Love Thyself

“Love yourself.”

The concept seems simple enough, right? It’s really important.

Despite my youth, I have been very privileged to work under some very experienced professionals in their respective fields. Some traits are true of all of them. They are all “productive.” They are all “articulate,” and they know “how” to communicate their needs to others. They all ask questions. They are all aware of the clock. However, there is at least one major, personal difference I have sensed among the different professionals I have worked beside:

“Some of them are growing, and some of them are not.”

It becomes particularly noticeable when you get to conversate with a chief executive officer. How does he or she behave in conversation? Do they listen? Do they answer the questions which are directed to them? Do they interrupt? Do they project their personal thoughts and feelings onto those whom they are conversing with?

It has been stated in college textbooks, professional business literature, and in the media that “tone comes from the top.” I have been able to notice distinguishable differences in the different individuals I have had the privilege of working under so far, but when I’m honest with myself and analyze “why,” I come up with one simply question:

“Do you love yourself?”

Are you confident in your ability to succeed in this task? If the economy were to crash tomorrow morning, would you be okay? Are you proud of the work you have accomplished as an individual person in this organization?

I want to leave a few notes—from my personal observation—regarding traits which follow individuals who love themselves, versus individuals who do not.

Individuals who love themselves:

  1. …Can tell you what they are “good at,” and what they are “not good at;” are are “okay” with that.
  2. …Are ambitious, are willing to try new tasks, and know how to communicate which parts of that task they will need assistance with before beginning that task.
  3. …Are constantly finding new ways to grow and develop their points of weakness without costing the company money or ruining anyone else’s day.
  4. …Are not afraid of success; they look forward to it.
  5. …See value in the contributions of others, acknowledge those contributions, and can also point out the weaknesses of others in a professional and constructive manner.
  6. …Know who they “are,” and who they “are not;” and are okay with it.
  7. …Can laugh about themselves.
  8. …Embrace the constructive criticisms of others, do not interrupt when they are receiving constructive criticism, and find ways to implement the suggested changes as soon as humanly possible.
  9. …Are just plain, honest.
  10. …Are aware of how their words and behavior affect others in the room.
  11. …Are inspirational and set a positive example for others to follow.
  12. …Demonstrate control over their own lives (self-discipline).
  13. …Are easy to be around and hold a conversation with.
  14. …Learn just as much from you as you learn from them.
  15. …Take pride in their work.

Individuals who do not love themselves:

  1. …Are known as “critical:” they always catch the shortcomings of others but are unable to acknowledge their own shortcomings.
  2. …Never apologize.
  3. …Tend to hallucinate about their own ideas or plans, but never implement those “ideas or plans” to completion.
  4. …Seem unhappy, anxious, or restless, in a general sense.
  5. …Become easily overwhelmed with their work.
  6. …Do not receive constructive feedback in a professional manner, and do not implement it after receiving it.
  7. …Are messy at work.
  8. …Don’t listen, and have tremendous difficulty following instructions.
  9. …Don’t seem to have a lot of hobbies outside of work.
  10. …Are not as “fun” to hold a conversation with.
  11. …Don’t seem “grow” or “improve.”
  12. …Don’t want to take on new, or challenging, tasks.
  13. …Don’t seem to believe in themselves; and carry low sense of self-esteem.
  14. …Don’t seem approachable, especially in difficult times.
  15. …Don’t appreciate or acknowledge their own efforts.

These are only a few observations from a very young business professional. There are certainly more characteristics which follow both types of individuals. Many of us will not fall into one category or the other perfectly. Here are some tips to assist someone who is trying to learn how to love themselves:

  • Be honest: ask those “scary” or “stupid” questions.
  • Ask others what they think you’re “good at.”
  • Ask others what they think you “need to improve on.”
  • Do something you’re good at every day and enjoy it.
  • Acknowledge your personal and professional points of weakness and learn how to laugh at yourself.
  • Work on something you’re “not good at” every single day, and get better at it.



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