Self-love is a term you hear frequently on social media and among side hustle businesses. Now, I am not saying that you should stop selling or exercising. I am glad you have these outlets and they are bringing you joy. Keep going! However, let’s get something straight. Self-love is an inside job. Self-love cannot be bought and sold. It is something that occurs when you are internally in love with who you are. It is accepting who you are and where you are right now, flaws and all.
Here are a few things that I try to teach my clients so they can begin to love themselves.
1. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
Social media is not the place to “accurately” evaluate where you are in the world. Trust me no one is posting the worst version of themselves. When we look outward for validation, we ultimately miss out on what is great in front of us. When you find yourself looking outward identify 1 thing that you are grateful for or love about yourself and the life you have created.
Delete any social media that brings you down. Shut it down for 2 weeks. See how you feel. If cold turkey seems too daring for you. Limit the amount you use the app to 1 time a week… or even 1 time a day no more than 20 mins. Check in with yourself in a month and see how you feel.
2. There is not a universal timeline you need to be following.
Somehow, we all came to discover that everyone needed to fulfill every major milestone in their lives before the age of 40. I have no clue why. So, when we see that our social media friends have managed to reach all the things before their 40th birthday, it is further validation that you are in fact behind. Stop it. Your life is on its own timeline. Yes, all those goals would be great to have completed but most are not entirely in your control. Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right is not a task on a to do list. Creating a healthier lifestyle, building that resume, networking, trying something new, traveling, improving your credit, are all goals you can do for yourself. These are things you have control over. These are things that can bring you joy, and you know what, there isn’t a timeline on when these things need to have been checked off a list. Get rid of your timeline and look for ways that the things you want in life can consistently be a part of your life.
Grab a sheet of paper and pen. Make a list of the things you have accomplished so far. Daily or weekly look at this list and choose 1 thing that you are going to be proud of yourself for. Even if it is for 1 minute. Celebrate yourself. Make a second list of the things you want to work on or achieve that are in your control. Pick 1 thing you can do each day to get closer to one of your goals. If you want to work on saving money, chose to pack your lunch today or this week and put the money you would have spent in your savings account. If you have a health goal, chose to go to the gym or try out a new work out class. Write down the things you are going to do for that day. Before you know if you will be closer to your goals and have a list of all the ways you put in hard work and effort to getting there.
3. Acknowledge how far you have come.
You have been through some hard stuff. Own it. People quickly forget the amount of strength it takes to have made it through the life that has been at times handed to them. I notice that once people start talking about their trauma, negative relationship, and family events, they often look surprised and I usually get “wow that was more than I thought”. I am not saying that you should sit down and run down the list of crappy things that have happened to you but take a minute to acknowledge your resilience. Just notice this for 1 minute out of your busy day. You have come out on the other side of pain. Look at how strong and courageous you are to keep going. You are a warrior.
4. Surround yourself with supportive and loving people who cheer you on and who acknowledge your greatness.
I am very much a “you are the company that you keep” kind of girl. Everyone needs a cheering section in their lives. Check in with yourself and how you feel when you are around certain people. If you notice they make you feel bad about yourself then it might be time to get some scissors and trim down the toxicity. If they make you feel great, then maybe we need to try to fit in more time with these badass people. Attend an event for things you are interested in. You might find you can make new friends in spaces you want to be a part of. This is one of the benefits of some of these side hustles because most do provide you with a cheering squad. Just make sure that this squad is people you want around even if you stop the business.
5. Do things that bring you joy, align with your needs, and support your self-confidence.
These things are for you. In the words of my favorite YouTuber Yoga with Adriene, “do what feels good”! If going to the gym is something that makes you feel good about yourself do it (exercise is a major part of mental wellness). If hiking is something that brings you peace, do it. In fact, say “no” to doing things that bring down your confidence or that you are doing just to please someone else. Saying no can be extremely difficult for folks but once you start setting boundaries you will thank me later.
Grab a sheet of paper and pen. Make two columns. The first column “Things I do to make others happy.” The second column “Things I do to make myself happy.” Take a minute to take in this list. Twenty bucks says the list for everyone else is way longer than the one for you and we need to change that. Try to take 1 thing off the list for others and add 1 thing to the list for you. Do your best to stick to it (at least for 2 weeks). See how you feel.
Alone, these tips will not be the fix-all to your self-love problem but incorporating and trying to add these tips to your daily or even weekly routine can be extremely helpful and can jump-start your self-esteem. Do not forget that self-love takes time. Be patient. This journey is a beautiful and necessary marathon.
Love and Blessings,
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