“You’ve got to love yourself before you can expect anyone else to.”
Yes, we have all heard this very familiar cliché. But what we don’t often hear is HOW to love yourself. And, more often than not, many of us put everyone else’s needs or concerns above our own in an effort to please them without regard to ourselves—especially those of us who are mothers and/or have a significant other.
What does a person who loves herself look like? How can you tell whether or not you truly love yourself? I’m glad you asked. Here are 10 of what I think are the critical traits of such a person, in no particular order:
She is secure with herself.
She accepts herself as she is, flaws and all, but seeks to gradually make improvements where practical. Wide nose, skinny, legs, kinky hair—whatever others may tease her for, she is proud of, and she embraces herself for who she is. She knows that she is a work-in-progress. She has self-confidence and does not feel “less than” when in the company of others who may be (or seem) more accomplished, attractive, or rich than she.
She understands her worth and acts as such.
She has a healthy self-respect, earns the respect of others with her behavior and demeanor, and expects the same in return. She does not allow people to waste her time, whether it’s a friend, a date, or a partner in business. She doesn’t settle for a romantic partner who mistreats or neglects her. She treats herself and pampers herself.
She takes care of her hygiene and enjoys things that make her look and feel good. She gets a proper amount of rest, eats a healthy diet overall, and maintains an active lifestyle. She does not engage in thoughtless acts of casual, unprotected sex, or reckless alcohol or drug use.
She forgives herself for her mistakes.
She does not engage in negative self-talk nor puts herself down. She diffuses negative thoughts with righteous ones (affirmations). She is patient with her progress in life, setting of goals, and she gives herself room to grow.
She celebrates her successes.
She does not downplay her achievements and milestones. She takes the time to enjoy the fruits of her hard work.
She surrounds herself with positive, uplifting people, and limits toxic influences.
She knows that her success is directly proportional to the kind of company she keeps, so she avoids, or eliminates, toxic people from her life who seek to take from her and give nothing in return. (Too many withdrawals without deposits will leave you with a negative balance!)
She is connected to her Creator.
She spends quiet time with her Creator regularly, and is aware of the soft, still voice inside her that guides her decisions.
She finds time to enjoy herself and relaxation.
She does not go too long without engaging in a social activity or trip (either alone or with good friends) where she can let her hair down and have some fun.
She invests for her future.
She does not spend more than she has (living above her means), or abuse credit. She has (or is building) an emergency fund, retirement nest egg, and follows a personal financial plan so she won’t have to work all her life.
She gives back to others.
She volunteers to share her time and talents, and supports charities. (Money is only one part of giving back.)
So now that you can see an illustration of self-love, where are you at? Do you love you? Are there any other points that are missing?