You may have heard of the five love languages in relationships, but have you ever considered how this works with your relationship with yourself? We have been socialized to believe that our happiness is based on external factors, but we all have the power to fill our own Self Love Tank.
Expecting others to be responsible for our happiness only leads to scarcity thinking, but there’s a better way to live your life. When you fill your Self Love Tank, you end up being kinder to yourself in a way that makes you show up kinder in the world.
In this episode, I’m showing you how to practice filling your own Self Love Tank so that you get to feel the love whenever you want and live a more intentional life. I’m sharing tips to take ownership of any problem in your life and showing you how to stop living small and start getting the results you want.
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hey there. Welcome to the podcast. I have such a good episode for you today. We’re going to talk about self love and filling your own Self Love Tank. I want to invite you to take this work deeper and join me on an intentional self love live training call. This is happening in a couple of days if you’re listening to this in real time. So head on over to nataliebacon.com/selflove. That’s one word. Just /selflove, no dashes or anything. And you can register there.
I’m going to teach you all about what we’re going to talk about today, but on a different level. I’m going to help you apply it. I’m going to coach you. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We already have hundreds of you registered. So head on over. Join the fun, and I will see you there.
Now, I actually want to go on a little bit of a mini rant before we jump into today’s content. So one of the focuses of my year for 2021 is Facebook Ads. I have avoided Facebook Ads for long enough. And now my business is set up in a really clean scalable way where I have the revenue, I have the products, I have the funnels, all of it. So I’m able to use Facebook Ads. I know nothing about Facebook Ads. So what I’ve been doing is working with a pro, right.
So I have a Facebook Ads person who runs all my ads for me, and I’m also taking a course. There are things that come up that the Facebook Ads person can’t do that I need to do for her in order for our ads to run properly. With all of the Apple and Facebook changes happening, particularly right now, there has been a lot more for me to do pretty proactively. I don’t mind at all because, as I mentioned, this is something I’m really focused on. So I want to get really good at understanding Facebook Ads. That’s just a priority for me right now.
I solved this problem, and I did it in a couple of hours. My Facebook Ads person said, “Wow, you are such a doer. This is the solution to our issues.” I read that and I thought this is exactly why I get results in my life, right? I take responsibility for solving the problem, and then I solve it. Like really quickly. Much more quickly than most people do.
So I want to offer to you that the more you can take ownership of any problem whether it’s in your life, whether it’s in Facebook Ads, whether it is at your job. I see this as a big one. People always want to go to their boss. Actually, in my company, one of our values is being resourceful. So you have to try to figure out and solve the problem first. This is exactly what I did. I personally didn’t know how to solve the problem until I started trying a bunch of things. That’s how I ended up solving it.
I really think that this is something that could have lagged on for, I don’t know, one to two weeks to try to figure out. I just saved us both so much time by having that energy of you know, I don’t know how to do everything, but I can figure it out. That’s what I did. So I want you to do that. I want you to see that as a skill you can get good at.
If you’re in the habit of asking other people for the answers all the time, it is going to stall you from living really a full expansive life. I see this. This is when people join my team and it just ends up not working out because they want someone else to tell them how to do everything. In a small company who is growing very fast, that’s just not how it works. Aside from any company or in any job, it’s just a really good life skill to be a problem solver. Okay. That’s my rant.
Now, what I want to talk with you about today is filling your own love tank. So you’re probably familiar with the #1 New York Time’s Best Seller The 5 Love Languages, and the subtitle is The Secret to Love That Lasts. It’s by Gary Chapman. If you haven’t read it, maybe you’ve heard people talk about it or taken a quiz online or something. The focus of the book is on understanding your love language and that of your partner’s so that you two can work better together and fill each other’s love tanks. It’s kind of the whole premise, right?
Then there are five love languages. They are words of affirmation. So that’s giving someone words or compliments. There’s quality time, just being around each other spending time together. Receiving gifts. It doesn’t have to be a large gift, but any sort of gifts that you would give. Acts of service. That could be helping out around the house or something like that where you’re doing something for the other person.
Then physical touch. That doesn’t mean sexual intimacy. It just means any sort of physical touch like holding hands or cuddling on the couch while you’re watching a movie. There’s some sort of physical touch there. So those are the five love languages. Again, the whole point is to understand how your love tank is filled.
