It is tough to fight the feelings of loneliness as your coworker receives flowers from her soon-to-be husband. You sit there pretending to be excited for her while eating your second chocolate chip cookie of the day. Their engagement photos featuring their small Yorkie are perfectly angled on her desk just for you to roll your eyes every time you walk by.
Lowkey, you want exactly what she has. Happiness is the main theme of her life. It is something you have always wanted, and at times you've felt like a life like hers would bring just that. Happiness.
These anxious feelings often arise during the month of February.
We are women who spend tireless hours trying to please everyone, taking care of everything, and still find ourselves lonely on the day that is dedicated to romance and love. It's easy to feel like you are the only one who hasn't found "the one." In reality, there are countless women who spend Valentine's Day alone, who don't have perfect relationships, and like you, gauge their self worth by the length of their last relationship.
The truth is, this day does not define your self worth.
I have come a long way from the days of feeling jealous of the next person. I have spent many Valentine's Days alone, and learned so much about who I am and what fuels me. For many years I felt nervous, worried, and anxious about what it meant to spend Valentine's Day alone. Initially, it was painful. It was uncomfortable, and I spent very dark days figuring out how to love myself. Thankfully, over the years, I found the strength I needed to get through Valentine's Day without a single tear or anxious breathe.
By following these four key principles, I began feeling empowered in my single life. Especially on Valentine's Day.
Know Your Worth
Dig deep within yourself. Find out what you're good at. Find out what you're bad at. Be honest with yourself, and get acquainted with your worth. If you take the one thing you are good at and maximize on it, you will gain all the confidence you need to feel worthy. You will love what you have to offer the world, and begin to feel valuable and priceless.
Invest In Yourself
Find out what you don't like about yourself and change it. I invested in figuring out who I was through reading, studying other people, and my own relationships. I found out what I didn't like about myself. I identified my triggers, and I told myself to have a seat. Sometimes you have to kick yourself in the butt. It can be painful to point the finger at yourself, but sometimes it is necessary. Take responsibility for the things you do to create chaos in your life. Love yourself enough to say you want to make a change.
Investing in yourself also looks like actively supporting your own goals and desires. I have put every single dollar I earn back into my writing career in order to take it to the next level. My success has allowed me to build my confidence in being single. If you are preoccupied achieving your own goals and being a boss, then you are less likely to have time to feel sorry for yourself. You're already winning.
Stop Looking For Approval
This is one of the hardest but most important principles of self love. It is difficult to "keep up with the Joneses." You will never win. There will always be a new iPhone, a new Chanel bag, a new Jordan release, etc. How can you keep up? You can't. One important factor in finding love within is to stop looking for praise from others. Instead, start looking for self approval. Evaluate your choices. Are you doing something to reward yourself? Or are your actions based on approval from others? Once we stop looking for approval from others, we can start looking for approval within ourselves. I promise it is so much more satisfying. Keeping up with those Joneses can wear you out!
Find Your Support System
Find a mentor. No, I don't mean your homegirl that you can just gossip with, I mean someone you trust. Someone that you can tell your deepest fears and your greatest accomplishments to. They should always have good intentions and they should always be unbiased. The way you can determine if someone is a good mentor is if you feel completely comfortable telling them anything. No filter, no shade. We all have questions that we need answers to. Finding a support system can help you sort out some of your inner issues, even if you just need someone to hear you out.
Many times we push ourselves into relationships because we are scared of being alone, but if you aren't comfortable in your own skin, then you need to put a pause on your love life. How can you know what you want out of a relationship if you are not comfortable with yourself?
This Valentine's Day, whether you have a significant other or not, I want you to focus on loving yourself. Put down the cookies, listen to your heart's desires, be good to those around you, put your best foot forward, and do the work for yourself.