Lead: Most people spend their lives waiting to be loved by other people, but it should be the opposite. The first step towards receiving love from others is to love ourselves.
Who is the most important person in the world to you? This is one of the first questions I ask during my coaching sessions and workshops. “My child,” “my husband,” and “my parents” are typical answers. However, if you don’t love yourself first and foremost, how can you have a good relationship with anyone else? Think about those emergency videos they show on airplanes: in case of a change in cabin pressure, first you have to secure your own oxygen mask, and then you can help your child put on his or hers. Similarly, you must give yourself the necessary attention and care before you’re able to help others.
Loving ourselves is a fairly troubled notion. In 1956, the psychologist and philosopher Eric Fromm talked about the need for self-love. Of course, you must understand that this is not about arrogance, egotism, or selfcenteredness. Egotism and self-love are two notions that people usuallyconfuse, but they’re completely different.
Self-love begins with taking care of ourselves, from basic daily needs to our more complex mental and physical needs. The next step is to take 100% responsibility for our life and our actions.
Let’s look at what “I take 100% responsibility for my life” actually means. Let’s say there’s a problem with two possible solutions. One of them is to accept the situation as it is, and the second one is to try and do something to change the situation. Sometimes we end up creating a third alternative: to complain and blame others for feeling that we’ve been unfairly treated.
We tend to blame everyone other than ourselves. Why do we do this? Simply because most of the time, change means having to leave our comfort zone and act in a way that others might not approve of. There are endless excuses: the government, the weather, men and women,
unemployment, my parents, rich people, my body. We complain to other people or even to ourselves, on a daily basis. Some people spend their entire lives complaining. Don’t belong to this group!
Alternatively, I suggest that we use the “winner’s formula,” which is: EVENT + RESPONSE = OUTCOME.
We can’t always predict or control life events. Life throws us curve balls, and they won’t always be positive. If everything in life happened according to plan (that is, according to our plans), then how exciting could life really be?
Therefore, there’s only one way to affect the outcome of an unexpected situation or event: to change our reaction.
If we have a negative reaction, then the outcome will be negative. But if we change our reaction to be more positive, we can still have a positive outcome, and based on the law of possibilities—pure mathematics—we’ll be winners.
Changing our reaction is vital; think about how many times you’ve reacted the same way, expecting a different outcome. I used to make this mistake often, and by using the winner’s formula, I started having much better outcomes.
I started using the formula with my clients, and we saw amazing, positive changes taking place in their lives. They would overcome adversities faster, with less effort and pain.
A bad sailor will blame the weather, a bad teacher will blame the student, and a bad manager will blame his or her employee. A successful person doesn’t blame anyone, not even herself, because she knows life is a sequence of changes, and what matters is the way we
deal with them. A successful person changes his reaction until he gets the desired outcome; he insists until the goal is reached!
Blaming others for our problems lessens the strength we have internally and mentally. The more responsibility we take for our own lives, the more we develop love for ourselves. Every time you face a challenge, write down the formula EVENT + RESPONSE = OUTCOME. Be clear about what the event and the desired outcome are.
Come up with several responses; think outside the box, and write them down, however crazy they may seem! Then come up with a different response to any given situation until you achieve the desired outcome. You’ll always be the winner!
The next way we’ll develop self-love is to develop our self-respect.
Self-respect begins with the total acceptance of our body, our mind, and our soul. That means we accept our cellulite, our dark thoughts, our feelings of jealousy; and above all, we accept the fact that time passes quickly, leaving marks on our bodies. Self-respect also means the acceptance of your uniqueness; of the fact that some things might be easy for you, but hard for others; that you might shine on certain days, but not on others; that some people love you very much; that your thoughts and actions are perfect now, at this very moment,
and that you do your very best every second of the day with the knowledge, tools, and information you have.
The total acceptance of the fact that we’re full of imperfections and miracles is the first step toward developing self-respect. The next step is to like yourself, to say: “Whatever happens, I’ll be there for myself.” You get to sympathize with yourself, whatever the outcome of a situation is, regardless of whether it’s successful or not.
You love yourself for what you are, especially from within—not for what you have or accomplish. Now, you might be asking: “Does that mean I should avoid doing anything that would make me a better person?” Of course not. It’s important that you always aim to become a better person, but in order to truly become so, it’s vital to first accept yourself exactly as you are.
Self-knowledge is a work in progress, a journey that begins as soon as we’re born and ends when we die. Self-knowledge needs time, devotion, and a desire to travel through the light and dark pathways of your soul.
JILL DOUKA, MBA, PCC
#1 International Bestselling Author of Create Love and How to Create Your Life
Business Mentor Awarded by European Union and accredited by Coach Federation
Global Academy of Coaching Director
Would you like to see how life coaching can support you to take your life to the next level? Visit www.jillandnikolas.com and www.jilldouka.com. Are you confident? Do the quiz and find out! https://www.globalacademyofcoaching.org/