So let me give you an example. I am a words of affirmation and a gifts person. I’m pretty sure you can google this and take quizzes if this is the first time you’re hearing about it, but you also might just know based on those descriptions how you like to receive love. So I love gifts and I love words. It doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the other things.
So Steve is a big acts of service guy. He loves to make our lunches, and he loves to do things around the house. I actually really appreciate when he does these things, right? It’s not like I don’t appreciate them. They just don’t fill my “love tank” in the way that a small little gift or words would do. Right? So knowing this can kind of help you understand yourself. It can help you understand your partner. And you can start to understand why that is.
So, for example, when I was growing up, no one was doing acts of service for me. At least that’s the story that I have, but I did get a lot of words. All the time I got words. I was the first-born child of my parents, and also the first grandchild. So everyone was sort of doting over the first grandbaby, right? So it’s not a surprise that as an adult, that’s how I tend to think of my love tank being full.
Okay. So you might be different. You might love quality time. You might love acts of service. I was talking about this with my physical therapist, and she, not surprisingly as a physical therapist, has physical touch as one of her love languages, right. She feels the most love with touch. So it might be holding hand. Just any kind of touch.
So what I want to do in today’s episode and what I want you to think about is filling your own love tank instead of expecting someone else to do it. So, it’s thinking about how you can give yourself words. I talked about this in the self-validation episode, but it can be more than that. It could just be little compliments, right. It can be about how you’re showing up, it can be about your accomplishments. It can be about how you got dressed for the day. It can be about how you’re trying your best. Whatever, right?
What if you gave yourself time? This is a big one. So quality time is something that we think about in terms of spending time with others, but what if you gave yourself quality time? I’ve integrated this into my life in the last year, and I have to say I’m kind of proud of myself. I thought it would maybe be harder for me to work less. It is not hard at all. Steve jokes about how I sleep in so late and how I take so much time off. I rarely work on Fridays anymore. If I do, it’s kind of appointments that I want to schedule.
So what I find is that for the high achieving women out there, if you’re one of them, we tend to forgo giving ourselves quality time. What I want to offer to you is that you might be in need of a little QT for yourself. What would that look like for you? You probably have never thought about this.
So maybe it looks like a Friday night spent really intentionally not on your phone, not watching TV. Instead journaling or going for a walk or just noticing and being present with yourself. It might be 30 minutes. It might be for a few hours. But how much more appreciation would you have for yourself and how much better would you show up in the world if you gave yourself that quality time?
The same is true for gifts. I love the idea of buying myself flowers. I love sending myself little gifts. It’s not just buying myself stuff that I normally would buy. It’s what’s the intent behind it? Is it, “oh I just need this,” and you kind of order it and move on with your day? Or is it, “I want to get myself a little gift, and I’m going to honor myself and love myself and fill my Self Love Tank by getting myself this little gift?” Right?
Acts of service. Is there something that you like others to do for you that you could do for yourself? It may be tidying up or doing things at home that you normally kind of rush through, and instead doing them for yourself. Or taking really good care of things. If you have a car, you go and get it detailed and take care of it.
Physical touch? What about that for you? I like to think about getting ready in the morning and I put lotion on. In Chicago, it is freezing out all of the time. So I’m always trying to help my dry skin out and put lotion on. Now, do you slather it on really quickly and in a rush and thinking about other things? Or do you put it on very kindly to yourself and in a very present way, right? In a way where you are loving yourself.
I think that this is one of the easiest ways to practice self love and fill your Self Love Tank because it’s something you’re already doing. You’re just redirecting your thoughts and feelings as you’re taking the action of putting on the makeup or putting on the lotion or even getting dressed.
Typically, and kind of innocently what I think we do is we look for other people to fill our Self Love Tank. So we think that if someone else gets us this gift or someone else gives us words, that gives us permission to think those thoughts about ourselves. So we feel a lot of love.
I think instead what you can do is you can practice filling your own Self Love Tank so you’re the one who gets to feel the love whenever you want instead of sort of waiting for other people to read your mind and do what you want them to do. Which if you’ve been alive for more than 10 minutes you know that that is often something that leaves you with a lot of lack and unmet expectations.
I find that when we’re in this state of wanting other people to fill our love tanks, we end up focusing on what’s wrong with our lives, what other people aren’t doing, and we get into a little bit compare and despair. So we start to interpret the world and other people in a way that means something negative about ourselves. Because if you look up the definition of compare, it’s neutral. There’s no positive or negative. So you could compare yourself to someone else and say, “We have all of these things in common.”
