By Agata Lyszczarz
People nowadays are often following imposed social behaviours. We believe that we have to behave in a certain way to ensure that we are accepted among our friends, work for colleagues, or family. Most of the time we forget what we want and what aligns with our needs and values. This makes us unhappy and frustrated. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the importance of self-love.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-LOVE AND HOW TO BUILD IT
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DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
Imagine a friend of yours is inviting you to go to the cinema but you would prefer to stay at home, watch Netflix and have a glass of wine. Despite knowing what you want and need, you agree to go out with your friend but you do not enjoy your time and you feel frustrated. Does it sound familiar? I believe it does.
Everyone at some point did something against their will but this article will help you to understand the importance of self-love, why it is important and how to build it with all your heart.
SELF-LOVE MEANS TAKING CARE OF YOUR OWN NEEDS.
For many years I used to be a people pleaser. I thought that this was my responsibility to make them happy. I was afraid to cancel a meeting, disagree with someone’s opinion, or just simply say “no” without explaining myself. This has changed recently and I have been working hard on myself to make sure that I am my best friend.
In simple words, self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. This is an ability to ask yourself and answer honestly:
‘Do I need/ want this?’
‘How does it make me feel?’
‘Does this align with my values/ beliefs?’
‘Is this what I need now?’
If the answer is ‘no’ for any of the above questions then the answer is simple – this does not align with you.
PRIORITISING YOUR NEEDS IS NOT SELFISH.
You may be thinking, ‘if I say ‘no’ to my friend, she will be upset or she will not invite me again’, or ‘what if I am selfish?’.
First of all, prioritising your needs is not selfish. You are important and your needs are important. If something does not feel right and it makes you feel uncomfortable then it does. Period. You need to listen to your needs and know what you want at this moment.
Second of all, if someone does not respect your opinion or your choices the question is, are they your real friend? Think about it. If you want to spend your free time differently than your friend or you have a different opinion about something you have a full right to have one. People who will make you feel guilty because you cancelled the meeting or you disagreed with them are not worth your time. And maybe it is a time to start selecting the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ friends in your life.
Another thing I understood while practising self-love is that I am my best friend and that means I need to be loyal to myself. So, if something does not feel okay with me then I am loyal to myself. If that means that I have to cancel a meeting because I am simply tired, then I am doing this because my health is important.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICING SELF-LOVE
Self-love can be practised in a few ways. For example, learning how to set up healthy boundaries, how to build self-trust and self-acceptance, how to boost your self-esteem and how to practise self-respect. These are really important terms to remember, but I will talk more in-depth about them next time. Subscribe to TheDorkyFrench newsletter to get occasional updates on new articles.
Now, I want to share with you how to build self-love.
3 WAYS TO BUILD LASTING SELF-LOVE
1. Use affirmations
Get familiar with affirmations. Affirmations have a positive impact on practising positive thinking. There are different themes of affirmations such as self-care, positive thinking, morning and night, personal growth, gratitude, or wealth. Each of them has a different message but reading those affirmations daily will help to increase self-empowerment.
- You can use the ‘I am’ app.
2. Learn to say ‘no’
It is easy to say ‘yes’ even though we disagree with something. Learning how to say ‘no’, whether your boss is asking you to work this weekend but you already have plans, or your friend is inviting you to her/his birthday but you do not fancy going out that night, will make you feel more empowered towards maintaining healthy relationships with others.
You do not necessarily have to disagree with your boss straight after reading this article, but take small steps. And next time your friend invites you for a coffee or a party and you do not feel it, just listen to your needs and follow them. The more boundaries you will set up the easier it will be. However, remember that some people might not respect them and that only represents them, not you.
3. Write a Journal
Journals help to organise the thoughts. Of course, there are different ways of writing a journal and it all depends on preferences. However, you can try and get yourself a nice notebook and start to share your thoughts. You can subdivide a journal into a few categories. For example: three things you are grateful for, what you love about yourself, what are your goals and how you want to achieve them.
I can share this with you and since January 2021 I have been writing the 6 Minutes Diary, which is simply amazing! You do your morning and evening reflections every day. My mindset has changed a lot since January and I am grateful for what I have achieved so far! I must say it was one of the best gifts I received – my boyfriend knows me well. You could also give a try to bullet journaling by reading the following article: My Minimalist Bullet Journal (how and why).
I hope you enjoyed this article and will start including self-love in your daily routine,