Is Self-Love Selfish?

VALENTINES DAY! A hallmark holiday full of looooove for our loved ones. Chocolate, roses and cheesy cards telling each other how great they are. It feels good to hear it from other people. But the person we most need to hear it from is ourselves. “Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you love yourself.”

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All of the hullabaloo about self-love these days. Yep, I’m going to add my 2 cents to it (actually probably my 10 cents this time but its necessary…promise).

Say it aint so…self-love isn’t selfish? Nope.

You know when you’re on an airplane and before you take off they go through the emergency procedures? And they get to the one about the oxygen mask and they say “please fix your own mask before assisting others.” In order to benefit other people, you need to help yourself first.

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Self-love is not coming from a place of selfishness or arrogance. But rather it is coming from a place that allows you to love the important people in your life MORE. It allows you pour from a full cup, or even over-flowing.

When coming from a place of self-love decisions for a healthier life become easier.

You choose the high quality nourishing foods as a sign of love and respect for yourself.

You workout because you know the energy you’ll have after.

You choose not to binge on an entire bag of chips when you’re in a bad mood, but to choose an activity that will bring you true happiness instead.

You CHOOSE to make decisions out of respect for yourself, and in the end you’re becoming a better person for your loved ones.

When I work with clients one of the things I love to focus on is helping the client recognize if his or her decisions are coming from a place of self-love or self-shame. And what happens when decisions start to be made from a place of self-love is why I love this work. The extra weight starts to melt off. Cooking healthy meals becomes easier. A workout routine they LOVE becomes easy to find. Quality of life in work, relationships and health all improve.

“Yeah but Diana you don’t understand, it’s not that easy.”

Yes I do understand.

A few years ago when I was exposed to the idea of self-love I thought of selfishness, arrogance and no consideration for others. I had the idea that self-love meant using my love for myself, instead of the people around me.

Thank God, I no longer have that point of view.

Let me take you on a little ride a few years back…

I had held the belief at the beginning of my fitness journey that self-love was, well, selfish.

When I say fitness journey, I mean when I began to turn to exercise to achieve my “goal body.” I’d been an avid gym go-er for years already, but I really started to dial in on workouts to get what I thought was the “ideal” body.

So that was where I put my focus and my energy. Abs, biceps, delts…but mostly abs. Now I’m not playing the “genetics card” one bit…but what I am saying is that my genetics are such that my weight sits in my stomach. I could lose fat in my big toe before I lose it in my stomach. So I was SO focused on getting abs, because that’s what I thought made me “fit.” I was so focused on abs that I completely ignored the IMMENSE progress I’d made in my over all physique, athleticism, and strength.

When I looked at myself in the mirror, with my strong arms and shoulders, bubble butt and lean legs…what I saw was my belly fat. I would fill my head with thoughts of “I’m almost there, just need the abs,” “I need to cut down my calories a bit more,” “I should have lifted heavier this morning.”

But now I know better.

Now my mind is in the right spot.

Now I want to help YOU get your mind in the right spot.

So now you see why you need to do it, but how do you practice it?

Below are my top four favorite ways to create more self-love in your life.

  1. Create a happiness list.

Write down everything in life that makes you happy…from your cup of coffee in the morning, to traveling with your family.

  1. Schedule into your week at least one hour of a self-care activity.

Choose from your happiness list, at least once per week. Try to work up to at least once per day.

  1. When you look in the mirror, let the first thing that comes to your mind be something of positivity.

This one is easier said than done. Being mindful of your thoughts in the mirror and actively making them positive will make this easier and easier as time goes by. Practice makes perfect.

  1. Each morning, write down one thing you love about yourself.

It seems a bit crazy at first, but it’s only going to help in acknowledging the good, and noticing the good first.

Do you feel like you need extra help in discovering your own self love so that you can give the best version of yourself to your loved ones? That’s okay, it’s not always easy to just start doing it (or actually continue doing it). Click HERE to have a coaching session with me (on the house ;) ), where we can discover where you’re getting stuck in loving yourself the way you are, and how to get unstuck in order to create the absolute healthiest version of yourself.