Why are we drawn to these magazines that do nothing but demean us?
I strongly believe it's because we don't love ourselves enough and are always looking elsewhere to create happiness when all the time it's right here inside of us all.
I have those days where I've eaten well, I've exercised some self-control, I've got fantastic hair and I'm wearing the sexiest bra and I think, "Look at me. My boy came out of this belly and time has marched on, but I look amazing. People half my age don't look this good."
And on the next day, "Oh my gut, my messy house, my skin, my sagging boobs, my short legs ... "I can't even imagine anyone finding me attractive because I hate how I look, how I am."
We all have those days it's completely normal and sometimes associated with our hormones. So many of us hide from ourselves and we don’t even know who we are. We don’t know what we feel, we don’t know what we want.
Life is a voyage of self discovery. To me, to be enlightened is to go within and to know who and what we really are, and to know that we have the ability to change for the better by loving and taking care of ourselves. It’s not selfish to love ourselves.
Unfortunately, many of us will not love ourselves until we lose the weight, or get the job, or get the raise, or the boyfriend, or whatever. We often put conditions on our love. But we can change.
We can stop looking at these magazines and wish we looked like the women in the photos (which are actually half our age and probably don't even look this way in real life).
These are my tips to begin your self love journey:
1 - Accepting who we are is the number one step to self love.
2- Overcome negative beliefs about yourself. Many of us have trouble letting go of negative thoughts that we have about ourselves. These negative thoughts often come from outside people whose opinion we value and from whom we seek love and acceptance.
3 - Avoid perfectionism. Some of us have trouble accepting anything less than perfection from ourselves. If you find yourself pursuing perfectionism and feeling negatively about yourself when you are less than perfect, take three simple steps. Stop your current line of thinking, then focus on the effort that will be required to work towards a goal, then steadily apply the required effort.
4 - Discard your negative filter. Focusing only on the negatives in your life is a bad habit. Excessive focus on negative or less favourable events in your life can make these events seem disproportionately important. If you find yourself complaining that everything that happens to you is bad, try to find a little evidence to the contrary; it is very unlikely that everything is really bad.
5 - List your positive attributes and reflect on them daily. This can be difficult for some of us who habitually think negatively of ourselves, but try to find one positive thing about yourself to add to the list once a week. At the end of each day, reflect on your entire list.
6 - Give yourself the gift of time. Do not feel guilty for spending time thinking about and reflecting on yourself and your own life. It is important to give yourself the time and permission for self-love. You will likely find that by doing so, you are more able to spend quality time helping others.
So... I want you to begin by following step 1! ACCEPT YOU FOR YOU!
If you're struggling and need a little guidance, why not take a look at our With Self Love courses guided by Jeff Spires; an Author, Confidence Coach and Motivational Strategist who has a deep-seated passion for helping people create a new and inspired identify for themselves.