Self Love: How to Stop Being so Hard on Yourself & Leverage Unconditional Recognition

letter board that reads self-care isn't selfishHave you ever found yourself:

  • Prioritizing someone else over time you set aside for yourself
  • Giving yourself a negative label (e.g., “Control Freak” “Bossy”)
  • Saying meaner things to yourself than you’d ever say to someone else
  • Breaking promises to yourself

I get it. I have. In fact, I grew up believing that this was what being an adult was all about. “Responsible people” put kids, the job, laundry, mortgage, inbox before everything else (fun is for Sunday nights between 8 and 10 pm, vacations once every five years, retirement…)

Here was my “this is 40” realization: The more we deny our own greatness, shirk off compliments from others, hold ourselves in lower regard than others, and are uncompassion with ourselves, the more we form confidence deconstructing habits.

Does this resonate with you?

If you are only good enough when ____, if ____, or because _____ recognition of self is conditional.

  1. Recognition conditional based on ‘when’ may lead us to appreciate some time in the future (versus being curious what is working in the present)
  2. Recognition conditional upon ‘if’ is conditional in meeting a goal (versus the progress toward it or being compassionate if we regress back)
  3. Recognition conditional ‘because is often based upon external validation (versus based on what we most want and need)

person lying on the ground with the camera pointing up, capturing their feet and hand in the skyAnytime recognition is conditional, we get caught up in binary thinking; I am either worthy or I’m not; I am either good enough or not good enough; I am either winning or losing. Maybe it’s a continuum rather than good enough being a bar so high that it’s almost impossible to reach and if you do, the fall is that much more painful when we slip. We are human after all.

In the “Flip Side of Failing“, I implore you to consider your failure resilient versus resistant mindset.

Want a hack to shift that mindset. Well, I have one inspired by the Dalai Lama when he spoke about love leading to compassion in “The Book of Joy.” I’ve taken that to heart, and decided to share with you a hack I’m using with myself and with my clients, that’s making some serious inroads in self-compassion and believe in the mantra, professed by Brene Brown in her work on shame reduction, “I’m doing the best I can.

Self Love Exercise

  1. List what it means to love someone (your partner, child, BFF)
  2. Circle which ones you do for yourself
  3. Decide from this list which one self-love strategy will help you with the current challenge
  4. Complete this sentence: “I used to _. I am in the process of ____

Huge thanks to my dear speaker friend Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas for teaching me the last step of this process. Pure magic.

Who needs a reminder that they are deserving of love, including self-love? Will you share this with them and remind them they are worth it?

For more great tips on self-recognition, check out these resources:
PS. – Our amazing healthcare and essentials services folks have been telling me that they feel they’re not doing enough, they’re burnt out, they’re feeling they’re not doing enough. Will you PLEASE reach out to the rockstar frontline folks you know and say, “Hey, have you done a reality check lately about how amazingly well you’ve done through this?”
Nurses Week promoPPS. – We’re celebrating one of those amazing healthcare groups. Nurses Week in Canada is May 10-16th and we’ve launched the inaugural North America-wide Nurses Week Resiliency Reboot experience. Busy healthcare organizations, we’ve taken the load off you to plan an amazing event to be or add to your plans. Nurses, in fact, everyone is welcome to come and celebrate with you, when your organization invites you, we guarantee amazing content to boost your resiliency, hope and self-love. Learn more below and please pass it on. Let’s ensure not one single nurse doubts their greatness.

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

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