Can you love others if you don’t love yourself? Nope. Along the same lines, how can you expect other people to love you if you don’t love yourself? You can’t. Sadly, people do this all the time. They wait to be loved to be validated and when they don’t feel validated by outside sources, they don’t feel love and in turn – don’t love others well. What a vicious cycle.
The long-overused cliché about putting your oxygen mask on before helping others is a prime example of how important it is to love yourself before you love others. Without the vital air, you can’t be of genuine service to those depending on you because you are starved for oxygen. If you don’t have love flowing into your heart, it is difficult for it to flow outward.
Loving yourself is more than thinking you’re beautiful or that you’re smart or whatever vain way love can be expressed. Loving yourself is so much more. Loving yourself includes:
? Holding yourself to moral standards
? Maintaining your health
? Being responsible and dependable
? Having healthy boundaries
? Having personal preferences
? Setting limits
? Being forgiving and grace-filled
That’s just a partial list of what loving yourself looks like. Being in a healthy relationship with yourself allows you to be in healthy relationships with others because it starts inward and flows outward. It also allows for self-preservation and protection from unhealthy people who don’t have love flowing from within themselves.
After hearing this, do you love yourself? Do you need to focus on an area of self-love and grow a bit? That’s great news! All you need is a plan and to take action to build yourself up from within.
Here are my top five ways to grow your inner spaces and fill them with love:
Check your top five- Who are the five people you spend the most time with? What are the five books you have recently read? What are the five ways you most recreate? What are the five foods you eat most often? See the pattern? The people and the things you spend the most time doing are influencing how much you love yourself. Make sure each five is the best it can be for each situation.
Go on five dates with yourself- Many people simply can’t fathom doing things alone. For them, especially introverts, it feels like being a loser. Take yourself on five dates alone to some magical places and do whatever your heart desires. This act of self-love will turn your thinking around and make it extra special when you plan good times with others.
Take five minutes five times a day- That’s not a lot of time but giving yourself five private minutes five times per day can make a big difference. With kids, spouses, bosses, clients, and more pulling at your attention, five minutes can be a power nap, a quick walk, a coffee break, a song or two, or you-time that no one else can penetrate.
Make a list of five adventures- Plan out five adventures that your heart has been dying to try. From bungee jumping to seeing the Eiffel Tower, your heart has dreams. Jot five down and don’t let anything stop you from checking them off.
Meet five people- We all have people we want to meet. Mentorships we would love to have. Our minds get in the way and convince us that it isn’t possible. It is! Of the five people you want to connect with, statistically speaking, one will say yes. Once you have made the connection and achieved the goal, the fear of the unknown is gone and meeting new people will become easier.
Growing your self-love from the inside and letting it spill out onto others is the best way to have healthy and fulfilling relationships. These steps are a great way to get there in record time.
At Citizen Counselling and Coaching a number of our counsellors and coaches can provide support around building confidence and bettering self-esteem. This can include identifying the obstacles to being more confident, creating practical plans and advice through sharing techniques and models that have worked for others.
Our ÔMy Confidence CoachÕ online programme and Coaching was designed for time poor busy people looking to increase their confidence and make a positive change in their lives.
Our Increasing Confidence page can explain more