Because so many people are unclear about what self-love is and often confuse it with selfishness and conceit I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify what loving yourself truly means, why it’s important, and how to know for sure if you’re loving yourself or not.
Self-love is the core from which self-confidence, self-esteem and self-trust spring. Self-love is knowing who you are, where you’ve been and what you’ve done and loving yourself, not in spite of it, but because of it. Loving yourself is liking YOU, being your own best friend and knowing that you’ve always “got your back”.
A solid foundation of Self Love gives you your power to love others more deeply and completely and to create the life you thought you could only dream of having. Loving yourself is not selfish, in fact, it’s just the opposite. Until you love yourself the love you give others ends up being conditional.
Here are 5 definite signs that you love yourself.
You can use this list every morning to remind yourself what self-love looks like and set the standard for the day. You can also use it when you are deciding whether or not to join and organization, volunteer or say “yes” to someone.
- You take action. Procrastination is an act of self-sabotage born of fear. The fear that you are not capable of doing what needs to be done, the fear that the action you take will not yield the results you want, or from the desire to complete the task perfectly (perfectionism). All of these fears represent a lack of confidence in yourself which is a symptom of not loving yourself. A new favorite saying of mine is “Perfect is the enemy of done.”
- You define and design your life. Your days include activities that provide you with a sense of fulfillment, joy and purpose. Filling your days with tasks that are on your “should” list so as not to disappoint others or to impress others is “people pleasing” and “approval seeking” behavior which indicates that you DO NOT approve of (love) yourself. Make sure that every day you have time for you. Schedule time on your calendar (that cannot be moved) for activities that feed your soul.
- You ask for what you want. You understand that you deserve what you want. You are not willing to settle for less in your career or your relationships. You express yourself confidently, asking for what you want and expecting to get it as a win/win with all others involved. A belief that you cannot have what you want or that you shouldn’t have what you want because it may rob others of their desires leads to self-sacrifice and resentment. I see many women have a REALLY hard time with this, so I suggest starting small first. Ask for help with the dishes or 15 minutes of solitude. If this is hard for you notice what messages that you’re telling yourself before you ask. Are you worried that you will be an inconvenience? Understand that this self-talk is a result of not believing that you are worthy.
- You feel and KNOW that others opinions and emotional reactions to you is about them. Because you love your Self you can allow others to be who they are without making it about you. There will always be people who judge you but you are so comfortable with who you are that their judgments simply do not matter to you because you understand that their judgments are based on their fears about themselves and have nothing to do with you. This can be a challenge to REALLY understand because as young children we gauged how we felt about ourselves by how others reacted to us. Self-love requires you to have your own experience of who you are independent of others.
- You take care of yourself. You eat the foods and drink the drinks that support a healthy and energized body. You bless yourself with exercise. Making time for yourself and honoring your commitments to yourself is a sure sign of self-love. Breaking your own commitments to yourself deteriorates your self-trust and self-love.
Indications that you do not love your Self:
- You are in a less than satisfying relationship and justifying it.
- You are in a less than satisfying job/career and justifying it.
- You set goals or intentions but you lose interest in them, lacking perseverance.
- You doubt your ability to create the life you want.
- You sabotage your own efforts.
- You are indecisive, worrying that you will make the wrong decision or you worry about what others will think about the decision you make.
- You are paralyzed by the fear of failure or even by the fear of success.
- You avoid new activities for fear you will not do them perfectly.
- You are in relationships that are conditional, judgmental, gossipy, passive-aggressive, codependent, angry and resentful.
- You are highly judgmental of others.
- You engage in negative “self-talk” calling yourself names are defining yourself as incapable.
- You feel stuck.
- You put off self-care making others a priority over you.
Of course loving yourself does not mean you NEVER engage in the unloving acts and ALWAYS engage in the loving acts. Do not get caught up in perfectionism over this. You do however want to be spending significantly more time in loving acts rather than the unloving acts.
If you are ready to quit sabotaging your, playing small and settling for less than you want and deserve I invite you to register for your sessions to fall in love…with your Self and make 2017 and the rest of your life better than ever before.
Here’s to you loving yourself enough to say YES to you,