This is an excerpt from my book, 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life…
You know that person everyone falls in love with the second he or she walks into a room? He or she doesn’t necessarily have to be gorgeous, or start throwing cash around the room. No, this person just has “something” that draws others in. And you’d give your right arm to know what it is that is so super awesome about that person. She isn’t necessarily even charming or charismatic; she just seems to radiate something that is magnetic.
I’ll save you the endless nights awake trying to figure out what it is.
Truth: That person loves herself. The end.
Confidence is about believing in yourself. Self-esteem is about believing in your worth.
Self-love is both of those wrapped up into one, plus more. It’s like the perfect feast for your soul.
And at the same time, self-love can be this mysterious, elusive thing. Ask a woman what her menstrual cycle is like or how she takes her coffee and she can tell you in great detail. But ask her about self-love and you’ll probably get a blank stare.
If you’re not sure whether you love yourself, here’s a quick quiz:
Do you think you’re awesome?
Do you love yourself unconditionally? (In other words, do you put conditions on your self-love such as your weight, salary, relationship status, etc.?)
Do you go after your goals while deep down knowing you are worthy of attaining them?
If you answered “no” to any or all of these questions, we’ve got some work to do, sister!
So, what is self-love anyway? In a nutshell, it’s embracing your imperfect self. It’s:
- Forgiving yourself for any past mistakes and moving forward.
- Forgiving others.
- Not contingent on your particular circumstances, how much pain you’re in, what you look like, or how much money you have.
- Not believing the made-up stories your inner-critic might tell you.
In my humble opinion, self-love is the best thing ever.
Yet, in our culture, self-love is such a misunderstood concept. Self-love is not conceited, narcissistic, self-absorbed, or vain. If you think that’s the case, I want you to scratch that record and create a new definition of self-love. One that starts with accepting who and where you are right now in this moment, no matter what is happening in or around you. No matter what you’ve been through in the past.
So, let’s do it. Make the decision right now to love yourself. Think it in your head; say it out loud. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but remember . . . anything worth fighting for has the tendency to be uncomfortable. And you are absolutely worth fighting for.
You might be thinking, “Is it really that easy? I just make the decision?”
Well, yes and no.
Yes, you can say those words to yourself. But no, it’s not like magic where you suddenly find yourself running through a field of daisies with your arms wide open (or if you do, you’re in a tampon commercial). Your thoughts have the ability to create your feelings and, in the end, your reality. So why not choose the best thoughts that will bring you the best life? You want to choose positive thoughts that come from a place of love in your heart, vs. fearful thoughts that are in your head.
Here’s another great thing about self-love: When you love yourself, the right people will be attracted to you and show up in your life. Self-love is some sort of magnetic energy that isn’t tangible, but people feel something great about you. Other people with good thoughts and good energy will want to be around you.
It’s time to be your own biggest fan, a legend even! You don’t have to announce it or have a vanity license plate telling everyone how awesome you think you are. At first, it can be your own little secret. Once you’ve made the decision to love yourself, here are some actions to take:
- Take responsibility for your life. Notice where you blame others or circumstances for your unhappiness or lack of fulfillment. Forgive people if you need to. Let it go.
- Forgive yourself for your past. You don’t live there anymore, so why are you still beating yourself up over it and letting it dictate your own self-love and self-worth?
- Own your story and at the same time love yourself for it. Everyone has a messy past. You’re human.
- Set healthy boundaries. Stop tolerating toxic people and drama (a.k.a. don’t put up with other people’s bullshit).
- Go after what you want (step out of your comfort zone if you need to). You’ll be scared. Do it anyway.
- Believe you are worth what you want. And I mean everything.
- Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Go to the doctor. See a therapist or counselor. Allow people to help you.
- Accept praise and compliments. Those are gifts. Say thank you instead of downplaying or denying the kind words.
Loving yourself is the first step in getting your kick-ass life. If you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to respect and believe in yourself. It’s hard to know you are worth anything. And it’s really hard to follow through with goals, to set good intentions, and to step into your destiny.
Yes, your destiny. Because I know for a fact, it is not your destiny to live a life of wishing and hoping for good things to happen to you. Fingers crossed. Believing dreams only come true for “those people.” You know what “those people” have in common? They love themselves.
It’s not luck; it’s love, baby.
And hey, if you need more support on this topic, I invite you to check out The Self-Love Revolution: The Master’s Course. An 8-week intensive to help you get from where you are now, to loving yourself.