June 21, 2016
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Sometimes we do not like certain things about ourselves. We judge. We say un-loving words and sentences out loud or in our head and then start feeling bad about ourselves. The problem with this behavior runs deeper than the apparent rejection of a single action or trait. The problem is the act of rejection itself. NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR FOR WHAT (yes caps is necessary). When we reject ourselves we create a cage for ourselves. We put up an invisible wall. We are locking away part of us and through that process we are impeding the natural flow of life. A natural process where events and emotions are coming and going. By judging we are resisting. The action or trait we criticize is solidified – we actually strengthen it by rejecting it, by putting energy and focus into it.
I suggest that instead we begin to find unique ways to accept what happened and move on, let it dissolve and allow for learning to happen. Effortlessly. When we watch our behaviour and start noticing certain things from a place of observation and acceptance the results can be amazing.
There is another dimension to it: it never feels good when we are rejecting or criticizing ourselves. It hampers our ability to feel good as we are and as the next step: to go out into the world and give what we have to offer. If we are constantly busy criticizing ourselves we have no resources to allocate to doing something loving and useful for others. On the other hand when we are loving with ourselves we can let this love extend out to others. Doing good becomes natural and an extention of who we are. If you put color into a bowl of water then it will take on that color. The bowl is the world and the color is us. Let us appreciate the beauty of that color and keep it strong. How we feel about ourselves affects SO many people, we can not even imagine. This is our responsibility.
What can we do?
As I stated in the beginning it is small things that affect the way we feel about ourselves. Tiny steps! Realizing moments of where self-acceptance is lacking and then giving it graciously, receiving it gracefully:
- Find a phrase you like and then start using it day in day out. Use it often.
“Yes, I have made a mistake. I still love you.”
“Yeah, you have this or that flaw… and that’s just fine.”
Acknowledge what has happened and then express acceptance towards yourself regardless.
- Hug yourself if you want – anything to express that self-love to yourself. Expressing it physically is powerful. Another thing I like doing is touching my chest where my heart is and just making a few small circles with the palm of my hand. Small expressions of love are powerful.
- Start writing a success-diary – Get a little notebook and every evening, write down 5 things you did well that day. Write in sentences or just list the tasks and accomplishments you feel good about. This is a great little habit. Just five things you did good or that you managed to do that day. Even if it is a small thing you can feel good about it. Keep focusing on the positive.
- Right now. Write down 10 things you love about yourself or things you have accomplished in your life so far that you are proud of. Get a piece of paper and do it. Paper is stronger than digital. It only takes a few minutes and it really helps. Then evaluate how difficult it was for you to do that exercise – Did you get 10? Was it hard? If so it might be important to repeat this exercise some time later to keep putting your focus on the positive.
Okay..Once you give yourself some love: can you actually allow it? How does it feel to receive self-acceptance or self-love from yourself? Really feel deeply inside and ask yourself: “Can I allow that self-love? What would happen if I accepted myself completely, as I am right now?” Imagine how your life would be in a year from now if you loved yourself more.
Give yourself as much love as you think you deserve in any moment – plus a little extra. Keep increasing the dose constantly. The more accepting and loving you grow of yourself – no matter what you do or what happens, no matter how other people treat you – the happier you will become. You will also notice yourself becoming increasingly loving and accepting of others. Have a beautiful day full of little opportunities for loving yourself!
Audio Recording Of This Article
Growing up I had a terrible sense of Self-Love. I was a complete perfectionist, always beating myself up and never happy with the results I produced. This led to me feeling frustrated most of the time and not following through with projects because „I could never get it right“. I was afraid of not being good enough. Other people unconsciously picked this up and they too did not treat me as well as I would have liked. Not fun. If you are treating yourself poorly that is an invitation for other people to treat you poorly as well. Why should anybody respect you if you do not respect and love yourself?
Let’s imagine a different situation:
You love yourself. You have challenging but realistic expectations for yourself and you fulfill them most of the time. You respect yourself. You accept yourself. Suddenly someone treats you poorly. What do you do? Firstly you are not really that affected. Because you have your own love and respect. Secondly: you do not tolerate it. If you do not tolerate you yourself treating yourself poorly, why should you let anybody do that. Once you know how good it feels to treat yourself good and love yourself there simply is no way you are going for either treating yourself poorly or accepting other people’s bad treatment. It’s a no-brainer, once you have experienced on a regular basis how good it feels to be treating yourself amazing you just want to keep doing it. Nobody should be able to treat you as well as yourself. If you find someone who treats you better than yourself then you’re doing something wrong.
So here are some simple and actionable tips for developing your sense of Self-Love, Self-Respect and Self Acceptance.
- Reward yourself regularily for little and big successes. Good job! Well done!
- Forgive yourself for failures. Really learn to fully forgive yourself. The price you have to pay for not forgiving yourself is simply too high. Forgive. It. Feels. Good.
- Learn from your failures (also called learning experiences). Develop a constructive mindset.
- Find more and more things you love about yourself. Make a liste every day. Think about 3 things you love about yourself right now.
- Do something good for yourself every day. Find out what feels amazing to you and do more of that. Eat something healthy, really enjoy a shower, go for a walk, meet with friends, say something nice to yourself. Feel how good it feels.
- Value your opinion about yourself over other people’s opinion of you. Not easy? Practice. You are the #1 authority on your life. You write the script. Everybody else is just an actor in your movie.
- Have clear rules for when you have succeeded. By YOUR definition, not by other people’s. If you say something is a success – it is. Period. Even if your boss or your friends say otherweise. Your reality. Once this is firmly established you can gently open to feedback and start learning. From a strong stance and with you valuing your opinion over other people’s.
- Make it easy for yourself to succeed. Set attainable and clearly defined goals so you know when you have succeeded. Create many little opportunities to succeed, like making your bed in the morning as you get up. Little successes create momentum.
Trying even only of of the above will help you to be on the way to developing more Self-Love, Self-Respect and Self-Acceptance every day. Enjoy the increase in your quality of life. Yes!
Good job reading this and hopefully now thinking about implementing some of it. Investing time and energy in constructive and practical self-development is a great habit to cultivate. As is consciously practicing Self-Love. Have an outstanding day because you deserve it!