Life

How to Love & Back Yourself in 2018

how-to-love-and-back-yourself

Everyone should know what it feels like to be their own cheerleader.

When you love and support yourself, magical things can happen. We can create deeper connections and feel purpose and intent within our work. When we establish our priorities our world becomes ordered. We feel happier and more loved = because we love ourselves.

The problem is, having your own back (in the loving and nurturing sense of the term) is not part of our psyche. Instead we’re taught to talk ourselves down, to want what everyone else has, feel undeserving of anything good that comes our way and not cause a scene.

This all comes from a place of fear; fear that we’re not worthy, not good enough, not as good as ‘so-and-so’. Fear that we’ll be judged, or that we might try and fail. All this fear and nowhere to hide. So let’s beat that fear right out of the park.

It starts with backing yourself and loving yourself.

When it comes to truly having your back and loving yourself, it all comes down to practice.

Self-love is a muscle. Just like our glutes, it needs to be worked every single day to work best.

Everyone should be able to wake up in the morning and feel joy just for being them. All it takes is being able to tune in, believe in yourself, and consciously make decisions according to how you want to live.

If you want this to feel like second nature for you, listen up. It’s time to schedule in some self-love time into the diary, pop your phone on airplane mode and read on.

01 Acknowledge your triggers

First things first, we’ve all got our triggers. Take a moment to think about the things that set you off. When does that voice inside your head speak the loudest? When is she making you feel small? Is she berating you for not fitting in with your friends? Does she make snide remarks whenever you bring up starting that business/project you think you’d be good at? Maybe she’s just flat out mean and tells you that you’re ‘fat’ every single morning (for reals, that is just rude).

Sometimes we are our own worst critic.

Have a think about when those negative thoughts start flying around your head and jot it down.

You can’t un-know what you already know. When we acknowledge the nasty lies that we’ve been telling ourselves, we can see them for what they really are: negative thought patterns. So, the next time you arrive at dinner with the girls and that voice pops up with a “You’re so awkward, why do you think you belong here with these beautiful people?”, you can feel empowered enough to turn around and say “You’re the one who doesn’t belong here, you’re such a drag! I’m so happy to share company with these goddesses and they feel the same about me. Oh, and by the way, awkward is part of my charm. K, thanks, bye.”

02 Jot down what makes you feel really good

Everyone should get really clear on what makes them feel their best. Melissa Ambrosini (possibly the Queen of Self Love) believes everyone should have what she calls a Self Love Menu and I’m 100% with her on this one.

Pull out a note pad (or the notes section in your phone) and jot down all the things that make you feel good. They can be extravagant or simple, every day rituals or a special treat.

Just close your eyes and feel into what leaves you feeling light, happy, sexy, grounded, confident, full to the brim with love and connected back to your body.

Once you have a list of 10 things, write it out or print it and pop it somewhere you can refer to every day.

This Self Love Menu is now your go-to at any point when you are feeling small, in a funk, too much in your ‘masculine’, stressed, overwhelmed and just generally out of touch with You. If you can do one thing from your list every single day, you will be a kinder, fuller and more patient human being.

Here is an example of my Self Love Menu for some inspiration!

Self Love Menu. A checklist for self care. Use this list for your Self Care Sunday!

03 Schedule it in

Factoring in time is just as important as knowing what fills you up, because a Self Love Menu ain’t worth anything if you’re not going to use it. It’s time to get serious about loving yourself. So, just as you wouldn’t skip a meeting or an appointment, you need to book it in and follow through. Have a squiz at your diary or calendar (if you don’t use one, visualize your day-to-day schedule) and block out some time each day of the week for you. Yes, I said it – whaaaat?!

This is non-negotiable – you owe it to yourself and the people around you to be the best version of you. So, whether you wake up 5 minutes earlier in the morning to meditate/breathe OR you block out 9-9:30pm for some reading time or a bath, your self love time is just as important as the school run or getting to work on time. It will become part of your day and you will learn just how much you need it.

04 Write down what’s eating you up

I had a moment last year where I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. I’d been on a live call with beautiful like-minded women and after commenting in the chat, the host acknowledged me and said some really kind words about me always showing up and inspiring her to keep doing her calls. I felt elated. She was talking about me to all these other incredible ladies! And then suddenly all of that disappeared; I instantly heard all of these imaginary voices coming at me. “What a wannabee”, they said. “Okay, easy does it you little try-hard”, “I bet she doesn’t even do all the work and the things she says she does”, “I bet I do more for my health and wellness than she does”. My lord, it was an onslaught. And it was completely fabricated in my own mind as I convinced myself that all the other attendees on the call must be judging me.

