Of all the challenges our human brain presents us, loving ourselves might be the hardest. Our brain is convinced that we need to be better (in every way) before we can love ourselves. Not only is this not true, but waiting to love ourselves is actually preventing our best action. We’re waiting to act right in order to love ourselves, but we need to love ourselves in order to act right—because really loving ourselves produces the very best action we can ever take.
So how do we do this? How do we love ourselves? We start by recognizing that loving ourselves is a choice that happens in our mind. In this episode I’ll tell you exactly how to develop the beliefs and choose the thoughts that will allow you to love yourself for real.
Every feeling is created by a thought. If we want to feel love, we have to think the thoughts that create it. Loving ourselves is no different. In order to love yourself you have to control and direct the thoughts that you think about you.
1. Make a decision to love yourself - Loving yourself is a decision and an act of the mind. It’s not an event that hopefully will happen when you prove yourself worthy of love.
These are thoughts that serve no purpose other than to make you feel bad. These are the thoughts that say you are doing it wrong or you aren’t doing enough or you’re never going to make it. They are thoughts about how you’ve failed or how you’ve ruined everything or how much you hate this thing about you. All those thoughts go on the list.
What I want you to notice about these thoughts is that they use up all your time and all of your energy. They leave you depleted and defeated. They make you feel terrible, they don’t produce any powerful emotion or actions, and they are creating a significantly worse relationship with yourself. Most importantly, they are 100% optional. You do not have to think them.
When the thoughts resurface throughout your life, remind yourself that they are on the list of thoughts you have thrown away forever and choose to think something else instead.
2. Give your brain a positive job. Make it prove your self-supporting thoughts correct – Our brain loves to be right. Use that to your advantage and have it start gathering evidence for how all your self-supporting thoughts are true.
3. Tell a good story about you. Make yourself the hero instead of the villain – The thoughts we use against ourselves are just thoughts, they are just a story. Retell the story without using the painful thoughts against yourself.
4. Forgive yourself. Or better yet, recognize the power in not needing to forgive yourself at all – When we say we forgive ourselves, it assumes that we have done something wrong. But what if that is not true? What would it be like to understand that you have always done it exactly as you should have so that you can have the learning experience you are having.
5. Understand that when you love yourself, you start to tolerate less of what doesn’t serve you – When you love yourself, you act as the best version of you. You show up in your life and act in a way that serves you because you love yourself.
When you love yourself you require more from yourself, you require more from the way you think and talk about yourself, you require more form the way you live your life and reach your potential, you require more from you and stop making excuses. You meet the highest version of you.
The way you love yourself determines what you do and it determines the degree to which you can love others.
Mentioned on the podcast:
Brooke Castillo, The Life Coach School
Byron Katie, Loving What Is
Kamal Ravikant, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It