11 Ways to First Love Yourself

By Naazish YarKhan

I’m folding laundry and picking stuff of the floor and my son, who was five at the time, thinks that should be my job rather than a family chore. After all, he reasons, I am home and don’t have a job that I drive to, while the rest of them are busy going to school or work, including him. Yeah, nice try, buddy.

So while I intend to make him tackle his list of chores, I do household work, which I hate and find mind-numbing. Amidst it, I find myself match making, answering emails, watching for emails that haven’t arrived, flipping through websites, shifting things from one corner to the next on the counter. In other words, I’m wasting time. 

In between wasting time, I chance upon a collection of my hand-written notes of advice gleaned from here, there and everywhere. Some writer called quotes the literary equivalent to popping some Vitamin C into your system.  

This list is my reminder when I fall off the horse: 

 1) First Love Yourself. Be actively kind to yourself, like you'd actively be kind to your children, like you'd actively serve your parents. As they say on airplanes, put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Martyrs get mean eventually. And no one loves someone mean. And that feeling of being unloved, only makes you want to be meaner. And it becomes a habit.

2) Every decision ever made has been destructive or constructive or it wasn’t really a decision at all. It was being passive. Making any decision is better than making no decision.

3) The more decisions you make, the more actions you take, the more motivated you feel and the more you do. Waiting for inspiration to act isn't what begets accomplishments.

4) Courage = Wisdom + Action. Motivation = Energy + Will

5) Every time you do ‘courage’, you get a reward – a boost of confidence. A feeling that you can tolerate risk or change or loss. That you can go out and make it happen. Courage is how you father/mother/parent yourself. ( My fav!)

6) You can never lose by making a decision, even if it goes wrong. From mistakes we grow, and the more decisions we make, the better we get at it. The cure for feeling trapped is making a decision.

7) To be able to stand up for oneself, we have to have an identity. So it’s a very good idea to give kids preferences and choices so that they can develop an identity. It's very nice to do the same for yourself, too. It'll help you define who you are, and influence what you want to do with your life and what you want from it.

8) Friendship is enjoying each others positive, emotional energy. Spend time IRL. It's like therapy only better because it's free! 

9) Assertiveness is mothering yourself, without forcing or manipulating others, to get your needs met. Find out what your needs are and find ways to meet those needs without necessarily depending on others to fill the voids for you.  

10) Courage is to face the fear of ridicule or failure. When we do courage or assertiveness, those are the loneliest times. You may be swimming against the tide, but that’s okay because it’s going to allow you to grow. It's called growing pains for a reason.

11) When we suffer over things we have no control over, that’s when our positive energy is being replaced by negative energy. So train yourself to listen to the word ‘no’ more often and train yourself to say the word ‘no’ more often too. This is my biggest reminder to myself. 

This is the list that helps me get back in the saddle. What do you say to keep your head in the game? What works for you? Would love your feedback.