Monday, June 10, 2013

My Follow Up Post to the Self-Love Challenge

by Kate Collins

Last week I reported about a webinar I'd heard on how to lead a more purposeful, less judgmental life. It was all about accepting yourself for who you are, actually loving yourself, warts and all. The self-love challenge was to find 5 things you love about yourself every day for a week. Each day had to be something new.

Here's what I thought would happen. I thought I'd start listing physical traits, such as, "I love my long eyelashes. I love my hair color," in order to turn my focus away from things I hate (eye wrinkles, for instance.)

Instead, when it came time to actually write down my 5 things, I found myself turning to the common personality traits, such as that I'm courteous, funny, intelligent, organized -- all things that others have told me. That worked fine until the third day, when I really had to look inside and find things about myself that I loved, not that others loved.

By day five, I had become very aware of my behavior toward others, of my attitude about things, either positive or negative, and about my urge to judge others.  As the day went on, I found myself mentally adding to my list things like,  "I love that I acknowledged my neighbor's opinion (even though I didn't agree.)" "I love that I made the cashier at the grocery store smile." "I love the way the sun is shining through the clouds today."

And guess what? By day seven, I had become more positive about life and had developed more of a "live in the moment" attitude, instead of always anticipating, and then worrying about, things that may or may not happen in the future.

I was glad I took the challenge because it made me realize there's a lot more to life than criticizing every single thing that passes by, including myself. When I started focusing on the positives, I became happier, and that, to me, was what the whole challenge was meant to do.

Another update: PRINTERS ROW, Chicago, was a lot of fun. I got to meet a number of Flower Shop Mystery fans and (yay!) to see my fellow Cozy Chick Julie Hyzy, at the Mystery Writers of America tent where we signed copies of our mysteries for a whole lot of book lovers who came out for a lovely day in the Loop.

Did you take the Self-Love Challenge? If you did, how did it go? If you didn't, would you want to do it? Do you think it would change you in any way?


Anonymous said...

I like this idea. I always say whenever you catch a glimpse of your reflection say something positive to yourself too. So when you're washing your hands, or walking past a mirror in the mall, think something positive no matter how "cheesy." It automatically makes you smile. We are wonderfully created humans. We should celebrate our unique characteristics! Even if that means your specially angled toe that used to make you embarrassed to wear sandals in public. Celebrate being alive!

Aurian said...

I am very glad it worked for you Kate, that it is making you happier. I'll think about doing it some quiet week ;)

Cynnara said...

I've always giggle and laugh when I try to do self love, positive reinforcements. I think part of it is because I've never had a great self image of myself, though humour, oh, I've got humour! Plus, there's that whole remembering thing...

I did try though-- even put up a note to remind me not to forget. Which I'd look at and go, "What this...oh yes, positive reinforcement time." It's hard. I could get up to three things, then I'd start getting silly about myself. But in a way, I think that too, is good. The silly things helped me to remember that I don't always like the spotlight-- that while I like to be recognized for the things I do, I'm not the type to be looked at just because. And that's okay. I am learning to love me for me-- lumps, bumps, crazy moments and all. Sometimes my negatives are positives-- they keep me from soaring too high, which is something I realized this week. They keep me grounded when I'd love to think I'm the best thing since smoked gouda. *sighs* Love gourmet food. I do. Food, period actually. LOL

But it's good to do this. To learn it's okay to be balanced and happy with yourself and who you are as a person. It's okay to say, "I'm a good person who does good things. I'm not perfect, but hey, I'm good and lovable!" It also helps when your loved ones recognize that in you and reinforce it as well. Mine, he does good most times-- especially when he sees I'm having a bad day or when I look a bit wild in the eye. Or as this past week, when I was going for a recertification-- he took me out to eat because I was brain dead. This is why I love him, he knew I was so having a moment and after everything, I was still lovable. "Cyn, let's go out. You passed and we should celebrate your awesomeness." That's my man. Celebrate my awesomeness! LOL

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