The goal of this article is to inspire the true value of working on ourselves and being there for us.
It is to show the masses of value that the practice of self-love provides each of our lives.
It is to inspire people in this action of knowing that it's okay and far more than okay to love ones self.
Let's face it, many of us fall into the trap of growing up thinking that we come must come second, we are taught doing too much for ourselves is selfish and that we must please others all the time even if that means we lose out.
Now, let me explain this clearly - self-love is not arrogance, neither is it a weakness.
It is the ability to live your life at the potential you were born to reach, it is stepping into your power as a loving individual.
Love is the greatest gift we can give, especially to ourselves.
With self-love, everything improves.
Our intimate relationships improve.
Our friendships improve.
Our family life improves.
We can be better Fathers, Mothers, Daughters, Sons, Husbands, Wives, Brothers, Sisters...
Our businesses improve.
Our work life improves.
Our health and vitality improves.
Our happiness improves.
The list goes on and on.
All because we did things for ourselves, daily.
Now let me tell you there was a time in my life where I didn’t think I was worth all that much, I didn’t think I was good enough to be me.
I really didn't love myself enough to stand out, to make mistakes, to fail or to even succeed.
My life has been a process of letting go of all that has held me back and letting in more of what propels me into the truth of who I am.
Ever since I was young I loved the idea of being super human, I would day-dream about being super strong, super skilful, able to do the impossible like teleportation or flying.
It was my way of escaping the mediocrity I felt within in, I know now it’s because I wanted to get away from myself.
The self that I didn’t actually think was all that super.
I loved the thought that if I could just be like that guy, or if I had this talent than I would feel amazing, then I would have the girl, then people would be impressed by me, then I would be joyous, expressive and happy, always myself no matter who I was with.
I'm sure a lot of you will relate to this in some way.
I spent a lot of hours reading, learning, growing, doing things I loved.
I spent hours and hours expanding my skills, for years I did things that made me happy, sometimes at the expense (financially) of my family (thank-you so much Mum and Dad).
I started to feel selfish in my ways and I was being selfish, there is no doubt about it.
My progress in my life often wasn’t about making money or having a full-time career, it was about inner growth, it was about feeling relaxed in myself, being authentic, feeling strong, able and healthy.
But then one day it clicked, all these years of doing what I loved had payed off.
There was a quiet growing within me, that growing was a powerful force called love.
Once I became aware of this love I realised that I had found what I had always been looking for, that super power, that way of feeling amazing within myself.
It was self-love, self-love began to set me free.
I well and truly loved myself.
Once I realised this, I fed it more and more, I gave it better and better quality nourishment, my personal development became all about being there for me and giving myself some much welcomed loving.
I did things for me, every single day. If I knew something need working through I was there for myself.
I began to look after myself more and more, exercising, doing what I loved, eating healthier, doing things that scared me, moving toward doing a job I enjoyed doing, making great friends and of course being kind to others as much as I was kind to myself.
This selfishness that I had into my early 20’s created in me the greatest gift I could possibly give the world, that gift is love, we cannot love others if we don’t first love ourselves, it’s true, we all know it.
I know it because I have experienced it, it has been a true gift and made me the person I am today.
Many people will shy away from the idea of self-love because they may see it as arrogance, an inflated ego or as i’ve said too selfish.
Many people are blocked from the path of self-love because they would much rather please others, no matter what negative effect that may have on themselves.
They feel they are letting others down by putting themselves first.
How very wrong they are.
Because of my self-love I can be a great partner for my Fiancé. I helped her heal a part of herself that was destroyed in her past relationship, without self-love our relationship would of fell apart.
I can be a great friend because I can give to them from a full cup.
I can be a great coach and writer because I love to help others on their journey just as I did for myself.
I can be a great first encounter for those I’m yet to meet, I can spread love wherever I go.
I can serve the world powerfully, unconditionally from the heart because of the love I feel within.
I can love because I’m happy.
I created that happiness.
This is a guide to self-love because I can write from experience of what creates self-love in our lives, this is my gift and my story to you because I know the struggle many people are going through with this part of their lives.
A lack of self-love ruins peoples lives.
Here are 5 simple actions that creates self-love and improves our lives forever:
1. Begin Taking Care Of Our Bodies.
If we want to feel good, we must move into our bodies.
We must exercise, we must eat nourishing foods that give us energy and vitality.
We must stretch, we must breathe fresh air, we must take in sunshine, we must relax and rest.
We must drink life-giving water to replenish all that we are.
We must do all these things to varying degrees.
Every. Single. Day.
It's easy for me to tell you to integrate this into your life, but I also know it's a catch 22 because it requires self-love to do these things so when we are low on self-love how do we do these things to create more self-love to allow ourselves to do more of these loving things?
Well, we firstly we must feel into gratitude, we must create a deep sense of gratitude.
Looking after our bodies means we are grateful for the amazing gift that we have been given, look at yourself, look at the amazing being that you are, truly unique on this planet.
