As a woman, I have struggled with the concepts of self-esteem and self-love throughout my life.
I have been through many moments where I felt low self-confidence and where I didn’t think I was valuable – to myself or other people. I think all women experience this at some stage in their lives.
As I have worked on the special relationship with myself, I have learnt many things about what it means to love you – and to how to achieve it.
With it has come the dream to help other women to do the same. My message to Hunter women and girls on the celebration of International Women’s Day on Saturday was that you need to learn to love yourself a little more.
US novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand said: “To say ‘I love you’ you must first be able to say the ‘I’.’’
Women stop loving themselves from an early age. Throughout their lives, women are told to put others first and to judge themselves based on what others think.
You cannot ask people to love you or your work if you do not love it yourself. In fact, if you learn to love yourself, everyone else’s love is not as important. There are four areas of focus that will give you the most benefit. Learn to love yourself in your work and relationships. Learn to love your body, as well as loving and nurturing your soul.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was ‘‘equality for women is progress for all”. Loving yourself is not a selfish act. You can become a better mother, partner, grandmother, daughter, businesswomen or employee by investing in your own self-worth.
The whole of society benefits if women just start to put themselves first a little more. By doing this, you are not being anti-men.
In my 40-plus years of being a woman, my 10 years of coaching women and my research for my book I Love Myself, it is clear to me that a lack of love for oneself creates a great deal of the issues that women deal with on a day-to-day basis.
I have also found that it is women who need to change.
Women need to let go of emotions and of the past to ensure they are not the barrier to achieving their goals.
When you love yourself, you start to break recurring negative patternsand start to be a hero, not a victim.
In my book, I also write about feminine betrayal. As women, we need to learn there is room for all of us at the table and support each other to be there.
The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will have in your life – more important than the relationship you have with your children or any partner.
Women, start to love yourselves. Men, help the women in your life to love themselves. The world will be a better place for all of us.