Learning to love yourself starts with making a conscious decision, an intention to become happy and lead a fulfilled life.
— Evelyn Lim
Practice being self-ish and treat yourself with kind, patient, forgiving and loving words, thoughts and actions.
Just over five years ago when I began working on the concept of iGnite, I routinely met with my mentor to discuss all the details regarding the idea of a positive, inspirational and fun female fitness community. In the process of playing with names, we discussed the idea of “self-ish.” My instinct was to not use the word which means “lack of consideration for others; concerned chiefly with ones own personal profit or pleasure.” In fact, the direction I was coming from was just the opposite. I saw the need to emphasize doing something each day that would positively influence the body, mind and spirit of women, so much that it would enthusiastically flow into all areas of their life and into the lives of others.
Obviously, I scratched the idea of “self-ish,” however I continue to explore the important act of being self-ish in order to completely love yourself, which opens our hearts and minds to fully loving others and life.
The act of being self-ish is a funny thing because it can easily take the wrong turn and quickly become selfish. Regarding exercise, I never had a problem being self-ish, but looking back, much of it was for the wrong reasons. While regular exercise always made me feel better, my value, love and appreciation for myself was solely based on my physical appearance, which became my self worth. It was apparent that I didn’t love myself beyond my external features, and when I was having a physically “off” day, my mental and spiritual mindsets were suppressed, which negatively affected my day and relationships. You could absolutely say that I was being selfish! On the opposite end of the spectrum, though, I additionally believe that when we neglect our physical, spiritual and mental needs, we’re also partaking in selfishness, as not caring for them negatively impacts our health, quality and outlook on life and our relationships. Take a look at the Weekly Intention Guide for inspiration in thinking about how you can be more self-ish in a way that works for you!
Naturally, all things come with maturity and wisdom. I can honestly say that I truly love both myself and life more than ever, and the funny thing is that I’m not the exercise fiend that I used to be! I exercise in moderation and sometimes it’s a walk around the neighborhood while pushing my son Durant in the stroller. I also spend time each day being self-ish by pursuing my passion in iGnite. It nourishes my body, mind and spirit which enthusiastically allows me to love others and life even more.
Given the selfish nature of our society, when too much emphasis is placed on exterior beauty, superficial things, and greed, it’s particularly necessary that we are consistently self-ish and remind ourselves of all the important ways to love ourselves. Rather than re-invent the wheel, author Evelyn Lim comprised a beautiful list of 17 ways to love yourself. I completely agree with each of her points and could not have articulated them better. Listed below are the first five, followed by a link to read more, which I highly recommend.
1. Fall in love with yourself. Think about what makes you ‘You.’ Just like a flower that needs watering to grow, learn to nurture yourself in every way. Love yourself for all the good that you see and accept your flaws and the fact that you are imperfect.
2. Eliminate Self Criticism. Do you often berate yourself over the tiniest thing? Is there a little voice inside your head that often tells you that you are no good because you are stupid or make mistakes? If you find that you criticize yourself often, make an effort to stop the self-criticism.
3. Be Kind And Positive. When you start to think kindly and positively about yourself, the love you have for yourself just grows. Make it a habit to praise yourself everyday, while in the front of the mirror.
4. Acknowledge Your Effort. It is not always about winning or coming up tops in everything that you do. Many times, it is the effort that counts!
5. Let Go of Worry. Loving yourself requires you to let go of your worry. It is a horrible way to live a life filled with constant worrying. I can attest to that! Worry does not help in any way. It cannot, on its own, make things happen. Only wise actions can!
To continue reading the rest of them, click here.
Finally, this week during iGnite we’ll practice ways to be self-ish and love ourselves. If you need more examples of ways to affirm and love yourself, there’s always Stewart Smalley to show us the ropes.