This February, Fall in Love with You

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It is amazing to me how much baggage each of us carries around (myself included). As an image consultant, I work with remarkably talented and successful people on a daily basis. I am, quite honestly, astounded at times when some of them seek my services because they seem so put together. What I have found is that many of us have the same underlying insecurities, holding on to the stings of the past and letting them control our present. The one downside of being thoughtful and remembering beings, I suppose. I don’t claim to have all of the answers to self-love — it is something that I work at each and every day, too. What I am sure of is that no amount of thinking, worrying or reliving will change the past. Instead of spending time looking in the review mirror, it benefits each of us to appreciate where we are in the present. Doing so allows us to accept history for what it is — simply previous chapters in the book of our lives. The best part of being present focused is that you have the opportunity to intentionally write the rest of your book, one day, one moment, one decision and one interaction at a time. We are habit-driven creatures and change is not always an easy or pleasant experience. As great as it would be to simply decide to make a commitment to love yourself and others, it’s easy to slip into what feels “natural.” What are the habits that you would like to change most? Pick a few, write them down and immediately begin working on them. The most important part is to write down your “why”— why it matters to you to make the change and how it is going to help you become the person you are meant to be. Look at your list several times a day and make sure that each decision you make is made with your list in mind. I once heard Bob Proctor say that the idea of commitment is easy — it’s the living it that is hard. When you keep your commitments to yourself close and top of mind you will most assuredly make the living it part much easier. Speaking of writing things down — how about writing down one thing you love about yourself each and every day for 30 days? Sounds easy, but we are often more inclined to see what we appreciate in others more than we do ourselves. You don’t have to share this with anyone else, but it is important to celebrate the attributes that make you uniquely you. You surely have more than 30 qualities that are worthy of your love, but refresh your memory by documenting meaningful ones on a daily basis. It will increase your self-confidence and give you something to look at on those inevitable dumpy days that are part of the human condition. Finally, the most difficult exercise of all … compliment yourself aloud when you look in the mirror. You may want to refrain from this in the public restroom, but commit to doing this when you’re at home, in your car or any other place that you find yourself alone with your reflection. It will feel uncomfortable — it’s astonishing how readily and easily we give compliments to complete strangers but turn our eyes away in shyness, embarrassment or shame from ourselves. In order to be the person you envision yourself being you must come to love the person you are —warts, wrinkles, rolls and all. I hope you join me in my quest to fall in love with myself the way my children are — unconditionally, excitedly and fiercely. It is the greatest gift we can give to the world to truly and without shame rise to the potential that we have been blessed with. In the words of Marianne Williamson “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” It all begins with love.
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Shelley Davis Mielock

Shelley Davis Mielock is a certified business image coach and the founder of Mieshel Image Consulting, a Lansing-based firm that specializes in image development for individuals and businesses. She is also a co-host of In Her Shoes, a a weekly women’s talk radio show. To ask Shelley an image question, please e-mail her.