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April 23, 2021
10 Ways to Love Yourself That Aren't Selfish

Loving yourself means that you you are taking the time to appreciate and value yourself in ways that put your needs first.  A focus on self-love allows you to offer the best version of yourself to the people you support.  In this episode, Dr. Peggie Kirkland talks about the importance of internalizing the concept of self-love, and she offers 10 ways in which women can cha…


10 Ways to Love Yourself That Aren’t Selfish

Ladies Who's loving you?  Really.  Who’s loving you?  Perhaps, you started to reel off a list of people like your  spouse, your partner, your children, your mom, grandma, other family members and friends.  But, that’s the wrong answer. The answer at the top of your  list should be “You!”  You should be loving yourself first because when you take care of your own needs first, you can offer the best version of yourself to the people you support.  If you’re not doing this,you’re sending a message to family and friends that you don’t value yourself, and that you have no problem putting other people’s  needs before your own. 

Why Putting Yourself First is Important to Your Self-Care

If you’ve been feeling stressed out, anxious, and overwhelmed, it could be because you’ve been trying to   please everyone else, and meet everyone else’s expectations.   Although you may be very aware that you put everyone else’s needs before your own, you may still not take any positive action that would help to change the situation.  Instead, many women resort to complaining about situations that stress them out to anyone who would listen.   What they are forgetting is the importance of putting themselves first, valuing themselves and holding themselves in high self-esteem.  This may be a difficult concept because some women were socialized to never put themselves first.  In fact, many women may have been taught that their needs didn’t matter, or they may have internalized from watching their own mothers that what a woman needs doesn't matter. If that's the case, you may have difficulty with the concept of making you number one on the “Who’s Loving You Checklist?”. 

How a Mindset Shift Can Have Positive Effects on Your Health

Think of all of the pressures that come with being a woman. We could  start with the fact that women still find themselves, overwhelmingly, as caregivers, for children and senior parents, or the fact that women have to work longer hours because they only earn 82 cents for every dollar a man earns, or the fact that the majority of domestic chores end up on women’s “to do” lists. These are realities of life that could sabotage women’s attempts to show that tenderness toward themselves, which is why women may need to make a mindset shift.  That shift away from thinking that to love yourself is selfish to the understanding that you have every right to love yourselves unapologetically. It is so important to know that when you  love yourself, you are  showing  kindness toward yourself.  And when we are kind towards ourselves, we can take better care of our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and even our financial selves.  Not only that, we are sending a message to the world that we value ourselves.  Of course, making this decision to make a mindset shift does not come without its challenges.  In fact,  you may be saying that you don't have the time or the energy, or neither because of all the other things that you feel a need to prioritize.  The  problem is that those non-priorities that you put at the top of your list can actually act as energy drainers causing you to snowball into serious health crises like depression or even heart disease, and that is not a desirable destination for anyone.

10 Ways to Start Loving Yourself First

 Here are  10 ways in which you can start loving yourself first:

  1. Start your day with an attitude of gratitude. Find something in your life for which you can be grateful.  There are many.  
  2. Stare your inner critic in the face and refuse to back down.  Do not allow your inner thoughts to cause you to criticize yourself and question your abilities. Instead, when you become conscious of the negative things your inner voice keeps pouring into our thoughts, stop and ask yourself  what is causing  this  shift, and try to see whether you can identify it, and then do something positive to counteract this negativity. 
  3. Do something YOU  love every day.  But first you have to know what you love. 
  4. Connect with positive people.  This is no time to burden yourself with people whom you know have a negative effect on you.
  5. Take a moment to make a note of wins you have experienced in your life, whether they are big or small.  The message you will be sending yourself is that if you did it once, you can do it again.
  6. Rehearse the habit of speaking positively to yourself  every day, several times a day.   
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff. 
  8. Be attentive to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.  We will  focus more on these in later episodes.
  9. Remember, there are several ways to get to the same destination,  or as my mom loved to say, “There are several ways to skin a cat.”  
  10. Make a commitment to start loving yourselves unconditionally and unapologetically.  You deserve it!!  

So what positive action will you take?  Will you choose one of the suggestions I have made, or do you have one of your own that you will start with? I’d love to hear from you. 

If you loved this episode why not leave a review and a rating at: www.mommasmotivationalmessages.com  It will only take you two minutes, and it will provide me with valuable insights as I continue to plan future episodes.

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Until next time,  I am sending much light and a whole lot of love to you all.

 

Transcript

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Inspiring Gen X women to demonstrate their love of self through their engagement in audacious acts of self-care. This is the Mommas's Motivational Messages podcast with Dr. Peggie Kirkland.

Hi, everyone. So here's the thing. I mentioned earlier that I'm embracing my purpose, what I feel I've been put on this earth to do, or at least part of it. And that is to encourage women of all ages. But I want to give some love, particularly to my Gen X women, you know, they actually call you the "forgotten generation." But I want you to know that PK, that's what my daughter calls me when she's trying to be cute; PK has not forgotten you. So if you're 40 plus, my love is coming at you. So please don't reject it. Hopefully, I can inspire you to take care of yourselves, while you're raising your kids, or sending them off to college, while you're buying your first home, or your second home, making your way to the top of that professional ladder, or planning your exit strategy. Whatever your life event is, it is so important that you take care of your emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological health. So here goes.

I have a question for you, ladies. "Who's loving you. Like really? Who is loving you?" I'd like you to prioritize your list of the people you say are loving you. Okay, so maybe at the top of your list, you have your mom, your dad, your partner, your spouse, your grandma, the kids, some friends, your family? Well, whoever you put at the top of your list, it's the wrong answer. If at the top of your list, you didn't say, "Me." That's right, you should be the person who is at the top of your list of people who are loving you. Because if you're not doing this, then, it means that you're sending a message to your family and to friends, that you don't value yourself. And that's a problem if you're not putting yourself first because then you're not able to give the best version of yourself to others.

