The Valentine’s Day Challenge: Love Yourself!

It’s been said that love conquers all and love comes in different forms. Whether you’re in a relationship or on your own, there’s no better time to be reminded to practice the art of self-love than right now. I want to encourage you to love yourself up! Treat yourself like you would your romantic partner, your best friend or your kids. It’s time to do something nice just for you!self-love-exercise

It’s a sad reality that women talk quite ugly to themselves at times, belittling their accomplishments, begrudging themselves for eating a second piece of chocolate or berating themselves for the size of their thighs.

For years, this was me. Hating every inch of my body, hating myself. For 35 years of my life I woke up daily to the sound of my own inner musings on how i wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc. So much that I started to believe my misguided judgments. Until one day I became wise enough to realize how truly wrong I was.

In a study by Glamour Magazine, 97% of women said at least one negative thing to themselves each day. But can you really stop at just one? If you’re in that 97%, then it’s time to break free from the self-deprecating comments and turn off the negative tape that plays over and over in your head.

“It’s your body, you can do whatever you want to with it – including love it. Choose that, just for now.” ~Sandy Kumskov

What happens when you walk around with all that negativity about yourself? For starters, your view of the world becomes glass half empty pretty quickly. Your perception of things is more negative. You become critical of others, and in doing so are critical of yourself. You build a wall around you that disconnects you from others, as well as from yourself.

I want you to tear down that wall and let your true self be revealed in all your glory! Show the world all that you have to offer and embrace yourself for who you are, rather than put yourself down for who you are not. We were not all created to be Angelina Jolie so just stop trying. And if you can’t help be continue to compare yourself, ask yourself if you’d really want to deal with all her problems the tabloids have exploited over the last few months. I certainly wouldn’t.

Learning to love yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, for your family. When you love yourself, you are able to love much deeper. You are less critical because you get that you’re enough. You’re more compassionate. More forgiving. Less judgmental. A woman who loves herself is capable of loving at a magnitude which others are not. You’re unstoppable. But one thing you are not is egotistical.

If you think it vain to love yourself, think again. When you love yourself first, you give others permission to love themselves. Loving yourself does not mean you think you’re better than anyone. Not at all. It simply means that you fully embrace the magnificent woman you already are, warts and all. And that’s a powerful thing.

Your Challenge: To celebrate Valentine’s Day I’d like to challenge you to love yourself today. No nasty comments, no looking in the mirror and putting yourself down. You may be asking, how to get back to loving yourself. After all, you’ve neuroligically programmed your mind to repeat those negative comments and now you don’t know how to stop them. Here are a few ways to get you started. Try them and see what a difference you can make in your life, as well as in the lives of those around you!

1/ Start your day with gratitude. Write down at least 5 things you are grateful for. It will help you to shift your thinking just with this one act.

2/ Notice something about you that’s gorgeous. Do you have lustrous hair, beautiful lips or a curvy shape? Do something to play it up: add a pretty hair accessory, wear a new shade of lipstick or wear a figure-flattering dress. Then note how you feel when you do just this one thing. It can help you see how beautiful you truly are! When you can begin to see your own beauty, your world expands. Seeing your own beauty is about accepting yourself for who you are- and loving every square inch of you! It’s about saying ‘YES’ to you!

3/ Use affirmations. Try this one: Comparing myself to others keeps me small, but seeing my true and unique beauty sets me free. Write it on your mirror (in lipstick:) or print it out and keep it with you. Refer back to it when you catch yourself talking negatively to yourself and see how it can help you to feel great about you!

4/ Give of yourself. Doing something nice for another, or giving a compliment, is a wonderful way to feel great about you! And more often than not, giving a compliment gets a compliment in return, which can help you feel even better! Don’t keep to yourself- share yourself with the world!

5/ Do something just for you. Enjoy a piece of decadent chocolate. Take a bubble bath. Buy yourself flowers. A simple act of self-love will leave you feeling indulged and recharged.

Learning to love yourself can take time, so be patient with yourself. And love every minute of the journey!

Happy Valentine’s Day!