You must have self-love before you can give and receive love from another person.
What’s the best way to show you have self-love?
You’ve got your act together!
In order to take good care of yourself you must have self-love. You can’t fully show love to others until you learn how to love yourself first.
What does this look like?
First of all, you have to feel good so that you feel confident. When you have your act together, you feel good. When you feel good, you feel confident and happy. When you feel confident and happy, you attract others who feel the same.
As you know there are multiple ways that we as adults learn to take care of ourselves.
I split it out into four general categories.
You must take care of yourself mentally. You should be a confident and happy person. Note that I did not say “perfect.” Nobody is perfect, but you have to carry yourself in a way that shows you know who you are, and that you have an overall healthy outlook on life. You have a healthy self-esteem. You know how to fill your time each day in a way that brings you personal fulfillment. You’re content with where you are in your life. You’re not perfect and you’re okay with that, but you generally know who you are, and this comes across in the way you carry yourself.
You’re mentally strong and capable. You’re not over drinking or doing drugs and you don’t have unhealthy addictions. If you do, you’re consciously aware of them and you’re working to regain control over your life. Again, you’re not perfect, but you’re consciously aware and are making the correct strides in your life so that you have an overall healthy attitude.
You also continue to educate yourself. You educate yourself on whatever you need help with in your life. Whether it’s your health, your hobbies, or an issue you’re tackling, you do what you need to do, to educate yourself and apply what you learn. You also don’t beat yourself up in the meantime! You allow yourself to make mistakes so that you grow and you forgive yourself when you don’t always succeed.
You don’t sit back and let life happen to you. You’re proactive in your approach to life. You know that you’ve only got one life and you’re going to make it count! Remember, mistakes help you grow. Mistakes help you learn. Your mistakes are your reference points in life that help you make better decisions next time. If you never go for it and allow yourself to make mistakes, then you won’t grow. Mistakes are NOT failure. Mistakes are your path to learning and growing. If you never takes chances, then you never grow.
Regret the things you DID do, NOT what you didn’t.
Go for it. Just remember, if you keep trying and don’t quit, you will learn and get where you want to be. Even if you don’t nail it 100%, you’re going to feel pretty great that you’re putting in the work. If you put in the work, you will see progress. Not perfection, but progress. Progress is really all that you need. Progress feels good.
You’re able to positively relate to other human beings, and you’ve either dealt with or have begun to deal with your issues. We all have them, but you’re self-aware and you’re working towards creating healthy habits. You aim to have an overall healthy attitude towards your life and the people in it. You’re not negative all the time, or overly critical and you’re not a drain to be around. You feel good about who you are so this allows you the energy to care for the important people in your life. This is such a huge one for me. I write almost every week about how important it is to be emotionally intelligent.
If you struggle emotionally, then you will struggle in relationships. You don’t have to be perfect and maybe you’re struggling with something in your life. Own it and get therapy if you need to. Read self-help books and talk to someone you trust. Be accountable for your life and the decisions you make. Don’t be a victim and realize that it’s your life and you’re the only person who can change it. Nobody owes you anything except what you provide to them.
I won’t spend as much time on this one because I literally write about it every week. Click here to learn about the five components necessary to achieving emotional intelligence.
You’re financially stable and live within your means. You don’t have to be rich or have achieved your financial goals, but you have to show that you’re on your way. You live responsibly as it relates to your finances. One of the biggest ways to sense maturity in a person is to see if they live within their means. It’s one thing to be working towards a financial goal and not quite there. It’s an entirely different thing to not live in reality and spend money you don’t have.
Spending more than you have is another way that people don’t live in reality. If you don’t live in reality financially, this will come across in other areas of your life.
In some credit card debt? That’s okay. Sit down and figure out how much money you need to set aside each month to pay it off. Make a budget dependent upon on your expenses and stick to it! Buying material things give you instant gratification that doesn’t last. You need to focus on long-term happiness and overall financial stability. You will feel so much better when you begin to live as a financially responsible adult.
I won’t spend too much time on this one as it’s pretty straightforward.
