The Importance of Self Love
Develop a love affair with yourself and become unbreakable
The title seems fairly self-explanatory, right? Self-love is important because well….. Because it is?!? When pressed to answer why self-love is so important many people begin to struggle with coming up with rational and measurable rationale for why I have been placing such an emphasis on self-love.
In my world, self-love is crucial for engaging in good self-care, for choosing yourself, and for showing up for yourself. Each of the previous statements are accurate and relevant, however it’s really just the framework for the endless possibilities of goodness that flows from you loving yourself! You literally become unbreakable when you unconditionally love yourself.
1. People Treat You The Way They See You Treating Yourself: There’s an old 12 step adage that says, “We teach people how to treat us.” If we treat ourselves as if we are worthy of love, compassion, and empathy it sends the message to those paying attention in our lives to treat us with those same characteristics.
Whereas if we are harsh, critical, and belittling of ourselves the people around us will eventually treat us in the same manner. Even if you are forced to act as if you believe you are worthy of deep self-love, let’s remain mindful of the fact that we set the example that other people follow.
2. The Love Of Other People Needs To Be A Bonus Not A Requirement: My husband has been telling me a similar concept for years. So let’s just keep it between us that he was actually correct!
When you love yourself completely and think you deserve only wonderful things in your life, it changes your interaction with others. Instead of being dependant on others to give you that sense of worthiness, that feeling and experience begins coming from within. Depending on other people to make you feel loved creates an unhealthy relationship and typically creates a foundation of codependence.
3. Self-Love Creates A Foundation For True Happiness: Greater life satisfaction has been noted amongst people who love themselves. When you believe positive and wonderful things about yourself, you will find more satisfaction and gratitude in your daily life.
It’s not different than anything else that we focus on growing. Look at any of the research surrounding gratitude. Dr. Daniel Amen talks extensively about how when people focus on three things that they are grateful for daily, they have a better quality of life within three weeks. Making the commitment to love yourself, opens up the gateway for true happiness.
4. Self-Love Translates Into Positive Body Image: When you love yourself, you treat yourself better. When you treat yourself better, you talk more positively about yourself. Many of the clients I work with, in the beginning, talk about how much absolute disdain they have for themselves when they look in the mirror. From a subconscious level, looking in the mirror triggers a negative diatribe to play about how they feel about their physical body.
When you are committed to a process of loving yourself, you no longer feel the need to verbally destroy that image you see in the mirror. Upon committing to self-love, many people gradually notice their body image shift.
5. Mental Health Issues Are Reduced By Self-Love: When we have higher amounts of self-love, it becomes easier for us to engage in self-compassion. Some studies have shown that people who have compassion for themselves are less likely to develop anxiety and depression.
Self love can also help you to not get lost in your own head, or slipping down the rabbit hole of morbid reflection. One of the common denominators of people who suffer from addiction and mental health issues is there’s a longing for a healthier relationship with themselves and self-love is often a remedy.
6. Reduction In Stress: Many people have found that engaging in self-love reduces stress, decreases performance anxiety, increases comfort around deadlines, and lessens procrastination.
Just think for a moment how much easier it would be to get that big task that looms over your head done, without the negative diatribe that plays in your head. When people are actively engaging in self-love, they are shown to rebound faster from adversity. Rarely can you control what life throws your way, but you can control how you handle that and what you do with it.
Now...develop that love affair so you can be the you you want to be, have others treat you the way you want to be treated, and know what it means to be truly loved by taking the following actions:
1. Practice Radical Acceptance: This is when you accept anything and everything that occurs in your life. It doesn’t mean you like it, condone it, or endorse it. But it means you are no longer wasting your time fighting against things that you are powerless over.
When I’m looking at how to apply acceptance in my life I frame it like this: Is this thing/event/occurrence/activity more important than my sanity or serenity? Is it more important than my happiness and well being?
2. Change Your Self Talk: I mean this very literally. Whatever negative talk you engage in from the safety of your own brain, this needs to stop at once! The way you flinch as if you’ve been burnt when you are trying to take a picture but the screen on your camera actually shows you...please don’t keep doing that! Instead of being so harsh on yourself, in an effort to protect yourself, work on affirming the great parts of you!
Whenever you begin down that negative road, instantly flip it and reinforce the opposite. It doesn’t matter if the opposite (positive) is true right now or now. Right now the focus is on creating a habit.
3. Make Yourself The Number One Priority: When you are anything less than the number one priority in your own life, it’s difficult to treat yourself lovingly. When you are not the priority, you will typically find yourself exhausted, overcommitted, resentful, angry, betrayed, and alone.
When you consistently ensure that your cup is always filled that allows you to be more of service, to give more to others, and consistently keep your commitments! Many of us have been raised and socialized to believe that making ourselves a higher priority over other people, is selfish but the exact opposite is actually true. It’s a very effective form of self preservation.
That is all there is to creating a love affair with yourself that no one can break. Easy? Or not?
Jenn Bovee is a Shame Busting Coach who helps people all over the world learn how to ditch the Shame and step into a life built of Self-love and Self-care! Learn more about the Self Love Foundation that Jenn has established here.