Before you can find a man to love & appreciate YOU, you must first love and appreciate yourself.
This is the first in a series of articles sharing my 5 Keys to Finding Hope and Finding Him. This was the topic of my free telecall this week and of my upcoming 8-part telecourse starting October 17.
That makes sense. Keep in mind that:
• The way you treat yourself is how others will treat you.
• What you expect from people is what you will receive.
This is especially true of how men look at women. When asked what qualities most attract them to women as partners (not just playmates), most men place confidence on the top of the list.
If you're going to make positive changes in the way you date and relate to men, your starting point is with you.
I want to be really clear: This isn't about remaking yourself or figuring out all the things you're doing wrong. It's somewhat the opposite of that. It's about falling in love with yourself. This means appreciating yourself, showing yourself some kindness (like you do to everyone else), and being willing to do some honest self-reflection.
To help you, I want to share an exercise I guide my coaching and telecourse clients though to help them get better acquainted with themselves. It's my "Who Am I" exercise. I can't give you all the steps in this short time, but here is the first:
Ask yourself: What do I love about myself? That's it!
Ask that out loud and then check in with yourself: How does it make you feel to even ask that question? Do you feel uncomfortable or selfish even thinking about describing what you love about yourself? If so, you're not alone. This is difficult for most women. After squirming a bit, they may come up with a few standard things and then run into a brink wall. I often support women through several rounds of this exercise before they really get it. And when they do, it's glorious.
Most of us have been trained to some degree that thinking of ourselves in this way is conceited or unladylike. It's something the vast majority of us have never done except maybe in the context of a job application. (And those are all of our masculine qualities.) Most women have never even attempted to take a good look at themselves this way.
Well…it's time you do. When you are in touch with you fabulousness – when you can actually articulate what it is that makes you a good friend, good mother, good daughter and good partner – it allows you to believe that it's real. And that belief – that you are deserving – is essential to being able to date with courage and confidence, maintain your self-esteem and, ultimately, make choices that are good for you and will truly make you happy.
Here is an important tip: It doesn't have to be that you can cure cancer, that you're a CEO or that you can speak five languages. Attributes like being a good friend, being loyal, being able to gracefully handle life's ups and downs, raising happy children…these are all things to absolutely love about yourself.
Think about what you want in a man: Loving kindness, commitment, humor, intelligence. Those are probably things you possess in some form, right? These things count BIG TIME!
Start by asking yourself the question, and then continue to explore what you love about yourself by asking friends and family.
If you want to attract a special man into your life – one who is kind, respectful, loving and affectionate – you have to start with yourself.
And if you want to know how this actually works, here's a letter I got from Debbie, one of my 1-1 coaching clients. She's 53, and here's what she said:
I truly believe I'm in love for the very first time. I guess you were right - I was ready for a great guy in my life. I even told him this morning that I wouldn't have been ready for him right now if I hadn't done the work necessary to figure out who I was and what I truly deserved. I have discussed you with him and he is so supportive. He has done some work on himself over the years so appreciates that I have worked on the things necessary to be in a great relationship and recognize it. Who would have thought? Haha!!
This is YOUR time, and here's where you start. The #1 Step – the thing you must accomplish – is M for Me First: Falling in Love with Yourself. When you can approach men with confidence and know that you're deserving, that's what attracts the kind, mature and relationship-minded men.