INSIDE: Is Self-Love the new Self-Help? Why spending time on yourself can reveal your unique gifts and why it matters.
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Feeling Lost and a Bit Unsure
Whenever I am feeling lost or in need of direction I do one of three things: call my mom, drink wine with my girlfriends, or go to the library.
The library you may be thinking? Why not talking to your husband?
I have learned over the years, that it is best to come to a big conversation with my husband prepared- with complete thoughts and even a little research. So, yes… the library.
Most recently, I have been uncertain which direction I should travel with my professional pursuits. I feel like my world is my oyster, yet I don’t really know what that means.
So a trip to the library was in order! With three kids in tow, we made our rounds through the children’s department and finally ended up at the Self-Help shelves for me.
It’s my favorite section of the library. I love that these books might hold the newest approach to life or reveal the secret to finding happiness. Within seconds of scanning the titles, I instantly connected with a new book Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini.
I liked the title, mostly because I am pretty far from being a mean girl and thought the chuckle was worth the read, but also because of the tag line- The No-BS guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and becoming wildly WEALTHY, fabulously HEALTHY, and bustling with LOVE. That part was intriguing.
When we got home, I let the dirty dishes sit in the sink and allowed my kids to be on a screen a little longer than normal…and I read.
I read until my husband walked through the door and then realized that I never started dinner.
More Than a Catchy Book Title
From the first few lines, I was hooked. The author writes in a way that makes you feel like you two are friends that go way back!
She has an easy way of describing life and the complications that can come from listening to your mean girl.
Melissa describes your Mean Girl as this:
MEAN GIRL (noun)
That negative, fear-based voice inside your head saying you can’t do something. She is the reason you haven’t gone after your dreams. She’s the voice that says you’re not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, you will never meet the guy, get out of debt or heal. She is the doubt, the ego, the fear and justifier–everything negative that stops you from living the epic life you’ve always imagined. (melissaambrosini.com)
If I read nothing else, this was my aha moment. I was guilty of listening to my mean girl. Over and over and over again.
Why was I allowing her to define my life and hold me back from dreaming big? Why have I allowed her to tell me, repeatedly, that I will never measure up?
She is toxic.
That’s what my mean girl is to me. She is a toxic poison that infiltrates and spreads throughout my every thought and fiber of being.
A Big Risk
A few years back I took a big risk and started this blog. I didn’t have big dreams, I just wanted to write and share honesty with the world- or at least those that read it.
But I have learned that my mean girl is never far away. I know this because, every time I write something, I am hesitant to push “publish”. After spending hours on a post, carefully selecting every word, image, and trying to figure out what the hell SEO is so that people can find it, you’d think I couldn’t wait to publish a post.
I am afraid that I might offend someone or that I am sharing too much about myself or my family. I worry that nobody will read it and therefore it will have been a waste of time. I am afraid to put it out there.
Yet, I know that what I publish does reach people and touches them in an important way.
I don’t see it with comments, shares, and likes. I feel it in the private messages people send me, the texts I get from friends, or from someone I barely know coming up and feeling comfortable enough to strike up a conversation about something I wrote.
That is how I know that I have reached somebody on an emotional level.
After reading this book, I learned that it’s in the moment that I hit “publish” that I am silencing my mean girl.
You can learn to silence your inner mean girl, too because she doesn’t really want you
“to shine, to be happy, or to be present.” (Ambrosini pg. 91)
Your mean girl’s job is to plant seeds of doubt in your mind by keeping you afraid. It is from this place of fear that she can control you.
She makes you afraid to grow. Afraid to learn. Afraid to love. Afraid to try. Afraid to fail. Heck, she even makes you afraid to cut your hair or try on a one-piece romper!
But there is an antidote to her poison.
Self-Love is Not Selfish
It’s that simple. Self-love and acceptance of all your traits (good, bad, and quirky) are how you can quiet your mean girl.
It takes practice and time, but silence your inner critic and stop sabotaging yourself! That’s what she wants you to do. The earlier you learn her tricks the better off you’ll be in life and love.
Practicing Self-Love is not easy, but it is worth it. And more importantly. It’s necessary.
“…in order for you to be the best, happiest, shiniest version of yourself, you need to fill yourself up first so that you are overflowing and bursting with love.” (Ambrosini pg. 44)
We need to slow down and fill ourselves up so that we can be an example of love in this world after quieting our mean girls by drinking the antidote to her poison. Practicing Self-Love shows you and your loved ones that you value yourself, your thoughts, your body, and all that you are capable of.
Figuring out what to do next with my professional path is going to take time, but it’s worth it. I know that by doing this work on myself, for myself, I am practicing the greatest version of self-love.
In this work, I will rediscover the gifts I am meant to share with the world. Maybe it’s teaching full time again, maybe it’s growing this blog while writing a book, or simply not failing in the kitchen.
Simple Acts of Self-Love
Here are my top 10 ways to practice self-love TODAY!
- Keep a gratitude journal for all the things you are grateful for in your life.
- Use positive affirmations every day.
- Schedule time with yourself to do something you love weekly, if not daily.
- Don’t buy into your limiting beliefs, consciously choose positive thoughts.
- Free yourself from the burden of holding grudges or hatred.
- Do some physical activity to show yourself how strong you are.
- Ask your friends to tell you how they see you. Write their positive words down.
- Take a long walk, then look behind you and see how far you’ve come.
- Look at pictures of your life well lived, laugh and feel the love.
- Write down your dreams and the excellent traits you have to reach them.
I have learned that practicing self-love is self-help. And that self-help is self-love.
When I deny myself love, friendship, joy, or opportunities then I am listening to my inner mean girl and letting her run the show. Instead of believing that I am good enough, talented, beautiful, or capable- I let her tell me that I am not. That I am not enough.
Well, Mean Girl. Screw you.
I am enough.
And so are you. You are ENOUGH. You are AMAZING in every way. You are STRONG in mind, body, and spirit. You are WORTHY of all the love that surrounds you. INSPIRE greatness by taking the time to be your best self. That means spending a little time on yourself.
Can you do it? I believe in you beautiful.
I may not know what I want to do with the rest of my life yet, but I am ok with figuring that out now that I have some new tools.
Oh, and guess what I just did…?
I hit publish!
There are no happy accidents.
Buy the book here on Amazon!