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Discover How to Love Yourself Like You Mean It In These 10 Steps

Discover How to Love Yourself Like You Mean It In These 10 Steps

I know you have a busy life, but you need to remember something very important: in order to take care of others, you must first take care of yourself. And it’s a lot easier to get motivated to take care of yourself if you love your body.

Don’t misread me: I’m not saying you should become a condescending egomaniac who thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread or anything like that, but there is nothing wrong with loving yourself (you’re pretty awesome, I bet).

If you want to improve your body image and self-esteem, I invite you to discover how to love yourself like you mean it. Challenge accepted? Click ahead for your 10 Step Plan.

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1. Repeat after me: I’m not perfect, and that is okay.

Demanding perfection of yourself is just as effective as hunting for a magical dragon in your state park. How’s that? Because perfection is just as mythical (read: nonexistent) as magical dragons. No one is perfect. I know some magazine models might look like they have a “perfect body,” but that’s due to a little thing called Photoshop (not to mention the months of restrictive eating and gruesome training that probably preceded their photo shoot). Every person is born with a body-type that is unique to them. Yes, eat healthy and exercise to become the best version of yourself that you’re capable of being, but no amount of dieting (dreadful word) or training can defy genetics. Whether your body is “perfect” or not is beside the point. Love and accept your body, because it is a glorious vessel that protects you from sickness, carries you throughout your travels, and belongs to you alone.

2. Ask yourself: Would I say it about another person?

The next time you catch yourself thinking something like, “I hate my thighs,” or, “I look so fat in this outfit,” or, “I wish I wasn’t so ugly,” stop whatever you are doing and repeat the following steps:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take 10 deep breathes (your belly should come forward with each inhale)
  • Imagine those nasty, negative thoughts leaving your body with each exhale
  • Imagine warm, loving, positive thoughts entering your body with each inhale
  • After you complete this breathing cycle, ask yourself: “Would I say such things about another person?”

3. Think about it: What traits do you admire in the people you look up to?

I know the concept of loving yourself might be hard to wrap your head around, so here’s a fun exercise that might help. Think about the top five or ten people you admire. These could be close friends, family members, co-workers, mentors, or even an author or philanthropist who you look up to. Make a list of the individual traits and qualities you commend these people for. Below are some things I imagine could end up on your list:

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  • Never gives up
  • Shows empathy for others
  • Always does the right thing
  • Confident in who they are
  • Passionate about helping people

The point? Simple: None of the things listed above (or, I’m willing to wager, on your list) include one iota of detail about anyone’s physical appearance.

4. Answer this question: What do I like about myself?

Let’s make another list of the things you like about yourself. Your list could include things like physical and mental attributes, your sense of style/humor, talents and abilities that are unique to you, or any other factors that influence the strength of your character. For bonus points, ask a few close friends what they admire about you, and include their answers in your list. If you have a hard time creating your list, check out this article for inspiration.

5. Write it down: Make a list of all of those things.

I know I already told you to make a list, but I just want to emphasize how important it is that you actually write your answers down instead of just thinking about them. You might think you’ll remember, but life has a way of sneaking up on you and ruining even the best of intentions, so please trust me and “Just do it,” as Nike says.

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6. Hang it up: Positive reinforcement is your friend.

The next time you start to agonize over things about your body that you don’t like, consult your list for a positive reminder of all the things you do like. It might help to put your list in a place you’ll notice it at least once a day, like on top of the dresser that contains your underwear (you’ll see it every morning!), or maybe put it up on your refrigerator with a magnet (you’ll see it at least three times a day!). Just as negative thoughts are strengthened by repetition, so are positive ones.

7. The 3-for-1 Method: Every negative thought should be followed by three positive ones.

There is no debating the fact that the occasional negative thought will slip past your radar no matter what you do. The 3-for-1 Method is a great way to become more aware of what you’re thinking about and flip the script of your mental chatter in your favor. Every time you think a negative thought, immediately follow it with three positive ones. If you’re stressing out and can’t think of anything nice to think, here are a few questions that will guide you in the right direction:

  • What have I achieved at work, school, or home today/this week?
  • In what ways have I made a positive impact in someone’s life today/this week?
  • What are some things I should be happy, grateful, and excited for in this moment?

8. Big Picture Thinking: If it wouldn’t matter next month, it’s not worth stressing about.

Fact: Most forms of stress are self-inflicted. No, you can’t control every event in your life, but you can choose how to react to it. Wallowing in misery is counterproductive, so shift your focus away from the negative situation itself to the positive action you can take to make it better.

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9. Repeat after me: To take care of others, I must first take care of myself.

I know it never feels like there’s enough time in the day. I know life can feel like a never-ending To-Do List. I know you have children to raise, bills to pay, essays to write, jobs to fulfill, and chores to do. But you’re not the Energizer Bunny. You cannot expect yourself to be able to take care of every other person in your life if you can’t be bothered to take care of yourself. The sooner you get that, the more happy and fulfilled your life will be.

10. Smile, because you are worthy of love and happiness.

Will you smile for me? A giggle or chuckle would be even better. You can fake it if you have to. Don’t feel silly; it will make you feel better, I promise.

Life gets a lot better when you can learn to love yourself like you mean it.

If you find it difficult to wrap your head around the concept of self-love, I highly recommend reading the book, “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” by Kamal Ravikant. I know the concept of “falling in love with yourself” might seem a little awkward, but it is a great way to improve your body image and self-esteem. Please pass this along to any friends who you feel would be helped by it, and tell us how performing these steps worked for you in the comments.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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