Episode 99: How to Like You and Your LifeJun 07, 2021
One of the best skills we can acquire is learning how to like ourselves and our life because it affects every other area of our life.
With our brains running the show, we often don’t realize that liking ourselves is an option. We don’t understand that liking ourselves isn’t something that happens to us, but instead it’s a choice we make by the way we think about ourselves. Liking ourselves and our life is never a result of what we do or what our life looks like—it’s always a result of what we think.
In this episode, I’ll show you how to put yourself in charge of liking yourself and your life, and everything you need to know to do it. Not liking yourself is the brain’s default setting, but liking yourself and your life (no matter what) is a feeling that is always available to you.
Episode Tools and Questions
We often don’t realize it’s an option to like ourselves. It feels like a circumstance outside our control. But like is created entirely by what we think, because like is a feeling. Since the feeling of like comes from our thoughts, that means we get to choose what to think and how to feel when it comes to liking ourselves and our lives - even when it’s harder than it sounds.
I used to think of thoughts that said I needed to change everything about myself in order to like me. Those thoughts made me feel miserable, hopeless, and lonely. I missed so much of the life I did have by wishing for an alternate, more perfect version of it. But after I found coaching, I learned to think differently, which allowed me to finally embrace myself and my life.
In this episode, I’m sharing two pivotal ways to think differently so you can learn to truly like yourself and your life. As long as I was thinking my life was supposed to go another way, it would keep me from liking my life, and me in it. My life was never supposed to be any other way, and neither was I. I realized I could choose to like myself and the life in front of me - and so can you.
Mentioned on the podcast:
My group coaching program: Made for More
James Clear, Atomic Habits: "Repetition unlocks value. The value of your first workout increases the more you exercise. The value of your first article increases the more you write. The value of your first conversation increases the longer you stay in the relationship. Day one continues to compound.
Welcome to the 100% Awesome Podcast with April Price, you might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
Hello, podcast universe. Welcome to Episode 99 of the 100% Awesome Podcast, I'm April Price and I cannot believe we're at 99. I have had so many thoughts lately about the impact of one action, the effect of one choice at a time in our life. And as we have neared 100 episodes, and two years of the podcast, and two years in my business, and another birthday that is coming up very shortly here for me, my mind has just really been thinking about the compounding effect of one, right? The additive cumulative effect of one choice at a time, one action at a time, and how they add up to significant things in our life. And this is the miracle of creation. It is never just poof, suddenly things spring into existence, or there's sudden changes that create like magic, presto, instant new lives. But creation is always a process, and I am so grateful to be witnessing it in my own life. At some point I'm going to do a whole podcast on this idea, because it has been on my mind so much lately.
But for now, I just want to share a thought the other day that I read from James Clear and he wrote, "Repetition unlocks value." The value of your first workout increases, the more you exercise, the value of your first excercise increases. The more you write, the value of your first conversation increases. The longer you stay in the relationship, day one continues to compound. So, holy cow! Like there is so much gold in there, right? But let me just point out how powerful that thought is, right? Like the more people that I'm able to help with this podcast, like the more value that first episode has that it started in the first place. Like the longer that David and I are together, and married, the more of a life that we build together, the more energy, and love, and devotion we create together, the more the value of that first conversation we had increases. Like, isn't that the coolest thing ever?
So, what I want to say is whatever you are putting off right now, start. Like sometimes we're not starting because we're just like it's so small, it's not, it doesn't have any value. It it's not going to be anything. But the value compounds over time, through repetition, right? So, start. Stop waiting, and just start, and then repeat. Start your first workout and then just repeat, start your first paragraph and then just repeat. And I want to offer you that the same exact thing applies to your thoughts. Like if you start thinking something new, and then you choose to repeat it, it will change your life, and the value of the first time you thought it just keeps going up. Like if I choose to think a thought that creates love for me, or love for someone in my life, and then I keep repeating that thought, and I keep practicing that thought, the value of the first time I thought that thought just increases exponentially in my life. It becomes more, and more valuable. The value of day one compounds the value of action one always compounds and the value of the first time you choose a thought on purpose compounds as well.
And next week I'm going to talk a little bit more about the compounding effect of our thoughts, but I hope that will give you a little teaser and get you started thinking about. Decide to think something you want to think today, and then repeat it, keep doing it, and see what compounds in your life. And just as a reminder, this is your last week to leave review before we hit 100 episodes. And so, if you do that, or if you share the podcast on social media and tag me so that I can see it, then I will add your name to the drawing, and I'm going to send two of you a box of something awesome, right? It's going to have some wireless headphones, some of my favorite books, my favorite treats, some gift cards to my favorite stores. And so, if you are into that, this is the week to leave a review. And this is also the last week to join Made for More for my April session. The April session starts next week, one week from today. And it is going to be awesome. I am so excited for this group because they are making a choice that is going to compound, and give back to them for the rest of their lives. Their day one is only a week away, and if you want the same thing, I hope you are going to be there too.
