Wednesday, 2 November 2011

You Just Have to Love Yourself - Really?

By Paula Renaye

I gave a talk this past weekend and during the question and answer period, a person from the audience commented on how much he liked my talk, but said that none of it was really necessary if you just loved yourself. Wow! Who knew? Just love yourself and you don't have to do anything else! Why didn't I think of that? 

Right, because those are just words. And if it were that simple everyone would have already done it. Furthermore, as the man expounded on his comment, it was clearly evident that while he understood the concept and the idea, he wasn't actually live it just yet. 

That's how transformation works for most of us--we learn to say the words long before we learn what it means to really live them. And even then competency comes in pieces. We get out feet under us one area then realize we don't have it all figured out in another. 

So, let's get to the bottom of this "you've got to love yourself" thing. What does it even mean? 

And there's the crux of the problem: it means different things to different people because that pesky little four-letter word has so many different assumptions, projections and connotations attached to it. "I love my new dress" expresses a far different emotion than "I love my new husband"--at least one would hope. 

Since we need about twenty different words for "love" to deal with the world outside ourselves, how can we expect to apply that nebulous term internally to create some idealistic personal bliss?

Personally, even thought I understand what's behind the "love yourself" intent, the phrase just does not compute for me. And how could it, given that love in my dictionary was something I could only get from someone else, and that I could only give by giving up my sense of self ? 

That little twisted train of thought is even further muddled by this one: "If you don't love yourself no one else will." Well, that didn't compute either and, in fact, it totally fried my circuits for obvious reasons. 

According to my old pattern, doing anything that might be considered loving toward myself--doing something for me instead of someone else--wasn't going to get me results that equaled love. And I assure you when I started figuring these things out and changed my ways, my partner didn't like it. When I didn't fulfill my expected role, he was not happy about it and withheld "love." My subconscious mind went into panic mode, reaffirming the belief that if I loved myself then no one else would.

If you've read The Hardline Self Help Handbook, you know where I went with this topic to make it work for me and get me out of that horrible cycle of confusion and turmoil--I replaced the word love with respect. And once I did that, things began to clear and I realized that hopping down the bunny trail that I thought was "loving," wasn't--not to me or my partner. 

So, for me, the question that kept me pushing forward through the transition to a new definition of caring for myself was this: Would a person with high self-esteem and self-respect do what I'm doing? Think what I’m thinking? Tolerating what I’m tolerating? And then I asked why or why not. Answering the "why" helped me figure out the beliefs that were driving me to do what was I was doing--and whether they were really giving me the results I thought they were. Once I knew that, I could decide if wanted to make different choices to get the outcomes I really wanted.

Now, for those of you who are enamored with the "all you have to do is love yourself" issue, here are a few questions to ponder:
  • How do you know you don't love yourself?
  • How will you know when you do? What will change? What will your world look like then?
  • How will you feel then?
No answers from me on those questions, I want yours!
Let me know what you think!

Paula Renaye is a tough love motivational speaker, certified professional coach and author of the multi-award-winning personal development guide, The Hardline Self Help Handbook, that helps emotional short-sellers become happiness moguls. Get a FREE copy of Paula's Tweet-able Tough Love Quotes ebook and sign up for her FREE Teleseminar: Are You Wired to be Miserable? How to Flip the Switch on the Chemical Paradox of Misery November 10, 2011. Details at


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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