**This post is an updated version of an article previously published in my weekly newsletter. So if it sounds vaguely familiar, now you know. **
I used to wonder what people meant by the phrase, “You have to love yourself before anyone else can love you.” I thought, “What does my self-love have to do with their feelings?”
Well, I believe it’s true that their feelings are theirs. In the end, how they feel is up to them.
But when you’re adorable—when you love and adore yourself—it shows. It looks like radiant confidence. You look smoking hot. It looks like complete and utter knowing that as soon as they get to know you, they’ll love and adore you, too.
My baby can teach you how. We flew cross-country with her when she was 6 months old. There was no doubt in her mind that every person on that plane was in love with her.
She worked the plane, standing on our laps and smiling at the stone-faced business travelers and the people wearing eye masks and headphones. She tilted her head and blew kisses as if they were her adoring fans. They soon were. She adored them. And she adores herself. She won them over, big time.
Her dad and I had another story going. Oh-no-we’re-“the people with the baby”-everyone-is-hoping-we-don’t-sit-near-them. We weren’t being very adorable. And I don’t think we were very adored.
She made me think of this again last week. Now she’s 14 months old. We walked a few blocks, down the sidewalk. She was holding my hand with one hand, and waving to every man, woman, and dog with the other.
“Hi—eee!” she yells to everyone in earshot, waving frantically. “Hi-eee dawdy” to all the dogs (dawdy = doggy in baby-speak). People waved back and said, “Hi-eee little girl!”. Wives pinched their husband’s arms and pointed over to her, saying, “Look at that, how cute!” Dogs ran over to lick the hand she was holding out to them. Even cool teenagers out with their friends and grumpy old men cracked smiles. I saw them.
She knew it would happen that way. There was never any doubt in her mind.
She took the risk of reaching out to strangers because she doesn’t know any better. But it wasn’t really a risk at all. When you’re adorable, you’re adored.
And part of being adorable is taking the “risk”. Putting yourself out there to others and being willing to be adorable.
I’m learning this lesson from her. The next time I want more adoration, I’m going to try to be adorable first. It works for her so I think can work for me. And for you, too.