Self Love Takes Work.
In a world where comparison is more popular than quinoa or kombucha tea and authenticity is more scarce than tasty gluten-free pasta, we have to divert the focus back on us and genuinely learn to love ourselves. Self love is the foundation of happiness and without it, it will be hard to give to others and make this world a bit better than before. I struggle with this also but I know it’s a work in progress where we have to aim for continuous self accountability. So, here are 5 rules to consider in our journey to self love:
- It’s Okay to Put Yourself Before Anyone Else: Don’t let anyone make you believe you are selfish because you take care of yourself before others. Often, I see people giving their money, time and energy to others before they look out for themselves and consequently I see growing resentment in these situations. Your biggest investment should be in yourself so when you decide to devote anything to anyone else, make sure you have covered yourself already.
- Learn to Say No, Say No and Say it Again: I used to think saying no was easy, I am very good at saying no to invitations, causes, roles, etc. My mentality was be honest with yourself and others, if you can’t afford it, do not have the time or cannot devote enough energy to provide a quality outcome to what is requested from you, the answer is simple, “no sorry, I can’t this time.” Do not gamble with the “I’ll say yes now and figure it out later.” Remember your word is your bond and every time you take back on it, its value diminishes. Nonetheless, I find it extremely hard to say no when someone asks me for genuine help. Saying no gets better with practice. Check back to rule number 1 and remember by forcing yourself to any commitment sometimes does a disservice to both parties. You can always make more money but you can’t regain the time lost. Overall, remember that no, is a complete sentence. You owe no one explanations.
- Accept and Love your Flaws, or Change Them: Flaw by definition is a mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance or object. So, it may seem strange to “accept” them but you must, in order to modify them. We all have walked by the mirror and thought about what we could improve. I’m not saying, “if you come to the conclusion you hate your a-cups, to go get surgery.” I mean, if by all means that is what you want, who am I to stop you. The flaws I am referring to are the ones that weaken your confidence and limit your greatness. Now, these flaws are not always physical, they can be the lack of certain attributes like the ability to take risks, fear of criticism, fear of failure, the need to please others, etc. Flaws are within us all, however, we have to come face to face with what needs to be improved and develop a plan of action. Many times we do not sit with ourselves and give ourselves the time of day. We handle many roles and rarely ever the role of “self” is prevalent. Do you even like you? If no, why? And, go from there. Take a risk and try something new, welcome failure, be yourself and take notice of who accepts you for who you are.
- Seek Less for Reassurance: Have you found yourself asking your significant other, friends, family or even strangers for approval about something you wore, the way you look, an idea you presented, or even input on your own opinion? Thanks to social media and our ability to interact with many of our peers simultaneously, it seems like we have shifted our focus from what we like to what others may think of what we like. There is nothing wrong with seeking advice, a second opinion or just seeing what others think, but if your decisions are going to be dependent on outsiders’ input or your mood would somehow be affected by the reaction of others, then we may need to try to self reflect a little more. Realize that at the end of the day, it’s you the one whose opinion comes first and while reassurance can boost your confidence, reassurance is also a double-edge sword. Don’t ever let outsiders have more control over you.
- Don’t Compare Yourself or Your Life to Others: Comparing ourselves to others is sucking the life out of life. I know, a very deep thought lol. We live in a capitalist culture where having more is equal to happiness, but is it really? We live in a world where having more degrees and titles is more important than what you do with your knowledge and education. We continuously compare our material possessions and even memories and experiences such as traveling, dining, hobbies, etc. Although it’s nice to share our experiences so easily thanks to the internet, I think many of us are losing our sense of authenticity just to portray what is acceptable or trendy to others without searching for meaning in what we do. Comparing your life to others will lead to disappointment because someone will always have less than others which will cause a cycle of dissatisfaction. We can try to avoid this by practicing gratitude daily, being thankful for what we have and what we do not have yet. Remember, we don’t need to match someone’s else perfection, we can only aim to be better than ourselves yesterday. Being content is okay, don’t let anyone tell you that your ambition must match the next person. At the end of the day, you define your own happiness.
Thank you Wilma Lebron (IG: @mixtapesnlipsticks) for your input with rule number #3!
~LOVING YOURSELF ISN’T VANITY, IT’S SANITY~KATRINA MAYER