“I hate the way “self-love” sounds. I hate that I need some right now. I hate this dumb self-love song. Cause I'm the only one I don't let myself love."
How do you react to the phrase, “self-love”?
Whether you’re a fan or not, the truth is that self-love is deeply impactful on your emotional wellbeing and also your professional impact. Accepting yourself as you are and valuing yourself unconditionally leads to better resilience to challenges, embracing opportunities for growth, and ultimately a greater positive impact on those around you.
The psychological term is “self-positivity bias” and is seen to comprise four aspects: self-awareness, self-worth, self-esteem and self-care. The combination of these has scientifically-proven benefits including:
Better mental health
Perhaps then, we should all try to see past any cringe-worthiness of the phrase to the significant benefits of developing and practising self-love. As Sir Steve Lancashire reminded us at the recent TDT Annual Conference,
“Our children need us at our best”.
Robin Sharma, considered to be one of the top 5 Leadership Experts in the world, has released a free Masterclass on How to Grow Self-Love. During this powerful 15 minute video, Sharma identifies 4 ways in which individuals can build positive feelings about themselves:
Honour your specialness: no-one has exactly the same potential as you
Do hard things daily: this develops self-respect and growth
Go to the woods – literally or metaphorically: solitude, silence and stillness
The more people you help, the more love you will grow: shift your focus away from personal reward towards servanthood
“The way you are in the world is a deep reflection of the way you are with yourself.” – Robin Sharma
So as we approach Valentine’s Day, what can you do to show love to yourself? Personally, I’m heading to a self-love rave in Manchester!
But alongside any special one-offs, much of this work will involve breaking and forming deep habits: habits of behaviour and habits of thought. It’s not a quick-fix or as simple as deciding to feel better about yourself.
Like any relationship, the one with yourself needs time and attention. I’m sure most people would agree that the unconditional love of a supportive other can make a significantly positive difference to our happiness. Many forget that in our relationship with our self, we can choose to be either a loving and compassionate partner or a critical, doubting, shaming, negative voice.
Using a positive affirmation to start each day may feel uncomfortable at first. However, it has long-term benefits. Recent neuroscientific research demonstrates that repetition of affirming statements changes the practitioner's view of their own perceived abilities in a positive way, leading to fewer negative thoughts and a healthier response to stress.
Of course, your coaching space is a perfect opportunity to explore your inner voice and relationship with yourself. In the meantime, here are a few questions you may wish to consider:
What do you believe about the concept of self-love and its benefits?
In what ways do you currently practice self-love?
What habits could help move you towards having a better relationship with your self?
“You yourself, as much as anyone else in the universe, deserves your love and affection.” – Buddha
Happy Valentines Day, wonderful people!
Leadership Edge is a growing team of experienced school leaders who have seen person-centred coaching create high-performing, happy and healthy cultures within our schools. Our mission is to empower other school leaders to create positive workplaces where staff are solution-focused and actively responsible for their own personal wellbeing and professional development.
Our 3-Tier Coaching Accreditation Programme is low-cost and self-sustaining, providing a systematic and structured model for staff across your school to become powerful coaches for each other, enhancing colleague relationships and their feeling of being valued as an individual within a supportive school community.