…Finally, loving yourself will act as your protective shield. If you are aware of your worth, nothing can shake you down. No mean comment, no failure, no bumps, and no ill-intentioned people, NOTHING.
As a part of my series about “Learning To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Mylene Garot. Mylene is an outstanding business development executive and Emotional Intelligence expert with extensive success in driving strategic innovation, revenue growth and Emotional Intelligence coaching, with over 10 years of marketing, business development, and start-up experience. Author of The Emotional Intelligence Guidebook (for Successful People).
Thank you so much for joining us! Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
I am working on building an Emotional Intelligence coaching company for individuals and businesses. I believe that through Emotional Intelligence, people can learn how to love themselves and improve their relationships with others. I am also writing a second book on the subject, I hope it will help people through their journey.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?
Discovering that some people will always hate you no matter how perfect you are and that most of the time they hate you because they are jealous really changed my perspective. I was the kind of person to take other people’s judgment very personally because I never fit any “mold”, I have found my tribe very late.
Emotional intelligence principles really helped, Self-awareness in particular. The successful people I have met throughout my career shared a common characteristic: they are highly self-aware, they perfectly know their strengths and weaknesses. They take the time to scrutinize deficiencies and proactively work on bettering themselves in both their professional and personal lives. This really helps to learn how to love yourself and work on your flaws. There has to be a POSTIVE internal dialogue. Instead of berating yourself with affirmations like “I am too fat”, transform your inner conversation saying “ I am a little overweight but I am working on it”. And take actual actions about it!
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
The current male and female celebrities, Social Medias and so on, all those “public” figures show perfect bodies, perfect smiles, and unreal lifestyles. People are very keen to watch how lives the neighbor (that’s why Reality TV has such great success) but they also keep comparing themselves to those people.
Yes, do you see a pattern? Still talking about jealousy here…
As a matter of fact, I believe that if we would stop being jealous and comparing ourselves to others, we would be happier and love ourselves more.
I am actually surprised that almost 1 out of 3 people are very satisfied with their appearance. While it should be 100%, I was expecting a way lower ratio.
Also, appearance is not the only way to love yourself. It contributes for sure to self-esteem but we can name also money, relationships, and occupation.
The consequences? People rush to do surgery which has become incredibly banal but also it contributes to the Occidental mood: people are depressed and distressed. If we would be looking more at our own “plate”, we would definitely love ourselves more.
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
Love yourself is important for various things. First, because this is how you attract the right people into your life. Toxic people are attracted by the weak and people lacking self-confidence so they can easily “play” with them.
Second, because loving yourself leads to self-confidence and self-confidence leads to success.
Third, because loving yourself keep the right people into your life. We are not talking about narcissism here but about genuine self-love with our flaws and our strengths.
There is a saying in French that literally says: “ To be able to love others, you must be able to love yourself first”. This is pretty ironic because French people are known for lacking self-confidence a lot, but anyhow, you understand the point. This is hard to give others love when you are not able to give love to yourself.
Finally, loving yourself will act as your protective shield. If you are aware of your worth, nothing can shake you down. No mean comment, no failure, no bumps, and no ill-intentioned people, NOTHING.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
Mediocre relationships are for me a major contributor for someone’s unhappiness. People around you must love you, support you and always help you to grow, otherwise let them go. You don’t have time for people who use you as a foil, or people who treat you bad or disrespect your time. You worth more than that and those people will always make you think that you are worthless. The further you stay from them, the stronger the love for yourself will be.
When we talk about self-love and understanding we don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
How can I hold myself accountable?
If usually, you blame others when something goes wrong, well, stop. The best leaders are able to spot their own mistakes and are not afraid to make amends for it. Make sure to always admit to your mistakes and face the consequences, whatever they are. Because at the end of the day, the only person you are lying to, is yourself. On the plus side, you will sleep better at night and you will quickly earn the respect of people around you.
Where am I standing with my social skills?
If I except people to treat me well, I should do well-ordered charity and start to treat others the same way. Aggression and rejection don’t always come from outside. This is sometimes what we give to people that bounces right back at our face and hurts. It is sometimes hard to admit that people react the way they do because of the way we treat them.
One day, I realized that I was the only one responsible for my unhappiness: toxic boss, toxic friends, absent family… It was like I was attracting all this negativeness like a magnet. Then I decided to turn my life around. Quit the job, let the friends go and call my family more, it drastically improved my life. In the meantime, I realized that my happiness was more important than almost anything else and that I needed to cultivate it like a flower. Therefore, I am doing something good for me, every single day. Only one thing you might say? Of course, more if I can! But I will focus on this one thing that makes me feel good and knows that I did only for myself only.
So many don’t really know how to be alone or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
I have a simple answer… it is based on the Emotional Intelligence’s principles: The internal dialogue. In order to maintain ourselves as an emotionally intelligent person, and to feel comfortable to be alone, it is essential to establish a continuous internal dialogue.
Always communicate with yourself, always try to hear and to understand your feelings. Always ask the question, why am I feeling that?
