We love to support and be there when others need us. It makes us feel good and it feeds our self worth,correct? We're there for our families, friends and colleagues, to a point that we have very little time for ourselves. We take on work we don't need or go to events we don't care about.
But why? Why do we struggle to say no? Because we fear being judged, being rejected and being disliked. And sometimes we say yes, to avoid disappointing those around us.
People pleasing goes beyond just kindness .. it involves bending our values for the sake of someone else's feeling and by trying to earn someone else’s approval..we end up losing ourselves in the process.
As babies,we’re all born with a clean slate.No baby thinks that they’re not worth it but as we go through life,situations and circumstances limiting beliefs are created without us realising it.
For example, a child who was bullied in school repeatedly will suffer from low self esteem.Our minds always move us from pain to pleasure (Rules of the mind ~ Marisa Peer)
Such a child then develops a need to ‘fit in’ and not be picked again to be bullied.One of the common directions this child will take is to suppress their own needs and try to please people .. ‘just to fit in’.
This embeds as a core belief which runs every decision of this child, even in adulthood.. affecting every relationship he/she has with everyone.. family & friends.
(Disclaimer: This is a very broad generalisation; explained only for the purpose of understanding the concept of core belief)
This is just one example.
There are many incidents that can destroy each persons self worth and intrinsic self love.
Maybe it was perceived public humiliation or maybe it was because of not getting praise or approval from parents or other caregivers.
It is human nature to look outside of ourselves for love..and love is such a warm fuzzy feeling, who can blame us right? And my heart has been broken so many times,I've lost count now.
I've had to pick the pieces up and put myself back together many, many times.
And its not always a romantic partner that is capable of breaking your heart...it can people within your family, it can be your friends or relatives whom you've trusted.
And what happens when we don't get what we're looking for from another person?
We tend to take it personally and become resentful.
Irrespective of the cause, some of the ways lack of self love shows up in our lives is outlined below:
Feeling of worthlessness and powerlessness
Constant need for validation
People pleasing tendencies
Extreme need to conform
Identity crisis and emotional bankruptcy
Everything in nature has balance.
Just as you cannot keep breathing in without breathing out or vice versa.. things work best when there is equal give and take. This was taught by Marisa Peer.
Nobody can pour from an empty cup.
Some ways to show yourself some self-love
1. Accept a compliment. When you genuinely accept a compliment, you are affirming to yourself that you are worthy and deserving of that compliment.(How many times have you reacted awkwardly when you’ve received a compliment? Instead of simply saying thank you, do you compliment the other person back just to neutralise any praise you’ve received?)
2.Self care - when you take care of yourself eg: with good sleep, healthy eating, exercising, staying away from things that can harm your body …you send the message to yourself that you are worth being cared for.
3.How difficult is Saying no ? - set a healthy boundary and don't take on more than you can handle. showing yourself this respect has the added benefit of showing others how to respect you.
4.Are you Saying yes to yourself? - Don't hide in your comfort zone. Step out and do something you've been meaning to do for a long time.
5.The most important of them all - Catch your thoughts… your negative self-talk.Talk to yourself as if you are talking to your best friend or as someone you love. Be kind to yourself.
And like this, what if you had deep rooted self love embedded within you..that you have access to anytime?
Would you still fall apart or have a heartache because of others around you? Would it make a difference?
‘You yourself as much as anyone in this universe deserves your love.’
Start saying yes to you now. Not tomorrow, not next week.
With love & gratitude,