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.]
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.
- 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.”
- 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?”
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- Learn to enjoy your own company. Go for a walk, pamper yourself, read a book, anything that makes you feel good.
- Understand that saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. You can still be a kind person but have your boundaries.
- 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.