Self Love: How to Stop Being so Hard on Yourself & Leverage Unconditional Recognition
Have 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.
- Recognition conditional based on ‘when’ may lead us to appreciate some time in the future (versus being curious what is working in the present)
- Recognition conditional upon ‘if’ is conditional in meeting a goal (versus the progress toward it or being compassionate if we regress back)
- Recognition conditional ‘because is often based upon external validation (versus based on what we most want and need)
Anytime 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
- List what it means to love someone (your partner, child, BFF)
- Circle which ones you do for yourself
- Decide from this list which one self-love strategy will help you with the current challenge
- 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?
- How to Recognize Yourself and Others Even in Overload
- 9 Essential Tips to Care for You
- 3 Hacks to Get Motivated in Uncertain Times