Easy Ways to Practice Self-Love and Why It Matters
I ask this question often to my clients, and I often get a horrified start back, eyes screaming ‘please don’t’ make me do this’. What was your reaction? Be honest, think about it. My clients are brilliant, successful, smart, interesting people who more often than not don’t like themselves very much. I do not say this to shame, or judge, I say this to draw attention to the fact that we’re not really encouraged to like ourselves very much, and I think that that’s a problem.
Because when you like someone you treat them with respect, you want the best for them, you’re willing to put in the work for the relationship, you have fun, and life just doesn’t feel like a huge drag. Which is the exact opposite of how we often treat ourselves. How many times have you called yourself lazy, bullied yourself into some action, thought that you’re not good enough, called yourself a fuckhead or wanker, in the past hour, now think about the past day? When was the last time you said something nice to yourself? Now imagine that it was someone else treating you this way….how much energy would you want to put into the relationship?
Again, I’m not judging – learning to like myself has been a long-ass journey and one that hasn’t been easy, but it’s so worth it. Am I everyone’s cup of tea? No. Do I care? Doing my best not to! Am I my own cup of tea? Yes! Do I care? Every single day.
I didn’t like myself for years, years. To the point that I couldn’t even look in the mirror – I actively hated everything I saw. One of the things I remember most from my mum, was her plea to be nicer to myself. I was able to get away with this for years because I used the perfect excuse of being too busy. And then my excuses ran out. I was living in Lusaka, Zambia running a solar company. It’s a small city and then 7+ years ago, it wasn’t super packed with things to do…which wasn’t so bad the first year as I worked 90+ hours a week. Then I broke up with my boyfriend of 7-years, we worked together so I didn’t necessarily want to work all the time + the company was starting to make it and I could take more time off.
I suddenly had more time but it was much more time with me and it was horrible. I actively couldn’t stand to be on my own and that terrified me. When I get scared I try to get curious instead. And, so, I started my personal journey to liking myself. And, wowser – it’s been a lot and I want to share with you how you can play with this (and be way more efficient with it than I was).
If you beat yourself up, ppl are always telling you how hard you are on yourself, if you set impossible expectations for yourself – I’m talking to you. I sometimes hear from people (and I’m guilty of this too), that the only way they progress is through tough love, and I’m here to call Bullshit on that. Imagine how much further you’d go if you had yourself in your corner.
So here are some ways to dip your toe in the ocean of liking yourself:
- Decide you’re going to like yourself – make a choice and stick with it. Commit to liking yourself and it’s much easier to start.
- Meet yourself with curiosity instead of criticism? When was the last time someone screaming at you resulted in your best work, I bet never?
- Mind your words. Stop the jokes about how annoying you are, stop the thought train that runs away with how you’re the most awful being in the whole world, stop being disrespectful of yourself. Choose new words.
If you’re curious about this work, take a look at my five-day curiosity challenge to start the process, or email me with your questions, also check out my group program because revealing who you are is what Living Vibrantly is all about.
You can’t bully yourself into the life you want. If you think you can, great for you, I’m probably not the person to support you. It hasn’t worked for me. The biggest breaks I see for clients and myself are when they can stand to be in the same metaphorical room as themselves. When they start to see themselves as worthy, and valid, and someone they’d like to be around. I just want the same for you.