When people learn that I’m a life coach, I’m often asked about the most prevalent issue standing in the way of personal and professional success. Hands down I believe that shifting just one mental concept can make the biggest difference in anyone’s life.
What is it? Self-love.
There are so many aspects to self-love that impact our daily experience, and a majority of clients don’t even realize how they are lacking in this area until I help them see it for themselves.
One of the best examples I can give to illustrate my point is to listen to the way you talk to yourself. Do you speak words of encouragement, even if you feel you’ve made a misstep or do you harshly reprimand yourself instead? The way you talk to yourself is a huge indicator of self-respect, a major component of self-love.
Another example is self-advocacy. Do you speak out for yourself when you feel disrespected by others or do you sweep your feelings under the carpet so as not to be confrontational?
If you cannot find the voice to represent yourself, then you are loving the other person’s desires more than your own. #SelfAdvocacy
— sheila callaham (@SheilaCallaham) January 15, 2016
I see this a lot in the workplace, where employees feel victimized by colleagues or even their managers, but they cannot love themselves enough to speak their truth. Helping individuals get in touch with how they feel, and how to professionally and confidently communicate their needs is transformative. One thing I tell all of my clients: Wants are negotiable. Needs are not!
Self-love shows itself in other ways, too, such as how we care for our body. Exercise and proper diet are are critical elements to loving oneself. Not to pick on the workplace, but again, this is where I see so many people loving their employer more than they love themselves. If you are not taking time during the day to eat, hydrate, rest your body and brain, and just talk a short walk to stretch your legs, you are loving yourself less than your work. Your body needs healthy food, not a pack of cookies you’ve stashed in your desk drawer because you don’t take the time for lunch. You need to keep yourself hydrated. If you weight 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water each day. Constant sitting is bad for your body. Your back and hips will feel so much better if you make a point to get up every hour or so and talk a short, brisk walk or do a few knee bends!
Finally, another aspect of self-love where I see people struggle is having faith in themselves.
Some refer to this sixth sense as intuition; others think of it as Spirit, God, Goddess, the higher power. The point is that we all have it, but we don’t all use it. Whatever that “source” is for you, just know it comes from something bigger than we are and it’s always spot-on. If your inner voice is telling you to take a leap of faith and try something new, then do it! Understand that your inner source of wisdom already knows that the experience will prove fruitful for you! Have you always wanted to write a book, but fear you can’t make it happen? Trust the inner voice and write your book! The seed of thought would not have been planted in your heart if it were not already possible for you to achieve!
As a coach, nothing makes me happier than helping people find their source of inner knowing and connect to the courage to live boldly! That’s why I do what I do!
Sheila Callaham is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, and success coach. If you’d like to receive more content like this, including free and low-cost resources for making your life rock and early-bird discounts on Sheila’s upcoming offering “The Authentic Author: Inspiration, Courage, & Know-How to Make Your Book Writing Dream A Reality,” click here to join her newsletter!