One of my clients who is also my Facebook friend, during a meeting with me this week in Abu Dhabi smilingly commented, “Aap apne aap se naa, bahut pyar karte hain!” (You love yourself a lot!).
My immediate reaction was to defend myself saying that to remain motivated to do new things, I need to do that. And, though seeking approval from elsewhere strengthens me, but its absence does not demotivate, if I love myself!
And then he said, “Aapki yehi baat toh mujhe pasand hai!” (In fact, I like this very thing in you).
Oh, so that was a compliment! So why did I start defending myself earlier? Seeking the answer triggered a chain of thoughts leading to revelation of some reasons why we should love ourselves.
In our society, though the WhatsApp messages and general gyan might encourage you to motivate yourself, love yourself, think big, etc. etc., but when we see anyone talking too much about themselves, our reaction is not always supportive. Especially if this display of self-love is from a peer, a colleague or a junior.
Lets have a look at the kinds of love more or less approved in our society today. In order of preference in descending order, they could be:
· Love towards humanity, world, God, nation, etc.
· Love towards poor, under-privileged, other living beings, etc.
· Love for family
· Love for the spouse/lover
So if you see, loving yourself occupies the lowest status amongst all types of love. It is not accepted favorably by many and sometimes even treated as unhealthy vanity and self-obsession that is focused on personal fame, gain and fortune.
But I think, by virtue of being at the bottom of the list, it becomes the foundation of all other kinds of love. If you don’t love yourself you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to graduate to other ‘higher’ kinds of love is to find that unconditional love for yourself. What it means is, accepting yourself the way you are. And not just accepting yourself, but pampering yourself, appreciating yourself, understanding your mistakes and developing the ability to laugh at them (with an intention to correct them).
I have found that sometimes writing notes, keeping diaries, writing blogs, posting on Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn contribute a lot to ‘loving thyself’ syndrome. Appreciation is a kind of oxygen everyone needs daily. In fact, it is needed every moment. It leads us to have better goals in life, helps visualize bigger things to achieve, and enhances our potential capabilities. Now the world unfortunately does not have so much time to appreciate you, it is busy with its own problems. So no one is better than yourself to ensure that much needed continuous, non-stop motivation. And believe me, people don’t care too much even if you indulge in self-appreciation. If they get concerned, then that concern usually is more to do with their own inability to appreciate themselves.
If you write and publicize good things about yourself, you get auto-assigned a tough task to maintain that image. Also these very posts come to your rescue during tough times and you can always go back and read them to get inspired. But more than that, the focus on positivity is what forms the basis of the strong argument in favor of loving yourself.
So, self-love (in right dose) is highly recommended by success-physicians! Love yourself with full freedom, why seek motivation elsewhere?
Amitabh Saxena is Chief Consultant with Anexas (www.anxas.net, www.leansixsigma.co.in) a leading process excellence, lean and six sigma consulting and certification company with presence in many countries. In his career spanning 26 years, he has trained more than 25,000 professionals and consulted for many leading organizations worldwide.