Many writers are speaking about self love almost as though magically one day we wake up and truly believe that we are deeply worthy as humans.
I am not sure it is that easy.
In my work coaching executives and other team members, I can see more of a graduation in this process. More of a one stage, then the next, then the next.
Some people, when I start working with them, are at one end of a continuum, self-loathing, the extreme end where they don't believe that they matter, they are questioning why they are even on the planet. This is dramatic but it is the case for the smaller portion of people. I am not convinced it is possible for these people to jump from this right along the continuum to self-love, without going through the other stages.
My theory is that the self-love continuum goes something like: self-loathing, self-hatred, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-liking, self-love, self-actualisation
In my experience, I see it more like a developmental progression. It takes time to shift along it and gain insight to understand how. How you feel about yourself and your worthiness to be on the planet, matters, a lot.
So where are you on this continuum? Reflect a little and use these tips to move a little further along it.
- Become mindful. Know what you think, feel, and want. Act on this knowledge. You decide about your life, not others.
- Act on what you need rather than what you want. Stay focused on what you need, not all your wants.
- Practise good self-care. Nourish yourself daily through nutrition, exercise and sleep.
- Set boundaries. Say no to work, love, or other things not aligned for you. Teach people how to treat you well by using boundaries.
- Protect yourself. Bring the right people into your life. Don't buy into the critic's version of you. What you think about you matters more.
- Forgive yourself. You have to accept your humanness. Be kind to yourself, show compassion to you. Learning to accept all elements of your life and what it means to be you will be a key changing point.
- Live intentionally. Live with purpose and design. Living in a way that is aligned with your intentions, values and behaviours provides the most authentic path for life.
Practising these self-love techniques matters, because as a business owner, your business is directly reflective of you as a person. Where you are on the above continuum influences all elements of your business.
It directly affects your ability to take risks, demonstrate all aspects of leadership and be innovative, all core requirements for a business owner.
It has a direct impact on your ability to self-manage and demonstrate emotional intelligence, prerequisites for a successful business.
Do yourself a favour and decide today to shift along the continuum, which will have a ripple effect in the rest of your life.
Michelle Crawford is the founder of Newcastle-based human resources firm Being More Human