Self love is not selfish.
Self-love is about respecting our wants, our values and creating boundaries for our own good.
For some of us, we were taught to respect other people, but not to respect ourselves. This leads to self-sacrificing behaviour, confusion about our own likes and dislikes, and much unhappiness.
We can’t switch to being a self-loving person in a snap, but I have a ‘Love Your Quirks’ worksheet which helps you to re-frame, or rather, see how your ‘weaknesses’ can be helpful for you.
Here are the 5 habits for self-love:
Habit #1 : Be brave and say ‘no’
If you are a people-pleaser or a genuinely nice person, saying ‘no’ is usually difficult for you. Heck, practising self love is also challenge for you!
If you feel that someone is trying to take advantage of you, you can use one of the 5 ways below to say no without offending (much).
*Here are 5 ways for you to say ‘no’ without offending.
I’m busy at the moment so I can’t help you with XXX.
I think we should do XXX ourselves.
I’m not comfortable doing XXX.
I can’t help you with XXX right now. Maybe next time.
No, not today. (no explanation given)
*All the above should be said in a neutral or in a pleasant tone of voice.
Saying no builds self respect.
You are also protecting yourself from over-committing, burning yourself out, doing something you don’t want to do and feeling terrible about it.
Habit #2: Listen to your body
How do we ‘listen to our bodies’? We’ve heard this phrase so many times, but how do we do it daily for self love purposes?
Be aware of your bodily sensations.
If you are sleepy, take a nap. If you are hungry, eat. If you are thirsty, get a drink. If your eyes feel strained, take a break from your laptop. If your skin feels dry, slap on a sheet mask. If you feel like doing some stretching, do it. If you feel the need to talk to your husband, do so.
Catch the drift? :) The steps above are simple, but not always easy to do. That is because many of us are used to suppressing or ignoring our bodily sensations.
When you are hungry, be present and find out what your body wants to eat today.
It can be as random as a peach or maybe you are drawn to a fast food meal at that time. As long as you are balanced when eating, your body can handle some fried food here and there.
If your body feels tired, rest. Many of us have a habit of ‘powering through’ our exhaustion.
This makes us unproductive. Feeling terrible (and looking terrible to boot).
Surprisingly, when you rest (make sure you clear your mind too - very important.), you will have more energy to complete your work later on.
You will finish your work in maybe half the time as compared to bulldozing through your exhaustion to get it done. You can bet that the work will be of better quality too.
Habit #3: Good vibes only
A HUGE part of self-love is being very selective about whom you accept in your social circle.
Surround yourself with positive people. How do you know if someone should be included in your circle?
If that person makes you feel good 90% of the time, he or she is a keeper.
I would like to add that you should only be friends with people who have healthy self-esteem. People with healthy self-esteem will support you and be happy for you when you succeed.
People with good self-esteem are usually transparent with their actions, words and feelings.
If you have ever doubted if a friend is happy for your success or not - that ‘friend’ might have to be kicked out of your circle soon.
Get rid of frenemies, Debby Downers, complainers, backstabbers, toxic people, people who like breaking friendships and relationships, highly insecure people. (Don’t underestimate the toxicity level of a highly insecure ‘friend’.)
To put it lightly, these people will give you headaches and heartaches. We don’t have time for that.
Habit #4: Don’t be so harsh on yourself
Even your good friends and family don’t expect you to be perfect. Why should you?
Even the person you admire most has made many mistakes. Sometimes, we will accidentally say something which hurts someone else. We might do the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Learn something from those slip-ups, forgive yourself and move on.
Habit #5: Love your ‘weaknesses’
I’m sure you can come up with 3 of your weaknesses in 5 seconds flat.
As humans, we are programmed to focus on the negative aspects of something - which,sadly, includes focusing on the negative aspects of ourselves.
Embrace them as part of you. Admit that you are nervous about public speaking, you tend to procrastinate and so on.
I have a candid worksheet - ‘Love Your Quirks’ - which helps you view how your ‘weaknesses’ can be helpful in some situations.
For example: I am an over-thinker, thus I wrote down how overthinking has helped me in 2 situations.
If you have children, you can complete this worksheet with them as well. It helps them to re-frame how they view their own perceived ‘weaknesses’.
If you want a copy of this worksheet, you can download it below.
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See you in my next blog post.
All the best,