Latest posts by Joanna Martin (see all)
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- 5 essential steps to manage money after an unexpected windfall - March 12, 2019
- Guest post: How to love yourself first - March 7, 2019
I know you will have heard this before, but the most important relationship you have is with yourself. You are the first person you need to fall in love with – otherwise you are expecting someone else to fulfil you, putting a massive burden on them. Today I’m going to share some simple exercises so that you can discover how to love yourself first and foremost.
What’s your self-love score?
Let’s start by establishing where you are right now in terms of your love for yourself.
On a score of 0 – 100 – where 0 means you loathe yourself, feel you are a worthless pile of junk, and 100 means recognising that you are the most magnificent being and there is still more to come – where do you rate yourself right now?
Take a second and jot it down.
This will become the benchmark from which you will see yourself unfold.Whatever it is now, by the time you have finished this article, your score will have dramatically increased.
(If your score is low, do not fret because that means there is lots of lovely untapped potential to play with!)
Now take your score away from 100. So if you score yourself at 35, your new total will be 65.
The fantastic news is that there is 65% of you that you haven’t even begun to uncover yet!
Why does self-love feel hard?
In this society we are often taught to be self-critical, to weigh ourselves against others, and we are always found wanting. We never deem ourselves good enough. But until we can break down the barriers to our own heart, we have insufficient love to be able to share with another.
Unfair though it may sound, you are responsible for your own happiness. Nobody makes you happy or sad – that’s down to how you choose to respond to the circumstances around you.
No doubt you will have heard stories of incredible courage and even joy of people in the depths of human misery, yet deep from within emerges their limitless spirit.
That spirit is in you too.
What relationships with others can teach you about self-love
Intimate relationships present our greatest challenge because it is here that our reactive patterns of behaviour tend to be triggered by the close proximity and interaction with another person.
All our insecurities, self doubts and fears come up to be addressed. Your beliefs, your values, your rules, and your behaviour get challenged by someone else’s ideas about life and come up to conscious awareness, ready to be healed if you allow them to be.
This is often our greatest opportunity to make changes in our life, and causes us to look deep inside ourselves to find out what it is we really think, feel, believe and desire.
It is also our greatest opportunity to go beyond what we know, beyond what we feel we can give and beyond how we feel we can love. It stretches our limits and gives us the chance to expand and become more.
It is where our vulnerabilities are on display, where we can make the decision to let go of control and learn to trust, and be open to receiving the love of another.
How to learn to love yourself
So how can we learn to love ourselves first when we’ve been taught since childhood to put ourselves last, to view others as being better than ourselves? When we continually find fault with ourselves, why would anyone else not find those faults in us too?
Understand that you are a limitless being with the whole of the history of the Universe inside you. You are unique. We are all unique. You are an amazing creation – the chances of you being born are zillions to one – and the chances of being on this planet are zillions to one.
You are an extraordinary creature – a miracle of life, and when you start to see yourself and view your life as a miracle you will start to appreciate others as a miracle too, so you won’t get so caught up with the humdrum and the nastiness which is so prevalent in society these days.
When we let go of feeling inferior, we are amazing.
Grab a piece of paper and jot down the answers to the following questions as they come to you – you don’t have to share this with anyone else.
1. What do you love about yourself?
There are always things to love about yourself, even if it’s your nose or your feet, the way you tenderly care for animals, your smile, your touch, your ability to sing, your talents.
Come up with at least 10 things, and preferably 100, and please write them down so you can look at them on those occasional days when things may not be going according to plan.
2. What is your most valuable treasure?
- Is it your vision?
- Your talents?
- Your love?
- Your sense of humor?
- Your ability to be flexible?
- Compassion, creativity?
What would you be prepared to let go of – old limitations, old behaviours, limiting beliefs, continually telling your bad experiences to anyone who will listen…
You see, there’s part of you that you don’t know yet.
To find the amazingness of you, you have to go to places you’ve not yet been. Give yourself permission to be open, trusting and allow the process to happen. Allow love to pour through you as you uncover more of who you are – love is unlimited and boundless.
What we are still searching for is that feeling of being unconditionally loved, and being held and caressed and touched. This is why it is so important that we create that feeling for ourselves first by being kind to ourselves, loving our body and treating ourselves well.
Treat yourself well by understanding that who you choose to spend time with will affect your values, your language, your happiness, your health and even your earnings. Learn to love yourself by enjoying and appreciating your body – notice how you talk to yourself and what you put in your body.
Do you feed yourself with nourishing foods and drinks, and do you give it the exercise it enjoys?
When you learn to treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend, your body will respond beautifully.
4. What can you do for you that makes you feel really good inside?
Write down 3 ideas you could do this week – it might be as simple as wearing a favourite outfit, or taking 5 minutes to go for a walk somewhere beautiful.
5. Now write a vision of how you would like life to be as if it has already happened.
When you read this every day, your unconscious mind will take it on as a new program, so the new way of enjoying your life will be installed and overwrite old unhelpful beliefs. This works, it really works!
Having completed those exercises, score yourself again as to how you feel about yourself, and see how much you’ve grown from how you scored at the beginning of this exercise.
When we accept ourselves fully, we stop being needy – it doesn’t mean we don’t need someone else in our life, just that we don’t expect them to do it all for us, as we don’t base our self-esteem on other peoples’ opinions.
If you learn to admire and honor and respect who you are, (the good, the bad and the ugly) it doesn’t mean you’re big-headed but that you honor and appreciate yourself and desire to be the best you can be.
When you continually enhance this special relationship with yourself, you will find your levels of happiness increasing more and more, and then you have more to bring to the world.
Would you like some extra support to reconnect to yourself?
If you’d like to talk about some extra support when it comes to relationships – with yourself or others – or find out details of our BeLove retreat where we look at these topics in more detail, we’d be happy to chat. Click here to book in a free, no-strings call with one of our friendly team and find out how we can help you find fulfillment in your relationships.
Fashion Designer | Grandmother | Dancer
One of many master coach and trainer Susie Heath is an expert in love and intimacy and an internationally acclaimed author and speaker. She has been a buyer for Marks and Spencer, a shoe designer, a horticulturist featured at the Chelsea Flower Show and more.
Now, as a coach and trainer she has has worked personally with hundreds of men and women, helping them reawaken their authentic selves with her profound coaching and movement workshops.