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Loving yourself? Putting yourself first or putting others first?

Updated on November 16, 2012

Shakespeare says, "To thine own self be true" and a key question would be, "who are you more loyal to? Yourself or to others? This is not saying that you should become selfish in your approach to life, but this should not be a challenge for you.

Think about it this way, when you are traveling on an airplane and the flight attendants walk you through the emergency procedures - specifically the oxygen mask... The procedure is to FIRST secure your own mask and THEN and ONLY THEN help those with you secure their masks. Why is that? Because, if you don't help yourself first (take care of yourself) then you can't effectively care for someone else.

The same is true for you - you've got to decide what is important to you and begin to live out of those convictions. But break it down into "baby steps". What little thing can you do today to begin to gain ground and to shove timidity into the smallest corner of your life so that it no longer has power over you? Ask yourself each morning, what one thing can I do today that will make progress towards what you want to be and do? Don't try to tackle the whole thing all at once, just chip away at it day-by-day, baby step by baby step. And remember, if you fail in a moment of weakness, then you get to start over again in the very next second. John Maxwell talks about failing forward - he says to look at failure as forward motion toward your goals - interesting paradigm shift isn't it?

The next step is to Step Out - take action - it doesn't matter how small the step is, it just matters that you take that step - act on your decision to overcome timidity, make small, steady progress to overcome and then to conquer. Baby steps become toddler steps and then steady steps until you are running with complete confidence.

Baby steps ------> Toddler steps --------> Steady walking steps -----> Running with confidence!

One of my favourite songs (“The Greatest Love of All”) tells this truth. George Benson, and later on, Whitney Houston tells us that learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear your comments and views.


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