Thursday, January 29, 2015

Resolve to Love Yourself This Year by Deborah Fike

Resolve to Love Yourself This Year

Resolve to Love Yourself This Year
“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.” ― Steve Maraboli
It’s been a while since we made our New Year’s resolutions, and all our vows are quite well-intended.  Exercise more.  Pick up a long-lost hobby.  Reconnect with friends.  Maybe you’ve been sticking to your resolution, or maybe you’re disappointed that you haven’t gotten things quite off the ground yet.  But no matter how things are going, I urge you to tack on one additional resolution this year:
Love yourself as you are right now.
I’m a very self-critical and goal-oriented person.  I hold these traits dear because they made me who I am today.  But being driven comes with its own set of problems.  I am hard to satisfy, and I find there’s a fine line between self-criticism and self-doubt, even self-loathing.  I want so much to become a future version of myself that I often forget I’m a pretty great person today.

If you find yourself in the same boat, here are a few tricks I’ve taught myself to keeping loving the current me:

Know when you’re being overly critical of yourself.

A good rule of thumb is, if criticism helps you become a better person, then it works.  If criticism only succeeds in making you feel bad, give yourself a break.  Stop criticizing yourself and instead focus on what makes you a good person now (even if it’s only that you’ve recognized you want to change, which is a huge first step).  Once you can find something good about yourself, break down criticism into small actionable goals you can achieve.

Keep a list of your good qualities.

It’s easy to be lost in all the things that are “wrong” with you.  We keep this mental list at the forefront of our minds.  Make sure you cultivate a list of all the things that you are good at.  Write it down if that helps and refer to it as often as you need it.  There’s nothing arrogant about recognizing the ways in which you rock.

Make time to love yourself. 

Praise yourself the way you would compliment others.  Give yourself a smile in the mirror on your way out the door.  Notice how you make time to help others even when there’s nothing in it for you.  Make sure you’re giving yourself a daily pat on your own back, even (or perhaps especially) if you’re having a rough day.

Celebrate past victories. 

The current version of yourself was once a “future you.”  Think of all the times you worked hard and succeeded in the past.  For example, if someone praises you at work, remind yourself that you earned it through past efforts.  Knowing that you worked hard in the past can make it easier for you to love the current you.

Remind yourself that happiness is relative.

You may think that in order to be happy, you need X, Y, and Z.  But in reality, people living the hardest lives can come out smiling while others with all the wealth and luck in the world remain unhappy.  It is possible to love yourself right now, no matter the circumstances.  If you can’t do it on your own, don’t be afraid to find help in loved ones, counselors, or support groups.
Loving yourself has all sorts of positive benefits, so if you need any more motivation, know that you can’t become a better person if you don’t love your own potential.  And here’s to a great 2015!

Deborah Fike

Deborah Fike is the Director of Educational Outreach for Spotkin, an educational games company that marries fun with learning.  She’s also the founder of Avalon Labs, which provides marketing consultations and writing services for start-ups and online businesses.   She carves out a significant portion of her time to raising her two younger daughters.
So! I couldn't have said it any better.  I totally love this post by Deborah Fike and urge you to take it to heart.  I have made lots of changes to how I honor myself.  What are some ways you do?
Thanks! Ellie

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More by Leo Babauta

Unconditional Acceptance of Yourself

By Leo Babauta
Many of us are familiar with the idea of loving our spouses, children, or parents unconditionally — and we might even try to practice that unconditional love, though imperfectly.
But do we try to love ourselves unconditionally?
Consider whether you do any of these (I sure do):
  • Criticize your body.
  • Feel like you need to improve at things.
  • Feel guilty about things you do.
  • Feel undisciplined, lazy, unhappy with yourself.
  • Not feel good enough.
  • Fear that you’re going to fail, because you’re not good enough.
  • See yourself as not that good looking.
  • Feel bad about messing up.
For many of us, there’s an underlying feeling of not being good enough, wanting to be better, wanting to be in better shape or better at things. This isn’t something we think about much, but it’s there, in the background.
What if we applied unconditional acceptance of who we are? What if we took a good look at ourselves, our body, our thoughts, our feelings, our actions, and said, “You are perfectly OK. You are perfectly good”?
Would that be a whole different experience for you? Could you accept every single thing about yourself, just as you are, without feeling that it needs to be changed?
I know what many people will immediately say: “But what’s wrong with wanting to improve, with seeing things that need to be improved? Doesn’t feeling bad about ourselves motivate us to change?”
Yes, it can be a motivator. But feeling bad about yourself can also be an obstacle: people who feel that they are fat, for example, are more likely to eat poorly and not exercise, because they see themselves as fat. They are likely to feel bad about themselves and to comfort themselves with food, alcohol, cigarettes, TV, Internet addictions.
What if instead, you loved yourself, fat body and all? What if you loved yourself, laziness and all? What if you loved yourself, all that is ugly and incompetent and mean, along with the beauty and brilliance and kindness?
This person who loves herself (or himself) … she’s more likely to take actions that are loving. Doing some mindful yoga, or taking a walk with a friend after work, eating delicious healthy food like beans and veggies and nuts and berries and mangos and avocados, meditating, drinking some green tea … these are loving actions.
Acceptance isn’t stagnation — you will change no matter what. You can’t avoid changing. The question is whether that change comes from a place of acceptance and love, or a place of self-dislike and dissatisfaction. I vote for unconditional love.

I love this guy!!! Always a good read.  Do you do what it takes to give yourself unconditional self love? If you do what kinds of things do you include. 

Friday, January 16, 2015