?
I highly doubt it!
The times in your life that stand out as the most positive and impactful tend to be when great things have happened. When you’ve had an exceptional friendship. When you are in a relationship that fulfills all of your wants and needs. When you are embracing all that life has to offer!
You need to know that whatever it is that you want out of life, whatever makes you most fulfilled, is entirely up to you to accomplish.
The knowledge in that power is truly amazing because it means that you are capable of doing ANYTHING, once you realize that you cannot do EVERYTHING.
Choose the anything’s that make you feel alive, fulfilled and full of self-love!
If you’d like to start living your dream focused life filled with gratitude and positivity, go here to get your free copy of Imagine. Act. Inspire., as seen on Amazon.com.
Featured photo courtesy of Brooke Cagle on Unplash