Self-Love-Investing in You
On Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day, we take time to send a message to those we care about to let them know that we love and value them. Whilst I believe spontaneous demonstrations of love are much more genuine than those forced by commercialism, it has made me wonder why we don’t invest the same time and effort into loving ourselves.
You have probably heard of the saying ‘you can’t really love others until you love yourself’ and, again, I do not fully agree with this as often those I have met who have experienced self-doubt or low self-esteem can be the most loving and selfless people around. Maybe the meaning of this innocently intended comment is to ‘accept the love you think you deserve’ and those experiencing low self-esteem may struggle with the concept of ‘I deserve better’ or ‘I deserve the best’.
Having a good relationship with yourself is so important because if you’re always looking for others to affirm your sense of self-worth, chances are you may be disappointed.
Learning to love yourself provides the following benefits:
Self-esteem is all about your overall sense of self-worth. It’s about how much you like or appreciate all the little things that make you unique. We can all be critical of ourselves from time to time. But if you have low self-esteem, it can weigh you down and have a detrimental impact on your mental health.
When we feel good about ourselves, we’re less vulnerable to anxiety. That’s because when our self-esteem is higher, we tend to release less of the stress hormone cortisol into our bloodstream.
Modern life is stressful so, it’s important to learn to manage it. Reducing stress in your life is a great way to show yourself compassion.
Less chance of burnout
If you are a people-pleaser, if you’re always saying ‘yes’ to things, you risk becoming overwhelmed and burnt out. Learning to prioritise yourself and your own needs will help you cope with the demands on your time. It’s like the familiar flight safety instruction to put your own oxygen mask on first.
Studies suggest that when our self-esteem is higher, emotional wounds such as rejection and failure feel less painful.
Practising self-love, especially during uncertain times, can give you a greater sense of control over your life.
If we love ourselves, we tend to be more assertive and confident in our decision-making. We’re more likely to stand up for ourselves. And we’re less likely to tolerate abuse or mistreatment because we know we deserve to be treated better.
Remember in my last blog ‘Dealing with Procrastination’ I talked about the ‘self-deprecator’ who says, “I am so lazy right now” This procrastinator is the opposite of lazy, so when they don’t do something, they are extra hard on themselves.
How we learn to love ourselves depends very much on the reasons we have low self-worth in the first place. Perhaps in your early life you heard negative messages about yourself, in particular in reaction to times when you made mistakes or fell short of your goals. These could have come from parents, siblings, teachers, bullies, early romantic relationships or even friends. These early messages may have been that you were not good enough, that you must be perfect all the time, or that something was wrong with you. These messages can get encoded in our minds so much so that we start to actually believe them ourselves. As we develop and get older, these thoughts can become our own thoughts about ourselves which can then lead to negative, damaging internal self-talk – those pesky mind-monkeys!
By using NLP techniques, I can help you get to the bottom of these negative thoughts and feelings and focus on the reasons why you deserve better, why you deserve love!
If you are not ready for one-to-one coaching, working in a group is a great alternative and gives you the support and accountability from others within the group. You can hear other people’s experiences and perspectives on similar issues whilst learning tips and techniques to reset your internal wiring and learn to love and value yourself. A very worthwhile investment!