However, my next one gets a bit more focus this week…
You don’t have to be the cross fit queen, okay? You can even carry around extra weight as long as you’re okay with that. You don’t have to look perfect, but you do need to have pride in your appearance. It you don’t take pride in your appearance (whatever that looks like for you) then it’s a turn-off. Remember, your appearance is your first impression. First impressions aren’t always correct, but they count. If you’re unhappy with your appearance then do something about it! Whatever that means for you.
(Also, I can’t believe I have to say this, but please make sure your nails are clean and that you shower! Yes, I have to point that out, unfortunately. Don’t look like a hobo unless you want your first date to be in a card board box. Seriously people, if you look dirty nobody will want to touch you let alone date you!)
If you’re unhappy with your appearance this will come across in how you carry yourself.
Not feeling great in your clothes? Go shopping and find clothes that you feel good in. Feel like you need to lose some weight? Start exercising for at least 20 minutes a day. Join a group that meets a few times a week for bicycling.
If you don’t feel good physically, you will struggle to show up confidently.
Also, don’t do it to simply lose weight. Do it because it will make you feel good to get out and get moving. I know this is a tough one…
Focus on how it makes you feel and not the scale! Don’t make it about losing weight. Make it about setting a goal to do something for your body each week. Feel good about accomplishing that goal and not about what the scale tells you. I hate scales. They’re the enemy. In fact, pitch your scale in the garbage. Seriously, throw it away and measure your progress based on your ability to stick to your goals, and how great it makes you feel to get up and get moving! Measure your progress by how good you feel afterwards.
Not sure how to eat? I actually believe that our ability to be healthy is 80% dependent upon what we put into our bodies and only 20% based on working out. Get a book, go to a doctor, or join a group of women with similar goals. Also, have realistic goals. Don’t say you’re going to work out every day for an hour and never eat fast food again. Telling yourself you will never eat fast food or junk food again is silly and unnecessary! Save your junk food for the weekend and cut out the crap during the week. That alone will make a difference.
Tell yourself you will walk briskly for about 20-30 minutes a day, or three hours per week. Do whatever works with your schedule. Do something that feels good. Listen to a podcast while you walk to pass the time! (I know a good one!)
Don’t put pressure on yourself to do things you hate.
If you hate walking then turn up the music in your house and dance like a maniac for 30 minutes. Get your groove on. It will enhance your mood at the same time. Hate lifting weights? Try jogging 30 minutes very, very slowly. Seriously, start super slow and work your way up. That’s what I did, and now I’m up to 12-15 miles per week! I was super slow when I first started and sometimes I still jog very slowly. I made an awesome play list which helped a TON. I get out in nature and enjoy being alone! I sometimes run super slow just so I can enjoy being by myself and without four kids at home! Try yoga at home.
Find a workout online or get exercise DVD’s if you don’t want to go to the gym. Find what works for you. If you’re unsure and haven’t found anything, then keep trying new things! There’s something out there that you will enjoy doing, or at least something you won’t hate. I promise.
Make it about the experience of moving even if very slow at first and not about killing yourself. If you kill yourself working out on the first day, you will hate it and never do it again. It’s not about making yourself sick by overdoing it. It’s about enjoying the feeling you get as your body is moving and energizing you.
Just try to either move about 25-30 minutes a day or an hour a few times a week. Don’t spend time telling yourself you can’t or you’re too tired. You could be halfway done already by the time you talk yourself out of it!
Don’t think, just do.
Also, pig out on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving day. I don’t understand these crazy people who diet over the holidays. Seriously? Just tell yourself you will gain a little weight and enjoy the holidays. You can back off a bit after the new year.
Just start slow, and don’t go balls to the wall! That will only discourage you. Make slight adjustments and make progress. You don’t need to go all in.
Again, do whatever works for you, but life if about balance. Enjoy everything in moderation and don’t deprive yourself of things you love altogether.
Constantly shooting for perfection is a game you’re guaranteed to lose.
Perfection doesn’t exist.
Aim for balance in your life.
By the way, perfect is boring.
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Stay tuned for the second week in our Five Week Challenge. I discuss the importance of having boundaries in your life so that you aren’t depleted by others.