Loving Yourself/Hating Yourself

Mad Men Series Finale
Don Draper’s Wellness Retreat Mad Men Series Finale

People have talked about “loving yourself” for years, and I’ve always thought it sounded kind-of hokey. The reason I didn’t buy it is that I didn’t “get” it. Loving yourself isn’t about showering yourself with gifts or changing your lifestyle to resemble something from a TV show or movie dramatizing wellness techniques and practices. Don’t hear me hating on meditation, but don’t hold yourself to those ridiculous pictures of what Hollywood has told us meditation and wellness look like.

Screenshot 2018-03-21 10.34.45In our industrial age, we’re brought up to take care of what we have to do – we’re in a “gotta do” culture. I gotta get up, I gotta get dressed, I gotta get the kids to school, I gotta get to class/work, I gotta get that done, I gotta remember this other thing, I gotta make dinner, I gotta get to bed, I gotta get enough rest, I gotta do a bunch of “gottas” again and am afraid it will never end. The thing we lose in that “gotta do” world is the most precious thing we have: ourselves.
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In corporate culture, employees are heaped with duties and oftentimes neglect themselves (their health, their other needs) in the process. It’s because they’re focused on what they “gotta do.” When I see people like that now, I wonder why they hate themselves so much. Yes, they’re doing a job that earns money that pays for their life… but what is that life if the person living it is being neglected?

I’ve coached stay-at-home moms who are desperate to find their identity that was somehow lost through marriage and becoming a parent. “I don’t even know who I am anymore,” said one woman I’ve helped. “Gotta do” culture is definitely not limited to the corporate world. Pressures and expectations are all around us no matter our walk.

Here’s a checklist for you of things you need to stop doing to make sure you are loving yourself. It’s by no means a complete checklist, but it’s a darned good start:

  • Take responsibility for what only you can do. Leave the rest to someone else. This means if there is a task that could be completed by someone else, delegate. Do not adopt – re-read the bold print. It does not say do what you can. It says only do the things that only you are capable of doing.
  • Assess if you consistently do more than your share. If you do, cut back.
  • Stop changing who you are and what you want for the sake of a relationship. Bring your authentic self; otherwise, the relationship won’t last anyway.
  • Recognize your accomplishments and be secure in their value. If you rely on recognition from others to recognize your value, you’re codependent, not independent.
  • Let go of guilt associated with setting boundaries or asserting yourself.
  • Be authentic. Vulnerability and authenticity are not negatives! You in your natural humanity are unique and worthy of respect. If you can’t be yourself, who are you being?
  • Say no. Take an inventory of what you can do and what you want to do. This goes back to the first point. It’s okay to say no, but if you haven’t been, it’ll take some getting used to for the people around you. NOT YOUR PROBLEM. They are the ones that need to adapt to you not being their doormat.

Some people give up drawing boundaries to allow them the space to love themselves at a core level either because they don’t know where to start, or because they take responsibility for the responses of others to this culture shift. They just keep running the rat race. Please don’t do that! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute initial coaching session with me so we can talk through getting you off that hamster wheel!

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