February is upon us, and everywhere you turn there are hearts, overpriced chocolates, and an explosion of cuddly toys. It can only mean one thing – Valentine’s Day is imminent.
Fluffy teddies and flowers aside, the theme of ‘love’ that invades all of our senses at this time of year doesn’t necessarily have to be directed at a partner, lover, or spouse. It’s perfectly okay to indulge in a spot of self-love.
I recently attended a networking group for women where we had the opportunity to briefly talk about ourselves and our businesses. It was interesting to observe each lady proudly talking about their family but then clamming up when the conversation turned to themselves. We were all successful business women, but the thought of ‘bigging’ ourselves up, and selling ourselves was visibly tough.
I observed this and then fell into the same trap when it was my time to talk. I introduced myself and launched comfortably into ‘my name’s Shelley, and I’m a single mum to three lovely teenagers,' cue the oohs and aahs of my fellow networkers as we laugh/share/commiserate over the teen years and motherhood in general. Then when the group leader asked me about my work, I automatically dropped my head, avoided eye contact and mumbled something about being an author and blogger and selling a ton of books, but eer, well, umm, I’m not sure who buys them *nervous giggle*. OMG!
How is it possible that I can sit in front of a computer and share with the world how much I adore writing, how my books are aimed at women who want to make the best of themselves, as well as write articles about feeling empowered. Then, when I’m given the opportunity to confirm this face-to-face I lose all confidence, and my self-esteem takes a tumble.
Has this happened to you? If so, then I’m happy to say that you’re not alone. We all do it!
On the drive home, I finally understood that to have the confidence to sell myself, I needed to believe that I’m worthy of my success. It’s not a fluke that I’ve sold over 10,000 copies of my first non-fiction book. It’s not a one-off that 15,000 people visit my blog in the space of one month. These statistics came about through hard work, dedication, and a passion for what I do. I just need to believe that!
One of the goals I’ve set myself for 2017 is to learn to love myself more. It might sound like a lame goal, but judging from my reaction at the networking group, it’s a goal I need to be working on.
Self-love. What is it? The definition is ‘regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.’ Wow, can you see how we as women fail to love ourselves? We are always making sure that our husband/wife, children, and friends are happy, healthy, and cared for but then we never leave enough time to ensure we give ourselves the same amount of care and attention. This is why it was so easy for the women in the group to share their pride about family but not express the same confidence in themselves – we haven’t learned how to self-love.
How on earth do you learn such a skill, I hear you ask, well, allow me to share my top five tips:
Although we were all guilty of a lack of personal confidence, the ladies at my networking group were more than capable of encouraging each other and offering guidance and support. Finding a community such as this will help you build, or re-build, those feelings of self-esteem and conviction.
Stop Negative Talk
When we put ourselves down, we are only reinforcing that lack of self-esteem. Telling ourselves (or even just thinking) that we are boring/unattractive/fat/stupid feeds our mind to believe this even more. STOP! Take notice of the language you use when referring to yourself, turn everything into a positive affirmation. ‘I am successful,' or ‘I am happy and healthy in my skin.' The more you talk about yourself in a positive way, the faster you’ll believe it to be true.
Yep, I’m sharing my love of de-cluttering yet again, but the benefits of clearing out your cupboard space, Facebook friends list or garden shed are monumental. It also leave you with a clearer mind.
No More Comparisons
I could dedicate an entire blog post to this (which I might still do), but the fast-paced life of social media means that we are always in a position to compare our life/career/family to that of the online communities we are a part of. Be honest, who has followed someone on Facebook and wished for just a second that your life looked like theirs? Stop comparing yourself to others. You are a unique individual and need to start embracing the positivity in your life.
I blogged about releasing negative energy through Acupuncture a few weeks ago, you can read that post HERE. Letting go of past hurts is hugely important when building up our self-love. We can’t move forward when clinging onto pain, heartache, anger, or frustration about the past. Find a therapy that works for you and let go of the past. Acupuncture is a great therapy to try, as is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Coaching, Reiki, and journaling are also powerful therapies.
What does self-love mean to you? Do you take the time to nurture your own needs? If so, what do you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please add a comment below.
Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here: Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest