Self-love is something I knew I probably was missing to some degree for a while. I often found myself obsessed with getting approval, positive reinforcement, praise, or love from others, and this never felt satisfactory enough. Deep down, I sensed I wasn’t giving myself what I was looking for. I’ve come to realize that coaching can be the key to getting to that place. Step by step, with the right coach, you can receive the unconditional regard that activates a mirroring loving effect on yourself. When you achieve that, you become equipped to love others more authentically and peacefully. That is why I chose to talk about this topic today. In my practice, I have chosen to love each one of my clients so they can learn to love themselves harder and better. That is my contribution to making the world a better place.

How is your relationship with yourself these days?

Self-love is a term that often evokes images of spa days, self-indulgence, and positive affirmations. However, the true essence of self-love goes far deeper. It involves a profound acceptance and appreciation of oneself, including all the flaws and imperfections. As a coach, I’ve seen countless clients embark on this unplanned journey, learning to love themselves harder through the transformative power of coaching.

The Challenge of Self-Love for High Performers

Many high-performing individuals struggle with self-love. They have achieved success by being their own harshest critics, pushing themselves to the brink, and setting extraordinarily high standards. This relentless pursuit of perfection might yield impressive results, but it often comes at the cost of self-compassion and inner peace. Sylvia Rohde-Liebenau captures this dynamic eloquently in her 2023 LinkedIn article, stating that high achievers often lack self-love because they are driven by an inner critic and “headmaster” that demand perfection and discipline.

The Role of Coaching in Cultivating Self-Love

Coaching can play a pivotal role in helping individuals cultivate self-love. By providing a supportive and non-judgmental space, coaches guide clients in recognizing and appreciating their intrinsic worth. This process is not about achieving more but about accepting oneself fully and unconditionally.

Brooke Castillo, in her Life Coach School podcast, emphasizes that self-appreciation is crucial for personal growth. She argues that just as money appreciates when invested wisely, so do individuals when they invest in self-appreciation (Castillo, 2015). This investment involves acknowledging one’s strengths and achievements, no matter how small, and celebrating them.

Practical Steps to Foster Self-Love

Here are three practical steps to start your journey towards self-love, inspired by insights from coaching:

  1. Observation: Spend a week consciously listening to your inner critic and headmaster. What do they say? How do their messages impact your energy and emotions? At the end of each day, jot down your observations. Awareness is the first step towards change.
  2. Replacing Negative Self-Talk: Practice replacing negative messages with compassionate and kind ones. When mistakes occur, shift your focus from criticism to learning and growth. This daily intention helps break old patterns and fosters a more supportive inner dialogue. Learn to talk to yourself kindly, that is extremely powerful.
  3. Self-Appreciation: Take ten minutes each day to list things you appreciate about yourself. This practice might feel uncomfortable initially, but it’s essential for building self-worth. Remember, self-appreciation is not arrogance; it’s recognizing your value without comparing yourself to others.

Learning to Like Yourself

Another aspect of self-love is learning to like yourself. Indeed many people seek external validation to feel accepted and loved, but true likability comes from within. Self-liking is so important: when you genuinely like yourself, you exude confidence and authenticity, making you naturally attractive to others (Castillo, 2014).

The Impact of Self-Love on Leadership

For leaders, self-love is not just a personal benefit but a professional necessity. Leaders who practice self-love are more resilient, empathetic, and effective. They model a healthy work-life balance and foster a positive, supportive culture within their teams.

In fact, Rohde-Liebenau (2023) notes that leaders who lack self-love often struggle with burnout and are perceived as robotic rather than inspirational. By embracing self-love, leaders can transform their approach, becoming visionaries who inspire through authenticity and compassion.

Embracing Your Inner Child

A powerful exercise in self-love involves reconnecting with your inner child. An interesting activity can be to look at a childhood picture of yourself and offering that child unconditional love. This practice helps you remember that your essence remains unchanged and deserving of love and compassion.

Conclusion: The Ongoing Journey

Self-love is not a destination but an ongoing journey. It requires continuous effort, self-reflection, and the willingness to embrace imperfections. Coaching can be a valuable companion on this journey, offering guidance, support, and tools to help you cultivate a deeper sense of self-love.

Remember, self-love is the foundation for not only personal happiness but also the ability to truly love and lead others. By investing in yourself, you grow in value and appreciation, becoming the best version of yourself.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Sophie

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Inspired by:

Castillo, B. (2014, November 13). Being More Likeable [Podcast Episode 31]. The Life Coach School. https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/31/

Castillo, B. (2015, January 1). Self-Appreciation [Podcast Episode 38]. The Life Coach School. https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/38/

Rohde-Liebenau, S. (2023, March 16). Do you Love Yourself? ADAPTAA. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-you-love-yourself-adaptaa-ltd/

Embracing Change: How to Dream Big and Achieve Your Goals

Embracing Change: How to Dream Big and Achieve Your Goals

"I have (had) a dream" Today I am delivering a workshop on positive psychology and life coaching to engineering students at the University of Cambridge, UK. To some extent: (part of) my dream (has) come true. And yet getting there and speaking in my new professional...