Do you love yourself? I mean really love yourself. Like, when there's no one listening to your answer, do you love yourself? Sometimes it seems hard to tell if your actions and thoughts are products of self love or self loathing, but when we're really honest with ourselves, we can tell the difference. More importantly, we can feel the difference. I'm sure you understand the importance of self-love. Imagine what a negative impact it would have on your life to be married to someone who constantly put you down, called you bad names, be-littled you, didn't believe in you, and downright hated you. Worse than that, imagine that that negative and toxic person always making you feel inadequate... is you. Imagine hating yourself. How are you expected to do great things in this life if you hate yourself? Having been someone who has overcome a great deal of self sabotage and self deprecation, here's what I've learned about self love or lack thereof. Here are 9 questions to help you explore the most important relationship in your life.
- Do you feel like you're always putting yourself second to everyone else's needs? This is a sure sign that you're not loving yourself enough. How are you expected to get where you want in life if you're always putting other people first? It's time to show up for yourself for once. I'm not saying that you should stop helping people, but there's a healthy balance to be found here. Learn to say no once in a while. Remember that every time you say yes to someone else, you're saying no to yourself. Don't be selfish or rude, but recognize that its okay to say no if it's not in your heart.
- Are you really hard on yourself? Especially when you fail at something? Our inner critic can be a nasty bitch. Pardon my french. Everyone fails from time to time. Let me repeat that again. Every. One. Fails. I could sit here listing the thousands of ways in life that I've failed over the years, but instead of wasting your time, I'll tell you this: Your success is related to how you handle your failures and setbacks. Successful people know that failure is inevitable. Its how you learn to handle failure that sets you apart from the rest. You can't wallow and get down on yourself every time you fail, or you simply won't get anywhere. So, focus on the positive. It's just a mistake. We all make them. If you find that you're often hard on yourself, ease up a little. It's just life after all.
- Do you weigh your self-worth on your body image? With constant pressure from the media, the need to look or be perfect is outrageous these days. I'd be lying if I said that I haven't succumbed to the enormous pressure from society in the past. I have. Having gone through my share of obsession with caloric intake, makeup, and overall appearance, I would like to help you too. Know this: it doesn't have to be this way. You do not have to be obsessed with your appearance. Know from the bottom of your heart that you are worth so much more than:
-The number on the scale
-The face in the mirror
-The clothes you wear
-The colour of your skin
-The thickness of your hair
-The size of your muscles
You are. And it's high time you started to believe it, too. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
- Are you constantly comparing yourself to others? Especially now-a-days with Facebook and Instagram, we are constantly bombarded with pictures of people holding hands, smiling, laughing, jumping on a beach, seemingly having the perfect lives. The truth is, people only put out what they want people to see. Everyone out there (even the people whose lives seem perfect) are fighting their own battles. Every picture is meant to be flattering so it serves their ego. Otherwise Facebook would be filled with pictures of people eating cheesies in their bed watching Netflix. But that hardly makes their lives seem adventurous and happy. Don't compare your life to other people's lives. Ever. The truth is, you know nothing about a lot of these people's lives and a lot of them may not even be happy. Comparing your life to others only makes you feel inadequate and does not serve you any good. Just stay focused on loving your life.
- Are you honest with your emotions? Do you take responsibility for your emotions or are you constantly playing the blame game? It is okay to be angry, upset, or sad. Once you recognize that it is just an emotion, you can learn to sit with it, feel what needs to be felt and move on. This is really important in learning how to love yourself. Allow yourself to feel. Ignoring your emotions may be a sign that you're not loving yourself enough.
- Can you forgive yourself? Like mentioned earlier, we all make mistakes. Learn to forgive yourself so you can move on from them. Forgiveness is the key to letting go. Until you forgive yourself for your mistakes, you will not be able to move forward. Forgiveness is simply making peace with where you are. It's a very important step in truly loving yourself.
- Do you take care of your body? There is a difference between self love and self care. But, looking deeper into your self care habits tells a lot about how much you love yourself. The truth is, when you love yourself, you want to be good to yourself. You want to treat your body to the best of the best. People who love themselves don't smoke, overindulge, and laze around watching tv all day. People who love themselves take good care of their body through a balance of exercise, healthy food, nature, and rest.
- Do you follow your heart? If not, whose heart are you following? You have to be true to your path. It may not make sense to anyone else, but it doesn't have to. If you feel like you're not following your heart, you're likely not loving yourself enough to trust your intuition and inner guidance. Your heart knows what you need to be happy, have the courage to follow it.
- Do you make time for yourself? Do you take the time to do the things you love doing? This is really important. A lot of people feel that its more important to get their check list finished but it is just as important to make time for yourself, too. Whether its reading a book, skiing, practicing yoga, going for a bike ride, or sitting by the ocean, people who love themselves make time for themselves.
Regardless of how you may have answered any of these questions, know this: you CAN learn to love yourself completely. In fact, its not even hard to do. It's just a matter of acquainting yourself with the right people, tools, and techniques to help you master your own self love practice.