Today I have a guest post for you from Angela King.
You love yourself, right? I know you do because otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. Maybe you decided to see how you could be giving yourself more love. Maybe you’ve forgotten how awesome you are and need a refresher.
I’m Angela, and I’m here to tell you that you are already a loving, loveable, adorable little being, and it’s ok to need a reminder of that once in a while. And now that you’re here, I’m going to share with you some of the ways you can spend the rest of your life reinforcing it for yourself! These are things that anyone can do.
I know that sometimes we feel guilty putting our needs above others’, and that is exactly what makes us such loving people. But love is a give and take, where you need to feel love in order to give it to others. It’s like being a doctor; if you’re sick or injured, you can’t heal other people. You have to prioritize your need for love before you can worry about others. And what better place to look than within? Create your own space of love inside, and tend it like a garden with the following practices.
7 Habits of People Who Love Themselves
1. Intention Setting
One clear sign of someone who loves themselves is that they set goals for themselves.
How they do this is through tough love. Much like the way a parent encourages their child to work towards something to show them how they can create their own results. Loving yourself includes a bit of self-parenting, in that you push yourself to become a better version of you.
The way you begin to do this is to pick one thing you’d like to improve in your life and set that as your goal. Then, break it down to intentions that will create the steps along the way.
For example, if you’d like to become more comfortable speaking your mind, then every morning when you wake up, choose an intention like “Today, I’m going to start at least 3 conversations by sharing my opinion about something.” Or, it can be more general, such as “Today, I’m going to acknowledge my opinions and value them.” And build from there, until you feel ready to focus on a new goal.
Get creative, try new intentions and see how you feel about them. Bonus points if you write your intention down in a place you’ll see it throughout the day.
2. Saying “NO” When You Need To
Once you have an idea of what your intentions are, it’s much easier to decide what is going to help you along that path, and what will detract from it. If you often take on lots of tasks that take more and more time away from achieving your goals, you will develop a sense of resentment for those who are “taking up your time.”
Now is the time to take back control of how your time and energy is spent. If someone has given you a task that you can no longer spend time on, work with them to find a different solution, or ask someone else for help.
Also, remember that no one else’s time is MORE valuable than yours. That includes your boss, the CEO, and those people that rush up to you last minute and ask you to stress out with them when they’ve forgotten something. There’s a quote I heard once, that goes like this: “Your lack of planning is not my emergency.” Not to say that you should dismiss these individuals, but whether or not you’re able to help them get things together in time, should not affect your day.
No one can force you to overwork yourself. You can always say no. Politely, please.
3. Saying “YES!” To Things That Scare You
Have you ever done team building exercises? Things like trust falls, problem-solving challenges, and ropes courses? Think about it. Why do people do things like this? It’s because they know you’ll get a little scared and have to learn to trust each other to get through it.
The same concept applies to you as an individual. Trusting yourself is a crucial step towards self-love, and the only way to build that trust is to put it to the test.
When an opportunity comes along that triggers a little fear, take it as a chance to get to know yourself better. Trust in your ability to bounce back when something goes wrong. Then, when it goes right, use that as a springboard to test yourself at the next level.
Remember, the things that scare you are often the most worthwhile.
4. Taking More Mental Health Days
Along with the idea of knowing when to say “no” is knowing when you need a break.
One way to know when you really need a day to yourself is to pay attention to how external factors affect your work. Keep track of how effective you are when you haven’t slept enough the past few days or when you haven’t been eating as well. When you get to the point where your work is significantly suffering, and you’re not able to focus on the task at hand, recognize it, and make a change.
Taking a day to hit the reset button can be exactly what you need to hone in on what’s going on and figure out what to do from here. If you feel like you’re letting others down by leaving your work on their plates, think of what you would do if they needed a break. You’d be there for them as well, knowing that they are respecting their own needs.
Schedule it in advance, if you like. If there’s a project that will take a lot of your energy to complete, plan to take a mental health day afterward. Requesting it off earlier can give you a bit more peace of mind so you can really get what you need from that day.
5. Learning New Things
The world is constantly changing around us, as we are constantly changing on the inside. The only way you can continue to love all of yourself is to explore all the things that are changing within and love each part of them.
That said, you are not an island. Things that happen around you also affect who you are. There is always something new to learn about the world around you, and when you do that, you become more closely connected with everyone and everything in the universe.
Learn something new every day. Read, explore, and be curious whenever you can. Love for learning is how you give love to your mind and in turn, to the universe.
6. Leading with Imagination
Loving your whole self means loving your mind, and all the crazy places your mind takes you. Your thoughts have a universe of their own, filled with the experiences you’ve had and those you’ve seen others have. So many things happen in our imaginations that never become reality, but only when you try something will you ever know if it’s possible.
When you are in a state of judgment, you end up squashing those ideas that fall outside the boundaries you’ve set for what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Learning to let your imagination not only exist but thrive is what will keep your life new, exciting, and limitless.
7. Sharing Your Love with Others
When you are practicing self-love, it will fill you up with joy and you just won’t be able to contain it all! So, I suggest you don’t try to.
Let that positive energy flow through all of your interactions with others. Don’t put up your walls and keep your love inside. Let it be free, and share it with those around you. When you are more in tune with your own emotions, it will open your senses to recognize emotional cues in others, even when they, themselves, are not aware of them.
Be the person that will open the door for them to express themselves. Show them that they are allowed to feel and be the guide that leads the way to self-acceptance. This is how we continue to further the cycle of love, rather than the cycle of guilt and judgment.
When you truly love yourself, it becomes infectious. People around you will notice because you will be positively glowing with it. This is what true confidence looks like. It’s a combination of acceptance, trust, and ambition. All of those things are within you already. Now all you have to do is use them.
These things do take work. We have a whole lifetime’s worth of paradigms and preconceptions in our heads that often work against us. That’s why I’ve created a free e-course that will lay the foundation for you to become more aware of your own thoughts, and generally more mindful in your everyday life.
7 Days of Mindfulness is one full week of free lessons delivered directly to your inbox. It includes guided meditations, thought exercises, and tools that can be used throughout your day. This course will help you to be more centered, more awakened to what exists in your life, and more appreciative of the world as a whole.
Angela King is a mindfulness coach who believes in the power of the mind to create the life you want to lead. Experience new possibilities through her email course 7 Days of Mindfulness. Connect with her on Facebook, and stay tuned for her blog The Fit Mind coming May 1st!
Which of these habits do you practice? Which do you most want to start doing?