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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

10 Reasons Why You Should Love Yourself First

10 Reasons Why You Should Love Yourself First
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Have you ever heard the expression, “You can’t help someone else until you help yourself”? The same idea applies to self-love. How can you love someone if you don’t love yourself first?

Try to visualize yourself with a ball of white light in your chest. It glows with pure love, especially when you are with family and friends.

When you want to express your affection to someone, you take a small piece of that light and hand it to that person. With every coffee you buy for a stranger, listen to a friend when they feel down, or lend them one of your favorite books, you are giving them a piece of your light. It is unlimited, so you need not do anything replenish it.

However, when you don’t love yourself, it depletes with every kindness and affection that you show to other people. This light eventually goes out, and you feel burnt out and exhausted. Once you become emotionally exhausted and unable to find the positive in anything, depression sinks in.

Here I’m sharing with you 10 reasons why you should love yourself first.

1. You Have To

Loving yourself first is essential if you want to be happy and live your life with no regrets.[1] You may have been holding back because you have been told you aren’t worth loving at some point. Thus, you’ve been bullying yourself about it ever since.

But that is the glass ceiling that this generation must break through immediately.

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You deserve to be loved. You are a wonderful human. Life on this planet is short; do you really want to waste it with self-loathing?

Hate only leads to hate, misery, and war. Do you want to be at war with yourself forever? Or do you want to be at peace and create new and amazing things?

You have a whole life waiting for you on the other side of all that.

2. It Is Your Responsibility

By taking self-love out of your control and leaving it in the hands of others, you can only ever be disappointed. After all, it isn’t someone else’s job to do that.

Pressuring other people to do it for you is unfair. You need to love yourself, not your parents, spouse, or kids. It is time to take responsibility for that now.

3. It Isn’t Selfish

They say in every flight that you have to put your own life mask on before helping another person. It isn’t selfish to do that because you will die before you can help someone who can’t help themselves. It is impractical — not heroic — to make yourself suffer while trying to be there for others.

Similarly, you need to love yourself first so that you can help anyone you want. Put yourself first, say no to draining circumstances, and make choices in your best interest.

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Although it sounds selfish, it is not bad at all.[2]

4. It Makes It Okay To Be Unloved By Others

When you love yourself, you live on another level, another vibe.

Some people won’t like that, and that is okay for you. It may be even good, considering you will see who cares for you, who is happy to see you happy, and who just wants you to be miserable.

When you prioritize yourself, you can see who matters and clear out all the toxic people in your life.

5. You Deserve It

All of your life, it may have been heavily implied that you aren’t supposed to love yourself.[3] You are supposed to help others first and only gain it as a result of your acts of service. As we have all experienced, love isn’t always equal.

Still, let us reiterate: you deserve to love yourself. You are a beautiful, caring, selfless human being, so why on earth would you deserve any less?

This article can nudge you further in the right direction: How to Love Yourself And Embrace Who You Really Are

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6. Why Not?

Are you afraid of being perceived narcissistic and reducing your likeability? That might happen, but wouldn’t it be better if you were around people who loved you for loving yourself?

You create your reality, so it is possible. There are no downsides to loving yourself. Even if something seems wrong, your life will be better for it.

7. You Can Inspire Someone

By taking up the chance to love yourself first, you can inspire other people to make that same change. Most people are just waiting for a leader to step up, take the scary steps, and show that it is safe.

This new way of living is okay and acceptable without suffering from a social setback. Come forward and say, “Hey, I love myself! It’s scary, but it’s okay. If I’m honest, it’s nice not to rely on other people to know my self-worth.”

Watch how many people will turn around and say, “You inspired me. I started my journey to self-love, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

To love yourself, you just need to give yourself permission to try, so set a positive example to someone else and do it now. Who knows, it might change their life.

8. It Can Only Improve Your Life

The thing about self-love is that it can improve your mental state. You can only feel better, more confident, more secure, and happier when you are in a better space. Once that happens, you can create a better life for others.

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Your life will be full of laughs. You will try new things because you won’t be afraid to fail and get out there and not care what people think of you. More importantly, you will live your life to the fullest and have the confidence and grit to go after your dreams. Here are more tips for you: 6 Ways to Show Yourself the Love You Truly Deserve

9. You Can Change the World

When you love yourself first, you can create real change.

You have that new confidence, bravery, and conviction to do it. You stop depending on someone else to give you all the emotional benefits that come with love.

As soon as you make that happen, greatness follows suit.

10. You Can Love Someone for Real

You can spend your life by giving love away, hoping to gain it in return, but life isn’t a business transaction. Some people just take, and you keep giving without realizing that it chips away at your own self-esteem and self-worth.

When you love yourself without expecting anything in return, you can love someone the way they deserve to be loved. After all, you have an endless source of it, and it can never deplete.

Bottom Line

If you want to replenish the ball of light in your chest and reconnect with an unlimited source of love, take a day off to do that. Find out who you are and be compassionate to yourself. Buy something nice, go to a spa, compliment yourself, and make other hard choices that are in your best interest. That’s the only way to reignite your light and love yourself.

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I hope that you take a moment to feel that love inside you after reading this. Love is beautiful, and you deserve to feel it all. It doesn’t make you a wrong person to want that.

More on Practicing Self-Love

Featured photo credit: Raychan via unsplash.com

Reference

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Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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