One of the incredibly important steps to developing sustainable self-confidence is to love YOU.
Now, I know the first thought that sprung into your head is yes, I do love myself, when I’m…, or, I will love myself, I just need to… Yeh, no. That doesn’t cut it! Let’s stop that dead in its tracks. Just tell that thought to kindly hang on for a minute, you’ll get back to it, as soon as you’ve finished reading this post. Thank you.
Ok, as I was saying, you need self-love in order to get to confidence. It’s not the only thing you need, we’ll get to the rest later in other posts, but it’s a foundational requirement that you simply can not skip. If you do, you can just try to fake confidence and continue on your merry way. In fact, you know what? If you don’t think it’s worth building true confidence, just click away from this post and google “How to Look Confident”, you’ll find an endless amount of resources on how to get that external appearance. But just know this, it’ll never be genuine, sustainable or, impactful self-confidence and faking confidence ends up with you feeling like a fraud and often pushing yourself from the comfort zone to the panic zone faster than Vin Diesel in XXX.
If you’re looking to build true self-confidence, or just to learn to love yourself which ultimately itself is a great goal, then keep reading, and keep an eye out for the next blogs.
Loving Yourself is a tricky one. You saw for yourself what happens when someone says “love yourself”. Immediately, you jump to the conditions you need to fulfil for that to happen, the things you need to work on, eliminate, improve, redesign, etc. All the boxes you need to tick for YOU to be able to love you. And truthfully, if you were to actually sit down and honestly list the things that you feel you would need to change in yourself to love yourself, that list would be endless.
Ultimately, you’ll find yourself thinking “There is just so much wrong with me… How could I POSSIBLY love myself?”
Yes, Loving Yourself is tricky. I know, I’ve been there. And I know that the question you keep asking yourself when someone says that you need to love yourself is simply… “How do I love myself?”
Well, I’ll tell you, but before I do, there are five things I want you to know before that:
1. Self-Love is unconditional. There is no self-love where there are conditions. This is a concept that a lot of people struggle with, because for most of us, we grew up thinking that love was dependent on behaving well, performing well, doing something that makes our care givers in some way happy with us. It’s unfortunate that we end up with this lesson but let’s face it, as adults, it’s our responsibility to unlearn bad habits to make sure that we are the best version of ourselves. And that applies to conditional love. I want you to understand something really important here. If there are conditions on love, it’s not genuine love but rather a system where you either manipulate someone or are manipulated into achieving a desired outcome. Did that hit hard? Good, it should.
2. Self-Love is nurtured and maintained. You don’t just find the switch, flip it, and get to bask in the eternal glow of Self-Love. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t work that way. In fact, like with every single relationship you will ever have, the relationship with yourself requires active effort on your part. Relationships turn stale when there are no gestures of love, romance, kindness, attentiveness, and that applies to your relationship with you. The longer you go without nurturing and maintaining that relationship, the more you take yourself for granted, neglect your own needs, and find yourself turning your back on you in favour of someone else.
3. Self-love requires empathy. Empathy specifically with yourself. In order to love yourself fully, you need to understand your pains, your behaviours, the reasons why you want what you want, to truly feel the feelings that you have, and come at them from a good place of wanting to listen to you with an open heart and open mind.
4. Self-Love does not mean self-confidence. Don’t get the two confused. You can absolutely have self-love without self-confidence. The reverse isn’t true, however. Self-love is a component you need for self-confidence, but you’re only a part of the way there when you learn to genuinely love yourself. So, don’t get too bogged down with the idea that you can only love yourself if you’re confident. It’s simply not true. Work on self-love first, and we’ll get you to confidence before you know it, step by step, the right way
5. Self-Love is not about being selfish. There is an idea that when you love yourself, you hold yourself “above” everyone else. You become more important than anyone else, your achievements become bigger, the space you hold for yourself is the biggest space. None of that is right. Self-Love is very simply about the relationship that you have with yourself. When you truly love yourself, you don’t think you’re better than anyone else. They don’t factor into the equation at all. You also develop incredible tools to be able to love others better, more fully, in a more healthy way. There is nothing selfish about loving yourself, quite the opposite, it’s one of the best things that you can do for yourself and those that you hold closest to your heart.
