Self-love is one thing we as humans have a difficult time doing. When you put yourself first, a sense of guilt starts to take over, am I right? If you’re nodding, my guess is that you don’t know how to balance taking care of yourself and taking care of those you love without feeling guilty, correct? If you’re nodding again, keep reading because what I’m about to say in today’s post involves loving yourself, yes. And believe it or not, learning to love yourself without the guilt will benefit those you love too.
So for today, I want to talk about four ways you can love yourself without feeling guilty.
Here we go!
Focus on yourself and what you love (to do).
Sounds selfish, doesn’t it? At one point, I thought so too. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I don’t focus on myself and do what I love to a degree, I’m not happy. Am I really loving myself if I’m miserable? No. Think of it this way, “How can I love others with everything I am if I’m miserable?”
When you focus on yourself and what you love, your happiness and passion will create a ripple effect and touch others around you too. The things you do or say will be more positive and in turn, you can add to the lives around you when you’re running on a full tank of gas. Think about this as well: “How can I fill others up if I’m unhappy and empty or running on fumes?”
When you neglect yourself at the expense of others, it will lead to resentment and depending on the situation, resentment can lead to guilt.
Putting yourself last is definitely not fair to you or those around you. It’s okay to love yourself and focus on you for a change.
Learn how to say no.
I don’t know about you, but I have such a hard time saying no. I’d rather go to the dentist than say no to someone I care about. (If you know how much I dislike the dentist, this says a lot about my issue with saying no, haha!)
Here’s the deal on saying no and what I’ve learned. Late last year, a good friend of mine called me to talk to me about being a member on the board of directors of an organization she’s a part of. I agreed to her setting up a call to interview me. As days passed, I felt uneasy about making such a big committment. Since I was transitioning in several areas of my life for the new year, I knew I had to tell her no. However, I kept the appointment for two reasons: 1) to hear what the position entailed so if I was able to commit in the future, I’d know what to expect and 2) I couldn’t say no because she meant a lot to me.
After I asked her questions and hearing everything, I told her no. Truthfully, I felt terrible and guilty, but at the same time, I felt good because a weight was lifted off my shoulders. When she said, “Huong, you could’ve saved me the call and told me no. It’s okay,” that’s when I learned that because I said no to her, I said yes to myself and my goals.
At the same time, saying no to her showed that I respected her because I saved her a lot of headache. Had I said yes, I wouldn’t have given her my all and that wouldn’t have been fair to her nor the organization. And you guessed it, I would’ve felt even more guilty.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
I’m pretty sure I can speak for everyone who can breathe when it comes to comparison. I don’t have as much of a problem with this than some people, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my days either. I’ve personally learned that when I compare myself to others, I feel down about a lot of things and should all over myself. Yep. I should all over myself. “I should’ve done this sooner.” “I should’ve kept going. Who knows where I’d be at if I kept going?” “Why wasn’t I more adventurous like ::insert name of person here:: when I had the chance?”
Your life is shaped based on your experiences (sometimes not within your control) and your decisions within those situations. Not everyone will experience or deal with the same things as you. Remember, comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison also causes you to beat yourself up and results in guilt and comparing yourself is not a way to love yourself.
If you’re going to compare yourself, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. That’s who you should be in competition with!
Yep. Treat. Yo. Self! I’m not saying this just to say this, but love yourself by showing yourself love! If you want to get a mani, go get a mani. If you want “me time,” shut off your phone and relax with a good book. Take a long bath. Go for a walk. Indulge in that cupcake. Don’t just say you’ll treat yourself. Schedule time for yourself. If you know you have a big week ahead, set aside some time on your calendar to treat yourself. I promise it’s worth it. When you’re intentional with your personal time, there’s no reason to feel guilty because you’re just as important as those on your schedule!
Self-love is hard to do without feeling guilty. I hope today’s post has helped you in some way. If you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend you begin your journey by reading Robert Holden’s Lovability book. I promise after reading this book, you’ll understand how to love yourself and others and receive love in return.
Remember, self-love is not a destination, it’s a journey.
Tell me, how do you love yourself?
Image via Emily Luciano