I don't care if you are feeling down about yourself, you are amazing.
How could you not be, you are a miracle, miracles are happening within you.
Our hearts pump blood filled with nutrients around our bodies constantly.. I mean that's amazing right?
That is one of the many miracles that happen in our bodies without any conscious effort on our part.
We are amazing creations.
We have lost the gratitude for the fact that we are alive and we have fully functioning bodies (of course some do not, and that is even more reason to be grateful if we do).
We must step up to this gratitude and be loving to our bodies, even when we feel like sh*t.
That is self-love.
Exercise, breathe deep in fresh air, eat healthy, nourishing foods that taste great and drink lots of water.
2. Choosing Our Inner Dialogue.
Every single one of us on this earth talks to ourselves, we have an inner voice and for many people it never shuts up.
What many people aren’t aware of is that we can choose what that inner dialogue is.
Every single moment of every single day we have a choice whether we talk negatively to ourselves or if we talk positively to ourselves.
We can choose to talk hate on ourselves or to speak lovingly to ourselves, it's our choice.
So what can we do to make choosing this these thought processes a habit in our lives?
The first thing we can do to make this change is to begin observing.
We must simply become aware of what thoughts are coming up in our mind's, just watch the thoughts as they come in.
We can even keep a small journal of the main thoughts that come up.
Many people won’t like what they find, in fact i’m sure they will be surprised at the amount of negativity that has been pummeling their lives for years.
I was surprised and I still am by the self-sabotaging thoughts that like to pop up.
The greatest thing is that once we begin to be aware we can simply block thoughts that come in.
For instance a thought like "My partner doesn't love me, they aren't being affectionate toward me" can come in, when it does we can choose to say "No" to that thought and instead welcome in a new thought such as "I love being affectionate, I'm sure my partner could do with some affection right now".
We have made a choice there and then to not play the victim and instead choose the path of empowerment.
3. Letting Go Of Self-Judgment.
Let's stop any kind of self-judgement and self-blame.
If we want to be the best we can be and even make up for the mistakes we have made, self-blame will not help in this process whatsoever.
The loving and serving way for ourselves and others is to be compassionate and loving toward ourselves.
It’s okay to make mistakes.
It’s okay to look silly, to look a fool.
It’s okay to feel fear.
It’s okay to fail.
It's okay to be YOU.
There is no need to be harsh on ourselves, it doesn't help one bit.
It never will.
The best thing we can possibly do is move forward with our lives with the best of intentions in our hearts.
What's more is the LESS we judge ourselves, the less we judge others and the less we sense that others will judge us.
This creates much better connections with others and allows us to love more fully without fears holding us back.
4. Begin Taking Action.
Self-love is a practice and it requires taking action.
Begin today, now.
What is it that you would absolutely love to do with your time?
What do you love?
It could be a business you are creating.
It could be a passion or hobby that you adore and would love to do more of.
It could even be going to bed earlier each night and getting a much-needed rest.
It could be as mentioned in point number one, exercising and taking care of your body.
These are all actions of self-love.
What are the actions you can begin taking today that create more of what you love and more of what serves you and the world?
Take baby steps in the direction you would love to move and keep on moving forward bit by bit, step by step.
I believe in YOU.
We all have the capacity to take action, take the smallest of steps and we are action takers.
Let's do this!
5. Spending Time Alone.
We all need alone time, it's integral to our happiness.
Just as being social is such as spending time with those we love to have around us.
They go hand in hand.
Self-love is being there for ourselves.
When we need to recharge, when we need into feel our feelings and heal from within we must spend that time alone.
Whether it's a walk in nature or sitting quietly alone without any distractions.
When we feel down or sad, or when we feel overwhelmed or a little stressed... it's time to spend some time alone.
In this aloneness we really begin to know ourselves and in this knowing a loving and joy arises from within us and when we can be happy alone we know it is real happiness, a real joy just for being alive.
I like to use the analogy of us being a cup, when we spend a lot of time with others especially those that are demanding of us we expend energy or liquid from our cups.
When we spend time alone, or doing what we love, we begin to fill our cups back up.
In this filling of our cups we can then give ourselves to those we love and those in need because we have something within us to give.
Let's fill our cups and spend some time alone each day.
Even 10 minutes simply laying on our bed doing NOTHING can sometimes be enough.
So where do we start on this journey of self-love? What's the first step?
I invite you to begin adding these 5 things into your life, bit by bit.
Maybe you are doing 1 or more of these 5 things but know that the others could be improved then step up and add it in.
Enjoy the process and know that every step we take on this journey is a creating a better and better us.
One who can be there for others when we are needed most, one who is strong, healthy and full of vitality, an inspiration for those around them.
One who does what they love and because of this fills their cups every day, increasing their ability to give love to others. Their families, their friends, their Partner and their children.
If you take any steps in the direction of self-love today, you are amazing.
I don't care how small that step is.
With love, George.