Self Love: How to Stop Being so Hard on Yourself & Leverage Unconditional Recognition


Have you ever found yourself:

  • Prioritizing someone else over time you set aside for yourself
  • Giving yourself a negative label (e.g., “Control Freak” “Bossy”)
  • Saying meaner things to yourself than you’d ever say to someone else
  • Breaking promises to yourself

I get it. I have. In fact, I grew up believing that this was what being an adult was all about. “Responsible people” put kids, the job, laundry, mortgage, inbox before everything else (fun is for Sunday nights between 8 and 10 pm, vacations once every five years, retirement…)

Here was my “this is 40” realization: The more we deny our own greatness, shirk off compliments from others, hold ourselves in lower regard than others, and are uncompassion with ourselves, the more we form confidence deconstructing habits.

Does this resonate with you?

If you are only good enough when ____, if____, or because____ recognition of self is conditional.

  1. Recognition conditional based on ‘when’ may lead us to appreciate some time in the future (versus being curious what is working in the present)
  2. Recognition conditional upon ‘if’ is conditional in meeting a goal (versus the progress toward it or being compassionate if we regress back)
  3. Recognition conditional to ‘because is often based upon external validation (versus based on what we most want and need)

Anytime recognition is conditional, we get caught up in binary thinking; I am either worthy or I’m not; I am either good enough or not good enough; I am either winning or losing. Maybe it’s a continuum rather than good enough being a bar so high that it’s almost impossible to reach and if you do, the fall is that much more painful when we slip. We are human after all.

Self Love Exercise

  1. List what it means to love someone (your partner, child, BFF)
  2. Circle which ones you do for yourself
  3. Decide from this list which one self-love strategy will help you with the current challenge
  4. Complete this sentence: “I used to ____. I am in the process of ____

Let us know your thoughts or experiences on this topic in the comments below!