I think many people assume that self-love is all warm and cuddly filled with bubble baths and cheesy affirmations. When I work with clients, we really try to foster what I call “fierce self-love”. This takes on many forms, but a few worth mentioning today are not soft and cuddly. Quite the contrary, they force us to love through determined self-discipline.
One act of fierce self-love is absolutely not allowing any negative self-talk about your body, your weight, or hating what is in your bank account. When my clients see themselves in the mirror, they are not allowed to say anything mean or critical about themselves. For many people, this seems nearly impossible, but I remind them that they would not tolerate someone else talking about their bodies this way. Consequently, it is also not okay for them to engage in their own body shaming.
When they weigh themselves or wake up with a slight hangover, they can only meet themselves with compassion and curiosity, not self-loathing. Remember that negative emotions do not promote positive actions, so this self-criticism does not help in any way. It takes mental strength to come away from our tendency to beat ourselves up, thinking this will dissuade us in the future, but it rarely works.
The second act of fierce self-love is taking care of our bodies through movement. Under fierce self-love, movement is essential. It is not okay to not take care of ourselves physically. The body is our temple after all, so movement is a crucial step. Many of my clients value this for their children and even their pets, but neglect their own bodies’ need to move. Movement of most forms can be an active meditation, a stress-reliever, and is essential in self-care. Not moving is not acceptable under the fierce self-love protocol.
Third, overeating, or eating processed foods that don’t serve you is the opposite of fierce self-love. I see many people think that they are “treating themselves” when they eat this way, but the fact is, you are actually assaulting yourself with these types of foods. Poor eating, is bad for health, energy and esteem. Face it, we might feel pleasure eating processed foods in the act of eating, but how quickly we regret it, or feel “gross” afterwards. Fierce self-love looks at limiting these foods as a form of self-love, not its opposite. Eating clean is such a wonderful expression of body love. Being disciplined here is an act of love.
Lastly for today’s blog, finding freedom in saying NO is fierce self-love. So many people struggle to say NO to someone for fear of their reaction or rejection, myself included. Yet this is the ultimate form of self-love. It takes courage and strength to say NO when someone really wants something from you. When you say YES, when you really mean NO, you are putting your needs and desires behind someone else’s. You are saying NO to you, and this is not okay.
Not tolerating body shaming or criticism, moving your body regularly, eating clean, and finding your beautiful NO are forms of self-love in my book. They require some courage and discipline, but are worth it for fostering an amazing relationship with yourself. This is a stepping stone for so many great things in your life.
Personal development in the form of coaching is also a form of fierce self-love, managing your mind requires discipline and strength. If you are ready to schedule a call with me, click the link below and I will teach you how to be fierce too!