It can be easy for us to doubt ourselves, but as women, this doubt seems to be on overload with the amount of pressure we have to act, feel, behave, and look a certain way. Yes, men feel pressure as well, but the pressure we feel is just different, not worse.
I have had many moments where I feel like nothing I do is enough. I have felt like I wasn’t beautiful enough, smart enough, mature enough, or that I could not do something.
We allow ourselves to become victims to self-doubt because we spend most of our time focused on taking care of others, instead of taking care of ourselves. Between taking care of a family, going to school, taking care of our home, and going to work, it is easy to lose ourselves.
I personally have struggled with finding the time to work on my self-love in the midst of all my responsibilities. In order to be sustaining, fulfilled, loved, and have healthy relationships with others, we have to take the time to put ourselves first.
Here are 12 ways we can build ourselves up, believe, and focus on our self-love journey:
1. Be kind.
Treat others the way you would want to be treated. No matter if they reciprocate the kindness. Try to be more of a giver than a taker. Volunteer, give to the less-fortunate, donate your time and money to those in need, when you can.
Forgive those that hurt you. Do not hinder your blessings by being petty.
2. Work hard.
What you put out, is what you will get back.
If you work hard at whatever you do, you will reap the benefits of success.
Work hard to be your best as a student, a mother, business woman, lady blogger, entrepreneur, or as a woman.
Anything that takes effort is worth having. Don’t be afraid to work hard.
3. Stay humble.
We all know Being cocky is not an attractive trait. There is nothing wrong with being confident, but if you spend the majority of the time discussing how great you are, you risk losing people in your life.
4. Don’t worry.
Not worrying is almost impossible, but it is something we all should learn to master. There are just some things that are out of our control, and the less we worry, the less stress we put on our minds and bodies.
According to The American Institute of Stress, here are some of the symptoms associated with stress:
- Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse
- Diminished sexual desire or performance
- Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
- Increased anger, frustration, hostility
- Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Weight gain or loss without diet
- Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
- Excessive gambling or impulse buying
- Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
- Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
5. Smile often.
Smiling more helps reduce stress. According to NeuroNation, smiling can affect you brain in a positive way:
Smiling activates the release of feel-good-messengers that work towards fighting stress . These messengers help you experience a whole range of emotions, from happiness to sadness, anger to depression. When a smile flashes across your face; dopamine, endorphin’s and serotonin are all released into your bloodstream, making not only your body relax but also work to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Endorphin’s are natural painkillers – 100% naturally produced by your own body, without the negative effects of medication .
 Seaward BL. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett; 2009:258
6. Stay loyal.
Every woman knows a girl out there that is willing to cheat on her lover. Cheaters never win! You may not believe in karma like I do, but you should believe in energy.
Negative energy produces negative energy.
If you are thinking about cheating on the person you are in a relationship with, end it with them, regardless of how difficult that may be. If you don’t want to be with them and them alone (unless you have an open-relationship) end it!
7. Pursue excellence.
Be a #leadinglady in everything you do. A leading lady, like a #ladyboss is a woman who is always working hard at building her life and career. She is a leader, a motivator, innovator, and someone that definitely pursues excellence. She has faults just like any other woman, but she is constantly pushing to be better.
It is all about the journey. I do not always win but I constantly pursue excellence.
I am perfectly imperfect and proud of it.
The Ladyhood journey, Leading Lady Campaign will jump off at the end of July 2017. Follow Ladyhood journey‘s Leading Lady Campaign page, for more information.
8. Be honest.
Telling the truth is not just for the other person, it is for you too. Holding on to a lie causes guilt, and guilt causes stress. Women and stress do not mix together well. Make it a goal to be a honest and positive person for yourself and your health.
9. Travel when possible.
Traveling makes a individual a well-rounded person. It is also a great way to escape everyday life and relax. Vacations are a great way to build your self-love and regroup to face whatever goes on in your home, work, and personal life. (When my daughter is a little older, going on vacations is something I definitely want to do)
According to Adam Siddiq in his article 9 Wonderful Benefits of Traveling, taking the time to get away can help you experience more joy in your life:
- You’ll find a new purpose
- You’ll appreciate your home more
- You’ll realize that your home is more than just where you grew up
- You’ll realize how little you actually knew about the world
- You’ll realize that we all share similar needs
- You’ll realize that it’s extremely easy to make friends
- You’ll experience the interconnectedness of humanity
- You’ll experience serendipity and synchronicity
- You’ll realize life is a wonderful gift
Life is all about the journey.
10. Never stop learning.
It is so easy to get comfortable and complacent in our thoughts. By actively learning, we can expand our way of thinking in business, socially, emotionally, and physically.
If you are thinking about taking a course for fun, traveling abroad, going to college, getting your GED, getting a master’s degree or gaining a credential, take the risk yourself.
Be a life long learner.
11. Be thankful.
Back in March 2017, I started a gratitude journal that I published:
- Gratitude Journal: Day 1
- Gratitude Journal: Day 2
- Gratitude Journal Day 3
- Gratitude Journal: Day 4
- Gratitude Journal: Day 5
- Gratitude Journal: Day 6
- Gratitude Journal: Day 7
We get so tied up into our stress with family, our relationship, our kids, friends, and work that we forget to be thankful for the blessings that life brings.
Giving thanks is what keeps me humble and grounded in those moments that really matter.
12. and Love.
Women are full of love. I spent years loving on everyone but myself. I am a natural nurturer. I give to others and put myself last and then I get fed up and blow up.
When we are not focused on self-love, we lose ourselves. We have to make sure that we make ourselves a priority too. You cannot show love in a healthy way if you do not love yourself.
Make the time for yourself and others around you. Make self-love a priority.
I hope that this helps you in your self-love journey. Do not give up on yourself. You are capable, confident, beautiful, talented, intelligent, and valued.
Anne-Sophie Reinhardt, Anti-diet Coach and Body Confidence Expert, wrote an amazing statement about the importance of self love and self-confidence, in her article, LOVE IS EVERYTHING. SELF-LOVE IS THE BEGINNING, “You are exactly where you need to be at this moment in time. Exactly where you’re supposed to be to do what needs to happen in your life. That thing you’ve always wanted to do – the healing, the breaking free, the forgiving, the loving your body as she is – it can happen now.”