the inspiration blog

Public Speaking Tip: Self-Love

Posted on: November 18, 2013

Every Saturday morning that I’m in town, I walk over to the farmer’s market near where I live (a cute neighborhood in Oakland, California, right by a lake). I love buying organic fruits and vegetables, in season, straight from the people who grow them – and have gotten to be friends with some of the vendors too.

At the farmer’s market, I’ve made it a regular practice to buy flowers. Sometimes I see a glint in a passerby’s eye, a “knowing look,” wondering what lucky woman is getting them.

But they’re for me. That’s right: every week I buy myself flowers. Sure, if I’m dating someone, she may be getting flowers too. 🙂 But I first buy for myself the color and arrangement that I intuitively feel will nurture me that week. And when I look at them across from my desk over the coming days, I feel kindness toward myself.

It’s a self-love practice.

Self-love is one of the most important things we need to find confidence – in life, and certainly as speakers. 

As you know, we are our own biggest critics. Which means that we’re generally the ones getting in our own way, and stopping ourselves from enjoying life and appreciating our successes. For example, many speakers get angry at themselves when they make a mistake.

Have you ever had a speaking engagement, or something else with high stakes, where it mostly went well… except for that one thing didn’t go quite right? Did you fixate on that one little issue, and blow it out of proportion? Or, did you notice it, take note of what to adjust for next time, and then appreciate all of your hard work as well as everything that went well?

Yes, it’s possible to do that! But it takes practice, and changing our orientation around what happens when things don’t go as planned.

One of the most essential aspects of speaking, and confidence, is our relationship to ourselves. Instead of being self-critical, could you be kind to yourself? Become your best friend, instead of your worst critic?

For some, self-love feels like a tall order. So I often start my clients off with generating compassion instead, using a compassion meditation that begins to change their response to themselves. This is a repatterning of self-destructive thoughts and feelings that, unfortunately, we pretty much all do. Your goal is to be able to be kind to yourself when something doesn’t go right – when speaking, or in life.

There’s much more to the topic of dealing with “making mistakes” (if there really is such a thing), including more fully trusting the flow of life. And we can develop greater capacity for handling whatever arises – because with public speaking (and everything else, for that matter), it will never quite go as we expect! Still, generating lovingkindness toward ourselves is a pretty great place to start.

So, whether you buy yourself flowers, do a metta/compassion/lovingkindness meditation, or another practice, please: be kind to yourself. I guarantee that when you are nicer to the person you spend the most time with – yourself – you’ll not only feel better. Your audience (and everyone else, for that matter) will also sense this, and feel safer with you as a result… and welcome you into their hearts even more.

Will you share your comments and feelings about this below? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


9 Responses to "Public Speaking Tip: Self-Love"

Jonathan, thank you for reminding all of us how essential self love is.How can we be loved by others if we do not love ourselves?!Self love is not a selfish act, it is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves!

Exactly, Madlena! In fact, it’s essential. And all of us healers have to watch out for just giving to others and not receiving. But it begins with giving to ourselves. Thanks for taking the time to read and connect! -Jonathan

I love your use of color and real flowers as a reminder for self-nurturing. Isn’t it wonderful to be sitting at one’s desk and have the smell of fresh flowers come wafting up while typing? A moment like this creates a little bit of “heaven on earth”. Thank you for the reminder. And a big Happy Birthday to you!

Thank you, dear Bethany! I think we’re due to connect again too!

You are absolutely right – self-love is essential, and why is it so hard to achieve? I have started on it about a year ago and made some progress – I also buy myself flowers if no one has given me a bouquet – but the one thing that has helped me most is the realization that unless we love ourselves, we cannot love our Source, nor are we able to love others, given the principle that we are all One with God. So I love you!

Jonathan, thank you for sharing. I love to see how you are connecting with Source, truth, nature….The highest vibration that possibly exists is Love. Showing ourself love – self-love is of essence for us to share love, compassion, understanding and kindness towards others. We express ourselves through what vibrates in us.

Now and then I would buy myself flowers. Most of the time, my husband will buy flowers for me. Last week, I met a woman who owns a flower shop “Flower talks” and she created beautiful bouquets to sell at our women’s networking event.. What a beautiful gift of self-expression and creation! I feel flowers is a reflection of all the richness, abundance and beauty that bring life to us. Enjoy and love…all things are possible!

With love and transformaion,


Thank you for your reflection, Jocelyne – I really appreciate it. And I hope things are flowering for you in your life! Let me know, will you?
Blessings to you,

Jonathan, I really liked the article…it reminds me to become less self-critical and best friend of self…thank you!

I absolutely believe in this. It’s the key to a real inner transformation of the inner critic. Self-love requires us to really give ourselves some acknowledgement and self-compassion… and these will calm the inner critic quickly. I’m teaching something along these lines in a stress transformation course.

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