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I watched a Ted Talk a couple of years ago where the audience was asked to rate how much they loved themselves out of 10.
When asked who gave themselves a score of five and above, only a handful of people raised their hands.
The speaker then asked the audience to rate how much they loved their moms (again, out of 10). Unsurprisingly, almost everyone raised their hands for a perfect score.
When asked to continue keeping their hands up if they have a smooth relationship with their mom, though, only a few hands were left raised.
The speaker went on to explain how that reflected almost the exact same numbers from research on self-love.
If I told you that the relationship you have with yourself is the most difficult, would you agree?
It’s not only the most difficult, but the most important relationship you will ever maintain. It is also the foundation of the relationships you build with others.
Reflecting the speaker’s views from that Ted Talk, those who struggle to love themselves almost always struggle with other relationships in their lives.
With National Self-Love Day coming up on the 13th of February, I thought it would be a great opportunity to remind you to put yourself first. In this post, I’m going to do a quick dive into how you can build a better relationship with yourself and how this affects the relationships you build with others.
A healthy relationship with yourself is all about letting go
Michael once said that inner transformation is more about removal than addition. The obsession we have with adding glitter and shine to make us look and feel better is fleeting and is never a productive use of our time.
Loving yourself is about letting go of beliefs and ideas that keep you locked in self-defeating habits.
It’s not about judging yourself, but letting go of the burden of a cluttered mind, and rediscovering the love and wisdom you had within you all along.
As you let go, you begin connecting with your deepest, truest self. You become some sort of a Pinocchio, who became real and authentic after giving up his artificial self.
This is the process of how you find true happiness and meaning in your life. This is how you build a better relationship with yourself.
Loving yourself is a masterclass in loving others and how they love you
The way you treat yourself will always be reflected in the quality of your relationships. The people around us see how we treat ourselves to learn how they should do it in turn. Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for the other relationships you have.
So, unless the relationship you have with yourself is positive, you can’t expect to nurture fulfilling and beneficial relationships.
This is why [link to the article, 'Loving oneself and its importance in relationships'] self-love or self-esteem are fundamental elements of successful relationships—they’re not just part of a healthy identity. It contributes to the success of other relationships.
When you truly love yourself, including all imperfections, you simply become loving, kind, and compassionate. It becomes your nature, which spills into the other parts of your life. Naturally, it’s much easier to build healthy relationships with others.
Your authenticity will help you build trust with others. Your non-judgemental self will naturally become kinder and recognise the value in others. You learn to accept others as you do yourself, even with all imperfections.
Your sense of accountability will help you take ownership of your goals and commit to them. This commitment you make to yourself will extend to other relationships, and you will simply become better at building healthier relationships.
Practice self-love to build better, healthier relationships with others
The process of self-love is not an easy one, nor is it a fast one. Learning to love yourself takes time, commitment, and courage. Mindfulness can be useful, here.
As Michael explains, the purest form of mindfulness is heartfulness. This is because mindfulness connects you with yourself in more authentic ways. It gives you access to the deep longing you have to be loved and to love.
Practice mindfulness to develop [link to the article, 'Unlocking your potential with self-awareness and more mindful living'] self-awareness, to learn to love yourself and to build better and healthier relationships with the people around you.