More often than not, we’re our own toughest critics. It doesn’t matter how much praise we get for all of the kick-ass stuff we accomplish day-in and day-out; we tend to focus on criticism rather than praise. If you’re guilty of this like I am, welcome to the human species. I’m not a fan of self-criticism and down talk and I try to derail that train of thought each time I hear it barreling down the track. But it takes practice. It also takes dedication and persistence.
Developing self-intimacy on an emotional level is a great practice for building and sustaining self-love, self-confidence, and self-respect. Why are these components essential when getting to know yourself better? Think of it this way. Say you meet someone who you find amazing. They’re attractive, intelligent, caring, and devoted to you. You love everything about them – even their quirky flaws. But each time you try to let them know how you feel about them, they reject your compliments or self-deprecate.
How discouraging would that be for you? If we don’t love ourselves first, we can bring that same frustration to our loved ones who are head over heels with us, just as we are. It’s important for us to have the confidence to know what we really want so we can have the relationships we really want. Remember that self-love includes having an appreciation for ourselves for who we are, not who we could or should be.
Let’s explore some simple ways to cultivate and deepen your self-awareness and better meet your personal needs.
- Check-in with yourself daily. At the beginning of each day, before you even open your eyes, spend some time with yourself. Take a few moments to gauge your mental health, emotional health, and self-satisfaction. Are you okay? How do you really feel about your life and where you are? What are you most grateful for today and what are you most looking forward to? Which would you like to see more of in your life?
- Accept yourself for who you are today. There is nothing wrong with having the potential to be great, Sis. It is critical to strive for new goals and soar toward new heights. But if you could focus on where you are today: what you’ve accomplished, how far you’ve come, and how you’ve persevered, you will be in a great state of mind. Focus on what you have to offer right now and how it compares to last year or last month. Eradicate self-judgment and negative self-talk whenever possible by reciting healthy mantras. “I am enough.” “I am brave.” “I am growing.”
- Validate yourself daily. The only approval that matters in the grand scheme of things is your own. Many choose to vocalize their opinions on issues, people, and events. But no opinion matters more than your own. The only thing left at the end of each day is you and that little voice in your head. Make sure it is armed to pour life into you, empower you, and acknowledge all that you are each day.
- Learn to fully trust yourself. You were given the gifts of instinct and wisdom for a reason. Throughout this life, we learn things that add a jewel to our crown and give us the power to discern what is best for us on a daily basis. Trust what your gut tells you and get in tune with your inner voice. There is a lesson in each mistake, a reward for each risk, and a chance to grow at every turn. You will never lead you wrong.
- Learn to truly love yourself. Society and social media can create pressure on us to focus on our outward appearance and possessions. But what about who we are on the inside? That is the part of us that makes us most unique, loved, and respected. Take time to reflect on the person that you are. Learn to embrace each of your flaws and quirks. Fall in love with you again.
- Be intentional about rekindling your self-passion. Make it a habit to stoke your internal flames each day in order to revitalize your passion for self. Whether it’s your gift of entrepreneurship, motherhood, or the wisdom you have gained along the journey of life, get excited about what drives you to be great each day. If you feel most alive when around others, find a tribe that shares your passion. Or you can volunteer to teach or coach someone on a topic, skill, or activity that you love. However, you find your purpose and satisfaction is up to you. But be sure to make it a priority to feed the fire in yourself on a regular basis.
- Set regular goals for personal advancement. These days with everything being remote, it can be easy to work long hours. Without the proper boundaries in place, workdays and other responsibilities can drone on, leaving us with little time for personal goal achievement. I’m here to tell you, Sis, that cannot happen without your permission! What is something you want to manifest in your life today? Starting a side hustle? Learning a new language? Starting a blog? Whatever it is, grab a new planner, create a vision board, and hop on YouTube to start the planning process. You’ve got this.
As you continue your journey of self-discovery and appreciation, remember to find time to regularly meet your personal needs and desires. And always remember that you are unstoppable!
Good luck, Sis!