That icky feeling stuck with me for hours that night until I sat down and did something about it. In fact, I wrote to that internal monologue and kindly proved it wrong. This is what I wrote, word for word:

“ I am not desperate. Nobody thinks I’m needy. **** acknowledged me because I show up – she does not think I’m needy or fake.

I am real, not fake.

I am light and love and truth.

I know my authentic self and am sharing it with others.

I am all in, and I have the group’s support to be me.”

That is some next level, self help, hippy woo-woo shiz right there, huh?

But in that moment, magic happened. The urge to run away from my own body vanished and suddenly the voice in my head was quiet. I think she was actually just shocked that I had talked back at her.

But the most important thing I learnt that day was to get that toxic stuff out of my head – literally. I wrote the words on paper, I saw them in front of me and realized just how silly it was thinking that way at all.

When you feel something niggling at you, or hurting, or eating you up, write it down. Turn that monologue off, because we all know that we’ve got better things to do than to busy our minds with hating ourselves.

05 Gratitude

For those of you who haven’t jumped on the gratitude bandwagon yet, here’s a really good reason to start: you start to notice the things you have going for you.

It’s very easy to go through our day worrying, doubting, hating and questioning ourselves. But this kind of thinking can only lower our resilience and our self-worth each time we are faced with a challenge.

When you practice gratitude, you are forced to seek out the things that enrich your life.

My own little personal ritual occurs each night before I get into bed. I have a little book where I date the top of the page and then write out at least three things that I’m grateful for. (I then follow it up with the things I’ve achieved/done that day and finish it off with Step 4 from above).

There is so much in your world to be thankful for; for the love of a close friend, the company of a pet, the opportunity to earn an income from the job you have, to that beautiful moment in the sun this morning or a yummo dinner and the feeling of getting into bed.

Some of my most frequent gratitude points include:

  • Having Frankie come home that evening (my cat has proven to be a little wanderer!)
  • Being able to enjoy time spent with my beautiful Mama
  • An enjoyable shift at work
  • Experiencing and using my essential oils that day
  • A really good coffee
  • Dealing with nice, considerate people
  • Sunshine
  • Getting to experience ‘me time’
  • No niggling/arguments with my other half that day

The list really is endless, beautiful. Just start digging.

06 Practice speaking your truth

This is a little tricky – for some more than others!

I have always been a bit of a yes-man. I hate to cause confrontation and I hate to look foolish. So when I’m put with a situation, I tend to go with the flow of what’s being said and done around me. This is not always in my favour.

You see, when you aren’t speaking up and standing in your Truth, it eats away at you. Little by little, the disconnect between what’s happening around you and what you truly desire on the inside becomes too much. Something has to give and usually it will find a way to come out, often in your health and your relationships.

I have been working on speaking my Truth. When something is not sitting right with me, I communicate it.

When I’m being asked to do one thing, but it’s going to interfere with another that’s important to me, I give myself permission to follow my heart.

When a person is gossiping away to me and I don’t agree, I call them out on it.

And most importantly, when given the opportunity to open up about my dreams, passions and talents (yes, I actually believe that I have talents!) I do not shy away. I speak freely and passionately about my love for holistic wellness, essential oils and makeup. I share my knowledge of beauty and blogging and my experiences of living with a border collie pup!

What is your Truth, sweet one? What sits comfortably in your soul? Where do you feel most serene? And where does that need to come into alignment with your outside world?

What will do you today to show yourself that you’ve got your back?

When will you schedule time for you this week?

Let me know in the comments below and be sure to share this with someone you think needs a little more love in their lives right now.

Lots of love,

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Rachel Hodgens

2 Comments

  1. Carolanne

    You know rachel, your timing is amazing! Last night i was being grateful for the positive, passionate, powerful women i have met, and you Were on my list! I was going to message you today and tell you that i really admire the way you are so centred in your beingness. You are a bright light in the world, thank you for sharing of yourself.

    08 . 02 . 2018
    • Rachel Hodgens

      Oh thank you beautiful soul! That makes everything worth it to read words as lovely as yours.
      I honestly can’t thank you enough! You have popped into my thoughts many times and I hope you’re going well. xx

      08 . 02 . 2018

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