‘Learning to love yourself, Is the greatest love of all’ Whitney Houston (1985)
As a coach, chances are you have plenty of experience of being kind to other people, but how much love and compassion do you normally extend to yourself? If you’re anything like me, not a lot. So what can we do about it?
Part of being a relationship coach is helping others to show themselves self-love. In the model I use in my coaching, relationship is just one of the twelve elements. When you talk about relationships most people automatically think about romantic relationships, or work relationships or even relationships with our community but forget that the only relationship that we experience every day is the one we have with ourselves. Learning to love ourselves is so important. If our relationship element is out of balance, it’s going to impact other aspects of our life such as sleep, career, mindset and if one of these elements is out of balance it might impact our relationship. Hence it is important to try to keep all thee elements of our life in balance.
There are several things we can do to show self-love. Some things we need to do daily, other things we need to just build into our lifestyles. I love music and use songs a lot to remind myself of my good qualities. Using a little poetic licence, I’m going to show you how to cultivate your self-esteem, self confidence and self-love through song titles.
This is ‘me’ time. Do some activities that you really enjoy, even if it’s only for half an hour a day– draw, write, play an instrument, sing – anything that takes your mind, body and spirit to another plane and leaves you feeling relaxed. Make time to soothe and pamper yourself
What have you done to make yourself proud? At the end of everyday write down at least one thing you are proud of having achieved. You’re quick to praise other people’s successes but rarely acknowledge your own. This has to stop. Pat yourself on the back and say ‘well done’.
Take Good Care of Yourself. One of the best ways to show self-love is to take good care of your health and wellness. Get enough sleep, eat the rainbow, get regular exercise, keep well hydrated, get outside so you build up your vitamin D and do some deep breathing every day.
Cultivate your inner advocate
All about that bass. Remind yourself of your good qualities. Maybe you’re not the ideal weight but you’ve got great teeth; maybe you can’t play tennis but you’re a great swimmer; maybe there’s dust on your sideboard but your kids laugh a lot. As Meghan Trainer reminds us ‘every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.’
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Self-respect is so important. Think about your own value. Don’t let others put you down, don’t compare yourself to others. Trust yourself, think for yourself, form your own opinions and make your own decisions. Keep promises to yourself and follow through on what you tell yourself you’re going to do.
Titanium. ‘I’m criticised but all your bullets ricochet. You shoot me down but I get up’. We’re all familiar with our inner critic. It’s so quick to judge, to try to put you down. Now meet your inner advocate, your cheerleader. Develop this defender to shield you from the bullets of scorn. Just as we are advised to humanise our ideal client, so we should humanise our inner advocate. Mine wears clothes from Gucci and Louboutin shoes.
Sorry seems to be the hardest word. Nobody’s perfect. We all mess up at times. Maybe you let someone get the better of you because you didn’t stand up for yourself. Maybe you missed an opportunity because you lost your nerve. Maybe you didn’t take action on an important goal. Don’t be angry with yourself. Show yourself kindness and resolve to do better next time. Forgive yourself.
Don’t stop me now. Take your dreams seriously by turning those dreams into goals and creating a plan to achieve those goals. Honour your dreams.
Enough. ‘I’m good enough. I’ve done enough. I do enough.’ Being confident and accepting yourself go hand in hand. Part of being kind to yourself is acknowledging your potential. Know what you want in life and go for it. Find the sweet spot between being happy with who you are whilst taking action to become even better.
Perfect. Trying to be perfect is setting yourself up for failure. There is nothing more soul-destroying than making success impossible. Instead of aiming for perfection, try to improve one step at a time.
Everything I am. Part of being kind to yourself is wanting the best for yourself. In order to get the best, you have to believe in your ability. However, you must accept yourself as you are and allow yourself to be fully who you are.
Dare to be different. As Dr Seuss said ‘why fit in when you were born to standout’. Befriend yourself by showing self-compassion. Allow yourself to shine.
There is only one person in the world you will always have a relationship with. And that’s yourself. You’d better start being your own best friend. Live your best life and aim to be the best you can be.