Ok Queen, with that being said, let’s get on to how I recommend you go about learning to love yourself. It’s a process, and you’ll need to go through it in order to get to where you need to be. But trust me on this one, the work is well worth it in the end!
Have Choosing You be a daily commitment that you make to yourself
If you had read my previous blog, you’ll have already made a commitment to choose you. If you haven’t read it, or if you’re not fully convinced that you need to choose yourself, let me say this. You are an adult now. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself fully, to get you to the place you need to be in order to be the happy, healthy, fulfilled person that can show up for herself and for others in a meaningful and impactful way. And to take care of yourself, you need to be willing to have your own back, listen to what you need, and to make sure you are meeting those needs. It’s as simple as that.
Create a habit where each day at whatever time works best for you, you remind yourself that you have made a commitment to Choose You. Confirm your decision to yourself, and remind yourself of the importance of the choice that you have made. As I said, the relationship with yourself is like the relationship with any other loved one. Think of this as repeating your vows to your spouse, everyday, but… to you instead.
Learn to Affirm Yourself by making your needs clear
One of the essential tools to loving yourself is learning to take care of your own needs. And you can’t do that if you’re letting people walk all over you, violate boundaries you want to uphold, and generally pulling you in every which direction.
Get comfortable with the word no. Remember, no is a complete sentence, and you should 100% expect those around you to respect your no, no matter what. The next time you come up against a situation where you need to speak up for yourself, do it. It will feel awkward, maybe even a bit awful, and that’s just because neither you nor those around you are used to you genuinely affirming yourself. But as with everything, your ability to affirm yourself will grow the more you practise. So, practise that no, and use it, Queen!
Find ways to Help Yourself
To learn to love yourself, you have to be willing to help yourself, instead of putting your wants and needs off because they’re too difficult or time-consuming to fulfil. You need to find ways to help yourself, whether it’s by scheduling your time properly so that you’re able to get to those needs, or reaching out for help. If helping yourself is a sticking point for you, give my blog I’m helping myself to me! a read.
Accept Yourself, warts and all
Ok, now the good stuff. Self acceptance is a key component to self love. Enough judgement. Get yourself to a place where you acknowledge the flaws that you have, and just make peace with the idea that you’re not going to be perfect. We all have flaws that we either can’t fix at all, or that we can’t address right now for some reason or another. All those flaws, along with the wonderful qualities, work together to make us the unique, incredible individuals that we are. It’s time to accept ourselves as the full package that we are, instead of judging the things that we don’t like, or flat-out rejecting aspects of ourselves.
Practice self-acceptance daily. Where you catch yourself thinking negatively about a trait you have, acknowledge the thought, thank it for popping up, and dismiss it as unnecessary. Yes, you’re not perfect. So what? Nobody is, and that’s completely fine by you.
If you want to know more on self-acceptance, give my blog Yes, Yours Warts & All! a read.
Create time to Love Yourself
Nurture that relationship with you, and make sure you’re doing it consistently. Set yourself a daily or weekly time where you show yourself the love that you deserve. Whether it’s an activity you particularly enjoy, something you want to do for yourself that you’ve been putting off, a treat you want to give yourself, make sure you’re making a consistent habit of showing yourself love. It could be something as simple as standing in front of the mirror every day and saying loving things to yourself.
Find what works for you, and truly shows you that you love and care for yourself. Hey, here’s one that might seem strange, but have you ever tried hugging yourself? Give it a try!
All right Queen, that’s it from me for now. I’ll be back next week with more, but in the meantime, drop me a comment below and let me know what do you think has most impacted on your ability to love yourself, and have you found something helpful in this blog to address it?
And remember, as always…
Fix your crown.