So, whether you are worried that coaching won't work for you, or maybe your brain, things like "you shouldn't need help to be able to change your thoughts." I just want you to know that coaching always works, and it works faster, and better with a coach who can show you the deceptions, and lies, and excuses, of your own brain. So, that you can get out of your own way. It's really hard for all of us to see through the haze of our brain. I was just talking to a client today who said, "I'm just so, so, so glad I did this." She said, "I can't believe how fast everything in my life has changed. Things that I thought would take me years to change are changing in a matter of weeks." So, it will work for you, it will change your life experience in such amazing ways, and you will always be grateful for your coaching day one because of the incredible compounding effect it will have on the rest of your life. I will be forever grateful to myself for my own day one and my coach, who helped me change the thoughts, which changed everything else in my life, and I want that for all of you, so we start in a week! You can go to my website and sign up for a call with me this week and see if Made for More is right for you, and see how coaching can help you, and impact the rest of your life.
Okay, all right! Onto the episode today. I want to talk to you about how to like yourself, and your life, and that is no easy thing, right? Like, it sort of sounds like it should be easy, but because of our brains biological programming to notice problems, it actually isn't easy. And if you don't like yourself, and you think you should, let me stop you right there, okay? You shouldn't. Technically, you shouldn't like yourself because your brain isn't going to offer you those thoughts that make you like yourself on default. Of course, we don't like ourselves. But we can. You shouldn't like yourself because you're a human with a brain. Isn't that a relief? But you can like yourself because you are also a spirit child of God, with the capacity to direct your brain. Isn't that a relief? So, you shouldn't like yourself, and you are doing it wrong if you don't. But you can. And that is so important to know.
It will feel so much better if you do. It will change every relationship you have. If you do, it will change the way you approach your life, and the things you do, and the way you spend your time on Earth. And so, I totally recommend it as a way of living, okay? And the great thing about learning to like yourself, and your life is that these principles apply no matter what you are trying to like, if you are trying to like someone else, if you are trying to like exercise, if you're trying to like springing forward, or the way your husband communicates, or the way the country is being run, it's all the same principles. "Liking" is a choice, and a skill. And today I'm going to be talking about how to really like ourselves and our life, no matter who we are, or what we've done, or what our life looks like. But it applies to anything that you are working on liking.
So, the first thing that I want you to understand is kind of obvious, and that is like is a feeling, okay? So, that means that like always belongs in the feeling line of the model, and every feeling, like included, is created by our thinking, or our thoughts. And that means that liking yourself, and your life is always in your control. It is dependent upon the thoughts you think about both of those things. So, this kind of reminded me of that movie, "Dan in Real Life." Which is such a good movie, if you haven't seen it. But do you remember when Dan is sending his daughter's boyfriend back into the city, and she's like, "You are a murderer of love!" It's like the best scene ever! Anyway, as the boyfriend is getting in the car to head home, he tells Dan "Love is not a feeling, it's an ability." It's such a good scene. Anyway, what I want to tell you is that like, or love, or whatever you want to feel is a feeling, but it is not something that just happens to you. It is created by you. You do have the ability to produce any feeling you want by the thought you think. And so, in that way, Marty was right, and like is an ability. It is a feeling, and an ability. Like is created by what you think.
So, if you don't like you, or if you don't like your life, I want you to get really curious about what you're thinking. What do you think of you? What do you think about your life? Because the answer to those questions is, what is producing whatever feeling you have about you, and your life right now? So one of the main reasons that I find we don't like ourselves, or our life is that, of course, our brain is running the show, and we don't realize that it's an option to like ourselves. We don't realize that we are in charge of like. We don't know that we can like us. We don't realize that it's even an option for us, right? But like is always an option. Any feeling you want to have about yourself, or your life is always an option. We think, like is based on things outside of us, but it is always based on the choices we make with our thoughts. And this applies to anything.
So, let's take mint chocolate chip ice cream, right? If I don't like mint chocolate chip ice cream, it's not because there's something wrong with it that it is like inherently unlikable. It's because I have thoughts that say, like, my ice cream shouldn't taste like my toothpaste. And that doesn't create the feeling of, like, inside me. So, how do we know this is true? Because lots of people have lots of thoughts about mint chocolate chip ice cream, and some of those thoughts produce the feeling of like for them. So, if mint chocolate chip ice cream was unlikable, then no one would like it. And unbelievably, people do! Like when my daughter was little, she didn't like chocolate at all, and I would make chocolate chip cookies, and I would have to pick the chocolate out of hers before I baked cookies, right? She also didn't like mashed potatoes, which is just like completely unheard of, I think. But it didn't have anything to do with the inherent likeability of chocolate, or mashed potatoes. It had to do with her thoughts about them. And I'm not saying that you have to like chocolate, or mashed potatoes. And I'm certainly not saying you have to like mint chocolate chip ice cream because like, let's be reasonable. But you can, you do have the ability to.
