RE: Self-Love Skills
This might invite you to feel a little uncomfortable, but I know when someone isn’t practicing self-love. There are clear signals that tip me off.
But don’t for a second think I’m judging you – it’s just that I know what it’s like. I lived without self-love for most of my life. It was really only about ten years ago that I found the ability to give myself the love I so craved and deserved.
Let’s talk a look at some of the signals you might be able to recognize in yourself.
Signal #1: You Think Mean Thoughts about Yourself
Everyone has the occasional off day where they think that they’re stupid, fat, ugly, or worthless. But if these thoughts are on repeat throughout your day or if you’re thinking other unkind things, you aren’t practicing self-love. Instead, you’re creating a neural pathway of hate that becomes reinforced each time you think these thoughts…
- “I’m so stupid, why can’t I ever get anything right?”
- “I’m not attractive enough to be loved.”
- “I’m a failure and will never succeed in life.”
- “I don’t deserve happiness or good things in my life.”
- “I’m not as good as other people and will never measure up.”
Do any of these seem familiar to you? They sure do to me.
Signal #2: You Compare Yourself to Others
People who struggle with self-love often compare who they are to who someone else is. Maybe you pass someone on the street and think she’s prettier, smarter, or more put together than you. You see all of her great abilities or strengths and none of yours. As a result, you feel poorly about yourself.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
Six months into podcasting, one of my most well known contemporaries started a competing podcast and I went into freak out mode. A friend snapped me out of it, reminding me to keep my eyes on my own plate. Comparison can shake us up, I know this well!
Signal #3: You Don’t Stand Up for Yourself
When you don’t love yourself, you don’t deem yourself worthy of defending. Maybe this means that you didn’t stand up to the co-worker that lied to you, or you’ve accepted years of your spouse’s verbal abuse. Perhaps you haven’t said no to a “friend” that keeps borrowing money without paying it back or you tolerate a relative that says vicious things behind your back.
By contrast when you love yourself, you rise to your own defense. You’re not afraid to put up boundaries that protect you against your verbally abusive spouse or allow you to stand up to your lying co-worker.
Signal #4: You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
You might be wondering what getting enough sleep has to do with self-love. But if you’re always pushing yourself to edge of exhaustion and you don’t let yourself rest – you’ve got to know you’re setting yourself up for a fall.
When you get the sleep you need, you can be more creative, have a better relationship with your memory and have energy for all that you want to do in your life.
Signal #5: You Don’t Care for Your Body
Often when you struggle with self-love, this affects your relationship with your body. If you hate yourself, it’s hard to care for your body which is an extension of you. As a result, you may move too little and not regularly exercise.
This is so real and personal for me. My own issues with a lack of self love have hugely impacted my body. I ate myself up to nearly 400 pounds at one point. Only greater self-love has allowed me to make changes and I continue to work at it.
Signal #6: You’re Not Taking Time to Relax
You don’t have to devote hours of your day to a practice like meditation or yoga. But do consider how often you give yourself permission to relax. When was the last time you left empty space on your calendar just for you? How often do you get home from work only to start on another list of tasks? These choices could be caused by overwhelm but they may also point to the fact that you don’t feel like you can relax.
If you struggle to love yourself, you might be tempted to believe you’re worthy of love only if you’re doing something. You derive your sense of self-worth from your to-do list so the idea of slowing down feels overwhelming.
Signal #7: You Don’t Forgive Yourself
You laid awake last night remembering the silly thing you said to cashier. You thought it was a joke, but she didn’t laugh. Now you’re thinking that you’re so stupid. You forgot to pay the bills again and the water was shut off for a few hours. You forgot your co-worker’s husband’s name at the party last week.
It’s normal to feel embarrassed or stupid from time to time. But if you’re always replaying all of the ways you messed up, you might struggle with self-forgiveness.
Signal #8: You Let Others Dictate Your Choices
You’re always worried about what others think. You can’t seem to make a decision unless you’ve checked in with your spouse, best friend, co-workers, in-laws, and a host of other people. While waiting for approval, you don’t let yourself take that dance class or pursue that business degree you’ve always wanted.
Constantly seeking the approval and validation from others for your life choices is often a loud warning sign that you don’t love yourself. You already know what you need and want. You must trust that your loving heart is guiding you on the best path.
Self Autonomy is a big theme of content I create here at Me Skills, maybe you’d like to dig a deeper into that?
Signal #9: You Never Treat Yourself
When you love someone, you want to do nice things for them. Maybe you always give your spouse a massage after a hard day at work or you put little notes in your child’s backpack. Perhaps you always pick up the phone to listen to a friend when she calls you or you don’t hesitate to step in and help a co-worker who’s running behind on a deadline.
But ask yourself when was the last time you did something nice for yourself. Do you ever simply treat yourself to something lovely for no reason?
Perhaps you would enjoy a massage at the mall or to spend an hour at the beach reading. Maybe you would like a mani-pedi or take an evening to binge watch your favorite TV show. It doesn’t matter what the activity is. All that matters is it feels good to you.
Don’t be afraid to spend time or money on yourself to show love. You’re worth taking care of too and you deserve to be pampered.
Want To Boost Your Self-Love Skills?
If you’ve never focused on increasing your capacity to love yourself, now is the time. When you love yourself, you create a more joyful life and have the most amazing impact on others.
My journey towards greater self-love started with an invitation to see things differently. I was looking at love like a solvable equation – that I could never quite figure out. Thankfully, today I’ve given up the math test and simply given in to love that flows easily and completely. I invite you to access my Finally Love Yourself Workshop.
The workshop will cover:
- What self love really is
- How to be able to love yourself
- And finally, letting go of the need to be perfect!