“You are always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” ~ Diane Von Furstenberg
Since quarantine I have been alone a lot. I have noticed that my self talk is not always positive. Ok, I have way to many “Why did you ….?, You should be …..”, you get the picture. I realized that I do not talk to myself like I would someone I love and that I needed to work on my self-love.
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
When it comes to close relationships, we give them a confidence boost when they do not feel their best. We are supportive of them when they fail at something. We encourage them when they are unsure of taking on new challenges. We are an all-around uplifting influence in their lives. These positive behaviors toward our friends are probably as natural as breathing. So why is it so hard to do this for ourselves?
Basically, we all know there is great value in loving ourselves. Self acceptance, self esteem, and self compassion can get us through painful times in our lives, help us to bounce back from failure, teach us to love others better, and help us reach our goals. For many of us, however, self love is not a given. It can often feel, further, that we have very little control over the thoughts pinging around in our minds. The internal logic of that little voice in our heads that tells us we are not good enough does not always respond to reason.
“When things change inside you, things change around you.” ~ Unknown
So how do we show up to self love? Just like anything else, we practice. I have done the research and picked 11 simple and powerful practices that can help you develop a healthy sense of self love.
Strike a power pose. Your body language not only shows how you are feeling in any moment, research shows that it also creates how you feel. So make regular adjustments to your body language throughout the day so that your body is saying, “I’ve got this!”. Making this a daily practice will soon train your muscles and your nervous system for self love.
Visualize your best self. In many ways, your brain does not distinguish real from imaginary. If you imagine yourself in your best light your brain will process it as real and cause changes in your self-belief and confidence. So visualise yourself in a variety of situations, acting as your best self would act, and seeing the results you want. The key is to do this often. It is the repetition that wires the brain.
Use Positive self-talk. Negative self-talk can bring us down and eat away at our self love. So catch yourself as often as you can in the act of negative self-talk and say something positive about yourself instead. It might be regarding your appearance or something about your nature, or it might even be a reminder of something good you once did. You could create a list of positive things to draw upon, which makes it much easier to change a negative into a positive.
Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself in ways that show that you matter. Take some time out, have a hot bath, take a walk in the park, treat yourself to something new that makes you feel good and declare that you are doing it because you’re worth it.
“No one is you and that is your super power.” ~ Unknown
Celebrate your uniqueness. Stop trying to be like everyone else. Conforming sends a signal that says, ‘who I am is not enough so I’m trying to be like someone else instead’. Make a choice to celebrate what is unique and special about you. Let the world see your uniqueness and individuality and learn to be proud of it.
Love thy selfie. Say, “I love you” or “I am enough” every time you see your reflection in a mirror. Say it when you brush your teeth, do your makeup, dry your hair, and even when you catch your reflection in a shop window.
Do not compare your ‘behind the scenes’ with everyone else’s ‘highlight reel’. We mostly see people at their best, or at least what we think is their best, but we all too aware of what we look like first thing in the morning, or how scared or vulnerable we feel at certain times, or how much we might lack confidence on the inside. But here is the bottom line, everyone has stuff going on.
Tend to your wants and needs. Learn to look after your own needs. Many of us get into the habit of looking out for everyone but ourselves. A mark of self love is to care for your own needs too. You can do both!
Do not be afraid to show weakness or vulnerability. Be courageous enough to show your weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Let yourself be seen. If you want people to like you, then let them see You! Everyone feels weak and vulnerable at times so the courage to not hide is a strength. And in having that courage, you inspire others to let themselves be seen too.
Have the courage to ask that your needs be met. We all have needs that have to be met, whether these are at work, in our relationships, or in life in general. When we are lacking a healthy self love we become fearful of asking that our needs be met. Practice having the courage to ask. It might mean risking rejection sometimes, but it is better knowing that you had the courage to ask than living in fear of rejection.
Repetition! Repetition! Repetition! Whatever your self love practice, practice it every day. Repetition is how to wire brain networks for self love. This is how to learn the habit of self love.
Self love, for most of us, is not innate. It ia practice and you can start right now. “You are entirely up to you.” ~ Unknown
*** Repost of my Capital City Hues newspaper article of August, 2020. ***