Meet my dear friend, Kim Anderson. I’m thrilled to have her guest blogging for me today! She’s a counselor, a life coach, an all around boss-lady…..and one of the most wonderful women I’ve ever known. I could sit and listen to her for hours—her wisdom far exceeds her years. I asked her to share her insights on a topic that I think we all struggle with.....so, read her thoughts on Valuing Ourselves:
"When we value something, we treat it with care and compassion. We invest in it, we admire it, and we protect it from being compromised. Isn't it interesting that so often we protect other people or other material items that we value, but we don't protect ourselves? We can't value others well if we don't first value ourselves."
Here are Kim's three steps that we can take to value ourselves:
Step #1- Be aware of your self-talk: How often do we find ourselves feeling horrible because of the stories that we tell ourselves? If you're anything like me, very often. Before I can even catch myself, I have catastrophized my entire life and anything that will ever happen in my life. And it always turns out badly.
Usually, the stories that we tell ourselves are not true. They can sound like this, "Of course you failed," or "No one cares about you anyway," or "You're such an idiot!" They seep in and rob us of our self-worth and value, and we don't even know it is happening.
It is our job to catch our negative self-talk and make sure that we talk to ourselves the same way that we would talk to someone that we value and love.
Step #2- Be aware of your self-management: I find that when I value others more than I value myself, I am willing to give them my time, my energy, and my resources. Now, I want to clarify, because it is virtuous for us to care about others and share our time, energy, and resources. The key word is share. Sharing our time, energy, resources is excellent. Giving it all away is not.
Think of the last time you were on an airplane. Do you remember the flight attendant's pre-flight announcement (I hope you were listening!) Did the flight attendant say, "If you are traveling with a child and the oxygen masks drop down, whatever you do...make sure that you put the mask on the child first." No! That is not what they said. They said, "Put your mask on first." Why is that? So that you have oxygen first. So that you can help others.
Hear me. We cannot help others if we don't value our oxygen first. Do what you need to do to organize your life around your own oxygen tank. Say "no" to the things or people that take your oxygen so that you can say "yes" to the things that you value, and the people who value you.
Step #3- Be aware of your self-care: We can capture our negative self-talk, and we can learn to protect your oxygen tank, but none of that matters if we are not engaging in self-care.
Self-care is a core component of valuing ourselves. If we don't feel our best, then our tank is empty, and we don't have any oxygen to share. Focusing on wellness, nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration, and inflammation allows us to perform at our best. When we feel our best, it is easier to embrace our value.
Hire a trainer, hire a nutrition coach, go for walks, protect your sleep, drink more water and notice how much better you feel. We can't be our best selves when we don't take care of the body we have.
You matter. You are worth it. It is time to start living the life you are created for. Now, go live your best life!
Kim is a licensed professional counselor (LPC-MHSP) in the state of Tennessee and a certified professional life coach (CPLC) with a Master’s degree in Counseling. She loves working with families and individuals to help them pursue their best, authentic, lives while maximizing their strengths and talents. She helps people figure out where they are stuck so that they can live lives of excellence.
She lives in Franklin with her husband and two teenagers, and loves Middle Tennessee. Her favorite things are traveling, fitness, reading and spending time with family and friends.
You can learn more about her at www.kimanderson.life