At the end of 2017, everyone was picking their ‘word’ for 2018. Like herd mentality, suddenly, everyone was giving up the new year’s resolutions game and focusing on this word for the year. There were words like purpose, expansion, self-love, priorities, and some other really good ones. The internet went crazy and social media ate it up.

I remember scrolling through at 100mph, seeing: What is your word? What does it mean to you?

What I wanted to know was: How are you going to make sure you remember it every day, week, month? Or, more importantly, what was I going to do to remember mine?

Was I falling into the hype word BS, or was I serious this time?

I gave up on new years resolutions a long time ago after disappointing myself for years. This hype word thing came to me even before I saw it go crazy on the web, but I still wasn’t buying it. So I did what any self-respecting entrepreneur would do, I analyzed myself. It felt like another form of a new year’s resolution, but something was changing inside of me, too.

There comes a time in every powerhouse’s journey where you get tired of your own BS and decide to do something about it. At 35, I know now that everyone has the potential to shine brightly, but only a few will do what they have to do to shine the brightest. One day, you just look around and know you’re meant to live differently, look differently, BE differently.

You realize that what is happening on the outside isn’t matching what was going on in the inside. And I could no longer ignore the fact that I had and have 100% control over it. ALL. OF. IT.

I could-

Practice what I preach more.

Do more and think less.

Punch fear in the face more.

Stretch farther beyond the limits that still exist.

Love who I am and what I stand for on a level that changes everything.

But I wasn’t doing any of it, especially the self-love part.

I was doing a lot of stuff that wasn’t really addressing the fundamental issue holding me back.

But that’s what it all came down to at the end of 2017 when I asked myself if having a ‘word’ was just another form of self-sabotage, setting myself up for failure, procrastinating, not doing MORE in the now.

When you get tired of your own excuses and you look around only to find that the only reason you haven’t been the person you truly are inside, the person you’re meant to be, is because you didn’t believe in and love yourself enough, it’s earth shattering.

I closed myself off from the world after a nasty divorce because I didn’t love myself enough to know I would be okay. I didn’t believe in myself enough to know that I could be a single mom and badass world-traveling consultant.

I hid behind wrong clients, under-priced services and the roller coaster of trying to figure out what I am supposed to be when I grew up. I did it all because I didn’t love myself enough to ask, do, wait, and trust. If it wasn’t happening the way I had imagined it, it was something I was doing wrong. It was me. I was to blame. For not being pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, rich enough, disciplined enough.

I didn’t love myself enough to see it any other way. My self-love was non-existent. 

But they were all lies I created because I was afraid. I was afraid to love myself and be disappointed. I was afraid to trust myself and screw something up again. I had let the ways of the world, the thoughts, opinions and actions of other people change me into believing that it was always me that needed to ‘do’ more to be more. When really? I needed to do less to be more of who I already am.

It’s a funny experience when you first realize that you need to put yourself as a priority when you’ve been taking care of and helping people your entire life. It’s unnatural, odd, and it feels like the worst of sins. Some call it selfish, but that’s only because they haven’t found their true definition of self-love either.

It’s simple, as it turns out:

You cannot and will not be, do and have all the things you think and say you want, without first believing that you are worthy of having them.

And the only way you can feel worthy is to love yourself enough to embrace your flaws, be graceful with your mistakes, and continue re-inventing who you are relentlessly because you BELIEVE, you LOVE what you see in the mirror, metaphorically speaking.

Like everything else, loving yourself, putting yourself first, making sure that you are taken care of emotionally, physically, spiritually is a CHOICE. Sometimes you have to make it once a week, once a day or once an hour, but when you KNOW it is the only choice that matters, you make it happen. Because the alternative is living in a world where you’re always not not good enough to have what you truly want because you can’t see that you DESERVE it and more!

So what does this improved self-love look like on a daily basis, Vanessa. And more importantly, how can I get me some of that?

  • Define self-love for yourself: most people think it’s finally having a moment of peace from the kids, job or craziness of the world, but really it means so much more. Get the mani, pedi, and go crazy hiding in the bathroom to get a break from your kids, but ask yourself in that moment: “What do I need right now to feel good?”
  • Tune in, stop ignoring your emotions: Whether a mani, massage or visit to the therapist is in order for your self-care, don’t forget to check in on what’s going on inside. Most of the time, you’re not frustrated at the kids because they’re annoying. You can handle that by tuning them out. You’re frustrated because you feel incomplete; because you want to be somewhere else, doing something different and/or feeling something different. If you can’t teleport to Fiji, find a way to reach the desired feeling and state instead of the frustration, anger of other slew of emotions rising that are only there to send you a message.
  • Focus on pleasure DAILY: Why do most moms lose their sex drive after kids? Well, yes, we are exhausted, and feel out of shape and who has time, blah blah blah. But really? We re-prioritize our own pleasure when those little bundles of joy are born. We have to come last, they have to come first. Or else we are horrible mothers for wanting to pee alone or have a girl’s night out. Then comes the mommy guilt and the rest history. What’s left is a mom who adores her kids but doesn’t recognize herself in the mirror because she forgot what it feels like to FEEL GOOD. Start with a small list of things you love to do every day. Things that make you feel beautiful, healthy, and good on the inside. Schedule them in your calendar and warn the husband or do them first thing in the morning. Ask yourself: What have I done to make myself feel good today? You deserve to feel good. And really? When you feel good, your husband, kids, business, everything, get’s the best of you.

So by now you probably want to know what my word was/is for 2018, huh? Well, it was and still is discipline. In learning to love myself, put my needs first and take care of me the only way I can, I learned that discipline is the highest form of self-love. I learned that when we are disciplined with ourselves from a place of real self-love, it tastes like reward, not a punishment.

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ABOUT VANESSA: Vanessa Rende is a mom of two boys, wife, writer, speaker, entrepreneur and consultant. She is passionate about psychology, neuroscience, personal development, child advocacy, music and traveling.

 

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