In psychology, I have studied the importance of internal dialogue. Some theories stand that we all have in our head, a mother (= reassure), a father (= rationalize) and a child (=fear, play). It is important to listen to every one of them and understand which one is driving you at this moment. Use the mom to control your fears and the dad to see the bigger picture.
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
Love yourself and others will love you too!
That sounds silly but that’s true. People admire self-confidence that comes with self-love. Self-love will also help you to set up the boundaries with others so your relationships stay healthy. Self-understanding leads to self-management. Self-management is the ability to control and reorient destructive urges and moods. Think about the reliability, integrity and relaxed acceptance of the change. It’s about not letting your emotions paralyze you, and instead exploit your positive emotions and align your emotions with your passions and interact positively with others.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
I know I am blowing my own horn here but learning Emotional Intelligence is what people need to do to understand and accept themselves.
Emotional intelligence means to embark on the path of “self-actualization”, in other words, introspection.
Working on our emotions allows us to know ourselves more intimately, to know who we are. When we have a better idea of who we are, and who we become, we can make better choices for our lives.
Getting to know yourself better through emotional intelligence allows you to develop positive behaviors in response to fluctuations in your environment.
Self-discovery, which can be compared with Socrates’ “know yourself”, is a lifelong process. In addition, it is the foundation of lasting satisfaction and happiness, which is intimately linked to mental, emotional, and physical health. We can only manage our emotions if we know ourselves. In psychiatry, theories that state that emotional intelligence is above all a work on yourself are confirmed. Emotional Intelligence is a psychic approach that uses the emotions, even the most unpleasant, to go beyond their oppositions by finding a solution that can get you out of a situation. The capacity to verbalize emotions internally makes it possible not to reject them in a negative way, it is called a discharge in psychiatry. For example, the discharge of fear is manifested by cries and tremors. From the psychic approach, we can then associate emotional intelligence with a way of life, a way of thinking and perceiving the environment. So, it’s a very individual process.
Introspection is the “entrance ticket” when you want to embark on the “journey” of Emotional Intelligence and self-love. There are other determining criteria including, personality, culture, education.
In society, Education should aim to demonstrate the singularity of individuals, and the acceptance of differences in thought and affect systems.
It influences how the individual experiences his emotions and how he manifests them. Society should allow people to discharge their emotions more often. GOLEMAN proposes to integrate EI in the education of children. According to him, EI is acquired by socialization from childhood. Through his various studies, he suggests different “areas of work” to help improve a child’s EI.
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
1- Do Yoga or meditation or anything that will allow you to be calm and thinks only about yourself. This will be reflected directly in your relationships because your body language will convey a certain serenity.
2- Work-out! There is nothing more satisfying than finishing an intense working session. Endorphins are picking up and you feel good about yourself.
3- Eat well. The food that you put in your body is like gas. If you put bad quality gas, your energy and your body will suffer from this.
4- Get out of your comfort zone! Push the imaginary limits that you impose on yourself. You will be so proud to go over your own limitations!
5- Keep a Journal: Diaries are a great tool to improve your self- awareness. We are not talking of a teen diary here but if you spend just a few minutes each day writing down your thoughts and emotions, it can move you to a higher degree of self- awareness.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
The best (and most useful) book I have ever read is the Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. I literally quit smoking (smoker for over 10 years) right after I finished the last page of the book. It transformed my life and the way I have treated myself ever since. Being capable of such exploit reportedly so hard to achieve, made me believe I was capable of anything.
Also, every book you can read about emotional intelligence resonates with me. They teach you how to talk to yourself and others in order to be happy because at the end of the day this is what it is all about. Emotional Intelligence always pushes you to build your “best self” every day. According to the definition I have developed through my research, Emotional Intelligence is a lifestyle and we can cultivate it throughout our lives.
Daniel Goleman’s book: Emotional Intelligence can help the readers have a better overview of what exactly it is. The can also read my book: The Emotional Intelligence Guidebook (For Successful People).
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I would say empathy… That would be such a great virtuous circle. If people would empathize with their fellow humans, there will be no feeling bad about our flaws, no shame, no bullying, no self-esteem problems and most definitely everybody will be free to love themselves for who they are. Empathy is about understanding the emotions of other people. It’s about thinking about other people’s emotions, especially when making decisions. This is actually very easy to implement: Try to understand the situation from another point of view. Start with an external situation where you are not emotionally involved. Try to understand why this person had this reaction and why the other reacted like this. Learn also that there are always two sides to a story, there are as many perspectives as there are people.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
“The world is what YOU think of it, so think of it DIFFERENTLY and your life will change.”
― Paul Arden, Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite
Everything is a matter of perception. If you think negatively you will attract negative things. If you believe that anything can happen and that you are capable of anything, then you are. Everything is reachable if you put it within your reach.
In my life, it leaves my loved ones puzzled because when I reach the top of the mountain, I am already aiming for the next one. Always pushing the limits further because I understand that I am able to. I only take a few moment to be proud and happy about myself. That needs to be worked on for sure, but also what wakes me up every morning is to be better today than the days before.