by Mary Jane Bogle
We’re a full month into 2021, and most of us already need a re-set. Unreached goals, impossible to-do lists and the wear and tear of daily routines can quickly wipe out all resolve for a better life in the new year.
The solution to turning things around, however, might be simpler than we think. According to life coach Molly Roman, what we lack is not another motivational pep talk or even more will power, but a heaping healthy dose of self-love.
“Self-love not only gives us grace and compassion,” said Roman, “but it also allows us to be resilient. If we make a mistake, self-love permits us to see that mistake as an opportunity for growth.” In other words, people with a healthy sense of self-love choose not to dwell on disappointment but instead move forward to achieve goals.
Not to be confused with self-esteem, self-love goes beyond qualities like respect and confidence.
“We can all respect someone and still not truly love them,” said Roman. The same goes for ourselves. According to Roman, “we can have confidence in our abilities and respect ourselves through boundaries, but self-love is knowing that we matter as much (but not more than) the next person.”
In contrast, people who lack self-love often sabotage their relationships and pathways to success. According to Roman, “people generally do one of two things when they don’t truly love themselves. They either make themselves appear better than others, or they tolerate poor treatment of themselves.” People who fall into the first category typically harm their relationships at work and home, since most people don’t enjoy feeling less than. Those who fall into the second scenario typically invite people into their lives who don’t love and care for them. Either way, said Roman, “a lack of self-love and care impacts not just our mental health but all of our relationships.”
Ready for that reset? Here are five ways Roman recommends building self-love and self-care into our lives:
- Know that your self-worth is not determined by your accomplishments or acceptance by others. You are worthy of love because of your human dignity; you are a gift.
- Make time for you. You at your best is a benefit to all of those around you. What are the things that bring a little joy and fun to your life? Make sure you incorporate these activities into your week.
- Discover what you love about yourself. If your friends or family shared the wonderful qualities that you embody, what would they say?
- Be compassionate, forgiving and gracious with yourself. What is the self-talk in your head when you make a mistake or don’t live up to your own standards? Would you dare say this to your loved ones when they made an error? Give yourself the same grace.
- Set boundaries with those who don’t love you the way you deserve. If someone is unkind, remember that they may have trouble with self-love, too, and set boundaries accordingly.