Learn to Love Yourself
It’s February and our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day and the important relationships we have with others.
I think it’s fantastic that we have a day dedicated to celebrating our most special of relationships. But I also think we are missing something here.
Where is our day to celebrate the most important relationship we have in our lives – our relationship with ourselves?
And it looks like we desperately need one!
Did you know that women in the UK have the second lowest self-esteem scores in the world? Yes, you heard me, the second lowest self-esteem in the Whole Wide World (Japan was the lowest) with only 20% of women reporting that they felt good about themselves. This study, carried out by Dove in 2016 really shocked me so I started to dig deeper and the problem doesn’t stop at women. Men have it just as bad with one report showing a whopping 80% of men not happy with something about themselves. We don’t often think of men as struggling with their looks, but how many of them hide that behind excessive exercise or gym training?
One thing I did find in my research was lots of reports on self-esteem levels in children and teens – an area where, thankfully, more work is being done, which will hopefully lead to adults with much higher self-esteem levels in the future.
But what about those of us who are already adults? How many of us have that voice in our heads that says “you’re not good enough to do that”, “you’re too fat”, “you’re too ugly”, “you’re too stupid”. How many of us hold ourselves back in life because we haven’t learnt to love ourselves yet?
We put limits on what we can do in our lives when we talk to ourselves like that.
How many of us would turn around to a friend and say “don’t be stupid, you’ll never have a loving relationship, you’re too fat, ugly, or boring”? We wouldn’t dream of talking to our friends like that – instead we sit with them and help them set up their online dating profile, choose the best photo for their profile, we scroll through potential partners with them and we encourage them to take the plunge. Yet we don’t hesitate to talk to ourselves like that.
Would you dump your best friend if she could no longer fit in a size 10? Would you refuse to meet a friend because they worked in a supermarket rather than a lawyer’s office? Would you say no to coffee with a friend because they probably haven’t got anything interesting to tell you? Of course not! These things don’t matter when we are thinking about other people, they aren’t even a consideration.
So why are they so important when we are looking at ourselves? Why do we find it so hard to love ourselves so unconditionally?
How do we build such good, loving, unconditional relationships with others? We spend time with them; we notice and talk about the things we like about them; we learn about their likes and dislikes and what is important to them; we go out of our way to help them if they need it; we encourage them to try new things and step out of their comfort zone; we thank them for the times we have together; and we love them for who they are without trying to change them.
So maybe we need to look to how we conduct our relationships with others to help us build a better relationship with ourselves?
Check out our Top Tips to Learn to Love Yourself
If low self-esteem is holding you back maybe it’s time to contact your nearest Inspired to Change hypnotherapist to book your FREE initial consultation.
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If you feel your workplace could be doing more to promote good mental health visit Mental Health In The Workplace