“Self-Love” – it’s the modern day buzz word of the mindfulness industry, yet when it comes to being truly self-loving, most people get it wrong. Modern day self-love has taken on various connotations that represent some form of treat-yo-self mixed with retail therapy, red wine and bubble baths that does little more than create another distraction that keeps us from truly dealing with our “stuff” so we can move forward towards all new levels of success.
When we leave behind the fluff and nonsense that social media and big corporates would have us believing and get real for a moment – what is self-love and how can this practice improve our success levels, in all areas of our lives?
What is self-love?
Every time we travel we’re given the instructions to “put on our own mask first”. This is the very essence of what it means to be truly self-loving: to make the decisions that are best for us, to look after and take responsibility for our own needs first and realizing that in doing so we’ll ultimately do what’s best for everyone else.
Regardless of what society has led people to believe, the truth of the matter is that the only being on the face of the earth that can make anyone happy or sad, inspired or depressed, excited or anxious is the person experiencing those feelings. Instead, people are led to believe that their happiness lies within something (a new car or a bigger home for example) or someone else. Jerry McGuire’s phrase “You complete me” may have been the most damaging statement to every grace the ears of men and women worldwide, simply because it created a belief that we are not responsible for our own completeness or feelings.
Furthermore, society has reached a point where people are often shamed for looking after themselves and their needs, quickly being categorized as narcissistic in doing so. It’s important to note then the difference between self-love and narcissism.
Simply put, self-love means doing what’s best for you knowing that in doing so, you’ll be doing the best for everyone around you. Example of making decisions from self-love include: breaking up with a person you’re no longer in love with, leaving a job that you hate or that leaves you emotionally and mentally drained, or choosing not to partner with someone who is only interested in your ability to generate them large sums of money.
On the other hand, a narcissist is someone who wouldn’t hesitate to harm or hurt others to further their own needs or agendas. Narcissists wouldn’t think twice about lying, stealing and manipulating others to get their way.
Building a self-love practice is easier than you think!
Self-love advocate Tiffany Toombs says that through establishing a self-love practice anyone can let go of their limiting beliefs and self-doubt to achieve more success in every area of your life. Here are her 10 steps to creating more success through self-love:Forgive yoursel
- Forgive yourself
We’re often quick to forgive others when they treat us poorly or let us down. We also tend to hold onto the anger, disappointment and animosity we feel towards ourselves for letting the negative incident happen. When we hold onto their negative emotions towards ourselves the become stored in our body as toxins. Overtime, like any other toxic chemical, these toxic emotions begin to break down our body’s ability to function by influencing our hormones, our digestive abilities and our mental functioning. Through self-forgiveness we can begin to let go of these toxins and allow our ability to repair itself and begin functioning in the harmonious state it was meant to work in.
2. Learn the Lesson
One way we can truly begin to forgive ourselves and let go of the negative or disempowering patterns of behaviour we have is to learn the lessons that each obstacle was meant to teach us. Oftentimes we become so focused on overcoming the challenge and moving onto the next venture that we never truly gain the lessons we needed to gain. Taking time to reflect on each challenge is imperative to our ability to grow and reach new levels of self-awareness, success and overall consciousness in life.
3. Set boundaries
One of the greatest challenges people face in reaching true success is learning to say “no” to the things that are distractions, not aligned with their goals or the things they don’t truly want to do. When we say no to all the things that are wrong for us, we make time and mental space for the things that truly make us happy.
4. Get intentional
Few people would set out on an important road trip without having a map or an understanding of where they want to travel to, yet in life people do this every day. People are so afraid of making the wrong decision, because they have no idea what it right for them. Deciding where you want to go in life – the legacy you want to leave behind, the milestones you want to accomplish, allows you to make daily decisions easily.
Is the opportunity you’re faced with aligned with where you want to go? Will it help you get the knowledge and resources you need to get there faster? If it is – go for it!
Will it distract you, waste your time and send you in the opposite direction of where you’re looking to go? If so, say no and stay focused on where you’re going.
5. Know thyself
Building on understanding what you want your legacy to be, it’s important to have an strong understanding of who you are and what’s important to you at your core. While it may seem obvious, when asked what their core values are, most people aren’t able to list them off very easily.
Write down your top 10 values, ask yourself everyday if you’ve lived a life true to these values. If you have, you’ll feel a sense of inner harmony. It’s when we’re living out of congruence with our values we experience conditions such as depression and anxiety.
6. Create space
Get rid of the clutter that is no longer aligned with where you’re going. Your surroundings should represent the person and goals you are working on achieving, not the person you were yesterday.
It’s also worth noting that our physical surroundings are representative of our mind – a cluttered environment means a cluttered mind. Success, innovation and creativity are hindered within a cluttered space.
7. Recharge and rejuvenate
Despite the modern day “hustle and grind” propaganda, our bodies are not machines. Without proper time to rest and rejuvenate, our bodies will begin to break down.
Make a list of activities that make you feel happy, calm and rested and work these activities into your schedule on a regular basis.
8. You are what you eat
Our body produces new red blood cells every single day, new skin cells every 7 days and our bones remodel themselves every 21 days. Even the brain you have today has different neural pathways than what you had yesterday. While most people know that proper nutrition is incredibly important, few people actively pay attention to what they put in their mouth.
You can’t create a million dollar business with a dollar menu mindset – and your success won’t last if you don’t give your body the building blocks to create a strong physical and mental structure that can weather the climb to the top.
9. Watch your mouth
Our unconscious mind, the part of our brain that is responsible for driving our behaviour, is unable to understand the difference between truth and lies or fiction and reality. As a result, our unconscious minds literally believes everything we tell it. If you tell yourself regularly that you’re a loser, not good enough or worthless, your unconscious mind will believe you and respond by causing you to make decisions and act in ways that provide the proof to back up your beliefs.
You have 1,500 words travelling through your unconscious mind every moment, thereby making you the person you communicate the most with. Choose your words wisely…your unconscious mind and your success depends on it!
10. Take action, consistently
The best way to improve your confidence, your self-satisfaction, self-love and self-esteem is to start doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Stop with the excuses that you’ve been telling yourself about why you can’t and start doing what you need to do to live the lifestyle you’re dreaming of. Day in and day out, take one step forward towards your goal. One step a day, that’s all you need.
Nothing changes your mindset and beliefs about yourself faster than seeing your progress and forward momentum. Start practicing all these steps on a regular (daily) basis, and you’ll see just how quickly living a life from a place of self-love will create opportunities and experiences beyond your wildest dreams!