Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovely reader! You did know that Valentine’s is tomorrow, right ;)?
But before you go rushing off to shower love and affection on the special people in your life, I want to pose this question:
Do we give ourselves the same respect, approval, acceptance, and love as we give others? Certainly not as much as we should! Our best efforts to love ourselves are often sabotaged by our own negativity (in the form of complaining, fixating on weaknesses while simultaneouly forgetting about strengths, self-criticism, and so forth). It’s no wonder we miss out on living life to the fullest, and struggle to contribute our best selves to our businesses…we’re too preoccupied with complaining about what’s NOT right, that we fail to embrace what IS.
My Prescription for Self-Love & Acceptance
If you want to embrace and appreciate your full self, lift your spirit, increase your self-confidence, and more, join me in these simple things we can all do to up our self-love factor:
- Accept the unchangeable, and work around it. Take me, for example: I’ve been coping with narcolepsy for sixteen years and counting, but sometimes I still think “Ugh, if only I didn’t need a daily nap, I could get more done!”. So, I’m telling that negative voice to shut it…and to remember that I have a whole arsenal of blessings to work around it with: like an otherwise healthy body, a brilliantly creative mind, and access to plenty of food, fitness, and inspiration to nourish both.
- Stop berating ourselves for the things we’re bad at. Instead, we should: A) take the necessary steps to improve; B) let someone else more capable handle it; or C) just DO IT and not worry about being “good” at it. When it comes to improving historically bad habits (or establishing new, good habits), I’m finally learning that it’s pointless to berate myself for every little slip-up…because doing that would essentially be self-discouragement. And it feels so much better to encourage myself to correct the problem that led to the slip-up, than to self-discourage and ultimately give up. 🙂
- Love and embrace our quirky selves. Perhaps you grew up like I did, believing that it’s bad to be “weird” and good to be “normal”. But who’s normal? Nobody, that’s who! So let’s love our quirky selves, and wear our uniqueness on our proverbial sleeve. After all, quirkiness is memorable + lovable…how else could folks like Oprah, Marie Forleo, and Steve Jobs have made such an indelible mark on our collective psyche? 🙂
NOW you can go rain affection on your loved ones, just don’t forget to save some for yourself, okay? In other news, today happens to be Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent — and I can think of no better time than to make a commitment to love more, and complain less. I didn’t even plan it that way; God’s timing is perfectly amazing!
Want more LOVE + WISDOM + DESIGN & BIZ ADVICE from me?
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!