Before I met this week’s guest, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what self-love is. But as is true with nearly everything, turns out my definition and understanding of it only scratches the surface.
Dr. Shainna Ali is a mental health clinician, educator, and advocate who is dedicated to highlighting the important role of mental health in fostering happiness, fulfillment and overall wellness. She is the author of The Self-Love Workbook, a 180-page deep dive into teaching readers to see and feel the connection between self-worth and happiness.
Self-worth and happiness are so interconnected.
You’re going to hear the words self-love over and over again in this interview ahead, but I encourage you to think of it less like a feeling and more like a fuel.
The way we encourage ourselves, take our flaws and missteps in stride, and appreciate how we’ve grown become the well from which we draw our energy, our creativity and our resilience.
If our inner world is filled with negative self-talk, unhealthy concepts and limiting beliefs, we won’t have much of a well to draw from when we set out to achieve goals and live more fully.
We need self-love. In fact, I believe we need it more than intelligence, experience, opportunity and ideal circumstances. Because when we have it, we can weather and leverage whatever life throws at us.
If you’ve heard of self-love and thought ya, ya, no big deal, I encourage you to listen to this conversation with fresh ears. Because it is a big deal. It could be the biggest determinant of not only what you create in life but how much you enjoy your life.
Here are a few of my favorite thoughts from today’s conversation:
- I love Shainna’s definition of self-love (“the active practice of accepting, caring for and encouraging oneself”) but I also love that she encourages everyone to come up with their own definition. What’s yours?
- It’s important to remember that self-love is a continual, lifelong process, a practice that we keep giving our attention and intention to.
- If it feels like self-indulgence, selfishness and narcissism, take some time to consider why you relate to self-love this way. Chances are it wasn’t modeled in a healthy way. It rarely is.
- Give some thought to your personal coping strategies. For me, a walk outside or talking things over with a friend or my husband always, always rights my ship. Create a list of your best coping tools and consider creating a coping kit so that whenever you hit an inevitable bump in the road, you have healthy tools at the ready.
- You’ve probably heard me say this before, but journaling is such a great way to create clarity out of a mind filled with jumbled thoughts. When you take the time to clarify your thoughts on paper, it’s as though a fog lifts.
- While self-love is about gracefully accepting who we are, it’s also about getting better. Humbly honor how far you’ve come but also see how much more you are capable of growing and learning.
- Nix perfectionism. You are not a deficit needing to be corrected. You are a constant work in progress, a work of art that will never be fully complete. We are always under construction. Be kind to yourself and never sacrifice that kindness in the pursuit of your personal evolution.
A big thanks to Dr. Shainna Ali for joining me this week. You can learn more about her at www.shainnaali.com.
Until next time,
Keep on living the Synced Life.