How we describe ourselves speaks to our level of self-love. Negative self-talk is one of the most destructive behaviors we engage in, because after a while, we start to believe what we say. It often begins with describing ourselves in a derogatory way, using words such as stupid. Idiot, dummy, or worthless. After a while, we become desensitized to those words, and they simply become a working part of our vocabulary. Then before we know it, by our actions, we give others permission to call us names.
Another way we demonstrate self-love is having the courage not to settle for seconds in jobs or relationships. How many of you reading this are stuck in jobs that no longer work (or never have), yet you haven’t left? How many of you are tolerating abuse of any kind in your relationship, yet you continually make excuses for staying? Abuse is just not physical; it’s mental and emotional as well. For example, allowing someone to talk to you in any way they want is submitting to emotional abuse as is allowing your cheating partner to consistently return to your bed. Choosing to ignore your partner’s affairs is not an act of self-love. Yes, there may be valid reasons for staying – temporarily – such as financial support, the kids, or not having somewhere else to go. But overcoming those obstacles should be your priority, not staying.
This week you are invited to practice some new behaviors:
- In what ways are you not being yourself? How can you love more authentically, more in alignment with who you really are? What stops you?
- Today list the negative words you use to describe yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings? Why do you use those words to describe yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings? Now, replace each word with a more positive description of yourself. The way to really change how you talk about yourself is to practice using the new words.
- Make a list of the jobs you’ve had during the last five years. What did you like about each one? What did you not like? What about your present job? Do you enjoy what you do? Why? If not, why not? Why do you stay in a job you hate? What’s the payoff? How does staying in a job you don’t like move you further from self-love?
- Recall three to five times you wish you had spoken up, starting with today? How could you have handled a situation differently? Was there an opportunity for you to speak up? Was there something that needed to be said that you didn’t say in the moment.
Now ask yourself what observations can you make about your willingness to practice new and different behaviors what worked for you? What was challenging?
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groups, Google+ Circles. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.