The Beatles’ famous song, “All You Need is Love,” constantly plays in my head. I even have a tattoo of the words on my left arm. I always thought that phrase had an all-encompassing meaning when it comes to the love we all deserve and the love we provide. I feel I have an abundance of love to give to others, but what about the love I give to myself? I believe it is quite common for women to worry about everyone else around them instead of taking the time to provide care and love for # 1…YOU! We are programmed, to a certain extent, to focus on the things that we don’t love about ourselves instead of embracing our all. I have listed a few things below as suggestions on steps we may take in our continuous journey to learn to love ourselves and how we may integrate this in the workplace.
Hey! That is my friend you are talking about!
Do you recall the movie Mean Girls? Remember when they were all standing in front of a large mirror pointing out all minute details of things they did not like about themselves? Well, what if we took a different, more effective approach to their self-deprecating exercise?
Tyra Banks frequently told her models to spend time in front of a mirror to get to know your face and your angles better. Look in the mirror. Really, take a good look. Make a mental list of things that you see and love about yourself. It does not even have to be anything physical. Say these things aloud if you wish. Who cares? You are learning to love yourself here.
Remember to say nice things about yourself, too. If you catch yourself pointing out a flaw, make a conscious effort to find two additional positive things about yourself to take its place. I mean, if someone was talking to your best friend and saying horrible things about her in front of you, what would you say? Well, you, my friend, are saying these things about MY friend when you talk down to yourself. Better watch out…I am VERY protective. ☺
This is good because _______.
Guess what? I mess up often. There are times when I feel like I have failed or let someone down or am beating myself up over something. A simple approach I am trying to adopt to forgive myself and to soften the blow of something not so good is to literally say, “This is good because ___” and then fill in the blank as to why this possibly horrible thing that just happened to me is a good thing.
Example: I was late for a meeting this morning.
This is good because –
- It reminds me how important other people’s time is and allows me to reflect on how I show respect to others
- It allows me to remember that I am human and don’t have to be perfect all the time
- I can take measures to ensure I am not late again in the future
Do you remember that time when that one stranger told you that they loved your dress and that you looked amazing and you just said, “Oh, this old thing? It looks like a burlap sack on me!” Well…STOP IT!!!!
Instead, try saying, “Thank you.” Also – accept the compliment and keep it in your mind archive for when you may not be feeling the best about yourself. Stop with the self-deprecating humor as well. It can be funny sometimes, but it gets old fast. It can be difficult to be around someone who is constantly belittling herself.
Keep track of your accomplishments and share them with others. Write your accomplishments down in your memo app on your phone while you are thinking about it. Take a photo or screenshot of your accomplishment and make it your lock screen or your wallpaper on your cell phone for a bit. Keep a “feel good folder” on your computer desktop and add a task in your calendar once a week to browse the folder. Try to get out of the mindset that sharing your accomplishments with others is bragging. If you humbly share when something good happens in your life, it gives others permission to do the same. It also shows that you have confidence in yourself.
When one loves themselves, confidence radiates from them. Once you find this self-love and self-confidence, you may find yourself speaking up more, having a happier mindset, improving your job performance and your engagement at work. According to an article from the article in Harvard Business Review, “How to Build Confidence at Work” by Ann Howell, “Confidence is not about being brash, argumentative, aggressive, or apologetic. It’s also not about you changing into an entirely new person. Instead, it’s about asserting yourself in a way that feels comfortable to you.”
Listen, I know loving yourself is a difficult and even life-long struggle. It is especially difficult when negativity surrounds us. The important thing to remember is that bad things happen all the time, yes, even to good people who love themselves; most things that we have absolutely no control over. What we do have control over is how we react in times of hardship and how we show love to ourselves and to others.
Jennifer Goodwin graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. As Recruiting Operations Specialist at the SLC Downtown Northwestern Mutual Office, Jennifer utilizes her creativity and genuine desire to serve others to help grow the firm. She thrives on creating strategies and efficiencies in order to coordinate continuity throughout all Northwestern Mutual offices in the state of Utah. Jennifer is a fervent advocate of social responsibility and of women uplifting each other and strives daily to integrate these values into the workplace. She has a natural curiosity for life and a desire to do and know everything, which allows her to relish in many hobbies. Outside of work you can find Jennifer rocking out at a concert, in the audience of a Broadway Musical, fishing, reading, listening to true crime podcasts, playing her guitar, bowling, gardening or singing.