Love Yourself First

Feeling confident is important in order to flourish in all areas of your life, especially when it comes to relationships with others. Whether you are already in a relationship or single and looking to meet one, working on yourself should remain a priority, as a lack of self-awareness and self-love is likely to leave you feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled.

There are many factors that lead to low self-esteem. If not addressed it can impact our daily lives and seep into our productivity and interactions at work. Aliya Rajah, Life Coach and NLP Practitioner gives her advice on Love Yourself First.

[Originally posted on January 8th 2019: ‘Love Yourself First’, on Aliya’s website. Reposted with permission.]

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Photo credit: Shannon Kaiser, The Path of Self Love

You may have heard the phrase ‘love yourself before you love another,’ but what does this actually mean?

In order to love yourself, you need to start by knowing who you are. How can you love what you do not know? Once you start to know who you are, it makes it a lot easier to know what you want from another.

Feeling confident is important in order to flourish in all areas of your life, especially when it comes to relationships with others. Whether you are already in a relationship or single and looking to meet one, working on yourself should remain a priority, as a lack of self-awareness and self-love is likely to leave you feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. I’m going to share with you a few reasons why.

  1. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll be more likely to avoid spending time on your own, and so constantly seek out to be in the company of others. Apply this to dating, and you’ll find yourself needing to be with someone as opposed to wanting to be with them, and relying on your new partner to be the source of your happiness. When you’re confident in yourself, you are more likely to be with someone because you’ve chosen to be with them. You come from a place of “my life is pretty good, but being with this person will make it even better.”
  2. If you don’t value yourself, you will end up putting the other person on a pedestal and feel the urge to do anything to impress them. Have you ever been on a date and felt the need to ‘sell’ yourself to that person and convince them as to why you’re so great? Or maybe it’s happened to you, and you’ve experienced the person you’re on a date with eagerly trying to win over your approval? When you feel a great sense of self-confidence; you know who you are and what you want, you can sit there and think “do I want to spend my time with you? How do I feel about this person?”
  3. When you know and value yourself, you’ll know what you want and expect, which means you can set boundaries. An increased sense of confidence enables you to communicate when you’re not happy about something in the relationship. The unfortunate reality is if you don’t set boundaries when it comes to how others treat you, other people will set those boundaries for you. When you don’t value yourself, you’ll fear that the other person will leave you, and instead of valuing yourself to know that you will be okay by yourself, you’ll convince yourself that you need them and continue to tolerate their behaviour.
  4. If you don’t love yourself, you will end up attracting people who validate how you feel about yourself. Disrespect and name calling will be acceptable because it’s what you’re comfortable with. Start being kinder to yourself and talk to yourself like you would someone you love. As your confidence increases, you will naturally begin to attract those who are similar to you, and you create healthier relationships.

 

How can you start to love yourself more in order to have flourishing relationships?

  1. Know your values. What is important to you and what are your reasons for wanting to be in a relationship? What are your non-negotiables?
  2. Learn to enjoy your own company. Go for a walk, pamper yourself, read a book, anything that makes you feel good.
  3. Understand that saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. You can still be a kind person but have your boundaries.
  4. Forgive yourself. Remind yourself that you are human, it’s okay to make mistakes, and that there are lessons to be learnt from every experience.

https://aliyarajah.com/ | Instagram: @coach_aliya | Facebook: @AliyaRajahCC | YouTube: Aliya Rajah

How to Boost Your Confidence Before a Stressful Event

If you’re someone who freaks out at the thought of any of the above events, or if you regularly imagine everything going wrong, I’d recommend creating a routine for yourself to prepare yourself for what you need to do.

Many of us feel anxious before speaking at events. The biggest villain in the piece being the over-thinking leading to self-doubt. Aliya Rajah, Life Coach and NLP Practitioner gives her advice on How to Boost Your Confidence Before a Stressful Event.

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Photo credit: Leading Higher

During a recent coaching session with one of my clients, we were developing a strategy to help her feel more confident before delivering presentations at short notice.

She asked me “Aliya, what would you do if someone gave you 5 minutes to prepare an important speech?” (By the way this question was hypothetical, her colleagues give her more a lot more than 5 minutes to prepare for a presentation!)

I said “I would most likely prepare the speech for 4 minutes, and then take 1 minute out for myself to feel calm and get in the zone.”

‘Really? Even with only 5 minutes to prepare?”

“Definitely, it’s so important for me to approach challenging situations in a calm and relaxed way.”

Let’s say you have a job interview coming up, or you need to give a presentation at work. We often focus fully on preparing the content for what we need to deliver, and place less emphasis on how we need to feel in order to deliver at a higher standard.

If you’re someone who freaks out at the thought of any of the above events, or if you regularly imagine everything going wrong, I’d recommend creating a routine for yourself to prepare yourself for what you need to do. I am a huge believer of not just ‘rocking up’ to an event. Spending as little as 10 minutes doing this beforehand can make all the difference to your performance.

