With the rise of freedom and relative security that lots of Western Countries experienced after the War, the quest for meaning became more pressing. Thinking about your well-being was no longer reserved to a few privileded people, but was slowly available to anybody wanting to pursue a fulfilling life.
Even yet, not everybody had that privilege. If you're working three jobs to pay the bill and feed the dog, it isn't as easy as if you were born in a privileged family where spending time studying and self-reflecting is an option.
Being born poor will undeniably demand more efforts on your part as if you were born in a comfortable situation.
The combinations of challenges you can experience growing up are as diverse as there are people on this planet. The point is, that circumstances make lots of people grow into adults who are incapable of self-love.
Why is self-love so important?
Self-love is one of the keys to having a fulfilling life.
It will impact your relationships, your finances, and even your health.
And here is why:
Everything you think about yourself is going to impact your perception, and therefore your results, and ultimately, what you will experience in this world.
Now let's replace "self-love" with "self-acceptance" which sounds maybe a little less strange.
If you are incapable of accepting yourself, you're incapable of accepting others, let alone loving them. What you will experience will be, at best, emotional co-dependency.
Besides, you will be incapable of taking care of yourself in every other area of your life.
You might know how to survive but finding yourself in situations that don't make you happy, over and over again.
What self-love actually means...
Self-love isn't about narcissism and selfishness.
It's about supporting yourself, standing up for yourself, wanting the best for yourself. In short: Being your best friend.
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How can you love yourself?
You can start by standing up for yourself in situations where you would normally betray yourself.
Betraying yourself doesn't imply that someone else is involved in the process. It might be a behavior you've adopted to survive as you were defenceless against authority figures.
Betraying yourself can expresses itself in many ways. Here are a few examples:
- Systematically not listening to yourself and forcing yourself to do things others want you to do but you don't.
- Dismissing your feelings and being harsh on yourself.
- Not taking care of yourself physically.
- Staying in touch with people who don't respect your boundaries.
- Saying "yes" when you mean "no".
- Never trying to take the plunge and leave that dead-end job that is killing you inside.
- Throwing your money out the window for things you don't need when you don't have any.
You have to find out what your flavor is. Years of emotional entanglement can include more than one self-sabotaging behavior.
One tip I can give you now to help you start interrupting the pattern is to ask yourself this:
- What is a repetitive behavior you have, that makes you betray yourself every single time?
- How can you change it gradually to become a better friend to yourself?
Best of luck <3