Today is Day 24 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jumpstarting your own self-love.
We all have desires, cravings, and things we think we should do. Choosing what to do, or not do, should take some thought so you can determine what’s truly in your best interest. Often we want to do something for the wrong reasons. DoorMats make choices that will please others but might not please themselves!! THAT IS NOT LOVING! Nor is it healthy. Nor does it bring happiness.
If you want to love yourself more, get into the habit of steering yourself away from things that are counterproductive for building self-love.
A good way to do this is to become more conscious of why you’re making specific choices. Self-Love is making healthier ones that are good for YOU! There are many factors that can interfere with choosing a path that says, “I love me.” Some common ones are:
• Insecurity: When you’re insecure, choices tend to go in the direction of what will rock the boat the least. Deciding not to speak up for something that angers or hurts you seems to be the best way to keep the peace in your life. These choices may make you feel a little more secure for a short time, but they won’t make you happy. Developing self-love can make you secure enough to make decisions about what’s best for YOU and speak up for your good.
• Fear: When you’re scared, choices are often what you deem as safe, not what you want. Taking the less risky path can keep you from doing or achieving what would make you happier. Fear-based decisions are usually unloving ones since they lead you to avoid taking chances that could open up your life to happier things. Developing self-love can make you want to make decisions about what’s best for YOU. Conquering fears that hold you back from living the life you’d love says, “I love me.”
• Emotions: Negative emotions lead to unhealthy choices. Feeling down can make you feel too tired to run, even though doing so would perk you up after. Anger can motivate choices to get even with someone. Loneliness/sadness can trigger calling a romantic partner you left after he/she hurt you and reconnect, which brings on more negative emotions from the person. Negative emotions can offset healthy eating by grabbing a donut (or 3) to make yourself feel better. Doing kinder things for you creates more positive feelings that can eventually kick the negative ones to a lower priority.
• Needing to be liked: When you want everyone to like you, like I did when I was a DoorMat, choices are truly not about you. They’re geared to pleasing others. Revolving around what other people need says “I don’t love me!” Making decisions based on what would make YOU happy changes that!
• Old habits: It’s normal to make decisions out of habit, saying yes to what you’ve always said yes to. If you’ve always gone along with what someone close to you wants, you may not even realize that you’re not necessarily doing what you want. Habits can and should be broken if they keep you making less than self-loving choices.
There are many other factors. Do you relate to any of these or have your own triggers for decisions that don’t say “I love me?” You can change this dynamic if you choose to so you can build stronger self-love. It begins with raising your consciousness about what influences your decisions. Do you crave sweets when you’re tired? Find a loving substitute, like a good brand of herbal tea, a handful of nuts, or even sugar-free gum. Or, if you must have some cookies, etc., put some in a bowl and eat the portion slowly.
Say out loud, “I’m controlling my craving because I love me.”
Whenever you’re about to make a decision, or take an action or agree to something someone else wants, ask yourself, “Who am I doing this for?” Is it something YOU want, or are you doing it to avoid taking risks, to soothe a negative emotion, or to make someone else happy? If it’s not about what YOU want, do your best to reconsider your choice. Doing what ‘s in YOUR own best interest says, “I love me” because in the long run these choices will increase your happiness!
Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself.
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