Monday, 6 February 2017

5 Top Tips for Working on Self-Love #wellbeing #happiness


February is upon us, and everywhere you turn there are hearts, overpriced chocolates, and an explosion of cuddly toys. It can only mean one thing – Valentine’s Day is imminent.

Fluffy teddies and flowers aside, the theme of ‘love’ that invades all of our senses at this time of year doesn’t necessarily have to be directed at a partner, lover, or spouse. It’s perfectly okay to indulge in a spot of self-love.

I recently attended a networking group for women where we had the opportunity to briefly talk about ourselves and our businesses. It was interesting to observe each lady proudly talking about their family but then clamming up when the conversation turned to themselves. We were all successful business women, but the thought of ‘bigging’ ourselves up, and selling ourselves was visibly tough.

I observed this and then fell into the same trap when it was my time to talk. I introduced myself and launched comfortably into ‘my name’s Shelley, and I’m a single mum to three lovely teenagers,' cue the oohs and aahs of my fellow networkers as we laugh/share/commiserate over the teen years and motherhood in general. Then when the group leader asked me about my work, I automatically dropped my head, avoided eye contact and mumbled something about being an author and blogger and selling a ton of books, but eer, well, umm, I’m not sure who buys them *nervous giggle*. OMG!

How is it possible that I can sit in front of a computer and share with the world how much I adore writing, how my books are aimed at women who want to make the best of themselves, as well as write articles about feeling empowered. Then, when I’m given the opportunity to confirm this face-to-face I lose all confidence, and my self-esteem takes a tumble.

Has this happened to you? If so, then I’m happy to say that you’re not alone. We all do it!

On the drive home, I finally understood that to have the confidence to sell myself, I needed to believe that I’m worthy of my success. It’s not a fluke that I’ve sold over 10,000 copies of my first non-fiction book. It’s not a one-off that 15,000 people visit my blog in the space of one month. These statistics came about through hard work, dedication, and a passion for what I do. I just need to believe that!

One of the goals I’ve set myself for 2017 is to learn to love myself more. It might sound like a lame goal, but judging from my reaction at the networking group, it’s a goal I need to be working on.

Self-love. What is it? The definition is ‘regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.’ Wow, can you see how we as women fail to love ourselves? We are always making sure that our husband/wife, children, and friends are happy, healthy, and cared for but then we never leave enough time to ensure we give ourselves the same amount of care and attention. This is why it was so easy for the women in the group to share their pride about family but not express the same confidence in themselves – we haven’t learned how to self-love.

How on earth do you learn such a skill, I hear you ask, well, allow me to share my top five tips:

Community Matters

Although we were all guilty of a lack of personal confidence, the ladies at my networking group were more than capable of encouraging each other and offering guidance and support. Finding a community such as this will help you build, or re-build, those feelings of self-esteem and conviction.

Stop Negative Talk

When we put ourselves down, we are only reinforcing that lack of self-esteem. Telling ourselves (or even just thinking) that we are boring/unattractive/fat/stupid feeds our mind to believe this even more. STOP! Take notice of the language you use when referring to yourself, turn everything into a positive affirmation. ‘I am successful,' or ‘I am happy and healthy in my skin.' The more you talk about yourself in a positive way, the faster you’ll believe it to be true.

De-Clutter

Yep, I’m sharing my love of de-cluttering yet again, but the benefits of clearing out your cupboard space, Facebook friends list or garden shed are monumental. It also leave you with a clearer mind.

No More Comparisons

I could dedicate an entire blog post to this (which I might still do), but the fast-paced life of social media means that we are always in a position to compare our life/career/family to that of the online communities we are a part of. Be honest, who has followed someone on Facebook and wished for just a second that your life looked like theirs? Stop comparing yourself to others. You are a unique individual and need to start embracing the positivity in your life.

Let Go

I blogged about releasing negative energy through Acupuncture a few weeks ago, you can read that post HERE. Letting go of past hurts is hugely important when building up our self-love. We can’t move forward when clinging onto pain, heartache, anger, or frustration about the past. Find a therapy that works for you and let go of the past. Acupuncture is a great therapy to try, as is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Coaching, Reiki, and journaling are also powerful therapies.

What does self-love mean to you? Do you take the time to nurture your own needs? If so, what do you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please add a comment below.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

22 comments:

  1. I'm with you Shelley, it is hard to stand up and just be who you are without feeling the pressure to be competitive.

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  2. Shelley, I'm relatively new to reading your blog but I love how you are so honest, positive and have such brilliant suggestions! You are so right about not comparing ourselves to others - that was my problem for many years until I started to realise that I was just as good as everyone else but I guess the lesson is that we are all capable of achieving in different ways.

