Sat, 27 February 2016
It’s all very well knowing we should love ourselves but how do we do it? Find out how with these 10 ways to build the self-love habit.
What a lovely quote from the unique and fantastically brilliant Oscar Wilde but
what did you think when you read it?
Did you think that’s a clever little quip, or it’s a bit over the top or fanciful?
Maybe you think it’s narcissistic or you haven’t thought of loving yourself as a romance with yourself.
Whatever thoughts came to mind are an indication of your view towards you and self-love.
Self-love is an inner love and acceptance of who we are and how we are.
Last week we talked about what self-love is and why we all need it, in our blog posts and on the Changeability Podcast (episode 81). We looked at 6 ways or clues that show us we’re not being loving towards our self.
We understand what self-love is and why it’s good for us, we’re looking out for those times we’re not being self-loving, but how do we go from the ways we tend to behave where we’re not being loving to ourselves, to growing our self-love until it becomes the norm or a habit.
10 ways you can build a self-love habit for yourself
Give yourself permission to do what you want. Don’t wait for others to give you permission. You might think this doesn’t apply to you, but ask yourself if there’s anything you want to do in your life or at work where you’re waiting for someone else’s permission to do it. You might not have realised it before, but tacitly you’re waiting.
It can be more explicit or obvious in our close relationships. You seek someone’s permission before starting something new or maybe even to go out.
This isn’t about not caring about what your family, partner, boss or colleagues think. It’s about not holding back from being who you want to be or doing want you want to do because you’re scared or reluctant to ask or because you think you need someone’s permission. When often it’s an excuse for procrastination and you don’t need that permission at all – you only need your own permission. So give it to yourself.
Neglecting your own needs was one of the key signs for not loving yourself and this is the antidote. Make space in your life for you.
One practical way to do this is to make time for you. Carve out your own personal time to do something that pleases or excites you, or enhances you or your skills in or just makes you feel better.
This is a time when you put yourself first.
This doesn’t mean you don’t look after children or do your job well, but it does mean there is a time when you’re not putting other first.
When you create ‘you time’ you become a better parent, wife etc. You set a great example to your family and colleagues of one of the ways of being an effective person, and send a strong message that you matter and want to be treated as if you matter.
You matter enough to yourself to spend time on yourself and tend to your own needs and desires and they need to respect that. And they will respect that – even it it takes a little while to get you and them into the swing of it.
If you find this an uncomfortable prospect, ask yourself if rushing around, doing lots of things for others, however worthy, is feeding an underlying limiting belief (like I need to be busy or look after everyone else to be valued) or is it because you really want to do it.
Unless we’re talking about SMART goals you don’t normally hear us talk about being realistic. However, we’re not talking about a lack of ambition or not having big dreams or goals; this is about being realistic about what you can achieve in a given timescale.
Or to put it another way – don’t overstretch yourself or take on too much.
One of the times we hear our inner critical voice is when we get impatient or cross with ourselves that something’s taking us too long or we’re not as far along with a project as we think we should be.
However long you think something is going to take – double it! Or even triple or quadruple it depending on the sort of person you are. This is about self-knowledge.
Basically don’t give yourself so many things to do. Don’t think you can fit in ten things before you go out for that appointment when you’ve only got tine for two – you’ll either fall short and be disappointed with yourself or be late!
Examine your beliefs around being busy and time. Is your time something to be used or enjoyed? Do you feel that you have to be rushing around filling up every moment in order to be valued? Because let us tell you - you don’t.
This fits with the above three and is one very practical way to help you accomplish them – to choose you, create and use your time and curb your expectations of yourself.
Learning to say no is a very practical skill.
You learn it by doing it – but there are a couple of techniques to help you.
If you’re the a person whose automatic reaction is to say yes, then you want to break that automatic response – which is a habit.
One easy way to do this is to buy yourself some time .This doesn’t mean you won’t say yes to a request, but that you will not automatically say yes – without thinking about it.
