Do you make these Love Mistakes?

I Love Me Written inside a Heart Drawn in SandI believe learning to love ourselves fully is the most important work we will ever do.

It is the crux of everything. Worthiness. Believing we are good enough. Having a sense of belonging. Giving ourselves permission to ‘fail’. Trusting ourselves. Trusting the universe.

All of it.

Loving ourselves fully means deeply knowing that whatever we do in the world, whatever we achieve or don’t achieve, we are already ‘enough’.

And treating ourselves accordingly.

Who does she think she is?

When I was growing up, any talk of ‘loving yourself’ was viewed in a derogatory way. If you said: “She really loves herself” about somebody, it was not a compliment. It was generally used to describe somebody considered over-confident, arrogant, vain and ‘full of themselves.’

Even today, talk of ‘self-love’ can feel a bit gushy. It’s something of a taboo subject. We don’t really talk about it.

What does it mean to love yourself fully?

Bring to mind a person you love completely – perhaps a child, a sibling, maybe a really close friend (maybe even your husband!)

How do you think about this person and treat them when they are afraid, lonely, tired, hesitant, hungry, lacking in confidence?

What feelings arise when you think of them being this vulnerable?

Perhaps unconditional love, compassion, kindness?

And as your loved one feels their way to figuring out and finding their place in the world, how do you want to support them?

Do you give them permission to take risks without fear of judgement? Permission to get it wrong and make mistakes?

As you think of their vulnerability, do you want to take really good care of them? Do you want to nourish them and make them feel safe?

Why is it so easy to have this kind of love and compassion for another person? And yet, be so hard on ourselves?

What if we could have this same love and compassion for ourselves?

I’ll be worthy when…

We believe that when we reach this goal or that, ‘then’ we will be worthy.

We will feel better about ourselves when we get ‘there’.

We believe we have to prove our worth. Prove that we are good enough.

We have to create evidence for ourselves and other people that we are worthy of love and belonging.

Do you make these mistakes?

Where are you on the Self-Loveability Spectrum?

On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being barely at all, 10 being totally got it covered), how well do you love yourself? Not sure? Answer the following questions to get some clues:

(1) How do you treat yourself?

How do you treat yourself when you make a mistake? When you don’t meet your own standards? When you ‘fail’ to achieve a goal? When you’re afraid to take action? When somebody criticises you?

Do you respond with loving kindness and compassion, knowing you were doing the best you could with the knowledge and information you had at the time?

Or do you beat yourself up with vicious, negative self-talk: (eg “You idiot, I knew you’d never do it, who do you think you are, who are you kidding, don’t even try, you’ll just fail and everyone will laugh at you… etc. etc.)

(2) Who’s in control of your self-image?

Are you in control of how you feel about yourself or have you given that power away to other people?

Do you take responsibility for feeling the way you want to feel, regardless of other people’s behaviour and circumstances?

Or do you feel good only when other people treat you well or say nice things about you? When you get a negative comment or your husband or friend forgets to return your phone call, do you make that mean they don’t respect you and then feel bad about yourself?

(3) How do you measure your worthiness?

Do you pursue your goals for the love of achieving them, because they are based on your core desires? Because you just have to do it, regardless of your results or success, because it’s part of who you are?

Or do you constantly set lofty goals and push yourself ever harder just so that you can ‘prove’ you are good enough, successful enough, whatever enough?

So, how did you score on the Self-Loveability Spectrum?

 A Life Lesson

Learning to love ourselves fully is an ongoing life lesson for us all.

If this is an issue you are struggling with let the following three statements sink in and notice what thoughts come up for you as you read them:

  • You are already ‘enough.’ Right now, in this moment, you are enough
  • There is nowhere for you to get to and nothing for you to prove. You are already ‘there’
  • Treating yourself with love and compassion unconsciously teaches other people to do the same

How might your life be different if you truly believed these statements?

What’s one thing you can do today, right now, to increase your Self-Loveability score by one point?

For me, it’s acknowledging that I am exactly where I need to be right now in my personal life and my business. It’s letting go of the frustration of not achieving certain things yet, not progressing fast enough, not becoming more.

I am exactly where I need to be.

I am enough.

And so are you.

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3 Comments

  1. This is so beautifully put, thank you.

    I am currently trying to make a practise of, every time I irritated by someone, trying to find some compassion for them. It’s not an altruistic thing – it’s just much easier to feel compassionate towards someone than it is mad at them.
    An upshot, I’ve found, is that I’m starting to find it easier to be compassionate towards myself.
    It DEFINITELY doesn’t come naturally, and usually only arrives after I’ve spent some time beating myself up.

    I’m currently working on a book for which I have to book interviews, and various circumstances have meant I am very behind. In spite of what I said above, this is one area where I’ve been FULLY beating myself up!
    Having read your post:

    I am exactly where I need to be.
    I am enough.

    Thank you so much!

  2. Hi Marsha, thank you for your comment and lovely feedback! I am so pleased you found the post helpful in being more compassionate towards yourself.

    It’s a skill to be practiced isn’t it – we are so much more accomplished at beating ourselves up!

    I loved your comment about it being easier to feel compassion for someone than to feel mad at them. This is so true! When we are feeling anger, frustration, resentment, whatever, towards another person – WE are the one feeling and experiencing it! Compassion feels so much better.

    And the added bonus, as you mention, is that it leads to more compassion for ourselves – a win/win!

    Thanks you again for taking the time to comment. And Congratulations and good luck with getting your book out there!

  3. Good morning. Thank you. I found this article soothing and calming. We have been married many years, met in university and I have been angry and resentful towards him since he lost a significant job for him 10 years ago and has not recovered financially or psychologically. I have been so angry at his underachievement and lack of focus in the process of trying t rear two children. I now kno I will never change him and am trying t focus/redirect positive thinking as I have been dying inside. This has helped and thank you.

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