If self-love is too hard - focus on liking yourself first.Jul 20, 2020
There is a lot written about the importance of self-love but the idea of loving yourself, loving your body can seem unreachable to some people. If you feel you cannot love yourself yet, can you like yourself just a bit more?
Start with liking yourself a bit more.
I suggest to clients that whilst love is the goal how about starting with appreciating yourself a bit more, accepting yourself a bit more, reaching a point of feeling neutral, if necessary just tolerating yourself a bit more – a first step.
When we have goals in a work or project environment, we tend to break them down into steps and it is helpful to utilise the same approach with goals for ourselves. Yet the words self-love and love yourself are bandied around frequently without any steps on how to get there.
I have discovered, through my own development, that the key to feeling confident and living life more fully is self-acceptance and self-love – being kinder to yourself.
Taking small steps towards self-love will pay off
However, I didn’t get to that place overnight it was a gradual process, and an ongoing one – everyone has their off days.
For me, it was around body image. Reaching a place of more body-acceptance lead to a place of greater self-acceptance. It started with acknowledging and appreciating things my body had enabled me to do and what it does daily, just by functioning.
This approach does not just apply to bodies – it can be directed towards those parts of your character, your personality that make you feel less than, less confident, less worthy, that you wish were different. Can you just try liking it a bit more – accepting it. Seeing it as a part of your whole, rather than as an individual entity.
As far as body image goes – it does not matter what body size you have so many women have a part of their body they dislike or would wish to change. That they frequently think or speak negatively about.
A change in perspective is powerful.
The first step to change these feelings is to change our perspective. For example when thinking about exercise – instead of thinking “I have to work out & diet because I hate my body” change it to “I’m going to work out so that I can feel the best I can and get stronger. I’m going to eat in a way that gives me energy and makes me feel well because that’s what I deserve.” Read more here.
It may feel a bit weird and as if you don’t quite believe it when you start flipping this mindset. Stick with it and it will become your reality.
I have had various times in my life when I regularly exercised but they all started from a negative mindset – the only reason I started was to lose weight because I hated my body. In 2008 I started another spell of working out and yes it was spurred on by this thinking but 12 years later I am still consistently working out because my reasons why have changed. It is no longer purely about aesthetics – it is about how it makes me feel, because I enjoy feeling strong, I enjoy the actual exercise I am doing (most of the time😂). Do I always feel like it, no, but what I do know is how I’ll feel after I start & what I gain from doing it, in totality. Read more here.
Nia goes onto say “you’re entitled to feel good about yourself. Reaching a particular body shape, size, appearance you desire isn’t a prerequisite.”
Bring in gratitude.
Sharon Mumby embarked on a project to be grateful to something about her body every day and literally started with being grateful to her feet. Starting with something like this can build until you a reach a place of true appreciation and gratitude to your body and what it can do - irrespective of what it looks like.
I have also found that the more I focus on gratitude the more positive I feel about life as a whole. It changes your mindset totally. Read more here. It is a key step in reaching self-acceptance.
If fighting against yourself hasn’t worked why not make a change and try a different approach?
If this is something you feel you would like support with find out more about how we can work on this together here.