“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you that you love, well, that's just fabulous.” –Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and The City
I have a love and passion for many things: fitness, food, health, coffee shops, travel, family and close friends. But what I’ve learned over the years is one of the most important things we should love in our lives is ourselves. So many of us struggle with that idea and question it. Love yourself? Am I even loveable? Women are judgmental especially of our bodies and we can be very materialistic. It’s also much easier to love others and put others before YOU –and this can lead to neglecting ourselves. However, if you take the time to look beyond the surface, you will find a soul within you that IS loveable. After all if you don’t love yourself, who will love you back?
Yes, I love myself. This did not happen overnight. It was a process, but I did indeed learn to love myself over time. Part of the process for me was growth and maturity. But a larger part the journey was finding things that made me happy and focusing on myself. I was setting goals, trying new things and often pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I quickly realized that the smaller things that made me self-conscious or crushed my self-esteem didn’t matter as much. It was the amazing things I was pursuing that that peaked the interests of my peers and contributed to my surge in confidence. Ultimately this confidence led to love.
Loving yourself not only means confidence, but it means that you are capable, courageous. You are able to step outside your comfort zone, you don’t hold back and you continually challenge yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Loving yourself allows you to be your true self, to be more open to finding love with someone else. It gives you the ability to let someone else in.
Your leaps outside your comfort zone can define you and often trump any doubts or flaws you see in yourself. You become more impressive and this can make you feel amazing. I encourage you to take this month and challenge yourself – maybe run a little further than you normally run, try a new yoga pose you never thought you could conquer, a new recipe or schedule time to read a new book.
You will not only feel better about yourself, you will realize that the small steps lead to bigger to steps. Set goals. Make a plan. Say “I will do ___ this week. I will swap ____ for _____. Maybe it’s something as simple as planning to walk to work rather than take the bus. Who knows! You might discover a new friend, a new coffee shop or a nice stranger along the way. Maybe you explore a new fitness class that might have otherwise been intimidated by. Try it. Try testing yourself, your limits, your comfort zone – you will be amazed at how good you can feel.
Most importantly, loving yourself means making time for YOU. Putting yourself first. So take the challenge to find LOVE in YOU this month. Because once you do you will find yourself embracing the power of love and shine from within.
Rachel // USA // Loves leather jackets, avocados and Sunday night coffee shop dates