A common trait among people who lack self-love, self-respect and self-acceptance, is a desire to look outside for fulfilment. Disappointment always prevails, though, because all of these things can only ever be found through one’s self.
We are all born possessing everything we could ever need. It is only through early experiences that we are taught we are not good enough, smart enough and that we are a disappointment. These feelings are derived from many outsides sources – parents telling us we are naughty, teachers telling us we are wrong and peers alienating us.
Ideas then become deep-rooted in our beliefs about ourselves, which are carried into adult life in the form of volatile relationships, lack of self-esteem, lapsed boundaries and a continued belief that we are not good enough. Instead of looking inside for healing, we often expect other people to be able to shift the negative beliefs we hold, which then places us in a vulnerable position.
The process of self-healing can only ever happen within. No matter how difficult your childhood was, or how many traumatic experiences you have encountered throughout your adult life – it is always possible to undergo self-healing.
There is certainly no quick-fix, miracle cure for self-love. The journey requires your utmost attention and dedication. But if you stick to it, you will be offered something that no thing on this planet can compare to – inner peace.
Affirm, Affirm, Affirm
Affirmations are a powerful way to reverse the negative beliefs you have about yourself. You already use affirmations everyday – they are the thoughts you think and the words you use when describing yourself, which affect the conscious and subconscious mind. Each time you tell yourself you are not good enough, or you are not beautiful enough, or you are not strong enough, you are affirming these ideas to be true, which gives power to the negative beliefs. It’s worthwhile remembering that the universe responds to every word and thought you put out there.
It is possible to re-wire your beliefs simply by using affirmations. The key here is repetition – you will need to repeat the same affirmations each day, in your head or out loud, until they become ingrained in your beliefs.
In addition, be aware of any negative affirmations you encounter. This is really important because the negative thoughts and words will always overpower the positive; the reason being that they are said with such angst. Anytime you notice yourself thinking or saying that you are silly, or you don’t look good or you’re unable to do something, swap the negative affirmations for feelings, thoughts and words of self-love.
Here are ten affirmations you can say everyday to change the beliefs you have about yourself.
1) I am perfect just the way I am
2) I have the strength to overcome any situation
3) I treat my body with love and care
4) I am able to forgive everyone in my past for all wrongdoing
6) I welcome positive change
7) I believe in my own ability
8) I can do it
9) I surround myself with love
10) I love you, your name
Where are your Boundaries?
If you are lacking self-love then it is quite probable you also lack boundaries. We always promote kindness but there’s a fine line between helping others and not caring for yourself because you are giving too much.
Do you find it difficult to say no? Are you scared of not being liked? Do you agree to do things for other people, knowing that you don’t really want to? Do you go out of your way to please people, with little appreciation in return? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s a sure sign that you don’t have the right boundaries in place.
Boundaries are limits you set for yourself, which tell others how they can treat you, what they can expect from you and how much you value yourself. Without them, you are undoubtedly exposed to vulnerability; people will take advantage of you if you let them, boundaries are a safety net to stop that from happening.
It’s important that you have boundaries in place in all of your relationships, no matter how casual or serious – here are some tips on how to do this.
1) Say no
As explained in ‘Learn how to say No‘, it is always important to say no if you’re being asked to do something that depletes your energy. Only participate in doing things you feel comfortable with. If someone isn’t happy that you are not responding to their request, it’s a telling sign that they too lack boundaries.
2) You are responsible for you, others are responsible for themselves
Unless we are talking about a child you’re responsible for, you are not responsible for other people’s feelings or actions. Often an association with poor boundaries is co-dependency – the feeling that you are responsible for the emotions of someone else. Or, perhaps you expect others to take too much responsibility for you? Either way, both are a sign of poor boundaries.
As explained in ‘Drop Yourself out of the Drama Triangle‘, the victim and rescuer role are very damaging to your emotional state of being. It is healthy if you take responsibility for your own actions and feelings, and allow others to take responsibility for theirs.
3) Get some self-control
Having boundaries in place means taking care of yourself and not placing yourself in situations that impact you negatively, which is why it’s important to have self-control. Addictive, obsessive and compulsive behaviour – whether it relates to people, substances, food, or things, is very destructive to you.
These tips will help you to be in better control of your life:
Be in the moment – many urges will soon go after a moment or two; and if you stay present in the now, you won’t carry them through to the next moment. As explained in ‘Living in the Now‘, being present allows you to cherish the moment you are in and appreciate your surroundings, without any interruption from inner thoughts.
Meditate – meditation can have a profound impact on your wellbeing; the purpose is to create calm and peace but it also improves self-discipline. Set aside at least ten minutes each day to sit in a quiet place and practice mindfulness, which involves sitting comfortably, staying present in the moment and focusing on your breathing.
Think well – poor self-control often stems from obsessive thinking; if you are constantly thinking about a person, substance or food that you know isn’t good for you, the likelihood of you accessing it, is pretty high. Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t have, shift your attention to things that are good for you, such as healthy foods, exercise and people who add value to your life. Any thoughts that become compulsive are not healthy, so look out for any obsessive thinking that arises.