Recently I coached a woman who wanted help to overcome procrastination. She felt confused, depressed and was unable to make the changes she needed to make to get her life in order. At our second session she greeted me with, ‘I’m back’. She went on to tell me how the values she had adopted and acted upon had changed the way she felt about herself. She also had an opportunity to value herself by saying no to a request for help. This woman is very caring and has spent her life looking after others but she realised at this time she need to take care of herself. As a result she felt better about herself than she had for a long time and some substantial amounts of money came to her quite unexpectedly. Our third session started with her saying, ‘Life is so good and so easy’. She told me about the further progress she had made, including even more money coming her way. In fact life was so good she no longer needed my services.

In order to turn any area of your life around begin by looking at how much you accept yourself because how you feel about you determines how much you allow into your life.

There have been times in my life when I have simply had to ask for what I want and it’s been there, I’ve likened it to turning on a tap. And, there have also been other times when I have struggled to get what I want and during those periods of struggle I have said that I valued myself, but the reality is that our lives never lie. Sometimes our beliefs are hidden so deep that we are not consciously aware of them.

Self acceptance is the foundation for self love

Love is synergy, and that means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Imagine a painting. You have a canvas, a frame, oils, brushes. Lay them on a table and they don’t mean much. Put them together in the hands of a brilliant artist and you have a thing of beauty. We are like that painting. When we put it all together, acknowledge our wholeness, the parts of ourselves that we like and don’t like, we become powerful. Self love has nothing to do with being perfect, it’s about accepting yourself exactly as you are.

At the end of my last coaching session with the abovementioned client she said, ‘What I received from you was 100% unconditional non-judgement and support’. My client took the gift which I bring to all of my clients and students and accepted it and that acceptance of self enabled her to make incredible changes incredibly quickly. People give us gifts every day through friendships, compliments, belief in us and support and sometimes we accept them but often without consciously realising it we reject their gifts.

We all have many different aspects to ourselves. We may have areas of our lives which work perfectly. We may love our work, but not our physical body. We may love the relationships we have but not how we handle money. A malfunction in one area will over time overlap and spoil the good areas of your life. For instance, if you hate your job it will eventually affect your home life or your health. If you have problems with money it can affect your health, your work and your relationships.

The second step to loving self is having the willingness to change, to let go of blame and the pay-offs. We gain something from every problem. Are you willing to commit everything to achieve wholeness in your life? Are you willing to commit to your dreams? You don’t have to feel confident, you simply need to be willing.

You respect your needs by making them a priority. Often this is where many kind, compassionate people go off track and I know I certainly have. In our attempt to serve others it’s easy to forget about ourselves and to put ourselves last with everyone else’s needs coming before our own. When you respect yourself you make time to fill your own needs so that you can give the best of you away to others. I start my day with time for myself, I take a small amount of time out in the middle of my day for myself and I end my day with time for myself. This simple routine enables me to give the best of me away to others.

You need to stop playing games

Unfortunately most of our conditioning has encouraged us to play games. We only have to watch some of the soaps on television to recognise some of the things we do. Although most of us are honest in our work and everyday life, we still practise casual dishonesty. For instance, have you ever been annoyed because someone didn’t do something they said they would, but when you speak to them you say ‘That’s O.K.’. You don’t really mean it, it’s a lie. What about when you ring someone and say ‘Sorry I haven’t rung you, but I haven’t had time’. It’s not true but it’s the best excuse you’ve got. That’s a lie.

You could say what you feel. ‘I’m really angry because you haven’t rung me.’ But you may not like the repercussions, nor like to admit that you expect that person to fill your needs. You could ring them, or better still say nothing. Break the habit of always having excuses, or feeling obligated to reply. If you can’t say what you mean without being angry, say nothing.

There are many types of lies – when we want to cover up, or don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, when we want to manipulate. Lying leads to a need to control other people and events. This can lead to a build up of resentment, anger and repressed emotions. Ultimately it indicates a fear of loss.

A woman once asked me if there were occasions when a lie is justified. There may be, the choice is up to you, but always remember that when you lie you give away your power. If you are trying to cover up something then someone can always come along and destroy your facade.

One woman rented a beautiful home for many years. As she moved up the corporate ladder new people she met just presumed that she owned it. She started feeling embarrassed about not owning property and said nothing. As the years went by, it became more and more of a problem, and it got to the stage where she couldn’t let her old friends socialise with her new friends for fear of discovery. When she did have enough money to buy a home of her own it was not sufficient to buy a house of the same standard as the rented home in which she was living. She had no idea how to explain to people why she would give up a beautiful home, for something less, so she did nothing. Housing prices rose and she could no longer afford anything anyway. A lie by omission meant that she put other people’s opinions before her own needs.

No one has to go out and tell everyone his or her private affairs. Just be aware of the long-term consequences. Are you prepared to accept them?

Forgive yourself

We all make mistakes. You forgive other people so why do you have to be perfect? Blaming yourself does not make you a better person. It wastes energy and blocks opportunity. You cannot forgive until you have released the emotion, so jump up and down, scream, write down your feelings, do whatever is necessary to let your anger out, and then forgive yourself. If you still find it difficult, use the affirmation ‘I am willing to forgive myself for ……….’.

Re-evaluate your priorities regularly

Do you do things the same way you have always done? Re-evaluate your priorities at least once a year. We often find that we are trying to impose the same standards and values on our life and family today that we lived ten, twenty, thirty years ago, but are they still relevant?

We grow and change every year and values change as well. One woman stated how she would feel about an event in 20 years time, and I challenged her. I am not the same person I was 20 years ago, and I hope that I will have grown more in another 20 years.

Start and end your day by saying “I choose to accept myself exactly as I am’, then act as if you do.

Author's Bio: 

Anne Hartley is a life coach trainer and author of several books on happiness and prosperity. Anne believes that if we have a dream we have it for a reason. She is committed to helping people achieve their dreams in a way that make the happy.