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Self-Love is Misunderstood

If you are seeking happiness through "self-love" alone, you might be disappointed. Self-love is a new, trendy phrase that typically has to do with self-worth, self-esteem, compassion for self, fulfillment, confidence, and happiness, and I agree that each one is important. However, when "self-love" becomes all about "ME," happiness will be stifled. If you want more love, then GIVE IT AWAY. Happy people seem to be those who recognize their greatness and understand that sharing it by lifting others is a sign of TRUE GREATNESS and a source of TRUE HAPPINESS!

Self-love involves being honest with yourself and others. Sometimes we give, give, give, and give, and we get to the end of our rope, and we're tired. So, part of self-love is not allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. It's knowing when to say "no" because you have respect for yourself and your own dignity. Watch the video.

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Listen with your heart and not your mind. I have a quick thought for you, and it might come across as a little insensitive, and I don't mean it that way. It's a concept that I've seen over my 20-year career in the personal development world of writing books, training, speaking, and so forth. I've noticed in the last 12 months that the term "Self-Love" has become part of the mainstream self-help conversation.

When I hear the term "self-love," there's something in me that just doesn't feel right about that TERM. It's similar to when someone says, "Fake it till you make it." I'd rather you say, for example, "Act as if" because you shouldn't be faking anything, right? "Let's be real, or let's not play!"

So, my thought on "self-love" is this: I'm noticing a lot of thought leaders and others who are using that term "self-love" in the context that if you want more happiness and fulfillment in your life, you are missing "self-love." And I disagree! That's not what you're missing! What you're missing is often the opposite. Truly loving people, OTHERS, serving them with a spirit of generosity, is where the real power is—when we're looking for long-term happiness.

Not to be too religious, but in the Holy Bible, it says men and women will one day become "lovers of themselves." Time Magazine came out a couple of years ago with an article titled "Me, Me, Me Generation," pointing out that the focus is on "me!" Yet at the same time, depression is skyrocketing, marriages are falling apart. People are disenchanted with their lives and dreams.

The truth is - and it applies to leadership and relationships in general, "When you lose your life in the service of others, then you will find it."

I suggest replacing self-love with "self-respect," "self-kindness," "self-compassion," and "self-acceptance." Someone who has these attributes does not let someone take advantage of them. They are confident and take on life's challenges with courage and resiliency.

Serving something with purpose... a mission or a cause bigger than yourself. This is where the real power is. keep your values in check, keep your focus in the right place, and on the right things, have integrity, and serve others with a smile. Look to see how you can lift the lives or even simply create a smile in someone else's life. You do this, and you will come to love and respect yourself to a greater degree.

Go out there and "Unleash Your Greatness Within!" Better yet, help someone else unleash their greatness within.

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