My take on self-care, self-love and esteem
You are the only one you have for sure. You are 100% responsible for you. You are the ultimate decision-maker of your life. No matter what suggestions or recommendations you have from family, friends, or lovers, it is you that makes the ultimate decision for what you do with your life.
Others may tell you what they think they know about you or what they feel you should do when it comes to your working life/your personal life. You can take all those opinions and recommendations on board but it all comes down to you.
Don’t ever let anyone push you to do something that doesn’t serve you, suit you or fill you with passion.
If passion does not include yourself in it, it is 'incomplete'.
We show passion to others, we have passion for certain things in life. Even passion for those lovely new shiny shoes or that beautiful diamond ring. Those are just possessions. Passion lies within us all - we just need to show that same passion we put into material possessions to ourselves. There is no better possession than ourselves, so give yourself the passion you deserve. Without passion, you will not fulfil your dreams and goals. They may be half-hearted and you will never follow what you truly want. A job well done is one that is built from passion.
Be enough for yourself first, the rest of the world can wait.
"I am enough", those three little words are so powerful and if you repeat this as an affirmation, it will become part of your daily routine, something that becomes a habit. It's like brushing your teeth. Write it on your mirror in lipstick and say it every day and every time you pass that mirror. "I am enough". For you are. We all are. No one is better than any other. We are all unique and all enough and once we start believing this we are capable of our own self-love and kindness to ourselves.
Make your happiness a priority
Have you spent your life pleasing others, do people expect it from you because you have always done it? Is there an expectation that you are capable of it and you do not need anything for yourself? We can get lost in this 'kind and caring' attitude we have until, one day, we get angry that no one has really asked “what about you?”.
What does your happiness look like? You deserve to be happy, you have spent so much of your life thinking about others' happiness, possibly to the detriment of yourself. How happy are you? Does your happiness come second to others? Always make sure you are happy. True happiness can only really be true for you if you are happy before you make others happy. Start caring about yourself first.
The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself.
We have all, at some time in our life, had a relationship. Be that with family members, colleagues, friends, or lovers. How have they served you? Have those relationships lived up to your expectations? Did those relationships make you happy? How happy are you with yourself? How do you perceive yourself, how do you believe others perceive you? Do you care? Are you that confident and happy and fulfilled with yourself, that you are enough, and that you have a solid, secure relationship with how you feel about yourself? Or do you sabotage yourself with 'nonsense talk'?
So how do you stop that? Its all about your mindset and this comes with practicing self-care/self-worth and self-love.
Our mind can be our greatest enemy, you must learn to control it.
Talk to yourself like you would someone you love
Self-talk can destroy us, we can make up stories in our minds that have no evidence attached to them. Our minds actually take in around 80% of self-talk and a lot of that can be negative. We create scenes in our minds and end us making ourselves miserable for something that is a completely fictitious load of nonsense. Women are especially guilty of this. Would you tell someone you loved “you are fat, you look horrible in those clothes", "I don’t like your hair", or "you are useless”? I expect the answer is no. So why, do you talk down to yourself?
Self-love is the source of all other loves.
You know that saying “how can someone love you if you don’t love yourself?” – think about that! How do you show up in life? How do you want to show up? Energy is a great way of expressing yourself, you can walk into a room and spot that one person who exudes great energy – how is your energy? Falling in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness, being in control, fulfilled, satisfied, enough, open, honest, and even spiritual can bring great things into your life.
"I am a work in progress"
Now you have discovered you need to work on yourself, set yourself some daily tasks, hit lists, goals - whatever you may want to call them. Start a daily journal and write down how you feel each day. What has made you happy? What has made you sad? What do you feel needs working on? At the end of the week reflect on all of that content and see where you can make progress on the things that have not served you. If you can get into a habit of journalling, you really will get a great insight into your daily life.
You were born to be real and not perfect
No one is 'perfect' and in that, there is no 'perfect'. What does “perfect” even mean? One person’s idea of 'perfect' may be completely different from another. We are all perfectly imperfect. Having this label could cause great disbelief in oneself. Look at social media, ruining some of our younger generations when they look at the materialistic side of life, what one has, what car they drive, what house they live in, and what designer clothes they wear. What their skin looks like, and what size clothes they wear.
