Tag Archive | self-love

Own It!

Own it “accept yourself fully, both your strengths and weaknesses, and live life without regrets or apology.”

~Scott Barry Kaufman

Years ago, I remember a friend saying, “Don’t play takeaway” when someone gives you a compliment or when speaking about your accomplishments.

For instance, instead of saying, “oh, this old thing” when someone compliments your clothing or “anyone can do that” when your creative talents are recognized, just own it and say “thank you.”

May sound easy to embrace wonderful acknowledgements but downplaying ourselves is often a habit.

There is nothing arrogant about accepting a compliment or feeling proud of ourselves about some aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, many of us think we are being conceited or full of ourselves if we express satisfaction about something we have done or are doing.

Humility is a beautiful quality but is quite different than putting ourselves down or minimizing any positive acknowledgments that are directed our way.

Do you catch yourself diminishing aspects of who you are? How would you like to own it today?

Action Step:

Pay attention to the words you use when someone pays you a compliment or asks about your life. Be sure not to sell yourself short!

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Fear Criticism Less

I had a speech teacher many years ago whose words were very impactful and have stayed with me all this time. My classmates and I back then, had feared getting up in front of the class and giving a less than perfect speech.

Bluntly, she told us that nobody cared about how good our speech would be, because everyone was too busy worrying about delivering their own speeches and fearing the reactions they would receive as well.

For those that did care, she informed us that even if we provided a flawless presentation, there would always be someone who was not satisfied, and that no matter how ‘perfect’ our speech turned out to be, there would always be someone who didn’t like it or us.

Importantly, she taught us that we may as well relax, be authentic, have a good time and please ourselves, rather than worrying about pleasing everyone else!

Ironically, by relaxing and enjoying ourselves, we ultimately ended up giving better speeches anyway!

Ultimately, resisting criticizing ourselves is most important and replacing self critical thoughts with more approving sentiments is key! By doing so, we fear external criticism less and look to lead an authentic life more.

So, whenever we are tempted to submerge who we really are and not follow our goals, dreams or aspirations in an attempt to avoid external criticism, we need to remember that we can’t please everyone.

Instead, we can please ourselves by following our inspired pursuits, and experience all the joy that achieving our endeavors will bring us!

What approving thoughts keep criticism from stopping you?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Stay a kid at Heart

Recently, I had another birthday which was a lot of fun to celebrate, and a time of reflection as well.  No doubt, many of us can relate to asking ourselves where the time has gone! It definitely fly’s by quickly!

That said, understanding that ‘life is short’ can motivate us to focus more energy on how best to enjoy ourselves each day, and not just on holidays, vacations or birthdays!

Often looking at our childhood pictures can generate a sense of emotional warmth for the little person we were, and who still wants to come out to play.

Part of my recent celebrating involved going out dancing with my husband which felt great! We hadn’t done that in a while, so it was a good reminder to play more in that way.

My love of dancing goes way back to when I was a kid and my mom took me to weekly lessons. Though I’m still involved with dancing on a regular basis at the gym doing choreographed routines, it is fun to mix it up and explore other venues doing freestyle movements as well.

Regardless of our chronological age, it’s never too late to reignite activities we enjoyed in the past, or develop new undertakings to revive our childlike enthusiasm.

What activities ignite your younger self, or bring you the greatest joy now?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

End the Cycle

As we know, a self-fulfilling prophecy is the inclination to behave in ways that confirm our own or others expectations.

For example, have you ever had the feeling that someone didn’t like you?

If so, that unpleasant feeling has more than likely negatively affected how you treated that person.

In turn, that person experiences your unfavorable behavior toward him or her and treats you poorly as a result.

Their behavior seems to confirm your belief that the person didn’t like you in the first place.

This damaging cycle can be broken if you choose instead to treat the other person well, instead of interacting with others in the same old ways.

For instance, assuming we are liked is a much more satisfying, productive and beneficial belief for all concerned, than assuming we are not.

It encourages good feelings within ourselves and better treatment toward those around us.

This doesn’t mean to be in relationships with people who don’t treat you well, or be with those we don’t feel connected to.

It just means to be more mindful of our reactions in order to respond in ways that help us avoid creating the very behaviors or outcomes we don’t desire.

This new and positive way of behaving can become a self-fulfilling prophecy of its own and expand the potential for creating better results.

What self-fulfilling prophecy have you uncovered?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Draw a Line in the Sand

A line in the sand refers to a point beyond which one will not go; a limit to what one will do or accept.

Are you allowing other people to make you feel bad about you?

At some point we have to stop allowing other people’s words, behavior, opinions, innuendos or attitudes control how we feel about ourselves.

This is easier said than done, especially when we receive an unkind comment, or experience betrayal in a friendship. Certainly, these scenarios can be confusing, and upsetting, which takes some time to process.

