Nothing is more important than how you feel and think about yourself. A high opinion of yourself and what you do is a guaranteed recipe for self-love. We all struggle with this from time to time, but if you want to have a positive relationship with yourself overall, you need to put in a little work to get there. So, try getting rid of these three habits that prevent you from cultivating self-love…
1. Allowing Fear To Dictate Your Behavior
We often change our actions in response to internal fears of being judged. We order items from the menu when we’re out on a date that we would never order if we were out with friends. We hide behind sunglasses and hats or put on make-up before going to the grocery store because we want to appear more put together. We put several layers of self-defense over our swimsuit so people can’t see our imagined flaws.
Instead of presenting yourself as the person you think people will find more accepting, you should practice being more authentic. Own your personality and the quirks that come along with it. Eat pizza with your hands on a date and go to the grocery store without make-up. Make every effort to show up as yourself and never change your actions based on your fear of being judged. Accept the fact that you cannot change or control other people’s perceptions so you might as well be yourself.
2. Deflecting Compliments
How many times have you deflected a compliment from someone? A friend tells you that you are beautiful or talented and you reply by negating it. There are many reasons why we may deflect positive messages and not allow ourselves to bask in our successes. Women are conditioned from birth to be humble, and, admitting or agreeing to positive things about ourselves can be judged as us bragging. We also deflect compliments when we feel that it conflicts with the way we feel about ourselves.
Rather than deflecting a compliment, simply say “thank you”. Then use this as an opportunity to reflect on why your initial urge was to react by deflecting or rejecting it. As long as you continue to deny compliments, you will perpetuate negative feelings for yourself.
3. Seeking Validation
Have you ever completed a successful project but felt unaccomplished because it wasn’t acknowledged by people whose opinion you value? Many of us seek approval and validation from others in order to feel worthy but end up feeling unworthy because we cannot control the way other people view us. We need to show ourselves some love before we can receive love from others.
Pay attention to whether your words and actions are the result of a need for validation. Do you put yourself down in order to receive compliments? Do you solely rely on social media ‘likes’ to feel better about yourself? It’s okay to enjoy being validated and receive compliments. However, this should not be used as a primary vehicle for self-love. You don’t need permission from others to like yourself or the work you do.
I challenge you to commit to an entire week of censoring these habits. Bring awareness to your negative self-talk and you will start to realize how much this permeates in your life. From there, you can start to deconstruct the reason behind your negative self-talk and start moving forward.