Is it time to love yourself?

- Tracey Hancock, REALiving coach + mentor

Valentine's Day is coming up. While it's wonderful to receive love from someone else when that's not forthcoming, it can eat away at your self-worth. It's as if not getting a Valentine's Day card, flowers, jewellery or whatever, means you're doomed to sit in the unlovable, unworthy and shameful pile.

#loveyou

It's not a great place to be, and from my own experience, a lack of self-love leads to burnout, illness and unhappiness. I've been there a few times because once wasn't enough for me to learn the lesson! Eventually, I realised just how much I was hanging out for the love (and the approval) of others. But until I loved and approved of myself, the words and actions of others meant I would continue to ride a wave of ups and downs, going from euphoric highs to crashing lows.

Give yourself a gift.

So with Valentine's Day just around the corner, there'll be more and more ads about the perfect gift for your loved one. But how about giving yourself a gift this year?

It's not a gift you can buy in a shop. Not even TradeMe, Etsy or Amazon will be able to supply this gift for you. It won't cost you any money, and you get to choose how it looks.

It is, of course, the gift of self-love. It might sound like a small thing, or perhaps for some, it sounds a bit strange or even ridiculous, but there is no greater gift that you could give yourself. 

So, just what does this gift of self-love look like?

It's when you know, accept and approve of who you are, all of you, not just the shiny 'cool' bits, everything about you - the so-called imperfections, flaws, weaknesses, scars, and the things you wish you hadn't said or done. 

It's when you're kind to yourself. When you're tired, you rest. When you feel sad, you cry. When you want to walk barefoot along the beach or splash in the waves, you do. It's when you're asked to do something, and you say 'no'. In the many choices, you make each day, you choose what serves you well, what nourishes your mind, body and soul.

Self-love isn't a destination, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all recipe. At its core, self-love is loving you for who are you and caring for yourself.

It's a game-changer!

When you love yourself, your life will change. You'll no longer focus on what you dislike about yourself, judge yourself harshly, or constantly push yourself to do more, be more. All the people pleasing, saying 'yes' to everyone and everything, thinking everyone is better, and squashing yourself into a box that wasn't designed for you, will stop.

Because now you're directing your precious energy towards what matters most to you, without apology or worrying what 'they' might think of you.

If you've spent most of your life giving yourself a hard time, criticising yourself and saying "When I've (lost weight, got a 6-pack set of abs, got that job, have $$$s in the bank etc.) I'll be a better person and therefore deserving of love", STOP!

Your time is now. There is no greater gift that you can give to yourself than your own love. There is no pre-requisite test or exam, action, weight, body shape, job, bank balance - nothing. You deserve your own love simply because you exist.

Tracey Hancock is a coach and mentor passionately committed to helping people live well. Drawing on her own experience and the lessons she's learnt trying to be and do what she thought was expected of her, Tracey will guide you to reconnect with your dreams so you can live your real life.

 If you know it's time for changecontact Tracey to learn more about the REALiving approach today.