Who would have the audacity to tell someone to love themselves first? An individual that has learned and understood the importance of it, that is who!
This life lesson is one that can be very hard to grasp. We are often taught to help others, to be selfless, to not be selfish, and to make others happy in order to succeed. These suggestions are good, but when weighted too heavily they can be harmful. There must always be a balance in life to remain healthy and functional.
Think about this: If you are giving up 75% of your happiness to others then how can happy can you be with 25% to yourself? If 85% of your time is dedicated to pleasing people at your job then how pleased can the individuals inside of your home be when there is 15% left? Is someone expected to enjoy your company 100% of the time when you do not enjoy your own company 100% of the time? How can someone be expected to love you unconditionally 100% of the time when you only love yourself conditionally 50% of the time?
These are questions that need to be asked and answered honestly. The results may be scary, may be hard to voice, may be confusing, may be hurtful, but it is ok and it will be ok. It will be ok as long as the honest answers are received and accountability is taken with positive forward action.
Sometimes it is alright to think about self. When it comes to self-love, self-esteem, personal growth, day-to-day happiness, and over all positivity it is appropriate. If this is not already a habit that is practiced it may be hard to get the wheels going. An exercise that can help is to create a personal mantra.
A mantra is, “a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs” (“Mantra,” 2014). In short, it is a phrase used for empowerment, but the key is that it is believed. This mantra does not have any boundaries and can be anything that will help uplift you.
My personal mantra is, “I have a voice”.
When this was created I repeated it until I could say it confidently. At first you may say your mantra quietly, with hesitation, may sound confused, or may even forget it. Practice your mantra in front of a mirror if it helps. Repeat the mantra until you are able to say it while looking yourself in the eye, speak it clearly, say it confidently, remember it without hesitation, and until you believe it!
For something to become a habit it must be practiced. I show that I have a voice through my blog, and I also practice it by being a mentor. Now these things have become a part of my day-to-day life in some capacity. This mantra helps to encourage me. When I am having an off-day it helps to remember my mantra, what it stands for, and to say it to myself.
Other mantra examples:
- I AM strong!
- Creativity IS my strength!
- I DO love me!
- I AM capable!
- I CAN forgive those that hurt me!
- I AM good enough!
- I AM a success story!
- I AM free from my negative family pattern!
- I AM ____!
- ____ IS my strength!
- I CAN ___!
Remember that practice makes perfect. An action takes 21 days of practice to become a habit.
Practice taking care of your basic needs — self-love.
Create a mantra. What would it say? What would it mean to you? Post a photo of you on Instagram with your mantra and tag me @MzDezy!
Mantra. (2014). In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mantra