By Laura Tong
[success]If we truly love ourselves, in spite of our flaws, then we can love others in spite of theirs ~ Stephen Richards[/success]
Sounds selfish, doesn’t it?
You’ve been brought up to believe that decent folk put others first.
You don’t want to be thought of as being all about ‘Me, Me, Me’ because you’re not. No way!
Loving yourself can be a hard habit to adopt.
However, there’s every reason why you should take Stephen Richards’ wonderful advice to heart. Let me explain . . .
First of all, loving means appreciating, valuing, and respecting. Loving includes caring, supporting, and nurturing.
Loving is trusting, and believing in. Loving really is great!
And that’s exactly how you love partners, family and friends. That’s how you show you cherish them with every fibre of your being.
Loving yourself isn’t at the expense of others.
Loving yourself first allows you to set your limitless capacity for loving others free in the world.
Here’s how you can start loving yourself today…
1. Choose to be happy above all
Just as you go out of your way to spread joy to others, nurturing your own peace of mind is a cornerstone of self-love. Choosing to be happy means letting go of the need to be right. Winning can be such a loser’s game, regret being the ultimate trophy.
Gracefully accept, step aside and stay blissfully upbeat.
Release old arguments you may have tucked in your subconscious, let them drift away into the ether. Send them off with a delicious feeling of freedom, and a lightness of heart for being liberated from the negative feelings they encourage you to harbour.
Breathe. Enjoy the space you have created for fabulous feelings of love and joy.
2. Be your greatest investment
It’s time to stop stressing and fretting over all the things you think should be, do and have. It’s time instead for you to flourish, blossom, and shine.
Practice self-appreciation by getting back to the authentic you. Start by being honest with yourself about what genuinely motivates and inspires you. Get excited about what makes your heart pound. Welcome your passions. Seize upon your purpose.
Take one small step towards the life you really want every day. Just one will be plenty to get you there. Read inspirational material, sign up for an effective course, join a like-minded group, ask someone you admire to be your mentor.
Invest in your greatest asset, YOU.
3. Create space in your life
Reducing stress and overwhelm can be some of the strongest acts of self-love. Simplifying your overburdened ‘to-do’ and ‘to-be’ lists will bring an ocean of calm that will allow you to cope so much better with whatever your day brings.
Relinquish some responsibility, retreat from a host of commitments.
Slow down to your natural pace, the one where you can think with clarity and enjoy the moment. A great way to set the tone is to spend the first 15 or 20 minutes of each day just the way you want to, watching the birds, taking a ‘just for joy’ walk, cuddling your partner. Your time, your choice.
Reinforce your commitment to your own desires and happiness before stepping out to be whatever else you promised.
4. Keep only the best memories
Memories are a hugely powerful influence, because by their very nature, you remember them over and over. That repetition wears a groove in your thinking. Find a healthy way to deal with any recollections that bring you down.
Choose to keep only those memories that carve out a happy channel in your thinking, one you would joyfully skip along again and again.
By eliminating unwanted memories, you can move a long way towards losing regretful thoughts. By focusing on the great times, the happiest days, your best moments you will automatically encourage positive reflection and action to create blissful new memories.
5. Reinvent yourself
Words say so much. They’re your biggest give-away too. Look at the labels you describe yourself by, they’ll highlight the areas where you truly wish for change. Swap any that have a less than positive connotation for compassionate, more encouraging versions.
Follow up by taking positive steps to get closer to who you desire to be.
6. Build nurturing relationships
Love is right up there with air and water for sustaining life, a life worth living. Show yourself love by lavishing time and energy on those who reciprocate. Sensitively but firmly clear people from your life who do not value you as you wished to be valued.
By living as your authentic self, you’ll automatically be incredibly attractive and eminently lovable to quality, like-minded folk who will cherish your heart and enhance every moment you spend together.
Feeling loved and appreciated is the greatest confidence boost you’ll ever receive.
7. Be your own best friend
Like everyone, your inner critic can be anywhere from mean to crushing, depending on which direction the wind is blowing. By learning the habit of speaking to yourself positively as you would others, you can actively counter years of inner criticism.
Keeping a self-praise journal will also help you build an incredible store of positive reinforcements of your abilities, skills and qualities. Use this to triumphantly squash feelings of inner doubt or lack.
Making time for sufficient quality sleep and eating are simple but powerful acts of self-love.
Carrying this on into creating a comfortable and pleasant home and work environment that reflects your physical needs and personality will serve as a positive reminder that you choose YOU.
Other reminders can be quick and easy such as regularly applying hand cream with care or a soothing neck or hand massage throughout the day.
An occasional meaningful gift to yourself, such as something you can use or wear frequently will further reinforce your habit of self-love.
8. Be your own champion
It’s easy to lose your voice in the desire to be polite, thoughtful, considerate. Yep, that’s tricky. But by holding back on expressing your views and opinions, you are inadvertently eroding your inner belief in yourself.
Be bold. Show your core beliefs respect by sharing them appropriately with others and automatically build your confidence in their validity.
Question everything that challenges your happiness. Measure any ideas, rules and expectations against your own desires, values and beliefs. Any that fall short, should be adroitly shown the door! You know you deserve this.
9. Delight in being human
It’s reward time! And what better reward than cutting yourself some slack? Lighten up on mistakes, missed deadlines, and crazy notions of how much you should take on.
Whatever it is that shows you’re human, delight in it. We all make mistakes, we all fail, that’s part of life’s deal.
Learning to gently laugh at yourself instead of chastise is the greatest gift you can give your energy and enthusiasm for trying again.
Finding an affectionate, compassionate way to acknowledge you’ve goofed, will empower you to give it your all a second time without fear of self-recrimination.
10. How loving yourself transforms your world
Falling out of love with yourself is a relationship bust up your happiness doesn’t need in life. After all, you are the only person you can guarantee will be with you to the end.
Build the greatest habit of all, self-love, with one small action at a time. Start with one or two of the strategies above. Add in a few more as and when you’re ready.
By being a nurturing, appreciative and supportive self-friend you can rediscover your inner sparkle. You can light up the world together, you and yourself. Now, that’s one heck of a powerful team.
As always, thanks for reading and commenting and we’d love you to share this with your peeps. You guys rock!
[success]Bio: Laura & Mark are on a mission to help you love yourself. Get 5 Free Mind Decluttering Tools that Simplify Your Day and Make You Excited to Roll Out of Bed in the Morning [/success]