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If You Really Love Yourself, You Won’t Do These 7 Things

If You Really Love Yourself, You Won’t Do These 7 Things

Most people, if asked, would probably say that they love themselves. But when you start to look at how they treat themselves, a different answer begins to emerge. It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to look, be and act a certain way; so easy in fact that we may act more lovingly towards others than we do to ourselves. I’m talking about societal, religious, family or peer group beliefs or pressure to behave a certain way, do a certain job or make yourself believe you should “be” in the world that might not align with who you really are.

The more time you spend trying to conform to everyone else’s expectations, the more lost and less loving towards yourself you may become.

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Here are 7 things you won’t do if you really love yourself – how do you stack up?

1. You won’t over commit.

People who love themselves know how to say no to a lot of things so they can say yes to the things that are really important to them. While people may try to guilt or pressure you into a yes from time to time, setting boundaries with time and energy is a great sign of self-love.

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2. You won’t be afraid to ask for help.

You know how to put down your cape. You know you don’t have to be all things to all people and you don’t have to do everything yourself. You love yourself enough to know when you need help or when you will be honoring and helping another by letting them get involved.

3. You won’t rely on others to make you happy.

Happiness is an inside job. If you wait for the perfect job, the perfect friend, a romantic outing planned by someone else – you may find yourself waiting to be happy. If you really love yourself, you will know what makes you happy and have things to turn to when other things are going as planned. I have a “Happy List” – a written list of things I like to do, from reading to going for a walk to my dream vacation. When I’m feeling less than happy, I grab my list and do something from the list. It’s up to ME to bring as much happiness into my life as possible, I can’t put that on someone else.

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4. You won’t compare yourself to others.

They say “comparison is the thief of joy” and I couldn’t agree more. Comparing your life, your job, your success to someone else is a recipe for disaster. Because you really love yourself, you know that what you see on social media is the edited, often glamorous version of someone’s life. You don’t have all the information and know that it’s best to focus on yourself and stop the comparison game.

5. You won’t second guess your decisions.

While some people can make decisions quickly and others deliberate a long time, people who love themselves don’t second guess the decisions they make that can’t be undone. If you chose to go skiing and wish you were on a sandy beach, you know that second guessing the choice will just make you feel bad about yourself. You learn from decisions and might make different ones the next time, but you don’t spend time and energy second guessing yourself.

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6. You won’t feel guilty for taking “me time”.

When you fly, they always remind you that “in the case of an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others.” People who love themselves realize that that applies to everyday life as well. Taking some “me time” to do things you enjoy and that renew you isn’t selfish, it’s vital. You know that you are at your best when self-care is a priority.

7. You won’t beat yourself up for making a mistake.

You forgive yourself, just as you forgive others, for making mistakes. Many people put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect and then beat themselves up when they aren’t – not you! Because you love yourself, you know that you are human and that you can learn from your mistakes. You find the silver lining or the lesson and move on, forgiving yourself and focusing on the future instead of beating yourself up for something that happened in the past.

Because you love yourself, you also know that you will actually do some of these things from time to time – and you will remember #7 and not beat yourself up. The best form of self love is self-awareness, seeing when you are being unloving towards yourself and changing course. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you are perfect, it means you take care of yourself, are kind to yourself and show up in the world as best way you can every day.

Featured photo credit: Marcy Kellar via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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