There is no greater love than the love of oneself. None of the above will ever come close to that. They are mere possessions, there are no emotions behind them, and a lot of the time mask the unhappiness associated. If you believe in you, love you and believe you are enough, you do not need to live up to any expectations other than those you have of yourself, and never ever compare yourself.
Show up as the real, authentic you. Some will love you, some will hate you, but as long as you are comfortable with yourself, it doesn’t matter and that’s the strength of being enough– "I am enough!"
Be proud of who you are
We all have different stories to tell, different paths that we want to travel, and different ideas of how our life should look. I doubt any two of us have the same aspirations. What expectations do we set ourselves? So you want to be the CEO of a large corporate company? Go get 'em go do what it takes to achieve that goal. Or, you want to be a “check out” girl and lead a simple, less stressful life.
We all have choices – make sure you make the right one. Life is a journey, every experience is part of that. If you don’t like what you felt you wanted, change it. You are the author of your own life, write that story, hiccups, and all in between.
Never feel inferior to anyone, no matter what their status, we were all born equal. Possessions, wealth, and status, for some, are amazing to have but for others, being loved and appreciated is just as amazing.
Self-care and self-preservation
When was the last time you told your body how much you loved it, appreciated it, and thanked it for looking after the whole of you? Have you exercised it, taken it for a walk, or got it energised at the gym? The organs in your body are absolutely amazing in what they do for the whole of you. Make sure you look after it, as it is the only one you have and your greatest responsibility. Mind, body and soul are connected, be kind to each of them and yourself. Do as much as you can to preserve the very best version of your outer and inner self.
Try and follow a healthy diet, don’t drink or smoke too much, and don’t abuse your only body with substances that do not feed it and can destroy it!
Everything happens for a reason!
I expect we have all heard that saying before. How real do you think that is? – let's take that great job we had, or so we thought. You realise that it wasn’t what you wanted, you have no passion for it and you find yourself not excelling as well as you wanted to or expected of yourself. You are called in to see the boss who tells you “you are not performing”. Did that happen for a reason? Has the universe got something else waiting for you? Something that will fulfil a passion and therefore excel you forward and make you the very best at that job?
Who knows. There is something to be said for 'timing' and another saying is “when the time is right”. Always embrace criticism constructively, criticism is feedback. Be it good or bad, it is just feedback. There are no rights or wrongs, follow your own rules.
Do you misinterpret situations? Our brains are negatively biased and the reasoning behind this is to keep us safe and steer us from danger. In some aspects, this is good news but in other aspects, bad news as it can also stop us from finding happiness by misinterpreting positive events as negative ones.
Negative thinking and over analysing situations can be very dangerous. We tell ourselves things that aren’t normally true, we paint pictures in our minds that have no bearing or evidence associated with them. We can basically sabotage ourselves with nontruths. So what is the reason behind that? You have the power to lead your brain. When you feel a negative thought creeping in, challenge it – where has it come from? What sense does it make? What has made you feel like this? Who has made you feel like this? Where does the evidence come from? Re-frame those negatives into positives. With daily affirmations of self-love – "I am enough" – your brain will become wired to that saying and you will eventually believe you are enough – because you are! We all are!
Are you worthy of love?
Loving ourselves, being confident, and having high esteem are great if these come naturally. However, some incidences in life may have had an impact on us that do not allow this to come naturally. As children, this can set the stage for later life. What kind of love, if any, were we shown? Was it difficult to be loved? So we can grow up feeling all sorts of inadequacies. Damaged, unloveable, and unworthy. So, we overcompensate, people please, overwork – all efforts to earn approval, be validated, and feel worthy of love.
Love and acceptance of self come from within. Do you find it hard to believe that others will love you? Finding that self-love enables us to set boundaries, and set ourselves limits of what we expect and do not expect from another. Being powerful enough to feel good about ourselves and not settling for second best!
Welcome yourself as the most honoured guest in your life!
Love yourself and leave whatever it was holding you back behind, that didn’t serve you, didn’t allow you to be you and kept you small – be the love you never received, value the time you have with yourself, and show yourself the love you truly deserve.
Whatever path you travel in life may not be your end destination but every path is an experience and those experiences make us who we are.
Be blessed, be grateful, be compassionate, be kind, be open, be honest, be sincere, and most of all, be enough. Because you are.