Like clockwork, when it’s time for me to write a blog on a specific topic, I find myself struggling with that topic. It’s particularly true with this month’s topic of self-love.

For the past few weeks, I’ve grappled with feeling not enough, (never enough), and a relentless meanness judging my every move. When I reality check this less-than-optimal inner state, it doesn’t correlate with the actual data in my life. Not at all.

On the contrary, I actually love my life. So what gives? I’m human. Sometimes I’m just a mess. That’s it. I wish I could get more scientific, but I’m not a scientist.

Here’s what I do know; It doesn’t matter why. The funk will roll in and roll out like a Camaro going through a Taco Bell drive-thru.

What does matter is what I do while the wind blows against me instead of at my back.

Here’s my Put Self-Love into Action Top Ten list to weather the inner storm.

1. Write down your values.
Oftentimes I find that when I’m moving through a hard time, some of my values are being ignored, or possibly even stepped on. Sometimes it’s the situation; sometimes it’s me. Regardless, when I bring my values to the forefront, my focus and mindset shift.

2. Meet yourself where you are (not where you’re supposed to be or where you think you ‘should’ be).
If someone asked you to meet them at Michigan and Wacker, you wouldn’t go to Elston and Montrose, would you? Nope, didn’t think so.

3. Move physically.
We hold tension and emotions in our body. Moving supports us releasing what doesn’t serve us and opening up new pathways and possibilities. Whether it’s wiggling your toes, doing cartwheels or going for a swim, just move.

4. Begin again (and again).
I’m a firm believer in the do-over. Give yourself the space and grace to start over and try again. As many times as you need. You are worth it.

5. Do nothing.
I used to think this was a slippery slope into utter failure. I’m not good at doing nothing, but I’m getting better at it (thank you dogs). It rarely lasts long, but it’s a potent game-changer.

6. Avoid triggering people and situations.
When we know our triggers, it’s easier to avoid them. When we can’t avoid them, we can at least take precautionary measures to protect ourselves or give ourselves some extra grace. So get to know those triggers and whenever possible, (especially when we’re not at 100%), avoid them.

7. Look directly at your fears.
Fears and triggers are not the same. If there’s a fear limiting you from a goal that’s meaningful to you and supports your values, take a good hard look at it. Deconstruct it. Take the wind out of its sails. Maybe you don’t need to actually take action yet, or maybe you’ll follow the next tip.

8. Take one microstep toward a goal.
What’s the smallest possible thing you can do to move toward your current goal? What’s the smallest step you can take to move forward? Can you break that down into even smaller micro steps? Once you get a step that’s the smallest step possible, take that one step. You may find yourself stepping ahead further than you thought you could.

9. Embrace your flaws.
We are all totally flawesome. Yes, it’s a thing. We all have our flaws, stop aiming for perfection. Remember what Leonard Cohen says:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

10. Do kind things for others.
We know this. Sometimes we get so busy it slips our minds. Taking the time to add acts of kindness into our day takes us out of our heads, and connects us to others and the world around us.

The above steps work for me, but as we are all different makes and models, your mileage may vary.

What do you do to stoke your inner fire? What are your go to action items that support your wellness?

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