Self-love is a way of expressing how you value yourself. Valuing yourself is essential to achieving goals and being effective.
We tend to get what we give. Often we can be quick to use this adage against others when we dislike their behaviors. In those moments we are unaware we are experiencing the very behavior we’re annoyed at someone else for. When we get caught up in that cycle we cease to value ourselves. In fact, our actions (feelings and response) indicate we value the other person more than ourselves.
Think of an orange. What kind of juice do we get from the orange? Duh? Maybe. Maybe, because when it comes to our behaviors we act as if we think there’d be a different kind of juice from the orange. In other words, if you are resentful, angry, frustrated, or any other feeling, who is impacted? You are, of course. Only sometimes it shows up in aches and pains, diseases, “nothing going your way,” etc.
Recently a situation occurred in my life that irritated me. I caught myself acting with the mindset that I’d rather be right because I saw the situation as petty and unfair. The more I wanted to be right, and yes, retaliate, the worse I felt. Fortunately, I recognized the old pattern and that it wasn’t serving me. The wrestling match began. If I let go of what’s irritating me, “they win” – grrr. Again, this thinking only caused me to feel . . . well . . . pretty crappy. The choice was mine. How did I want to feel? What if I chose a different response? Not because of, or for someone else. Choose differently for me, because I value myself. Bottom line, it isn’t WHAT happens in our life it is HOW we respond. Guaranteed, how you’re responding is based on how you interpret a situation which is a correlation to the level you value yourself. NOT how much you wish or would like to value yourself, rather the actual amount you do.
When situations occur in your life that you rather didn’t, you get to choose your response. When someone/something irritates you, change your thought. How many of you just thought, “Easier said than done”?
First, the more you think or say, “Easier said than done” the more you create that reality. Repetitive pattern acts as an affirmation and reinforces the concept – beneficial or detrimental. In many situations change is not easy, however, the more we repeat “it’s hard” we experience a harder path than necessary.
Second, we are resistant when we think we have to change our thought about that particular person or situation. My experience has been in those moments I’m unable to identify another thought about that person or situation that allows me to feel better. Instead, choose any thought that allows you to feel more peaceful, more centered, or whatever you desire. This is a demonstration of self-love and valuing yourself. How is this different than denial? Acknowledge how you feel as opposed to negate your feelings. Then in order to respond effectively the channels have to be open to receive ideas. Receptivity is blocked when we’re in an irritated, frustrated or similar place. How many times have you had ideas after a challenging situation that seemed obvious later, yet were so removed at the time of the occurrence?
Another area that plagues some people is saying yes when they know they want to, or need to, say no. Then the tendency is to be annoyed and blame the other person. After all, they know you won’t say no! This is the behavior of an excuse maker, expecting someone else to change so you avoid taking responsibility for your skills and your life. This affects our professional lives as well as our personal lives. How? Concerned about the reaction, you say yes to a request from your boss, customer, or client when fulfillment is questionable at best. When you’re unable to deliver, the result is more catastrophic than had you said no or renegotiated terms that could be met.
How is your inner dialogue? Would you talk to someone else the way your mental chatter is conversing with you? If you’re not now, you will eventually. Another example of the orange concept – what’s inside expresses itself outwardly.
When our behaviors are pointed out to us or we recognize our outcomes are not as we desire, there are a couple of common responses:
1 – justification or dismissal as contributing detrimentally in any way
2 – deceit that we are the way we are and unable to change
What can we do?
- Monitor and transform both your inner dialogue and verbal expression. There are a number of tools to use in this capacity – using affirmations, journaling, recording and listening to your conversations and of course, working with a coach. All of these techniques work because we pay attention to what we keep top of mind. Why do you think the annoying person in your life annoys you so much? You’re always thinking and talking about them and their behaviors that annoy you!
- Schedule time for yourself. Just because you “know” you need to do x, y, or z doesn’t mean you act accordingly. What are you continually putting off that would add value to your life? Keep in mind, when you truly add value to your life, you add value to the lives of others as well. Once again, the orange . . . it gives what it has inside.
Self-love, valuing yourself, call it what you want, it stacks up the same. The less we support our claim, the less value we feel and contribute. The more our actions demonstrate self-love, the more we value ourselves and contribute value.
Some expressions of people who value themselves include:
· Exercise · Fun · Rest and relaxation · Skill development
Life can and will throw curve balls that impact us. Adjust as needed. The damage occurs when a shift for a circumstance becomes a new pattern that takes us off course for an effective, desired way of life. The key is to remember to return to beneficial patterns and seek whatever help necessary to get and stay on track.