What we typically mean when we talk about compare and despair is we’re scrolling on Instagram and we see someone else has three kids and we’ve been trying to get pregnant. So you make that mean you can’t have what she has. Or you see someone who is fit and healthy and you’ve been yo-yo dieting for a long time or gained weight, and you make that mean that you’ll never be able to lose the weight.
This is a little bit of scarcity thinking. It’s comparing in a negative way. It’s creating more separation. When we focus our attention on people out there and the world out there in a negative way, we end up self-abandoning. All of our thoughts are about other people. So how can we feel love for ourselves? We don’t. We fall into this comparison trap and we think that others are doing better than we are. We think about what we don’t have. We think about how life is happening different than it’s supposed to be happening.
It’s very natural for this to be happening on default, but I just want to offer to you that there’s such a better way where you don’t have to have so much of that self-loathing and suffering. Because what ends up happening is if you are focusing on what other people have and making it mean that you can’t have that to, you will end up feeling terrible. You will not act because you will be failing ahead of time.
So in the example of weight loss, if you see someone else who you think is fit and has the best body and the best life and you make that mean that you can’t have that. You won’t even try. You won’t even try again. You’ll say, “Oh, well I’ve tried ten times before. They didn’t work. This just is something I’m going to have to accept. I can’t have that. She’s so lucky. I’m not.” So you fail ahead of time. You don’t go for it, and you end up living so small. And you don’t get the results you want. You have this whole story in your head about why that’s true, but none of it’s actually true.
What’s happened is your brain is just focusing on what other people have instead of what you have and what you have control over and what you can create in the world. So when you practice self love and when you practice giving yourself attention and gifts and all of the things we talked about above, you actually end up being so much kinder to yourself in a way that makes you show up so much kinder in the world because you’re not self-abandoning. You’re not feeling lack.
So what we need to do to get there if you’re not there yet is to decide deliberately what you want to be thinking and feeling and doing. Choose your thoughts, feelings, and actions on purpose. So if you know that every time you scroll on Instagram for an hour, it’s very hard for you to stay out of compare and despair, which makes sense. Your brain is focusing on what other people are doing. That’s the whole point of Instagram is to look at other people, right, and connect with them. It can be a very amazing tool. If you’re not managing your mind, you can use it against yourself.
So what you want to do is you want to notice. If that’s something that you’re in the habit of, then you want to say, “Okay. I’m going to be a little bit more deliberate with the amount of time I spend on Instagram. I’m going to schedule it ahead of time. I’m going to decide to think that I can love that person, the person who has the results that I want, and know that I’m the creator of my results. That there’s no shortage. It’s not either she’s winning so I’m losing. It can be she’s winning, and I’m winning.”
Basically, it’s an exercise in coming back to yourself. Coming back to your thoughts about you and your feelings and treating yourself with the kindness and love and gentleness that you would treat a small child. Instead of what we do is we’re like that mean stepmom that you see as a stereotype in movies, right? We’re pretty harsh to ourselves. What I want you to do is be pretty nice to yourself.
You won’t end up arrogant or self-indulgent. You actually end up the opposite. You just end up so much nicer to yourself and so much nicer to others. It’s not in a fake way at all. It’s in a very genuine way. So what I want you to think about is your preferred love language and how you can start filling your own Self Love Tank. What thoughts do you have about filling your own Self Love Tank? Notice those. Because we’ve been socialized to think that someone else should make us happy. Someone else should give us gifts. Someone else should give us compliments.
So when I offer to you that you can give yourself gifts and you can give yourself compliments, what comes up for you? Just notice it. Just notice if you’re having and resistance. Just notice if you think that maybe you’re worried about other people judging you. Just notice what comes up for you. Think about the possibility of what your life could be like in the future if you just absolutely adored yourself. If you had love abundance for yourself.
Again, not in an arrogant way like you’re better than someone else, but in a way like you love a child. Like I just love the child. When the child’s silly or the child makes a mistake, you still just love the child. If you had that kind of love for yourself and you almost started dating yourself. I love the Oscar Wilde quote where he says, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” That’s what I want you to do for you is have a lifelong romance with yourself and practice filling your own Self Love Tank.
Come join me, nataliebacon.com/selflove. We’re going to do this work live, and I’m going to help you get started and take your self love to the very next level. I’ll see you there.
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