To give yourself some time say ‘I’ll get back to you’ (if you might need a little while) or say ‘I’ll go and check my diary or calendar’. This gives you the option to think about it and obviously see if you have something on or not.
But it’s not just about if you are free, but if you actually want to say yes or not. Don’t just say yes because you’re free.
You can even practice saying no. Start with very small things, or when it doesn’t really matter. Once you’ve done it a few times it will get easier and you wont feel you’re letting people down.
Watch out for being a people pleaser and thinking that people will only like you if you say yes.
Much of the time we can be quite hard on ourselves – I should have done this or why didn’t I do that or can I do more or why didn’t I achieve that or why did I fail to reach that goal. This is not self-love and can be rectified by being kind and gentle on yourself.
Do you sometimes expect more from yourself than you do from other people? We often have higher expectations and standards of ourselves than we do of others.
But if you want to love yourself more - then accept you’re not perfect, and life will be a lot easier.
Perfectionism is a scourge and one to be avoided or downgraded. Doing a good job is great but there comes a point where it tips over into more than good enough to the detriment of you and your performance.
So be kind to you. Be gentle. Give yourself a break – both physically, in real terms but also figuratively speaking.
Your inner critic is never going to go away completely and that’s a good thing. It’s helping you stay safe and keeping you on your toes or on track, pointing out when something could be improved or isn’t helping you – but it can also be detrimental to your happiness and to loving yourself.
So accept your inner critic for what it is. An inner voice trying it’s best to help you out – albeit in a often misguided way. It is working from the confines of its experience of you and the world and that’s not your inner critics fault, it’s just a matter of fact. So you need to help it to see where it’s not helping you and retrain it to be more supportive and helpful.
Accept that your inner voice and critic is a part of you. And loving yourself also means loving this inner voice but that doesn’t mean that you need to accept everything it says or let it stop you making the changes you want in your life.
Be aware of it, listen to what it’s saying but don’t accept it as the truth. Examine it and take notice where it’s helpful or overrule it where it’s not.
You can even talk to your inner critic – ask it why it feels like that, thank it for it’s observations and opinions, answer back by suggesting ways in which you can modify your behaviour.
Sometimes it will be telling you the truth, maybe an uncomfortable truth, But often it’s reflecting the results of the experiences you’ve had throughout your life – particularly in your formative years. This experience might have left you thinking you’re not good enough in some way, or your behaviour is inappropriate or you’re veering into new and therefore dangerous territory.
Listen out for your inner critic, acknowledge it, see what’s underneath it, accept it, deal with it, negotiate or quieten and calm it. One of the best ways to raise your awareness and calm and quieten it is through our next suggestion.
One of the ways to address, put into practice and tick off the things we’ve talked about so far, is to be mindful and practice a simple form of meditation.
Because when you meditate you put yourself first – you are with yourself in that very moment – your mind might be thinking about a million things but you bring it back to the present moment and are aware of you.
This is your time – so you’re taking or creating some ‘you time’.
And you’re setting a specific time – however small that might be – to use for yourself and be realistic about it.
In that time during your meditation you’re bringing a calm awareness to yourself and what’s going on in you (including your inner voice) and around you at that time.
Look for what energises you. If you don’t know, search for it, find it and do it.
It might be something creative like drawing, painting, writing or speaking.
It might be something physical like playing a sport, swimming, dancing or walking – it might be taxing but could be gentle and be about getting your body moving or getting out in nature.
It might be something that gets your adrenaline pumping or where you get lost in the zone. For us it’s singing and being on stage – it’s thrilling and nerve wracking and fun and challenging and all those things – it’s not always a pleasant feeling but is ultimately energising.
That’s what you’re looking for - something for you that makes you feel alive
This incorporates making time for yourself and choosing yourself or putting your self first (not all the time but some of the time) and takes it a step further by taking a positive decision to develop yourself.
Congratulations because you could say that by reading this or listening to our personal development podcast you are doing this right now.
