What is the secret to attracting real love? How do you create an amazing, vibrant love that lasts? Is true love only for the lucky?
As a love and relationship expert and psychotherapist, I get a lot of questions about, you guessed it, L-O-V-E. I am so excited Real Love Revolution season is in full swing, because 2020 certainly presented new challenges when it comes to relationships, dating, sex, boundaries, and communication.
We could ALL use some more love in our lives right about now, don’t you think?
So, I wanted to give you my 2-cents on some of the most powerful things you can do to shift your mindset and your behaviors in order to attract and create real, healthy love.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing what you can do to make 2021 your year of extraordinary love! If you’re struggling in this department, I hope these tips will empower you to take mindful action in your love life (whether you’re single or in a relationship).
‘Cause, it all starts with YOU, baby!
Connect the Dots.
The truth is, the most important relationship you will ever have in your life is with yourself, so if real love is what you’re seeking, it is essential for you to connect the dots between how YOU feel about yourself and how that affects how others feel about you.
Take some time and space to think through these questions:
- Do you believe that you are worthy of your own time, consideration, and cash? Is it easy for you to take time for yourself, to be kind to yourself, and to spend money on yourself?
- Do you ever dress up or treat yourself to a nice meal for no reason? Just because it makes you feel good?
- Do you treat yourself with the same amount of love, care, and respect that you do to the other people in your life?
I encourage you to really sit with these questions, because your first reaction might be, “Of course I love myself!”, but part of this process is to bring new awareness to your inner voice, your inner dialogue.
With that in mind, here are a few more questions to think about:
- What kind of language does your inner voice use?
- When you make a mistake, what kinds of things does your inner voice say?
- Is the tone kind or caustic?
- Are the things your inner voice says to you things you would ever say to the people you love?
From a therapeutic and psychological perspective, legitimate, real self-love is the gateway to any other kind of healthy love. So what does self-love really look like? It’s not a feeling as much as a way of life.
Self-love is making daily, mindful choices to exercise self-respect, hold yourself in high esteem, and take actions to nurture and care for yourself.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum of self-love here, you will inevitably attract people who believe your self-assessment. Now is the time to start thinking about your relationship with yourself as THE relationship that sets the bar for every other relationship in your life.
Can you see how that one shift in perspective can make a big difference?
The way you treat yourself on a day-to-day basis IS the basis for how others will treat you. Do you overwork? Do you rest when you need it? Do you overgive and overcommit? If you’re nodding your head yes, I want you to see the connection between what you’re doing and what you’re attracting and creating in your love life.
Your behavior is a precursor to attracting people who expect you to continue to do, well…what you’ve already been doing.
So if you’re seeking a higher level of love and if what you’ve been doing is not working, I invite you to open your mind and your heart to doing something different.
That starts with changing your perspective and shifting the way you see yourself.
If you’ve been outwardly focused for a long time, here is your opportunity to power pivot by putting the focus back on your relationship with you. As a recovering codependent, empath, and highly-sensitive person…I get it.
We can become habituated in our people-pleasing, overfunctioning, and self-sacrificing behavior. It might feel uncomfortable (or selfish) to move your focus from others to yourself but you can do this, and with practice, it gets easier, I promise you.
Steps to Loving YOU First
- Treat yourself mindfully, compassionately, and with kindness every, single day.
- Care for yourself like someone’s who’s worthy of your time and your attention (because you ARE!!!!)
- Check in with yourself and your body throughout the day and learn how to prioritize meeting your basic needs.
- Ask yourself: “What do I need right now?” and “What would make me feel good at this moment?”
- Take 5 minutes a day to journal and check-in with how you’re feeling and write out what’s on your mind.
- Prioritize your own pleasure and joy.
I have more self-love ideas inside this week’s downloadable guide for you that you can grab that right here.
If you are at a pivot point in your life where your desire is to create deeper, more satisfying relationships and to attract REAL, lasting love, you’ve got to establish that for yourself FIRST.
Who’s in your VIP section?
Once you’ve reviewed your relationship with yourself, it’s time to take an inventory of who else is in your life.
- Who do you spend the most time with?
- After you spend time with the people in your life, how do you feel?
- Are there relationships you’re holding onto that are past their expiration date?
- Are there people in the front row of your life that perhaps should not be?
- If so, why are you allowing them to be there? (ie. loyalty, feelings of obligation, fear of confrontation, fear of rejection)
You get to decide who you spend your precious time and energy with! It’s time to become the boss of your own life and the bouncer of your VIP section.
Your Self-Love Blueprint
It’s so important to take a look at your history and how it might still be impacting the kind of relationship you have with yourself today.
Here are some questions to help you decode the past:
- Who were your role models growing up and what did they show you about self-care?
- Did your parental impactor (or your primary caregiver) take time out for themselves?
- Did you witness them taking good care of themselves, prioritizing their health, and/or drawing effective boundaries?
- Did you experience or internalize any limiting beliefs around self-care (such as it’s selfish or overly indulgent)?
Uncovering the modeled behavior you saw growing up is definitely a part of the self-love puzzle. So many of us were raised to think self-care or taking time for yourself is selfish.
The reality is the better care we take of ourselves the more we have to generously give to others in our life (without being bitter or resentful).
Only you have the power to up the level and quality of love in your life… but it all begins and ends with your relationship with yourself. Learning how to set healthy boundaries, speaking truthfully, exercising your right to decide who’s in your VIP section, and having a dedicated practice of self-care are all radical acts of self-love.
I hope that this added value to your life because I want 2021 to be your year of Epic, Extraordinary, Super Satisfying LOVE!
I hope to see you so soon and as, always take care of you.
Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.