Self-love is the foundation to happiness and the key to feeling alive and engaged in life. When we learn to truly honour ourselves with self-care, self-compassion and self-kindness, life feels easier.
You are a dynamic, growing human being with ever-changing needs navigating a life which is messy, chaotic and unpredictable at times. Sometimes you will soar in life and sometimes you will struggle. With a robust foundation of self-love you will manage the storms.
So, why is self-love so important?
When you have a strong foundation of self-belief and a nurturing mindset, you can handle criticism better, take risks with ease and pick yourself up when you get things wrong. You can hear the voice of your intuition and you feel able to trust and follow your hunches when you feel the need to make changes. When you have an idea that is burning and setting you on fire, you have the courage to follow it, knowing that you will be able to carry on even if it doesn’t work out. You understand how unique everyone is and don’t compare yourself to others. You believe that you are deserving of love, and when people treat you the wrong way you can walk away. When someone is bullying or controlling you, you speak up for yourself.
What happens when we don’t love ourselves?
Without a strong foundation of self-love, life can feel empty, even scary. You might feel uninspired or you may even lose faith in life. Without self-love you are left standing on a shaky foundation which can lead to depression, anxiety or apathy. As you lose trust in your own instincts and abilities, you may become consumed by self-criticism and self-judgement – this is a difficult place to live.
In our work at the Harmonizing Academy, and on our Awakening Aliveness Retreats, our primary focus is to help our clients build a powerful foundation of self-love. It’s always step one! We help people move out of fear by learning to value themselves deeply in order to feel great and create inspired lives.
- Know yourself – Allow yourself to express who you truly are
- Protect yourself – Learn to say no to things you don’t want to do
- Forgive yourself – Let go self-criticism, we all make mistakes
- Stop trying to achieve perfection – Perfection stifles your growth, intuition and creativity
- Stop comparing yourself – You are unique, embrace this
- Stop pleasing others – Your life is as important as everyone else’s
- Seek help – Don’t struggle alone, ask for support when you need it
- Focus on your qualities – Know your good points and focus on them
- Let love in – You deserve to experience deep love and intimacy
- Trust yourself – Only you know how you feel, trust your inner voice
- Nourish yourself – Learn to give yourself what you need to energise and restore your energy and vitality
- Have fun – Prioritise fun and laughter
How to Begin Building your Foundation of Self-love
Exercise: Nurture a Bond with you Inner Child
The first step to strengthening your foundation is to forge a connection with yourself as a small child. As we grow into adults and take on the responsibilities of life, as well as the responsibility for others, we often forget the importance of the connection we have with ourselves when we are young. All of the vulnerabilities and sensitivities that existed within you as child are still there, and still deserve the same sense of priority that you used to afford them.
Imagine if you were to treat yourself with the love and tenderness you feel towards a small child you love. Imagine if you could prioritise your life the way you would prioritise theirs. Imagine if you were to give yourself the same support you would give them when they get stuff wrong. Imagine being the warmest, kindest loving parent to yourself. How much gentler and more manageable would life seem? The voice of a supportive parent helps us to grow and thrive – be this supportive voice to yourself.
How do you begin?
The following exercise is taken from the Harmonizing Alignment Process, and will show you how to make the first step to reconnect with the child within you.
Find 2 or 3 photos of yourself as a young child, and while you are looking at them imagine that you are the parent of this little boy or girl. Really look closely at the child, right into their eyes, and ask yourself – if I were the parent of you right now, what would I give you? And if that small child could speak to you right now, what would they say they needed? Really hear what they have to say.
Learn to treat yourself as you would a small child. Show yourself the same love, affection and patience that you would a child. You can make a start by asking yourself these questions. Look back at your photos as you do, and remind yourself that you are valuable, that your life is important and that you deserve support.
Get to know yourself better
As a small child, or even a teenager, what made you happy?
Ask yourself …
How does this compare to your life now? Do you still enjoy the same things? Do you make enough time for things that you enjoy- especially creative pursuits?
Stop trying to be perfect
As a small child you made mistakes, and you were willing to try things even if you might not have been able to do them. Yet as adults we create unrealistic expectations for ourselves, trapped by the feeling that we should live perfect lives and be able to do everything – and in doing so we squeeze the joy and inspiration from our lives. Life is imperfect, yet we try to box it up and make it so.
Ask yourself …
Where are you stopping yourself from growing and thriving? In what areas of your life are you not exploring new things? In what ways are you trying to hold everything together and make life perfect? Where are you not taking risks? In what ways are you blocking your inspiration, your energy and creativity by being scared of failure, or of what the future might hold?
As a small child you asked for help when you were tired or felt overburdened, and you would share your problems. You wouldn’t try to do everything by yourself, yet as adults we think we must be capable of managing everything on our own. We don’t admit when we feel vulnerable, or ask for help to share the load, which leaves us feeling stifled by the weight of it all and drained of energy, vitality and life force.
Ask yourself …
In what areas of your life are you draining yourself by trying to do it all alone? Where would you love to have some support? Could you ask? Are there any emotional issues which feel overbearing, and would it help if you were to talk them through with someone? Be honest with yourself. Do you feel overburdened? What could you change to ease this?
If you would like to work on building your sense of self-love with a little help from one of the UK’s top Confidence Coaches, Dawn Breslin, why not treat the most important person in your life this Valentines – yoursel – and join us for our upcoming Awakening Aliveness Retreat for Women in March – a nourishing, inspiring & energising 3 days where we will work to build your foundation of self-love, motivation and clarity through creative workshops, nature pursuits, art therapy and Harmonizing alignment sessions.
Dawn has published 2 books (Super Confidence & Dawn Breslin’s Power Book) dedicated to helping people overcome their debilitating feelings to build a strong foundation of self-love. Dawn will be hosting the Awakening Aliveness Retreat alongside Janis Mackay, award winning Author, Storyteller, Creative Writing and Voice Coach.
You deserve this!
Find out more HERE.