So, I talked to a client the other day that changed her thoughts about tomatoes, right? And learned to like tomatoes. Now, I don't want to get sidetracked here, and have you think this is like just about liking food? This is just to point out to you that whether or not we like something, that likability is never based on the thing itself, like is created by our thoughts. So, the scope of my husband's job recently changed, and I was really upset about this. Like I was offended, and hurt, and sad for him, on behalf of him, which is like super useful, and that's whole story for another time. But I kept saying, like, "I don't think you should have to do a job you don't like." As if the job itself was likable, or unlikable. As if that wasn't, or isn't completely and totally up to him. Like if he likes his job, or doesn't like his job, it will be based entirely on what he thinks, and not the job itself. And this is really powerful to know. I know it sounds obvious, but this is a game changer when it comes to thinking about you, and your life. You and your life are 100% likeable. They have complete likability. Whether or not it is liked, whether or not you are liked is up to you.
We sort of think like my husband's job, that it has to meet certain parameters in order to be liked. We think we have to meet certain parameters, our standards, or conditions in order for us to like us. But this is never the case, because again, "like" never happens outside of us. It happens inside of us, by how we choose to view ourselves. Like is up to you, and like is based on your thoughts every time, even when it comes to you, and your life. Okay so, now you might be saying, well, that sounds lovely, April, but how? How do I think differently about myself? Given the premise that I can like me, by the way that I think, how do I go about doing that? And I think that thinking differently about ourselves, or our life starts with two things.
First, we have to drop our conditions to liking, and then we have to be willing to question what we already believe about ourselves. What we already believe about what is acceptable, or unacceptable. So, let's just start with the first one, dropping our conditions to liking. So, each of us has a list, okay? A list of things we think we need to do before we can like ourselves. So, for this podcast, I went back, and I looked at my old list, the one I made when I first came to coaching, and I can still remember how it felt when I made it. Like my coach asked me to make a list of the conditions I had about liking myself. And I remember how much self-loathing, and regret, and grief I felt making that list, right? Because I just felt so bad about who I was, and what I had done with my life. And when my coach had me make this list, there were only four lines on the page that she gave me, and so I only wrote my top four conditions to liking me. But I literally could have filled pages, and pages, of things that I needed to do before that I could like myself.
Anyway, I wrote, "Before I can like myself. I have to change everything. I have to be more loving, I have to be better, and I have to be worthy of liking." I included that on the same line and then I wrote, "I have to do what I'm supposed to do." Like, I had this list of things that I was supposed to do, from mothering, to exercise, to storing water for emergencies, all of which I wasn't doing. And so, I think this line I have to do what I'm supposed to do is meant to cover all that, right? Now, listen this is a pretty comprehensive list, just the one changing everything, or do what I'm supposed to do like that is a never ending list, okay? And I suspect that it might be the same in your brain, too. And because the list is never ending, we just need to let it go. We just need to drop it. And remember, it is not necessary anyway. Nothing has to be different for us to like anything. There are no conditions on like. So, I'm inviting you to drop your conditional list because it isn't helping you. None of these conditions are helping you. They aren't helping you change, and they are making you feel terrible.
Next to this list, I had to write how having these conditions made me feel, and I wrote miserable, hopeless, and lonely. Like there's just no upside to not liking. Having conditions to liking you, only punishes you, because then you are the one that feels that not liking. The hopelessness, the misery, the loneliness, and it doesn't change you, or help you attain the conditions any faster. Like even if you could change all the things about you, and wave a magic wand, and change everything, none of those actions, none of those behaviors produced liking in the first place. Liking is just a choice we make, and it is completely independent of any condition, action, or behavior. So, to think about ourselves differently, we need to let go of those conditions. They aren't going to be achieved, and they're just making us feel terrible.
Okay, and the next, we have to be willing to question our current thoughts. So, right now your brain thinks that its current opinion of you, and your life, is the absolute truth. And when we think that our opinion is the truth, no other options, or opinions ever present themselves to us. So, we have to question what our brain sees as the truth right now. So, I want you to pick one thought that you have about yourself or your life. What is something you don't like about you or your life? It can be anything, right? And once you figure out something that you don't like about you, or your life right now, our work then is to show ourselves that this is just one opinion, an optional opinion offered by our brain. It's just a thought. And whatever it is that we don't like is not actually inherently unlikable.
