Yes I'm over a week late with this but it was half term last week and I had zero time to prepare this post! Anyway we all know the whole of February is the month of love...and pancakes.
Do you find you have a lot of love to give others but forget about yourself?
Last week I set my clients a challenge to name 5 things about themselves that they love. It might sound easy but most people will find this challenge very difficult especially if they have to say it out loud to other people. I was stumped at 3!
We're not bragging. We're not being big-headed or egotistical. We're just trying to find out what makes you...you!
Having a little self-love and boosting your self esteem is an essential part of well-being. Many of us beat ourselves up on daily basis, comparing ourselves to other people and feeling like we're not good enough. Making sure you appreciate your positives on a daily basis could be the one thing that is holding you back.
We are our own worst critic. You may not have noticed how you talk to yourself in your head but go ahead and listen and I'm pretty sure that you will find that you have judged, berated or despaired in yourself on more than once occasion during the day.
I always thought my self-esteem was good, my confidence was sound and I could handle anything. Until recently that is. A few negative things that happened last year chipped away at me and BOOM! before I knew it I found myself overthinking every little thing, being over-sensitive and generally without the ability to hold my head up high.
I'm sure you have a number of friends and family members who will listen to your woes with empathy and understanding, who will be able to list many, many positives about you and shout about what a great person you are? But if you don't truly believe that about yourself then what difference is it going to make? The ego boost is short-lived.
I have been making a real conscious effort to control my negative thoughts and learn to love myself again. It is slow progress but I am getting there.
The good news is that self-compassion can be learned. If we practice to be more positive, less self-critical, and love ourselves more, we can prevent the stress and turmoil that we put upon ourselves, allowing us to be happier, more successful, and therefore of greater service to others.
So go on try it, list 5 things right now that you love about yourself. I think you may find it harder than you think! Once you have your 5 things for today, then make sure you repeat the exercise every day this week. There is one catch though...all of the reasons need to be different!
Take some time to really think about the things you appreciate and love about yourself.
This could be absolutely anything. I've included my first 5 at the end of this post. Perhaps if you are feeling brave you could share yours in the comments below.
Perhaps you reached a fitness goal, put in some extra time at work, or you're a great parent. Maybe you like organising activities for your friends, are good at a sport or hobby or volunteer on a regular basis. Maybe you sent a card to someone to say you're thinking about them, held a door open for a stranger, or let another driver out in front of you at a junction.
It can be anything, however great or small.
Here is what I love about myself today, right now:
- I have taught a yoga class this morning that made people feel better.
- I have two happy, healthy children, one of which has been selected to represent the school basketball team this afternoon.
- I have cooked a healthy, tasty dinner for my family to have later.
- I am writing a blog post that people will enjoy reading.
- I have sent a text to an old friend who I have lost contact with over the last couple of years.