Self-love has been a topic that has been coming up a lot in my coaching practice. A lot of the time when we trace down the route of why we don’t keep promises to ourselves, of why we constantly overwhelm ourselves, of why we don’t know how to say no. It comes down to lack of self-love.
I personally did not know what unconditional love felt like until just a few years ago. I think a lot of people think that this is something natural that we should know how to do. But unless it’s been modeled for us, we may not know what it looks like.
For me, my parents did not know how to express unconditional love, or at least I interpreted it that way. You cannot teach what you do not understand or what you haven’t had in your life. Many times our parents try to give us what they think it is, by giving us money, time, presents, advice, but if they do not have unconditional love for themselves which takes a long difficult journey in my opinion, then they do not know how to model it. No matter how many times they tell us, if it is not modeled properly we do not really know.
You know the old saying do as I say not as I do and we all know how that works out right? So why is it so important? Why do we have to learn how to love ourselves unconditionally?
I want to answer this with an example from a coaching session. My client kept having this issue where she would not follow through with her original plan of self-care, or starting something new, basically things that would help her get into a better situation overall.
I coached her on her thoughts, and we made it very clear that some of the thought she had been having were holding her back and we release them. So it was interesting why she wasn’t still sticking to the plan.
As we dug, we found that she didn’t love herself so she kept giving up on herself. Think about it this way, if we have an angry coach who we don’t know cares about us, and they ask us to work hard for them, if you don’t know that they love us, or on the other hand we think they might not like us at all, chances are when the going gets tough we are going to give up.
So if we apply that to ourselves, why would we want to do something for someone who doesn’t love us when we know we won’t be appreciated, and it won’t really make a difference anyway. When I told her this it seem to strike her like a bolt of lightning.
So this is why we need to be in our own corner. Then the question becomes how do we cultivate this elusive self-love? How do we love ourselves not just in the good times but in the bad times as well?
- Take time for ourselves to check in.
- Look at yourself with innocence .
- When you mess up, treat yourself like a queen or king. This takes away any fear or procrastination that keeps you from taking risks.
- Set mindful boundaries from a place of love with yourself and others with the intention of helping you keep peace.
- Think of ways you can shower yourself with appreciation and love.
- List 10 things you love about yourself .
- Allow rewards for loving yourself .
- List the benefits of living yourself .
- Release the impulse to try to change people around you.
- Have more forgiveness and gratitude .
- Allow yourself to relax and be open and be honest with yourself and others .
- Keep an unshakeable sense of peace at your core.
- Guide yourself in the direction you want to go.