Self love is the ultimate goal. Why it may not be what you think.
I get asked all the time by my clients, “Why do you push goals? Doesn’t that go against self-love?”
My answer is always this, Goals help you find YOUR way. Finding your way, the one that is true to you and how you want to grow and go, is the ultimate act of self-love.
So many people mistake self-love as being easy on yourself, as somehow letting yourself off the hook.
However, self-love isn’t just sitting on the sofa, eating bon-bons (or drinking wine), binge watching Yellowstone, Ted Lasso or The Derry Girls (yes, you should see them all!).
No, true self-love is more encompassing than that.
It is true that self-love allows for self care, self-indulgence and compassionate self-talk. It is all of that. But it is also self-development and self-growth.
The ultimate definition of self-love is self-actualization.
If you have read any psychology or taken a class, you have heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
At the top of the pyramid, after you have met all of your other needs, is self-actualization.
Getting to know yourself.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as who you become by achieving your goals. Thoreau
One of the major tenets that Maslow defined for self-actualization is getting to know yourself.
What better way to do this than to set goals and study how you navigate the challenges, failures and even the wins?
Taking any action, even messy action, will start to show you a lot about yourself. For instance, think of the last goal you set for yourself:
- Did you accomplish what you set out to do?
- What challenges did you face?
- Did you make it mean that you were a failure?
- Did you grow from it?
- What could you do differently next time?
Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. John Maxwell
When you ask yourself questions and take the time to study how you react to situations, you can decide if you want to be blown around by the winds of change in a willy-nilly fashion, or if you would prefer to be intentional and use the situation to grow towards something you want.
As humans with a desire for belonging, it is natural to want to fit in and do what you think you should. We learn to succeed by acting according to the rules. It takes a conscious effort to step outside the norm and act intentionally towards something new.
However, challenging ourselves is where the growth happens.
Growth, into who we truly are, is the ultimate form of self-love.
Get started today on your journey of self-actualization.
The first step to become more of yourself is to look at your goals (and your life) as an experiment.
- What lights you up and brings you energy?
- What thoughts and fears are holding you back from being true to yourself?
- What feelings come up for you when you think of stepping outside of your comfort zone?
- Where could you grow if challenges didn’t mean failure?
- What could you accomplish if you didn’t take failure so seriously?
The second step is learning how to process your feelings and emotions.
This has been a hard one for me. Mainly because I have always been a positive thinker and know the power my thoughts can have on my results. However, the unintended result of always jumping to a new and more positive thought is that the negative ones became stronger and then turned into a limiting belief.
Can you allow yourself to feel a painful feeling? Can you listen to what it is trying to say to you? Can you see the belief pattern around it?
Using a journal, a coach and a peer group have been the most powerful ways I have learned to do this, and believe me, it has made a tremendous difference in overcoming my limiting beliefs.
The third step is realizing it is a journey. There is no once and done destination. Becoming authentic to who you are takes practice. There will be times when you are more authentic and times when you are less.
Which brings us to the final step, all of this self-love and self-growth works takes mindfulness presence and objectivity. This is why I became a coach. It is a beautiful process when someone can work with us and show us objective ways to look at our situation and our lives.
True growth comes from objectively learning to navigate life’s challenges and changes. To see where we hold ourselves back and where we can propel ourselves forward. When you get that ‘aha’ moment of seeing those things, you will grow in ways you were afraid to dream of.
Get started today on your self-growth journey!
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