‘Make peace with the mirror, and watch the reflection change’
Ah February. The month of love. I think self-love is really important, yet it’s a funny one. About 25 years ago I first read about self love and thought… but I don’t want to be arrogant, and I don’t really even like myself. So how on earth do I love myself?
Through years of learning and self discovery, I’ve learnt that self love starts with making the choice to commit. A commitment to yourself to learn how to like, and then perhaps love the person you are. To show compassion and kindness to yourself, like you would to your family and friends, whilst being committed to achieving what you really want in life.
I think learning to have a great relationship with yourself sets you up for great relationships in life. Here are 7 tips to help you nurture self love, and in turn, the love around you this month.
- Write down all the things you like about yourself. It could be anything from what you have achieved, how kind you are, your creativity, friendship, determination, sport, career or music. Really explore this, writing down happy memories, current loves and future dreams. Play with it. Writing things down in a journal and exploring what you love helps focus your thoughts on the positives in your life. Draw your attention to this daily and nurture it with pictures, words, music or anything that is good.
- Write down three things you don’t love so much about yourself. Write next to each point a simple plan which will help you to change them. Remember to make the plan SMART. Specific, measured, achievable, realistic and timed. You don’t need to aim for perfection from the get go. You’re aiming for making a step towards your ultimate goal. Review your list every month, gradually moving away from the limitation towards the positive changes you’ve achieved. This way you’ll learn to appreciate yourself; an important part of self love.
- Ask 1-3 friends, colleagues or family members what they really love about you. Get them to write it down so you can read and reflect on it. You can do this as a family or go out for a meal with friends and all get involved. It really helps to celebrate what you do love about each other. Too often we forget, don’t have time or are too shy to express ourselves to others.
- If there’s a body part that you don’t like, I want you to give it positive attention this week. Often it is the stomach or legs. This week I would like to invite you to massage it, thinking about how you could start to dislike it less, and gradually move towards thinking and feeling more positive about it. Then notice the clothes you wear and think, could I make some tiny tweaks to shift my identity and grow my confidence? Body confidence is a journey, but listen to the stories you are telling. Often, just by stopping the negative story, you enhance your self-respect and worth.
- If you are really stuck and don’t know how to start to like the person you are, reach out for help. It’s okay to ask for help, and sometimes that might just give you the support you need to learn to love yourself. There are many great books and podcasts available which may feel easier too.
- Finally, give authentic compliments and allow yourself to receive them by standing tall, breathing deeply and saying thank you (with no ‘but’ following it, even if that’s uncomfortable).
Wishing you a truly wonderful February filled with self-care, respect, love and passion, whatever stage, age or moment in life you are in. We would love to know what and who your loves are…. Do share with us on social media.
‘To love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance’ Oscar Wilde
With big support always,
Kim Ingleby has the passion and skills to help you achieve your goals. Following three years of complex neurological, brain and liver problems from Post Weils Encephalitis, Kim has mastered the art of achieving success against all odds. She’s featured on TEDx, sharing her expertise on how to overcome adversity and how to be brave. She’s raised almost £80k for charity, coached Team GB, Body Confidence for Women and Strictly Come Dancing pros. Kim is a triple award winning personal trainer, DNAFit consultant, NLP confidence master coach and team GB’s sports therapist.