Self-love has a direct impact on your self-esteem, your self-worth, how others treat you, your health, and your net worth! Join guest author Ann Thomas as she shares her thoughts on the importance of giving yourself “A Dose of Self–Love”.
By Ann Thomas
I often hear women say, “I know that I’m supposed to love myself, but I don’t know how.” Despite how it may sound, self-love is not an airy-fairy concept. It has real-world implications. Self-love has a direct impact on your self-esteem, which in turn impacts everything from your self-worth, how you let others treat you, your health, and even your net worth! In fact, I firmly believe that when you fall in love with yourself, your life falls into place.
Loving yourself should be a no-brainer, right? Not so much. You see, while everyone can understand the concept intellectually, practicing it is a whole different ball game. Many of us had painful experiences that shaped the way we perceive ourselves. Perhaps the way your parents reared you made you doubt yourself or feel unworthy in some way. Perhaps you are constantly comparing yourself to the unrealistic expectations of what a “perfect” woman in our society ought to be. Perhaps an ex demeaned or criticized you and you believed the messages to be true. Regardless of the origin of the messages, the presence of those messages can be alive and well in your subconscious mind, therefore making it a real challenge to love yourself. After all, why would you love yourself when you secretly believe you’re unlovable?
While the challenges are real, achieving self-love is possible! In fact, when I coach women to achieve self-love, I teach them the four cornerstones of Radical Self-Love. Radical Self-Love is a practice that helps you love yourself to the core. It creates such a strong foundation within you that you feel solid — unshakable — on the inside! Achieving Radical Self-Love takes consistent practice.
The four cornerstones of Radical Self-Love are:
1. Connect to the Divine presence WITHIN you. There is a wise, all-knowing spiritual source that is completely within you. It’s your divine self or Soul. Take the time to cultivate a relationship with that part of you. Instead of searching for the answers on Google or by asking all your friends, try to connect with that powerful presence within. The key to connecting to the divine presence within you is to get quiet and really listen. This presence is always talking to you, but you have to be willing to listen to it carefully — it whispers most of the time!
2. Honor Your Body. Your body is a sacred temple. Without it, you would not be able to do or accomplish any of the things that you currently do. Yet, despite how amazing our bodies are, we tend to take it for granted until it stops functioning properly. Instead, cultivate a practice of honoring your body. One of my favorite tips is to take time during your shower to give thanks for each part of your body that you lather. Simply paying attention to each part of your body in a state of gratitude and reverence will work wonders for you! Not only will it improve your mood and self-image, it will also help improve your overall wellbeing.
3. Cultivate Emotional Authenticity. Despite the popular saying that “women are so emotional” there are many dictates about how, where, and when women can express our emotions (e.g., “big girls don’t cry,” “it’s impolite for a woman to be angry,” etc.). The problem is that this prevents many women from feeling free to truly have, let alone express, their authentic emotions. Instead of feeling their genuine feelings, many women try to numb them or avoid them. This emotional inauthenticity becomes toxic. It leads to a lack of clarity, unhealthy behaviors, and a reduced ability to access your logical brain. Instead of suppressing, start giving yourself permission to be really honest with yourself. Spend a few moments periodically through the day to see how you are really feeling at that moment. If you feel the need to cry, give yourself a safe space to cry. If you feel angry, let it out physically by screaming (I recommend in a car with the windows rolled up), hitting a pillow, or simply jumping up and down. The bottom line is that your emotions can be a great asset if you use them properly. If you allow yourself to feel your true feelings, the difficult feelings pass by easily and leave room for your authentic joy to shine.
4. Master Your Mind. The fourth cornerstone of Radical Self-Love is to master your mind. Humans think an average of 15,000-60,000 thoughts each day. If you have subconscious beliefs about yourself that are negative (e.g., I’m not good enough, I’m not smart, I’m unhealthy, I’m disorganized, etc.), then most of your thoughts will tend to be negative and reinforce the negative beliefs. While there are so many ways to effectively challenge your negative thoughts and reprogram your subconscious mind for positive thoughts, one of my favorites is affirmations. Affirmations are statements made in the present tense that reflect how you would like to feel about yourself. The key to making them really work is: (1) create an affirmation that negates the disempowering thoughts you have about yourself; (2) make sure that the affirmation is believable to you (if it’s too far-fetched, your mind will reject it, so take baby steps if necessary); (3) take a few deep breaths and relax before reciting them in order to allow them penetrate your subconscious mind more readily; and (4) repeat the affirmations several times each day, especially before going to bed.
Each of the tips provided in this article only take a few minutes of your time. Try to do one thing each day in each of these areas and before you know it, you’ll be a self-love machine!
by Ann Thomas, Esq., CPCC, author of 101 Affirmations for Radical Self-Love (available on Amazon) and founder of EvolvingGoddess.com (go grab your free report, Surviving Rejection: A Step Toward Radical Self-Love).