7 Steps To Start Feeling Good About Yourself- for Love Addicts
By Jim Hall MS, Love Addiction Specialist
1. Don't make other peoples thoughts, feelings, or actions about YOU. In other words, with healthy emotional boundaries, don't take responsibility (or blame yourself) for what another person may do, say or think. You are not responsible (i.e., your partner or ex partner). As an adult, you are only responsible for your own. You empower yourself through taking ownership of ONLY your own thoughts, feelings, behavior's, and choices.
2. Practice healthy self-care behaviors. One problem for love addicts is not taking care of one self in healthy manners. Do things that bring you pleasure, peace, and joy. What are your wants, needs, and desires in a relationship or out of a relationship? Acknowledge and honor that you deserve to take care of yourself; wants and needs first, and foremost.
3. Every action you take- whether in recovery, work, or in social situations- strive for being "your excellent self." Throw away the fantasy of being perfect. Perfectionism is impossible, unrealistic, and unnecessary. Doing the best you can in every part of your life is enough. Remember this quote: 'I am a perfectly imperfect human being.'
4. Set firm and functional boundaries with people who tend to be toxic. Toxic people are those who are critical, disrespectful, abusive, and un-supportive of your goals, wants, needs, and desires. Verbally communicate to them you will not tolerate toxic behaviors- set and follow through with consequences if they overstep your boundaries.
5. Learn to be your "self"; honor and accept your "self"; love your "self." Stop trying to be who others want you to be. Stop trying to earn love, acceptance, and validation. Be the distinctive person you are. You are who you are (we all are) and it is important to know that is enough. We can improve and grow, but we cannot escape our uniqueness. In sum, love the human being you are, work on growing emotionally. When you do this- you will draw healthier people (relationships) into your life that will accept, love and validate your intrinsic uniqueness.
6. Acknowledge and accept where you are in the moment. For example, if you are struggling with recovery, simply validate the struggle. It's ok (you are not alone). Rarely does anything great come easy. Honor and validate your feelings and emotions- whether you're feeling, pain, confusion, sadness, anxiety, joy, etc. Don't try to push stuff it all away. Let your feelings just just 'be'. You will get through them. You will be all right.
7. Follow your bliss. Your bliss is your passion. It is a fire inside of you which truly motivates and excites you to live your life to its fullest-- and it is unique to only you and no one else. If you are in work or a career that is unsatisfying, find out what you love. What are you passionate about? Maybe it's working with children, health-care, carpentry, photography, helping the poor. Can you make this passion a career? Can your passion be done through volunteer work? If so, make it a new goal, plan, and work to achieve this goal. Make a commitment to follow your bliss. If your not sure what your bliss is-- seek it out-- think about what you've always wanted to do in your life and set goals to do it. Following your bliss can help you make big strides in recovery.