As an associate for a local women’s networking group, I get to meet some incredible ladies who are running small businesses, caring for their family, and striving to be the best they can be.
Every session includes an opportunity to introduce yourself and your business, and it’s at this point when I notice an interesting development. Each lady proudly talks about their family but clams up when the conversation turns to themselves. Everyone in the room is a successful businesswoman, but the thought of ‘bigging’ themselves up and selling themselves can be tough.
For many years I observed this and fell into the same trap when it was my time to talk. I introduced myself and launched comfortably into ‘my name’s Shelley, and I’m a single mum to three lovely teenagers,’ cue the oohs and aahs of my fellow networkers as we laugh/share/commiserate over the teen years and motherhood in general. Then, when asked about my work, I automatically drop my head, avoid eye contact and mumble something about being an author and blogger and selling a ton of books, but eer, well, umm, I’m not sure who buys them *nervous giggle*. OMG!
How is it possible that I can sit in front of a computer and share with the world how much I adore writing, how my books are aimed at women who want to make the best of themselves, as well as write articles about feeling empowered. Then, when I’m given the opportunity to confirm this face-to-face, I lose all confidence, and my self-esteem takes a tumble.
Has this happened to you? If so, then I’m happy to say you’re not alone. We all do it!
It took me a while, but I finally understood that to have the confidence to sell myself, I needed to believe that I’m worthy of my success. It’s not a fluke that I sold over 20,000 copies of my first non-fiction book. It’s not a one-off that 68k people visit my blog in the space of one month. These statistics came about through hard work, dedication, and a passion for what I do. I just need to believe that.
One of the goals I’ve set myself this year is to learn to love myself more, but what is self-love? The definition is ‘regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.’ Wow, can you see how we as women fail to love ourselves? We are always making sure that our husband/wife, children, and friends are happy, healthy, and cared for but then we never leave enough time to ensure we give ourselves the same amount of care and attention. This is why it was so easy for the women in the group to share their pride in family but not express the same confidence in themselves – we haven’t learned how to self-love.
Here are my top 5 tips to help you embrace the self-love:
Although we were all guilty of a lack of personal confidence, the ladies at my networking group were more than capable of encouraging each other and offering guidance and support. Finding a community (either face-to-face or online) such as this will help you build, or re-build, those feelings of self-esteem and conviction.
Stop Negative Talk
When we put ourselves down, we are only reinforcing that lack of self-esteem. Telling ourselves (or even just thinking) that we are boring/unattractive/fat/stupid feeds our mind to believe this even more. STOP! Take notice of the language you use when referring to yourself, turn everything into a positive affirmation. ‘I am successful,’ or ‘I am happy and healthy in my skin.’ The more you talk about yourself in a positive way, the faster you’ll believe it to be true.
I love de-cluttering! The benefits of clearing out your cupboard space, Facebook friends list, inbox, or garden shed are monumental. It also leaves you with a clear mind and more focus.
No More Comparisons
I could dedicate an entire blog post to this, but the fast-paced life of social media means that we are always in a position to compare our life/career/family to that of the online communities we are a part of. Be honest, who has followed someone on Facebook and wished for just a second that your life looked like theirs? Stop comparing yourself to others. You are a unique individual and need to start embracing the positivity in your life.
I’ve blogged about releasing negative energy through Acupuncture before (you can read that post HERE). Letting go of past hurts is hugely important when building up our self-love. We can’t move forward when clinging to pain, heartache, anger, or frustration about the past. Find a therapy that works for you and let go of the past. Acupuncture is a great therapy to try, as is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Coaching, Reiki, and journaling are also powerful therapies.
What does self-love mean to you? Do you take the time to nurture your own needs? If so, what do you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please add a comment below.