10 Biggest Self-Love Saboteurs (And How To Overcome Them)

10 Biggest Self-Love Saboteurs (And How To Overcome Them)

Love is an important contributor to health and wellbeing, to happiness and even longevity.

In fact, it may well be THE MOST IMPORTANT contributing factor.

And I’m not just talking about “intimate” love, the love we have for our husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends and partners. I’m talking about ALL types of love, including that which we have for our children, extended family, friends and even colleagues.

But for many of us, loving isn’t always easy; and there are ways in which many of us undermine our own ability to love and be loved.

But this great article by Noma Nazish, on the Forbes website, could help many love better …

With Valentine’s Day upon us, many of us are busy planning how best to express our love to that special someone. But how about taking a few moments to show some love and appreciation for ourselves too? 

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, cultivating self-love is crucial as your relationship with yourself sets the tone for the relationships you have with everyone and everything else around you. “Self-love is imperative as it essentially helps you move towards choices that center your own health and happiness,” says Dr. Colleen Reichmann, a Philadelphia-based licensed clinical psychologist and co-author of The Inside Scoop on Eating Disorder Recovery.

“We actually have research that demonstrates that those with higher levels of self-love are more likely to make healthier choices in life like prioritizing self-care, nurturing positive relationships and tending to basic needs such as sleep, eating and hygiene,” says Dr. Reichmann. In addition, it helps you better love and support others as well. 

However, practicing self-love isn’t always easy. There’s more to it than an indulgent spa day and bubble baths. And it doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. “For a lot of us, it’s easier to be kinder to others than ourselves,” says Dr. Beth Pausic, a licensed psychologist and director of behavioral health at Hims & Hers. From what I’ve learned (and continue to learn) from personal experience, it’s a complex,  conscious and dynamic life-long journey instead of a simple linear process. Which means there will be plenty of trials and errors and highs and lows along the road.

Here, six mental health experts reveal the biggest obstacles to self-compassion and how you can overcome them to live your happiest, healthiest life:

#1 People-Pleasing:

Not only are they exhausting and impossible to sustain, but chronic people-pleasing and consequent over-extending also create a lot of stress and anxiety. “This can be over meeting these pseudo-obligations as well as over not meeting real obligations,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York-based licensed neuropsychologist and professor of psychology at Columbia University. “It also makes one feel that the only reason people like us is because we always say ‘yes’,” adds the neuropsychologist. 

Also, some people are takers. They will keep taking and taking some more. “When our giving is not reciprocated, we tend to feel drained, unappreciated or used—all of which can evolve into more extreme emotions such as resent and depression,” says Jenna Banks, author of I Love Me More: How to Find Happiness and Success through Self-Love and host of The Jenna Banks Show. This is why it’s imperative to put ourselves first by prioritizing and honoring your own needs and feelings. 

“When we say no to the things we don’t wish to do, we value our time and attention. And by prioritizing ourselves, we also teach others how we expect them to treat us,” adds Banks. 

Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is the most crucial step for preventing overcommitting and people-pleasing. Get in the habit of saying ‘no’ to things you don’t have time for or just don’t want to do. “Remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you have to,” Dr. Gallagher points out. “Do an honest assessment of the time you have to give to something and try to resist doing things out of a sense of obligation,” she advises. 

Start small by making a list of the most common lines people cross with you. Then make an affirmation that you want to change it. “This is is important as you’ll never be able to assert your boundaries unless you’re convinced about establishing and maintaining them yourself,” says Dr. Hafeez.  The next step is to work on a script to help you ease into the habit. “Maybe instead of an abrupt ‘no’ consider a short add-on such as ‘work is too busy’, ‘I would like to have some downtime’, or ‘I wish I could help, but I’m trying to finish some projects’,” suggests Dr. Hafeez.

At first, you might get some pushback but that doesn’t mean setting the boundary was wrong. “Just like when you set a boundary with a child, you’ll get pushback initially as people who have been taking advantage of your lack of boundaries might not like that you are setting them,” says Dr. Gallagher. 

Initially, it might also be difficult to know how to protect our boundaries because we tend to default to our conditioned behaviors. “A good place to find instances when your boundaries were compromised is to reflect on moments in which an interaction with someone left you feeling bad,” suggests Banks. Perhaps you felt a bit icky, disempowered or defeated. Recall the interaction and try to determine if you let a boundary get crossed. “Think through how you could have handled that situation differently. Go through this process each time until you are able to recognize that feeling of discomfort in the moment. Then take action as the boundary-crossing is happening,” Banks advises. 

A key thing to remember as you go through this process is that you can’t worry about what the other person will think of you or how they will feel. The focus must remain on how you feel. As the famous author, Melody Beattie aptly said, “we cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another person’s feelings.”

… keep reading the full & original article HERE