It inspires visions of sickeningly self-satisfied new-age Californian wannabe-gurus (or worse, mid-western hypocritical Jimmy Baker/Billy Graham types) morally and physically contorted into ugly positions of evangelical self-gratification.
We Aussies tend to think of self-love as, well, wanky.
That said, I’ve recently had cause to ponder the broader implications of it. I received some negative feedback at work which forced me to reflect on my current prevailing mood. While not currently depressed, I have had a general air of agitated discontent. Every staff failure became an opportunity to punish them for grave stupidity rather than a development opportunity through which to up-skill them, or practice my mentoring. I wish I could claim to have had the self-awareness to identify the impact of morale-deflating neo-aggressive mood and head-it-off-at-the-pass myself. Alas, I did not.
Once made aware of my budding (or is that bludgeoning?) iron-fist and intergalactic-death-stare, I began reflecting on the germination factors of same.
Brutal self-reflection and assessment brought to my attention the petri-dish of emotions that lead to the my hard-headedness.
In short, it didn’t take a Conan Doyle character to deduce the underlying cause-and-effect. I have been feeling unappreciated, and punishing those around me for it.
It’s not all that surprising that I’ve been feeling unappreciated. As a single-mum who works full-time in a demanding executive role, life’s pressures can sometimes feel like a tsunami gathering momentum. Sometimes I feel as though I tirelessly slog-on, addressing everyone else’s needs but ignoring my own.
Never one for the damsel-in-distress-awaiting-rescue-routine, I decided that if I needed something done -I should roll up my sleeves and get busy… Rather than rely on external validation to stroke my ego, I decided to come up with my own action plan. (Shut up – I’m in governance – it’s what I do!). After all, who better to appreciate me, than someone who knows just how much I do around here?!
I asked myself:
- How will you value yourself?
- What will you do to demonstrate to yourself that you appreciate yourself?
And I came up with the following plan:
The only criteria were that it had to be for me, and it had to show how much I value myself.
So far I’ve treated myself to a couple of beauty treatments, had my CV professionally written, bought a couple of new blouses for work, and purchased an audiobook for my ipod.
I gave up my daily store-bought coffees (x2) resulting in a $50 a week saving.**
(** I had no idea I was wasting so much precious money!)
While it’s early days, I must say – it’s made quite an impact already. My mood is improving, which has alleviated the stress on others, and I’m no longer feeling as put-out and put-upon by the demands of my family and staff, because I am respecting my own worth and demonstrating my own appreciation of my value.
We often hear of, (and can well appreciate), the criticality of carers needing to care for themselves in order to be able to provide care for their dependants.
So, as a parent, spouse, partner, lover, professional, family member, friend, community member – what do YOU do to energise and appreciate yourself?