However, what adds to the pain is feeling bad about ourselves or blaming ourselves for why others are acting in certain ways.

Similarly, we have to cease allowing or believing any negative thoughts we have about ourselves as well, and quit making self-destructive comparisons with others.

For instance, there comes a time when we decide to not make our worth be dependent on how many ‘likes’ we receive or ‘followers’ we have on social media or comparing ourselves to others created personas.

Additionally, we realize that staying with certain friends, jobs, or activities that become unhealthy is personally harmful, and we rise above being scared or uncomfortable to make the necessary changes.

To that end, it is a blessing when challenges or discomfort occurs because it motivates us into action by:

  • Letting us know it may be time to move on
  • Forcing us to stand up for ourselves
  • Learning how to handle emotions in a less personally damaging way

In short, we eventually draw a line in the sand when the pain gets too great and we’ve had enough!

Where do you draw the line?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Be a Truth Teller

 

When asked how we’re doing, many of us can probably relate to saying ‘I’m FINE’ when we really aren’t. It is actually refreshing to hear someone admit that they don’t feel perfectly wonderful all the time, as presented in the video.

As mere humans, we have a whole range of emotions which thankfully means there isn’t something wrong with us if we aren’t feeling wonderful every minute.

The beautiful part about telling the truth or admitting we don’t always feel fine, is that it opens the door to receiving the necessary help we many need in a particular situation, and allows us to assist others as well.

Additionally, there are great conversations to be found with truth tellers who share beyond the level of ‘small talk.’ Small talk is defined as polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters, especially as engaged in on social occasions.

Certainly, these types of conversations are more appropriate for certain situations, but a steady diet of it can be emotionally draining and deprive us of the needed connection that honest sharing can bring.

Saying ‘I’m fine’ doesn’t necessarily mean we aren’t telling the truth, but only we can be the judge of that, as we are the only ones who knows what’s really going on inside us.

How do you honor your truth?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

 

Do What’s Right for You

 The nature of conflict means you can’t set a boundary in your life and take care of someone else’s feelings at the same time.   Martha Beck

Each holiday season is a good time to remember to strengthen our personal boundaries. During this festive time of year, many of us have an extra tendency to take on too much, and over commit ourselves. Sometimes, this is because we are excited about the season and enjoy the gaiety; while other times it is because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, and want to avoid feeling guilty.

Only we can tell the difference within ourselves if we are pleasing ourselves or people pleasing others. If we are engaged in the latter, then it is time to strengthen our boundaries by developing a stronger “no” muscle.

As indicated in my book, it’s actually more loving to have boundaries, be authentic, and take care of our feelings as they arise, as opposed to a passive approach to life. When we don’t speak up for ourselves, it can only breed resentment toward others, and inevitably lead to unloving behavior which is inconsistent with the intention of harmonious living.

Therefore, if what we are being asked to do is not to our liking than we have the freedom to graciously decline the request. We need to remember that we are not responsible for other people’s feelings but are responsible for how we communicate our responses to others.

Similarly, it is important to graciously respect the boundaries of others as well. We may be good at delivering a “no” but not so great at receiving that response from others.

Just as setting loving boundaries with others is a crucial step in self-care, so is setting nurturing boundaries with ourselves as well. Many of us push ourselves beyond the point of what is healthy such as neglecting to put parameters around the number of hours we work or by skimping on sleep.

With that said, below are some wonderful permission slips from Dr. Christiane Northrup, which we can start applying today! The resultant good feelings will create a wonderful ripple effect both within and around us.

  1. Rest when you need to. If you are tired, give yourself permission to sleep. The dishes, the laundry, and the work you didn’t finish today will still be waiting for you tomorrow.
  2. Feel joy every day. Paint, sing, dance, play music, and have sex if you so desire.
  3. Let go of toxic relationships. Toxic people drain you. Work on creating relationships with people who support you as you are.
  4. Love your body. Stop comparing yourself to the air brushed models in the media. Dress the way you want. Do your hair the way you like it.  If this is difficult, do mirror work and tell your body how much you love it.
  5. Trust your intuition. Step out of your comfort zone and go for whatever feels right – maybe it is a new career path, a new health or fitness program, or simply speaking up when you feel the need.
  6. Simplify your life. Focus on what truly matters to you. Don’t let yourself get derailed by drama.
  7. Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a process. Find time every day to practice forgiveness.
  8. Say “yes.” Saying “yes” to yourself is empowering. Say “yes” to whatever you want in your life, and say “no” to whatever you don’t want.
  9. Feel the guilt. Realize that the guilt you are feeling is probably just cultural programming. Thank it for sharing and release it.
  10. Be yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. You don’t have to fit any cultural mold.

What nurturing choices are you making?