The Role Self-Love Plays in Operating a Successful Business, Part 1
When I first married, right before the ceremony, I said to myself: "This is either the best thing I've ever done or the worst." I had so many drugs and hallucinogenics running through my blood stream, I couldn't think clearly.
Yet shortly after the marriage, a friend said to me: "You can only love another to the extent you love yourself. If you don't love yourself, you'll never be happy."
My ears heard her words but my heart heard nothing. Her pearls of wisdom flew over my head, escaping into the ethers. They had no chance to sink in, my low self-esteem made sure of that. It took me more than twenty years to act upon her advice.
To be able to listen to your heart, to be able to live a happy life, to be successful in business, you must be committed to loving yourself and accepting yourself for who you are at this present moment.
This article describes the crucial role self-love plays in your life, in your happiness, in all your affairs. It is the foundation to all successful transformation. You'll discover that your self-love determines your worldview. Your self-love interacts with every aspect of living, ultimately determining your level of happiness at home, and as importantly, in your business.
We're Operating with an Out-Dated Definition of Self-Love
The Encarta World English Dictionary makes a big mistake, perhaps catastrophic, when they define self-love. Their definition of self-love is "concern with only your own wishes and desires." Further, there are no synonyms for self-love.
Maybe this is why so many of us have such a difficult time loving ourselves. Parents, church elders, teachers, educators, people who train others all might be living with an unworkable definition of self-love.
How useful is a definition that makes people feel guilty about themselves by stressing "concern with only your own wishes?"
Your heart is always telling you what it needs to feel satisfied, content, at peace. These messages have nothing to do with the instant gratification needs we usually respond to that are harmful and self-destructive.
Don't we have to trust our intuition when it comes to business?
How often do we follow our heart and get rewarded for making the right business decision? Only people who love themselves enough to trust their intuition get these rewards!
When you listen to your heart and follow the quiet messages it sends, you feel a deep sense of peace.
Wholeness, balance, peacefulness were totally absent from my early life. I spent the first thirty-nine years self-destructing, seeking instant gratification through alcohol, drugs, gambling, being a bulimic, stealing, excessive moving, and starting and failing too many businesses to recall.
I remember vividly getting drunk at age twelve, falling face-first on a tar driveway, then alternating between bedroom and bathroom as I puked my guts out for four days.
Later in life, I would find myself staring at my reflection in the toilet bowl through gobs of chocolate ice cream I had thrown up after eating a gallon because stuffing my feelings seemed easier than facing my fears.
It wasn't until I became totally desperate, in deep depression, with excessively low self-esteem that I began listening more to my heart's crying out than my mind's dictates.
When I began to make my life precious through daily doses of self-love, I embarked on a life-long journey that has transformed me. I now live a peaceful, heart- centered, rich and rewarding inner and outer life full of simple pleasures. I can honestly say I am happy and successful.
If I can change and live with no alcohol for twenty-two plus years, drug-free for twenty-two plus years, no gambling or stealing for twenty-five years, no bulimia for fifteen years, and increasingly higher and higher self-love, so can you.
How to Leap Frog Life's Dung Heaps to Live with Healthy Self-Esteem and Be Happy
People whose lives have significant meaning live with attitudes, habits, and values that free them from letting fear rule. These people consciously choose where they focus their attention, whether it's in the thoughts they think, the actions they carry out, or the energies they put into the world.
They have become what I call "thought warriors", no longer being thought wimps. Daily they grace themselves with gratefulness, patience, and persistence, while striving to accept life's gifts.
Few of these high self-lovers had the good fortune of being raised by parents who lived these patterns. Most have had to reach deep down within themselves to make the changes necessary for deepening self-love.
They work at maintaining the happiness, joy, and peace that comes from loving themselves. They have learned that the effects are cumulative, yet when they slack off, they quickly fall into former states of low self-esteem, self-abuse, and depression.
However, the longer they journey, the quicker they return to doing or being in ways that bring them to what their hearts most yearn for.
For all of us, including me, it takes effort and commitment to love ourselves. I've trained myself to incorporate new habits. These strengthen my total self and give me the energy I need to reach for the stars so I can live the life I have dreamed about.
The more fulfilled my heart, the more contentment dwells within me. It is then easier to be grateful for life's "gifts" that potentially can throw one into the dung. The dung is where low self-esteemers hang, and once you escape this, it's painful to return.
Can you see how loving yourself affects your interactions with prospective customers?
Do you know that some of us can tell in less than 10 seconds how you're feeling by your voice when you answer the phone?
Is it possible and wise to develop a long term business relationship with someone who hasn't developed a long term loving relationship with herself?
How Self-Love and Self-Esteem Relate
The relationship between self-love and self-esteem is crucial to your well-being, happiness, and business success. Think of self-love and self-esteem as cousins, brothers, uncles, best friends, even husband and wife. Here's why.
When you love yourself, you take care of yourself and your needs. You take responsibility for making your life successful. You take care of your basic needs first. Then, if you're motivated, you go after more of what your heart truly wants.
Let's look at part of a definition of self-esteem by "the father of the self-esteem movement" Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D. Self-esteem includes "confidence in your ability to think and to cope with the basic challenges of life." (p. viii, The Power of Self-Esteem).
The second half of his definition begins with "confidence in our right to be happy." We become increasingly happier when our needs are met, especially those of a higher nature, those that satisfy soul and spirit.
Operating and running a successful business satisfy your soul and spirit if you put love and service into your business. As we deepen our self-love, we have more to give to others. Remember, we can't give to another what we don't possess ourselves.
Yet, if self-love is so crucial to building a healthy self-esteem and helping us to be happy, what prevents more of us from deepening our self-love?
What keeps so many of us stuck in painful, hurtful, sad scenes where happiness is merely a passing dream?
You'll find the answers in The Role Self-Love Plays in Operating a Successful Business, Part 2!
About the author:
Harvey Rosenberg is a happy self-lover with a healthy self-esteem. He has transformed himself from being the king of self-destruction to the apprentice of joy the past 6 years. As a Personal Development Coach he authored a highly acclaimed self-help book HeartMinders. d.