If you struggle with a lack of self-confidence, you don’t like yourself, you hate looking in the mirror and you worry about how others perceive you, then please stop now!
I’ve been right where you are now and I turned it all around. I’m LOVING ME!
Was it a hard journey to self-love?
Short answer is yes as I never knew the impact of what I was doing to prevent the onset of severe anxiety.
If I had known or I had read something like this, I could have avoided a lot of costly mistakes and emotional pain and the tips I provide below are not difficult.
I gave my all to others
One of the main reasons for my anxiety was my lack of self-care, self-respect and self-love.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a bad relationship with myself in the mirror and I would hate to look at myself, but this became second nature. I would often curse myself and I remember being asked once while on my road to recovery…
‘would you say the things that you say to yourself to others?‘
Of course the answer is a big fat NO as I wouldn’t dream of hurting anyone like that…
‘so why do you say it to yourself?‘
Self-love isn’t selfish!
The realisation of the amount of self-hate was immense.
Further on in my journey through practicing mindfulness and meditation, I realised that another self-hate aspect of mine was avoidance.
I didn’t want to know me and I didn’t want to feel my emotions or aches and pains. I avoided everything and the easy way of doing this was to give my all to others. I always prided myself on making others happy, whether it was in my personal life or career. Making sure everyone else was OK, was what I lived for.
To love yourself is a concept that considers you to be very selfish and is disappointingly a taboo subject, but why?
I’ve often heard phrases like ‘that person loves themselves‘ as a negative remark and my generation was brought up to put others first, always.
The simple fact is, you can’t look after those you dearly love, if you don’t love yourself. FACT!
I’ve said it in the past and I meant every word of it, ‘my daughter will always come first‘. I’m not the only mother to have spoken those words, but let’s seriously think about this one sentence that is spoken often with so much passion, and I’ll relate it to my circumstances.
I was a single parent with a full time job trying to make ends meet on a low income. The only way I could see of improving our lives was to increase my income. This meant that I had to work hard to get myself noticed, study hard in my spare time to increase my skill set, be constantly on a merry go round of go to to work, come home, pay the babysitter, tired, aching, stressed, do the motherly duties, go to sleep, get up and do it all over again, day in, day out.
I realised the hard way that the answer all along wasn’t more money to bring happiness. Unfortunately, during this time of hard work, I sacrificed valuable time with my daughter when she needed me most. I failed to see the signs of what was happening, I failed to feel the toll on my body by ignoring the aches and pains and I neglected myself. I wasn’t important in all of this!
I told myself that I was making everyone happy!
What is self-love?
Like I’ve already said, I hated myself in the mirror.
Overtime and I’m talking years, I couldn’t go on a night out without having alcohol to give me the confidence to get up on the dancefloor. Of course, I’d end up pissed and do things that I would regret and then hide in shame until I buried it and moved on with something else. Avoidance is a word that I’ve become very well acquainted with.
I piled on the weight due to the amount of vodka and energy drinks and those midnight comfort eating snacks. This did wonders for my self-love, NOT!
I held my job down though so wasn’t I good? Here’s something that I can excel at. People appreciate me for what I can do for them, what more can I do?
Here in begins the entrapment of needing attention and needing that great feeling of being acknowledged by my peers. That was the love that I was looking for when all of the time, self-love and happiness was within me.
I had a fantastic pair of earrings that I wore everyday, MY SHOULDERS, but did I know what this was doing to me?
No, because I never put myself first. I never listened to my inner voice, my instinct. Mr EGO on the other hand was always there encouraging me and looking after me.
I got diagnosed with diabetes stage II, hmmmm!
I developed an over active thyroid, hmmmmmmmmm!
I develop general anxiety disorder and enough was enough.
Hopefully you can see how the above risks of not putting myself first, could have impacted on the care of my daughter?
How do I love myself?
You need to take time out and treat it as a spa treatment for your mental health. There are lots of guided meditations on YouTube for free and start with the beginner ones. Also, just go with the flow and don’t expect miracles after the one meditation.
You will be guided to perform breathing or visualise certain things and you may find it difficult at first, but just try a five or ten minute mindful meditation and enjoy your time out. If you want any help with this, please get in touch.
Practicing mindfulness allows you to be present in the moment and not in the land of your ego who is out to corrupt you.
Mr Ego’s job is to keep you safe, that’s all he knows and he will recall past events that you’ve forgotten all about and will guide you away from what is best for you. Don’t get me wrong, Mr Ego is good if you have balance of mind and you listen to your inner voice or intuition as well, if not more.
Using your senses by being in the present moment will help you relax. Not being on auto-pilot or over-thinking will allow you to make the right decisions and not be controlled by your emotions. Being creative or having a hobby is an excellent method of being in the present moment.
I have plenty of meditation and mindfulness tips should you want to read them and if you need advice, please do contact me.
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis will help you immensely with improving your self-worth. If you incorporate self-gratitude, you will soon be loving who you are.
Simply write the answers to the following questions and write anything that comes to mind..
- What am I truly grateful for today?
- Think about what has gone well for you, who helped you out, where would you be if it wasn’t for…
- What aspect of me am I really grateful for today?
- Anything that you have achieved because you allowed it to happen i.e. today I’m very grateful that I flipped this negative event into a positive one and I feel so much better
- How does the above make you feel?
- This is very important as you attract what you feel. If you feel great, you will become a magnet for all things that are great
MOVE YOUR BODY!
Move your body anyway you want to and have fun!
I dance beating my drum to music and I absolutely love it. I’ve never been good at exercising as I’m one of those people who has to have someone pushing me, but I love to dance! Do at least 30 minutes of movement a day!
Just doing these four alone as a routine on a daily basis will help you so much and it’s a perfect starting point for you. Trust me, I know and if you would like me as your life coach, please do get in touch.