HR isn't having lunch-and-learns about it. Your manager isn't telling you you need to skill up in self-love. Your director isn’t signing you up for the next self-love conference for your professional development day.
At first, I didn't realize I needed self-love at the office. I didn't even know it existed at the office. I figured it was what I worked on with my therapist or life-coach. It was the spa day I gifted myself on a special occasion. It was that article I flagged in Oprah's magazine.
The moment I tried it at the office everything changed. When I wasn’t giving myself self-love, I started feeling some pretty nasty symptoms...
I felt more jealousy. Jealous of my team members' resumes. Jealous of the attention new women at the office would get. Jealous of my coworker who got a promotion. Jealous of other women I worked with. Not only was I dissatisfied and disappointed in the way my work was going, I felt resentful of other women doing well. (With self-love, I feel more accepting, welcoming and sure of myself. I am more open to adventure, learning and defining my own success).
I felt lonely, even when I was surrounded by people who cared about me. I thought, ‘I should be happy,’ though I still felt an emptiness. (With self-love, I have deeper and more meaningful relationships. I feel connected and intentionally choose to be around people who value me and my time. My team engagement skyrocketed).
I began to get more and more busy, which eventually led to burnout and fatigue. I tried filling my time with more projects, more meetings, and more things to do in order to avoid feeling lonely or jealous...in order to 'prove' my value and worth to my superiors. (With self-love, I can simplify and prioritize my life better. I can say 'no' and be more discerning. I have an abundance of time and energy).
I found myself in a job I hated but somehow couldn’t leave. I dreaded going to work and would get in weekly fantasy arguments with my coworkers. I lost my passion and the desire to initiate ideas. (With self-love, I can insist on being respected and heard. I expect that my time and talent is valued. I actually looked forward to going to work).
All of this led to increased self-criticism. When I couldn’t keep my criticism focused inward any longer, I found it turned into criticism and judgment of others. I started seeing negativity everywhere and found it difficult to keep a positive outlook on anything. This is where it really got bad…
I stopped feeling joy. It became harder and harder to find time for self-care and being physically active. And, I got wrinkles. Yes. A lack of self-love gave me wrinkles – the ones between my eyebrows because I was frowning so much. I would get enraged when people started telling me to smile. Then there were the tension headaches that came along with clenching my jaw...not to mention the decline of my sex-life. This distracted me from being the most productive and I slowly slipped into depression. (With self-love, I smile more, let go of self-criticism, and delight in a lifestyle filled with celebration. I take pleasure in what I do).
I became less creative, less patient, and less able to empathize with others.
I became less decisive, because I didn’t know and couldn’t express what I want.
(With self-love, I'm bursting with innovation, clear about what I want, and take less sick time. I also use my vacation days - because I deserve them).
I was not able to express my appreciation to the people I worked with.
Days would fly by and I couldn’t tell you what I had done with them. Self-doubt became a regular roommate, as did self-sacrifice (because if I wasn’t good enough to love myself, then I might as well give myself away).
Without self-love, I was barely treading water.
The crazy thing is...
I THOUGHT THAT WAS NORMAL?!
With self-love, I realized how good I could actually feel.
Self-love is about treating yourself with the utmost (and nonnegotiable) care, love and dignity.
If I wanted to be treated as a valuable, equal member of a boardroom I must insist on that respect from myself first.
Self-love is for the boardroom if you’re tired of feeling like a mediocre team member.
Self-love is for the boardroom if you are ready to feel heard, influential, and 'good enough.'
Self-love is for the boardroom if you want unshakable confidence.
Self-love is for the boardroom if you are ready to renounce your loyalty to burnout, sacrifice, and self-criticism.
Self-love is for the boardroom because you deserve it and because other women are looking up to you as a role model.