Confidence Hack #5: Self-Care for Your I-ness
We often tend to forget that healthy self-esteem starts with the “self,” with focusing on ourselves, with making the man in the mirror happy first, with enabling them to move forward, to develop, to achieve. After all, we are the most important person in our lives— without this person, our universe will not exist.
So, we shouldn’t ever feel ashamed or guilty to carve out more “me-time”— to take a better care of ourselves and to do the things that make our lives worthy and full of purpose again.
Sometimes, we are so focused on the other people in our lives, on our responsibilities and problems, that we forget how to make ourselves happy. And failing to do so not only leaves us miserable, but it reflects in our actions, words, performance. We simply can’t give or be our best.
Our self-esteem shatters and the dreams of a “better me” become a distant wish for “in another life.”
Self-care has created quite the online buzz lately—so much, that it can genuinely compete with incumbents like “happiness,” “motivation,” or “mindfulness.” However, we often tend to misinterpret what it really means to take care of the self.
True, the end game is to feel good in our own skin and to be happy. Also true is that pampering ourselves once in a while or splurging can put us in a sunshine mood. But the thing is—how long does this usually last?
Many perhaps have heard of the “hedonic treadmill”—the idea that we all have a base level of happiness to which we always return after very positive or negative life events. So, spending a fortune on a designer purse, for instance, in a hope to make ourselves happy and get a confidence boost, doesn’t quite work. The effects wear off quickly and soon we are after the next high.
This is artificial self-care. True self-care is when we find ways to make fulfilment and feeling good last a really long long time.
So, what’s self-care really about?
It’s about nurturing self-love. The best gift we can give to ourselves is learning an unconditional self-acceptance. It’s about all the other things I previously mentioned –leaning how to dampen our self-doubts and to cultivate beliefs in ourselves. It’s self-discovery and self-appreciation—of the things that make us (not others) happy, about our passions and strengths, our weak links that we want to improve. Simply put, it’s about celebrating what makes us…us.
But self-care doesn’t have to be about grandiose and flashy manifestations. It’s the simple things really—as finding some time to read a book, or going to yoga, or getting an extra hour of sleep even. It’s the feeling that we are doing something for ourselves that counts, and that we are fulfilling our own wishes and expectations.
A couple extra things we can easily introduce into our days: start using more “I”s or “active” voice (I want, I don’t, I like). It springs us to action and makes us become more accountable for the things we commit to do. We also should consciously recognise where we stand on various topics—even on how we like to wear our hair, or why we wear all black today (even if the answer is : Just because I like it this way). It’s part of gaining self-awareness, but also—of self-assertion and confidence.
So, self-care is all about celebrating ourselves.
Or, as the saying goes:
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.”