Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Love Yourself First, Not Last

By Katherine Lazaruk on Mar 08 2012 • Filed under Image Intensive

Love Yourself First, Not LastIf you’re like many busy entrepreneurs, the pace of things can override your self-care quicker than you can say "just one more email!" It’s true that we work harder, faster and smarter than just about any other group of adults in the world. We are highly efficient, super busy and sometimes wear our crazy schedules like badges of honour.

I’ve been in business now for three years and I haven’t really taken a break since I started. During that time I’ve discovered deep wellsprings of extra energy and have been able to keep driving, but I’ve also discovered that this drive comes at a high price. My body gets disconnected and ignored by my ever-speeding brain and finally it broke down, leaving me in bed for almost a month with a bad case of pneumonia. What does this have to do with image, you ask?

Consider this:

a)  Many of us are in abusive relationships with ourselves.

And we'redriving ourselves like road ragers on speed, constantly cutting off our body’s signals that it’s time to eat, rest or play. Usually we don’t realize this until we’re ill. The way you drive yourself shows how you see and value yourself. Would you drive someone you love the way you drive yourself?

b) The way you drive yourself is directly related to your appearance.

Are you looking bright eyed, bushy tailed and glowing with the challenge of business ownership, 100% ready for all the new clients you can take, or are you worn out and boosting yourself with sugar, caffeine and other legal stimulants to get through the day?  Over the long term this takes its toll on your skin, hair, eyes and body shape. You may think, “So what? My clients are buying my services, not my looks.” Unfortunately…

c) Your appearance affects your business.

It’s how you show up in the world; if you show up as a strong ‘corporate athlete’*, ready to take on the next challenge, people are more likely to take you on. If you’re looking frazzled around the edges, people may consider you too stressed out to look after their needs.

Here, with romantic February just behind us and before the renewal of spring, check to see that you’re in a loving, committed relationship with yourself and your business. Put yourself first for a change. Set good boundaries around your work time, practice good self-care (exercise, diet, hydration and renewal through sleep, meditation and other practices) and frequently check back to ensure that the abusive mind-body relationship is really over. Mine is – I’m heading for self-care and self-love rehab through all of the above so I can keep up a steady happy pace and still be prepared to drive fast when I need to without breaking down. Incremental changes are the key for me. It’s a great time for to find the keys for you. What will you do this month to love yourself first, not last?

*The term ‘corporate athlete’ is from a great book related to this topic called The Power of Full Engagement. Awesome read with terrific strategies for looking after you first.

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