We are all works in progress every single day! Yes, I have made a commitment to be kinder and gentler to myself and to treat myself with love but that doesn't mean that I don't slip up every once and a while. When I find myself sliding down the slope of negative behavior and not-so-nice thoughts I try to bring myself back with a few simple actions. Whether you are just embarking on your self love journey or, like me, you need the occasional re-boot here are three simple actions to help you nourish the self love inside you.
1. Imagine Yourself As Another Person
Hear me out on this one. Many of us use self-hate speech regularly without even realizing how damaging it can be over time. Saying things like "I'm so fat," "I could never be as smart as her," or "I could never get a job like that" may seem harmless but each time we speak like that it chips away at our self confidence until there is nothing left. Now, imagine you are saying these things to another person: "You are so fat," "You could never be as smart as her," or "You could never get a job like that." How would you feel if you were on the person on the receiving end of those statements? If you couldn't say it to a friend then you shouldn't say it to yourself. Try to be aware of when the negative thoughts come up, be mindful of them and try to replace them with something positive. Instead of "I'm so fat," try highlighting a feature of yours that you like maybe it's your eyes or strong legs. Instead of "You could never be as smart as her" acknowledge your strengths and avoid comparing yourself to others. Instead of "I could never get a job like that," focus on what you have accomplished and create a plan to go after what you want in your career. Ultimately, treat yourself with the same kindness, care and support that you would extend to a friend or loved one.
2. Accepting Compliments Instead of Deflecting Them
For the longest time my gut instinct was to deflect a compliment instead of accepting it gracefully. I was acting out of a place of insecurity because at the time I couldn't believe that someone would really think such nice things about me. The compliments just didn't feel true or the achievement they were acknowledging didn't always feel real and I was afraid that I didn't deserve the praise. Making the choice to accept a compliment, to hear the positive words someone is saying, is an act of self love. There are still times when I don't believe what someone is saying but now instead of deflecting or turning the compliment away I look them in the eye and thank them. As we continue to work on ourselves, we open ourselves up to love from others. Remember that you deserve to feel good, you deserve to be acknowledged and there are many amazing things about you and inside you -- let yourself shine!
3. Take Action
I have learned that when it comes to encouraging self love my actions are just as important as my mental state. Taking care of yourself from the inside out and making choices you are proud of will make it easier to love yourself. When we take the time to do something for ourselves we are letting ourselves know that we matter, that we are enough. I like to take time on the weekend to meal prep; putting thought into my meals and making sure I am set for the week saves me time and stress which is an act of self love to my future self. I take time in the morning to get ready for the day, my personal grooming is important to me and shows that I care about my skin, hair and body -- this is not about outward appearance, it is about dedicating time to making myself feel good. Sometimes something as simple as taking walk -- even if it's just around the block! -- gives me time to clear my head, take time for myself and appreciate the things around me.
Self love is an ongoing journey, it takes practice and patience. Make a commitment to yourself and feel the love bloom! #selfloveistruelove #selfloveisnotselfish #mefirst