In this blog post, I’d like to share with you a few things I do to mentally prepare me for challenging events, in hope that they will inspire you to create a motivating routine that works for you.

  1. Start the day off well: Firstly, how you start your day will impact how the rest of the day goes. I always like to ensure that I wake up early enough to start the day off in a relaxed and calm way.
  2. Visualise: Before you leave the house in the morning, close your eyes and picture the event going really well with ideal outcomes. If you only imagine the worst case scenario, chances are you’ll feel a lot more nervous and your performance will be affected. Allow yourself to dream big and picture the event going really well!
  3. Have some empowering ‘me time.’ Before the big event, take some time out and go to a quiet space (either a meeting room or even in the bathroom). Spending a few minutes here beforehand can make all the difference to your performance. There are 3 things I love to do during this time, as they massively boost my confidence.
    • Firstly, I love to power pose. For me, this is putting my hands on my hips and standing with my legs shoulder width apart. Studies have shown that power posing increases testosterone, causing you to feel more confident, and reduces cortisol levels, therefore reducing stress.
    • Secondly, take some time to breathe. Numerous studies show that doing some deep breathing can greatly reduce anxiety and stress.
    • Thirdly, give yourself a powerful pep talk. This one might sound a bit crazy, but it 100% works. Tell yourself everything you need to hear to get you into a positive state for the event. Statements I often use are “You’ve got this, you’re going to be great!” “You are so confident!” Say it like you mean it and give yourself a big smile, whilst you walk out the door on your way to impress.

Now the outcome of the interview/meeting will depend on a number of factors, but by having a routine in place beforehand, you’ll feel a lot calmer and more prepared for the event itself. And by feeling more relaxed, it’s likely that you’ll perform much better under pressure.

I’d love to know how you get on. Feel free to drop me an email on aliya.rajah@gmail.com

Good luck!

https://aliyarajah.com/ | Instagram: @coach_aliya | Facebook: @AliyaRajahCC | YouTube: Aliya Rajah

The Elevator Pitch

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Date: Saturday 21st July 2018

Time: 2.45-5.15pm

Location: Farringdon

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, home-schooler, employee, or a sister looking for a career change, come and tell us your story!

The Elevator Pitch is the chance for you to test your ideas, generate leads or practice your presentation skills. OR all of the above. Whether you are just starting out, thinking of starting out or are already well-established in your field why not come and share your journey with us? No idea is too small or too big! Inspire others to begin or further their journeys.

As one of four Pitchers, you will be given 5 minutes to entice the audience, after which you will receive feedback through shared discussion. If you email the organiser prior to the event that you’d like to do a pitch along with what you hope to achieve from your 5 minute Pitch and post-Pitch feedback slot, we can try to direct the Q&A / feedback session accordingly. In shaa Allah.

Alternatively you could attend and enjoy the event as an audience member and join in with the discussions and Q&A sessions!

Please note that this is a sisters’ only event and for security purposes venue details will only be disclosed to sisters who confirm their place.

Light refreshments are available and any sisters interested can join us for dinner to continue discussions at a local restaurant after.

The venue is a short walk from Farringdon Station (Thameslink, Metropolitan, Hammersmith&City and Circle lines) and St John’s Street bus stop. There may be some limited on-street parking, although it’ll be on a first come first serve basis pending availability.

Thanks to the sisters who were able to battle through the tube closures and made it to our #TheElevatorPitch session. It was an intimate event with Pitchers receiving constructive feedback to hone in on and develop their #presentationskills and #confidence in #publicspeaking.

Networking for Building and Maintaining Professional Relationships

This successful session focused on the challenges faced by Muslim women when it comes to networking at respective industry gatherings. From social customs to male dominated industries, most sisters in attendance agreed that as Muslim women the challenges we face are three-fold; firstly as women, secondly our diverse cultural backgrounds, and thirdly our Muslim identity.

Date: Saturday 4th November 2017

Time 3-5pm

Location: Vauxhall

This successful session focused on the challenges faced by Muslim women when it comes to networking at respective industry gatherings. From social customs to male dominated industries, most sisters in attendance agreed that as Muslim women the challenges we face are three-fold; firstly as women, secondly our diverse cultural backgrounds, and thirdly our Muslim identity.

This leads to having to overcome internal pressures and barriers placed by both ourselves and society leading to issues with mental health, lack of confidence, conviction and communication skills. Imagine juggling all or some of these while trying to navigate a room full of people with whom one shares little or no common ground.

We were honoured to have Siobhan Fitzpatrick as our first guest speaker, who made it all the way from Ireland especially to meet us and relay some of her experience and expertise in networking. She wrote an interesting article Allergic to Networking? which was perfect to start discussions.

Siobhan was very warm and gracious in how she listened and involved everyone in the session and gave some useful feedback which many of the sisters, including myself, tried out. The sisters who attended appreciated the presence of and external guest speaker, and expert in her field to give us her time and advice.