So ask yourself, "Have I been feeling stressed out anxious and overwhelmed?" It could be very well, because you've been trying to please everyone else and meet everyone else's expectations. And that is not a sign of you, loving you. But I know this is not new news to you. So why am I bringing it up? Well, it's because I know very well, that just because we know something, it doesn't mean that we're acting on it. In other words, you could be aware that you're putting everyone else's needs in front of your of your own needs. But you may still not be able to take any positive actions that would help to change the situation. Instead, what do we do sometimes is complain to everyone else, to anyone who would listen. And that really is not the way we should be doing it. Remember what I said at the beginning, you should be loving you first. And you can only do that if you value yourself. And if you have a high regard for yourself.

I know that for some of you, this may be a difficult concept. Because as women we were socialized to never put ourselves first. In fact, some of us were actually taught that if we put ourselves first, we're ignoring everyone else. And we may even have watched our mothers and the way in which they sacrificed for everyone else. And as little girls, we internalize that kind of behavior. And so it becomes very hard for us as adults to change that behavior.

But I want you to stop for a moment. And just think about all of the pressures that come with being a woman. We could start with the fact that women are to a large degree, caregivers for children, and very often for senior parents. Or let's think about the fact that women have to work longer hours so that they could make 82 cents for every dollar a man earns or, the fact that the majority of domestic chores still end up on a woman To Do List. Look, these are realities of life. But they could sabotage our attempts to show tenderness towards ourselves.

How are we going to change that? Well, to be honest with you, that's not something automatic, it's really going to require a mindset shift so that you move away from thinking that to love yourself is selfish, and move to a new way of thinking and understanding that you have every right to love yourself, unapologetically.

Right about now, you might be saying, "But PK, I don't have the time, or I don't have the energy, or PK, guess what, I have neither the time nor the energy, I have many other things that I need to prioritize?" Well, that's the problem, isn't it? I'm not trying to be dramatic, but the reality is, that all of those things that you prioritize, can drain your energy and cause you to spiral into all kinds of serious health crises. And ladies, that is not a place where anyone needs to be. So I'm going to give you 10 ways in which you can start loving yourselves.

Number one, start your day with an attitude of gratitude; find something to be grateful for.  You can start with the fact that with all that's going on in the world, you are given another chance at life.  You know, there's something about expressing gratitude, that just shifts your energy from being negative, to being positive. To me, it's like a stone being rolled away, that reveals a patch of dirt, where something beautiful is growing.

Number two, stare your inner critic in the face and refuse to back down. Look, each of us experiences inner thoughts that prevent us from acting, in loving ways towards ourselves. And what those inner thoughts do is that they cause us to criticize ourselves, and to question our abilities until we find ourselves saying things like, "I'm stupid, I'll never get this podcast launched, hello, somebody. Or I'm not very attractive, or I'm not very successful." And a whole host of other negatives. Well, we have to become conscious of those negative things, that our inner voice keeps planting in our thoughts. What I do sometimes when I recognize that my mood has shifted from being positive to being negative, is that I stop, and I ask myself, "What's causing this shift?" And I try to see whether I can identify it. And then I do something positive to counteract it. For example, I have had to have many rough talks with my inner critic regarding the launching of this podcast. But I had to demand that she just take a backseat and allow me to move forward. She wasn't happy. But that's her problem, isn't it? 

Number three, do something YOU love every day, not something someone else loves, but something that you love. But first, you have to know what you love. Do you know that? Maybe you need to stop now and make a list of the things you love and keep it in a place where you can see it all the time, whether it's on your phone, or on the mirror in the bathroom, or the bedroom or wherever, on the refrigerator. And so in this way, when you get that nagging inner critic, starting to put those negative thoughts in your head, you can turn her off by doing what you know you love, and what works for you in terms of shifting your energy.

Number four, connect with positive people. When you're trying to show love for yourself, its no time to burden yourself with people who you know, have a negative effect on you.

Number five, take a moment to make a note of your wins; the wins you've experienced in your life, whether they're big or small. And in doing so, you're sending a message to yourself that if you did it once, you can do it again.

Number six, form the habit of speaking positively to yourself. And notice my emphasis is on habit. This can't be a one and done. It has to be rehearsed, repeated daily, so you internalize it. It sort of reminds me of one of my daughter's T-shirts that asked the question, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" And the answer is "practice, practice, practice." You get the point.

Number seven. Don't sweat the small stuff. You have to know the difference between what's a problem that can be solved simply, and what has the potential to be a catastrophe.

Number eight, be attentive to your physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs. We'll be focusing more on these in our upcoming episodes.

Number nine, remember, there are several ways to get to the same destination. Or as my mom loved to say, and I'm repeating, there are several ways to skin a cat. So don't punish yourself, when things don't work out the way you thought they would, or the way they should. Find another way to get your goal accomplished.

And number 10. Remember that, even as you're loving yourself, you have to remember your human -ness, which means that you're not going to be happy all the time. So at those times, when you're not feeling your best, just lean into those moments, and know that it's okay to do so.

So ladies, isn't it time for you to start loving yourself unconditionally, and unapologetically? I want you to know that you deserve it!

So you know, the educator in me is not going to allow you to end this episode right here. You know that right? There have to be some next steps. So, what positive action are you going to take? Are you going to choose one of my suggestions? Or do you have one of your own that you will start with? I'd love to hear from you.

And if you loved this episode, please let me know in the comments. It will only take you two minutes and you'll be helping me build a better plane. Remember, building the plane while flying it. Until next time, this is PK sending you much light and a whole lot of love.