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Self Love

As Valentine's Day approaches, who are the people in your life who you think most about? Is it a significant other or your children? How about yourself? It's ok sometimes to show yourself some love. Here are some of the most common behaviors of people who are not practicing self-love.

Ah, it’s February. Hearts, flowers, and sentiments of love are in the air! It’s a wonderful time to pause and contemplate those who are near and dear to your heart and all they bring into your life.

Who is the first person you think of as Valentine’s Day approaches? Your mate and children are possibly the most likely recipients for those little boxes of chocolate goodies and cute cards bearing sweet words of love and appreciation. But let me ask you this: when was the last time you did something really, really nice for yourself?

The calendar is filled with constant reminders to show appreciation to the important people in our lives, but there isn’t a single day on the calendar that reminds us to turn our love and appreciation inward. Where is National Self- Love Day anyway? I think it would do us good to celebrate ourselves for a change, don’t you?

Some people believe that taking care of and treating themselves with the same kindness and generosity that they treat others is self-indulgent. Some simply don’t want to take the time learn new habits and place attention on their own needs and desires. In my experience as a coach, these folks are typically overworked, unhappy, and exhausted. Many of them are nowhere near the level of success that they wish to achieve and some are even suffering miserably. All because the love that they hold in their hearts is rarely directed inwardly.

But this can change with a shift in mindset and a newfound appreciation of your special qualities, gifts, and spirit. I’ve seen people turn their lives and businesses around simply by raising their self-awareness and acting on the desires that they previously deemed as selfish and indulgent. I can promise that as you grow to appreciate and honor yourself, it will be reflected in the world around you: in your business, relationships, and even in your finances.

So what are the signs that you’re not showing yourself enough love and appreciation? Here are some of the most
common behaviors that I witness in someone who lacks self love. I’ve also included some mindset tips on how to turn that behavior around. I suggest journaling about the steps you take, how it feels, and what you notice as time goes by. The act of journaling will raise your awareness and help you to see where you need to improve and how far you’ve come. Journaling is yet another act of self love!

Negative Self-Talk

When you make a mistake, get clumsy, or say something that you regret how do you react? Do you call yourself names, throw fits of anger, blame others? This is one sure sign of selfloathing rather than self-love.

Instead: Simply observe; as though you are 5000 feet above the situation. Oftentimes we respond negatively because we are overwhelmed and preoccupied. If you begin to lose patience with yourself take a deep breath and think about how you would treat someone you love when they make the same mistake. Can you treat yourself in the same way? With practice you can.

Staying Too Busy

When I have a coaching client who cites a lack of time for their inability to rest and play I can usually prove them wrong. People who don’t appreciate themselves often feel guilty for taking time to self-nurture, relax, and play. They unconsciously busy themselves with menial tasks instead. Do you really need to refill the paperclips and go over that expense report for the third time today?

Instead: Be honest with yourself about how you’re spending your time and what you may be avoiding. Then make a list of things you would like to do once you give yourself permission to pay attention to your own needs and desires. If you have a go to list you won’t have to give it any thought and may not talk yourself out of something that puts you in the spotlight. Indulge a little, you might just get used to it!

Putting Everyone Else First

The airlines say it the best: “Please apply your own air mask before assisting young children and those around you.” In other words, what good are you to others if you’re dead? Taking care of yourself is yet another expression of love. When you care enough about yourself it tells those around you that you love them enough to stick around. This is not a selfish act! Ironically, most people who bow to the needs of othersdo it to satisfy their own needs, not those of everyone else. If you were to ask your spouse, parent, friend, and maybe even your children what their expectations of you are, I’m certain that their thoughts would differ from yours quite a bit.

Instead: You’ve made a list of things that are important to you; activities that you can do just for yourself. Now determine your non-negotiables: things like exercise, proper nutrition, alone time, a monthly massage, a night out with the girls or guys. Now schedule those things on your calendar. These are dates with yourself that can no sooner be cancelled than an important client meeting. As you become healthier, more balanced, and acknowledge your own deserving those around you will appreciate you all the more!

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