So on the occasion of and in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I was thinking about the connection between loving others and loving ourselves. We've heard the old saying, 'You can't love others until you love yourself," which I believe is very true. But my focus is not so much on the underlying meaning of that saying, but rather on paying particular attention to how we show love for ourselves.
I'm not saying to go get all narcissistic on me, but I am saying to take a good look at yourself and then stop and ask self, "Are you feeling loved today?"
Have I lost some of you already?
Will some of you read the words and then quickly dismiss them?
But for those of you who are still with me, ready to read on and take action -- to show yourselves some love -- take note because from this day forward you'll be armed with several ways to show yourself some good ole' internal love and affection.
Go ahead, try these out. Love yourself. It's good for you.
Talk to yourself the right way. What's your inner dialogue? Are you self-doubting, constantly hammering yourself, telling self, "I'm no good at this" or "I can't do that"? Let me just say, "STOP IT!" Instead, I've got a new idea. How about you talk to yourself like you'd talk to someone you deeply love? Talk to your inner self like you would to someone you're absolutely crazy about! Seriously. You should be crazy about you...you deserve self respect, patience and understanding. You deserve praise for all of the wonderful things you are doing. So, mark this particular Valentine's Day on your calendar as the day you will really begin loving yourself with a positive, uplifting, and motivating message to yourself. Go ahead. Tell your inner self, "I am awesome. And I love you."
Give yourself a break. We all get to the saturation point where we muddle through the day just coping, generally due to expectations. We don't rock the boat because it's just not worth it. We coast along and manage our days and our interactions with others somehow. On a day like today, we go through the holiday rituals and mechanics of stopping at the store to comb through the unending Valentine gift options, select something we "hope" our loved ones will enjoy, and then grip ourselves as we prepare for the customary "romantic" dinner shared with 30 or more other couples in the restaurant that costs us twice as much. And, God forbid, our loved one not like the gift we bought or the meal not be extraordinary! That would be the final straw.
Really? Why do we do this to ourselves?
Enough. It's time to get back to the basics of being good to ourselves. Take it easy. You don't have to live like the Jones. Take a break from the chaos you've created in your life. Instead, stop, look around, smell the roses (hopefully your sweetheart bought you), enjoy some down time with your loved ones, and show yourself some love by not creating a day full of chaotic events that quite frankly aren't all that necessary in the big scheme of things. Ok. I've said it. Show yourself some love. Give yourself a break.
You can handle it. No matter how focused, positive, or hard working you are there will still be days when nothing seems to go right. We all go through challenges, disappointments and unfair situations. It's easy to get overwhelmed and think, "This is too much. I can't deal with this any longer." But I'm here to assure you that you are equipped with everything you need to handle the good, the bad and the ugly. Period.
How? Go back to a memory you can replay in your mind to make yourself feel good. Go back through some old photos of you and friends and family. Look over some old Valentine's cards from loved ones. Listen to some soothing music. Drink a glass (or two) of wine. Replay happy memories of people telling you how much they value and appreciate you.
Whatever it is that is going on in your life, you can manage it. Show yourself some love. Be confident and tell your inner self, "This too shall pass." You are stronger than you might know. You CAN handle it!
So just as a reminder, focus on positive messages, not narcissistic ones. I never said skip out on Valentine's Day rituals, but I did say give yourself a break when trying to meet all of the demands of your busy life. And lastly, when you feel you just can't handle it, I'm here to tell you that you CAN.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this post and how you show yourself some love.
Are you ready for some more love, support and encouragement, check out our upcoming Professional Women's Leadership Retreat: "Let's Be Real, Ladies". Registration is already open. And you don't want to miss out on this! For more information: