Let’s talk about self-love. I get the feeling from talking to clients sometimes that self-love is not quite as abundant as I would like for it to be. A lot of women I’ve worked with or interacted with over the years seem to think they’re incomplete until someone (usually a significant other) loves them completely. The I will not be whole until I find someone kind of mentality. Or the I am unloveable, and it’s proven by the fact that I’m still alone kind of hogwash. There also seems to be this fear that expressing love for oneself can be interpreted by others as narcissism, cockiness and even bitchiness.
Well, WTF y’all?! I prefer to see it differently. In no way am I trying to say “I love myself and therefore, I’m better than you” and also in no way does this love have to be a big public display of self-infatuation.
The journey to self-love can be scary and uncertain, especially if you come from a background of neglect, abuse or negativity from family and friends about you, your body, your personality, your goals. A habitual perception that you are of no worth or value gets burned into your mind by those around you. This negativity comes from all kinds of places. Parents, significant others, coaches, the media. Little reminders of ways that you are not good enough which of course makes it difficult for you to see how valuable you are! Let’s start to change that today.
You don’t need others to love you in order to love yourself. And loving yourself first may help you see the love in others, and feel worth their time and attention because my darlings: You. So. Are.
Once I started to think about and appreciate the things that made me me, I was less concerned with someone else validating my worth. I don’t necessarily want to be single forever, I’d love a partner in adventure, exploration and life. Someone to share things with, and split the bills. But I no longer feel like I need someone to validate my value as a loveable person. Like the Oscar Wilde quote, it truly has been the start of a wonderful romance with myself!
Let’s try this little exercise. Think of something you love about yourself. Any one little thing will do. Then think of another. As these ideas come to you, write each one down on an index card or sticky note. Post them in places you see frequently through out the day to remind yourself of the value you possess.
I’ll get us started by listing a few things I love, or have come to love about myself:
- My ass. Absolutely. It keeps me from fitting into smaller sizes of jeans and can be a little wider than I’d like sometimes BUT it also keeps my legs from a variety of running injuries and muscle imbalances. Because of it’s size, it has plenty of fuel in it for that final kick in a race (affectionately called my jet-pack).
- My dreams. To run a race in every state. To start a personal training business and work towards my own studio eventually. Some people say it’s too hard, that I can’t make a living off that. Or that it’s crazy to run a race in every state, a waste of money. Once I learned to love my dreams, it didn’t matter what my critics say.
- My smile. Maybe it’s easy to love because other people do too. But I see it as a way to spread joy and cheer to others. Besides, it’s hard to have an ugly smile.
So there’s the start of my list. Doesn’t sound vain or cocky right? Now it’s your turn. What do you love about yourself? Shout it out on social media with the hashtag #februarylovechallenge!