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    1. Thank you so much for those kind words, Mel. Comparison is a dangerous game and I worry for the younger generation who have only ever known a world with social media, glossy magazines, and selfies! It's one of my main aims to teach my children to be individuals and not worry about what X or Y are doing.

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  3. Yes, this is so difficult for women in business - I find it difficult even to publish a blog post advertising a forthcoming book. You have some very wise words for us in this blog post - thank you so much for your encouragement.

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  4. Yes, this is so difficult for women in business - I find it difficult even to publish a blog post advertising a forthcoming book. You have some very wise words for us in this blog post - thank you so much for your encouragement.

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    1. Oh, I feel your pain! I love promoting my author pals when they have a new release or a special offer but I'm hopeless with my own marketing!! Maybe I should stop writing and become a publicist lol.

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  5. I don't think being British helps, because it's not done to be boastful. But you go, girl - and I'll try to follow your example. "I am published writer and have been successfully self-employed for almost 30 years." So there!

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    1. You are so right about the British thing, Julia!
      Congratulations on your fabulous successes, you rock :) xx

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  6. Great stuff Shelley ..as someone who gets regularly trolled for her political views, it is a skill I am mastering slowly. We see so many bullies thriving in the world..which is WRONG..being realistically self-assertive must be a goal to strive for.

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    1. Thanks, Carol. I think you've mastered it perfectly. The dark side of social media allows trolls to abuse people from the safety of their laptops, instead of debating, chatting, analysing. Like we did in the old days - you know, through conversation! :)

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  7. Thanks for the post! "Imposter Syndrome" has operated in my life for much of my career. Because I felt I might, deep down, be a fraud, I'd do all kinds of things to prove to others (and myself) that I wasn't. This led to me acting with inauthentic intent. For example, I might spend an entire meeting trying to find the exact right words to say that would amaze the room. Instead of asking questions and engaging with others, I'd be so focused on showing that I deserved to be there, I wouldn't really be there at all. Only by becoming aware, as you did, of what I was doing and why, could I shift to a place where instead of competing, I contributed and collaborated. Instead of believing there's only one right way, I see a mosaic of possibility. I still have to check myself sometimes, but I notice the signs where my ego feels threatened--racing heart, defensive posture-- and I take a deep breath. I remind myself that I'm already good enough, but after today (whatever today may bring) I'll be a little bit better. Thanks for an interesting topic! A great reminder as I get ready for a new day!

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    1. A beautifully insightful comment, Angela. Thank you so much for your input. That feeling of being a fraud can be so strong sometimes. I remember starting my holistic health business from home and never really believing I had a 'proper' business, regardless of the eight month waiting list and testimonials from clients. As you say, noticing the signs is a huge step in the right direction. Thanks for taking the time to share. Have a great day x

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  8. Very timely, Shelley. My friends and I were just talking about this at yoga class earlier this week. We were discussing the yoga ethical precept of Ahisma (non-harming, compassion, lovingkindness) and how we need to direct it to ourselves as well as to others and the world around us. In a similar vein, our community recently hosted a showing of EMBRACE, a documentary film about body image. Even those of us who thought we were OK with our bodies realized we could be more positive and accepting of ourselves just as we are.

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment. It's great to hear that your group is actively working on raising awareness. I think more women's groups should feature workshops/talks about positivity and acceptance. x

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  9. Great post Shelly and I have been there. I love those tips that you gave. Very important to focus on things we can do well.
    Read this when you get time - http://wp.me/p35ATf-xi

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    1. Thanks, Parul. (Your link is protected so I can't read it) x

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  10. Good tips, but hard to do. I'm working on a couple of them this year. I read something a while ago, that suggested that most intelligent people suffer from imposter syndrome, but some people are much better at disguising it than others.

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    1. I can totally believe that, April. We all have our unique ways of dealing with these things. Hopefully, through articles, groups, workshops, and engaging with like-minded women, we'll find the right fit that helps us cope. x

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  11. Definitely not a lame goal at all! It's amazing how many women (myself included, of course) have such a difficult time loving ourselves. I'm trying to come up with a couple of ways I indulge myself, but nothing's coming to mind, which means I should set this as a goal too. Thanks for the great tips!

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  12. Great post! Self care is very important for everyone. Sometimes women forget that because we're so busy taking care of others.

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  13. No more comparisons is something I need to constantly work on. Thanks for the inspiration.

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