Over the years of speaking for a variety of events, such as business conferences, self-empowerment workshops, church services and schools, my messages tend to follow the philosophy that every individual possesses the power within them to create the life they desire. The common barrier to activating this power is a lack of self-love that demands the very best. I will get back to this thought a little later, however, this lack of self-love is most often masked by an outward display of contentment with their present life. Funny thing is, people don't usually come to the types of events that I speak at unless they desire more than they are currently getting out of life. So, I routinely get asked the question: How do I get closer to the life of my thoughts and dreams?
Let me first say that loving one's self is an action, not a state of good feelings. Whether you do or do not love yourself becomes evident through the way you carry yourself, in your work performance, in the way you allow others to treat you, even in the way you treat others. Furthermore, you will never properly love another human being until you learn to properly love yourself. You won't even have good parenting skills if you don't love yourself.
Loving yourself starts with...YOU. You have to look within. There is nothing outside of yourself that can give you what you need. Lack of self-love means lack of self-confidence which equates to a lowered self-esteem. When you have none of these things, you don't think highly enough of yourself to demand the treatment that you rightfully deserve. You settle. You settle because you assume anything is better than nothing. You feel as though you don't deserve the best, or you aren't worthy of the best, so you might as well just take what you can get. People pick up on this and guess what? They aren't going to love you, or treat you any better, because they don't have to. If you don't think more of yourself, why should they? Harsh reality, right? Well, guess what...there really are people out there that will take advantage of your state of mind and emotions. They'll abuse you, they'll walk all over you, and you'll allow it because you don't know any better or expect any differently.
Well, I'm here to tell you better! There is so much power in loving yourself. When you love yourself, it shows: You look different, your attitude is different, your walk and your talk is different, EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU IS JUST DIFFERENT! People will respect you because they will see that you understand your own worth. They'll see that you have standards and that you are mindful of everything. You're able to love another human being because you love yourself.
When you love yourself, you're happy just because. That's a supernatural joy that comes from the inside. No one gave you that...at least not another human being, because another human being isn't capable of giving you that. That's just between you and God.
My challenge for you this week involves seven steps to self-love:
Be mindful...of your thoughts, feelings, and wants.
Create a list of your major wants (desired life) -- work on purpose to achieve your wants.
Devote measurable time acting on things you need to do to advance your wants----simply put, focus more on your needs and less on social things.
Practice good self-care--good physical self-care consist of things like exercise, healthy sleeping and eating habits, etc. But emotional and mental self-care are also important. Know your limits.
Set boundaries--it is imperative to set boundaries or people will always attempt to determine how your focus and time are spent. Learn to say no and be okay with it.
Forgive yourself for past behavior that leave you feeling guilty, remorseful, angry, etc. Self-forgiveness one of the first steps to healing.
Live on purpose--BE INTENTIONAL IN EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO!!! Live life, don't let it run you!
So, what's love got to do with it? After reading this week's article, I trust that your answer is...EVERYTHING!