Developing yourself involves leaning a new skill or changing something you don’t like about you or your life or improve yourself. It takes effort but the effort is worth it – because by spending effort on yourself you show yourself that:
One of the keys to personal development is getting clear about what you want and then finding the best way to achieve it – and that means setting clear goals around what you want to achieve for yourself (and of course for your family and friends and community). There’s nothing more self-affirming than achieving something that means a lot to you.
So self-love means developing yourself – and at BrilliantLivingHQ.com you’re in the right place to do that. And we have something coming up soon if you want a systemised supported way of doing that – you find out more here.
Knowing you are enough is the start, and it’s a great start, but it’s one thing to know it intellectually and another to believe it.
That means taking it to the next level. The things we’ve been talking about will help you to know it – and as you make them part of your life you will come to believe it.
Because creating and building a self-love habit like any habit requires thought and action and repeated action until it becomes an automatic way of thinking and behaving.
And one of the best ways to accelerate this process of building a self-love habit is to use self-love rituals to implant the thinking and behaving.
But that’s for next week!
Episode 82 of the Changeability Podcast
Listen to episode 82 of the Changeability Podcast to hear us talking about all of this and more.
And if you like the show please let us know by email at hello@BrilliantLivingHQ.com and by leaving a review on iTunes – we love reading them!
If there’s somethine you know you’d like to change in your life then you’ll want to know about our forthcoming goals challenge! We’ll be sharing more about this soon but just want to let you know that if you want to be involved in the first group (and you surely do!) – you can sign up at BrilliantLivingHQ.com/goals to get on the list. We’ll send out more details when we have everything finalised. But it’s going to be exciting – or we’re excited anyway!
Sat, 20 February 2016
Last week we were celebrating love and Valentines, which inevitably led to thoughts of romance and different types of love.
But despite a lot of talk of love everywhere – from card shops to films to books and the media – we see evidence of a lack of love all around us. That lack of love is not only evident in the terrible things we hear on the news, but also in something closer to home. And that’s the love we have for ourselves – or self-love.
What is self-love?
What are we talking about when we talk about self-love or loving yourself?
A good place to start is by saying what it’s not.
It’s not about being selfish or self-centred – even though it’s easy to jump to this conclusion when we talk about loving ourselves.
And it’s not about showing off or having an over-inflated ego or sense of self.
Nor is self-love about being narcissistic. In fact narcissism is the opposite of self-love because we’re seeking approval of ourselves, as this quote from Emily Levine illustrates:
So that’s what it’s not – but what is it?
Self-love is about our ability to deal with and cater to our own needs and desires. It’s about having a healthy view and sense of our self.
It’s tied up with our sense of self-esteem, self-worth and confidence in ourselves.
Yet how often we don’t love and respect ourselves.
6 ways we don’t love ourselves
What does it look like when we don’t love ourselves? Here are 6 tell tell signs to look out for, clues that indicate you’re not being loving towards yourself.
This is the inner dialogue that goes on in our mind. For example:
I can’t or I couldn’t do that
I’ve never been any good at…
Why would they want to hear what I’ve got to say…
They wont be interested in me
I’m not clever enough to…
Stupid man …. Why am I so silly or stupid (one of Julian’s favourites)
I feel disappointed in myself that….(one of Kathryn’s favourites!)
It’s not just what we say to ourselves but also what we say out loud and in front of others, including when we put ourselves down in front of others.
This is where you’re critical of yourself e.g. ‘why can’t I do that’, or where you’re impatient with yourself for getting something wrong or with how long it’s taking you to get something right.
Think about when we’re learning something new. It might be a new or complicated skill like playing a musical instrument, so of course we’re not going to pick it up straight away. But still we somehow think we should be able to do it much quicker than we realistically can.
We’re impatient, as if it’s some defect or lack in us that’s the cause of our slowness. We get frustrated or even angry - when really it’s our expectations that are unrealistic.
The same goes for when it takes long time to do a task or our work. Impatience or criticism creeps in and we question why we can’t focus more or why’s it taking so long to get it done.
These are the signs of being hard on yourself that we both recognise only too well!
One of the classic signs of a lack of self-love is when we don’t look after ourselves physically. We might show a blatant disregard for our health and what we put into our bodies or what we do with our bodies, such as indulging in risky or dangerous behaviour.
When you love someone you want the best for them. Yet many of us fill our bodies with food and drink that’s no good for it and harmful in the long run. Is it we don’t love ourselves enough to give us the best we can, or is the quick reward of eating something we like the taste of, more appealing?
It’s a complex subject and might not apply to you – but it’s worth thinking about what you eat and if you’re being loving to yourself. Or is that little something you call a treat and reward, really the opposite?
This applies to you if you run around looking after everyone else whilst neglecting your own needs. Many parents will relate to this. Of course most people love looking after their children and doing things for their family, friends and community but there is a point at which it becomes about everyone else - which is fine until you find yourself neglecting your own needs.
Another form of neglecting your needs is when you live how others think you should live rather than following your own dreams and aspirations.
Sometimes shame gets in the way of loving our self.
You might shame yourself about the decisions you make or have made in the past. Or you try to hide something from your past because you think it puts you in a bad light or you regret it. But you might also try to hide parts of you from those around you because you’re ashamed or don’t like some aspect of yourself. Maybe you’re afraid they wont like you if they were aware of it, or you fear opening up the whole you will make you vulnerable to getting hurt.
These are examples of when we exhibit behaviour and characters lacking in self-love, but they also describe a lack of self-worth.
This is when people don’t consider themselves worthy or deserving of looking after or nurturing themselves, because or an underlying, possibly unrecognised, sense that they don’t think they’re worth it.
But they are worth it – we’re all worth it. We need to think of ourselves in loving ways and to feel and experience that self-love. Not in a selfish way but because self-love is good for us, our families and society.
What to do next
Be on the look out for how you do or don’t love yourself, especially those signs of when you’re not being loving towards yourself like your inner voice and critic.
Catch it out and if you’re serious about this make a note of it. Write down the thought or word or action and the time and date. This will help you in two ways:
In case you’re worried about being selfish, it’s not selfish to look after yourself, or want to change yourself and your situation.
The fact is we have more to offer others when we care for ourselves first. Love starts with you. Improve your life and you’ll improve the lives of those around you and have more love to give.
Episode 81 of the Changeability Podcast
In episode 81 of the Changeability we discuss all these aspects of self-love and more. You can listen now either on this page or on iTunes, Sticher or TuneIn.
If you enjoy listening to the podcast you can subscribe to it from here or your phone and get each episode downloaded automatically.
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Sat, 13 February 2016
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, The Changeability Podcast today takes a light-hearted look at something we all want in life and if we haven’t got it, we’re often looking for it.
And that is love.
So episode 80 of the award winning show is our opportunity to celebrate love – in all its rich diversity.
The Beatles told us ‘All you need is love’, we know that ‘love is a many splendored thing’ and we may even have said ‘I’m not in love’ when clearly we are.
So with love all around us and the shops urging us to spend, spend, spend to show and celebrate love, we thought we’d offer our own take on a subject that’s dear to our hearts.
In Episode 80 of The Changeability Podcast discover:
Mentioned on today’s show
Sat, 6 February 2016
This week’s guest on the Changeability Podcast is Tarun Stevenson, joining us all the way from sunny Australia.
It being the beginning of February, this is traditionally the time of year when people begin to struggle with the impetus and enthusiasm of personal and business goals they may have set for the year, so we invited Tarun to talk about keeping your goals on track.
Who is Tarun Stevenson?
Tarun is a personal development coach, teacher and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. He works with individuals and organisations, to identify obstacles and limitations in their growth and through development of leadership and communication skills help them realise their full potential.
We had a fascinating discussion with Tarun, in which he offered a wealth of information and knowledge on keeping your goals on track.
In episode 79 of the Changeability Podcast, discover:
Links mentioned in the show: