How can you lead and live from your best self if you don’t love who you are?
Self-love is not selfish, it's a necessity. Without it, we make choices that keep us small and divided.
I spent a good part of my life not loving myself - and making the wrong choices for myself and the people around me. As leaders, it's our job to make great choices. We need self-love to do that.
Right now I am doing some very important work. It’s a 28-day Instagram challenge by writer and speaker Layla Saad on white privilege. Warning - this is a hard subject to dive into. If you feel uncomfortable already, take a deep breath and stay present to what I’m about to share. It’s coming from love
What is White Privilege?
White privilege is the special rights, status, immunities, and advantages that benefit people with white skin AND are not extended to Indigenous people and people of colour. White privilege is present in every system in our society - social, political, economic, higher education, careers, personal and professional relationships, health and wellness, and medical care. White privilege - it's wrong and harmful.
As a coach, I help people thrive. Through my discoveries on white privilege I see that if I truly want to help people thrive, I need to be a catalyst for dismantling inequality in our society. So that all people can be free.
It starts with me and my work. And, if you are a white person reading this, it starts with you too.
A big discovery I am having is that at the core of this work is self-love. Here's some things I have learned.
7 lessons on self love
1 - The opposite of love is judgment
Some say that the opposite of love is hate. I believe that the opposite of love is judgement. When we don’t love ourselves we seek external validation of our worth in the world. We do that by judging - others, our lives, ourselves - as better than or worse than us. If you want to stop judging, start loving yourself.
2 - Self love makes you open
In the challenge I have read comments from white people that are hateful, and ones that are open. One approach comes from judgment, the other from love. When you love yourself, you are open to receiving hard lessons, feedback, and seeing your own failures and limitations with love.
3 - To lack self love is dangerous
If the opposite of self love is judgement, when we judge we open the door to hate. Hate is dangerous. Practice self love so that you don’t allow hate into your heart and mind.
4 - Self love gives you time
The amount of time we spend stressed out could activate our collective vision and goals - if we placed our time there instead of on worrying, complaining, gossiping and indecision. What does stress take away from you? Your family, your health and life fulfillment?
When we love ourselves, we spend less time stressing and more time taking positive action. Even through hard, painful times, self love will give you time to focus on what really matters in those moments.
5 - Self love leads to strong decision making
When we lack self love, we make weak choices. Or, we don’t make choices at all. We oscillate between should’s and wants instead of doing. Self love shows you the right answer.
6 - Self love helps you learn
When we judge someone as better or worse than us, we shut down our capacity to learn from them. Self love reduces the chance you’ll be triggered by uncomfortable lessons and allows you to see the wisdom being offered to you.
7 - Self love is a daily practice
There are many things in our world that don’t want us to love ourselves. There are companies, organizations and institutions that thrive off us not loving ourselves, and worse still - oppression and inequality are able to thrive from our lack of self love.
Show up each day to practice self love. For all the reasons I’ve shared here.
My heart is raw right now sharing this. I hope my words reach you with the love and intention I am sending them.
Thanks so much for reading. Want to join me in the work to create an equal, just world for everyone? Join the challenge. It’s never too late to be a catalyst for love.