So, I'm going to show you how to do this with a little example, and admittedly is very dumb example, okay? But I'm going to use it to demonstrate how to question our thoughts, and how to show our selves. This is just an opinion, and we can have a completely different one. So, I want you to know, like I know this is a dumb example, but it was really hard for me to think of things that I don't like about me, which in and of itself is sort of miraculous to me. Like there was a time when I couldn't tell you one thing I liked about myself. And I don't say this in a bragging way, but to show you that, like, I have made the choice to like myself so much. Even the things that are like weaknesses, or that I might label as problems, or things I want to change, like I have even worked to like those about me. And it has become so habitual that I had a hard time finding something where I felt dislike. Like, of course, there are things about me that I want to change, in ways that I want to grow, but not because I don't like them, not because I don't like these parts of me, but just because I want a different life experience. And I think something else is available to me that I want to try. But I really have done so much work, I'm liking all the parts of me.
Okay, so recently I've noticed these thoughts come up for me about something I don't like. And so I'm going to work on them here on the podcast with you, so you can see how questioning these thoughts allows me to see that not liking is just one option. And I could totally like these things. So, I have been working on building strength in the gym, and in order to build more muscle, I have increased the amount of food I'm eating on purpose, right? And that is changing my body. And yes, it is putting on muscle, but it is also putting on fat as part of that process, okay? And in particular, I keep having the thought that I don't like my arms. I don't like the way my arms look, okay? And this thing is like, "Okay, my arms are getting kind of chunky." And this morning when I was like re-racking the weights, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I had a distinct feeling of dislike caused by a thought. The thought was that doesn't look good, right? Which my brain of course, just thinks is the truth. My brain is like, "I'm April, I'm five-two, I have brown eyes, and my arms don't look good." But it's not a fact.
And no matter what you think about yourself, it's not a fact. And it is your privilege to question everything your brain tells you, okay? So, here are a few questions I'd like to ask myself when I am questioning a thought. The first one is why would I want to think that? Like, really, why would my brain want to think that doesn't look good? Why would it offer me that thought? Remember, my brain wants me to fit in, and it thinks it's more socially acceptable to have thin arms than big arms. It thinks I will have a better chance of survival if I fit into acceptable norms. Except that I don't actually live in a tribe. I'm not actually in danger of being kicked out of the tribe, or being picked up by predators. So, it makes sense that my brain might want to think that, but I don't have to, because it's not actually benefiting me, or helping me to survive to think it.
Then I ask another question, and notice as I question my thoughts, I'm just trying to loosen things up, I'm trying to show my brain that this is just a thought that isn't serving me, or helping me, and I could choose something else. Remember, the thought is, that doesn't look good. My next question is, who would I be if I couldn't think this? If I couldn't think that doesn't look good, who would I be? What would it change? I would be a spirit daughter of God. Having a human experience in a body. Isn't that amazing? Like I have arms that can lift weights because I'm having a human experience. I would be a woman reracking some serious weights because she is strong. What would be different if I couldn't think this? I would be proud when I looked in the mirror. What would be different? I would be excited about how strong I was getting. If I couldn't think this, I would appreciate everything my arms do for me, and revel in the miracle that our bodies know what to do with extra food to build muscle, and store fat.
And if I didn't have the thought that this didn't look good, then the way I experience my life in my body would be different. Pretty cool, right? So, another way that you can question your thoughts is, what if I'm wrong about this? What if I just made this up, and it's not even a thing. And I like to, like, really ponder that. Like, how do I know what looks good? What looks good is always an opinion, and opinion of the beholder. What if there's no such thing as looking good? What if it's all made up? And what if I don't actually know what looks good because of my social conditioning? Okay, like we can question everything our brain thinks about us.
The last question I always ask myself is even if it's true, why would I want to think it? Like, even if we could prove scientifically that my arms didn't look good, why would I want to think it? Why would I want to feel dislike when I look in the mirror? I'm the one that has to feel dislike. Why would I want that experience, when I could have the experience of pride, or wonder, or appreciation. Like these experiences are also available to me just by the way I think. I could choose to think I like how I look, and then I get to feel all the amazing feelings I get from that thought. So, I hope that helps you learn to question those thoughts.
Finally, the last thing I want to give you to help you like yourself, and your life is to stop telling yourself that you did it wrong in the past. The way you tell the story of your past is making it really hard to have feelings of like for you, and your life right now. Because what happens when we don't like the past, and we think that everything went wrong in the past, and we did it wrong and it was supposed to go a different way. When we think that, we stop liking ourselves now. And we stop liking our life now. Because we are wishing for some alternate version of our life, that doesn't actually exist. Whenever we think that who we were, or what happened in our life was wrong, we are discounting our actual life for some imaginary alternate version of our life that does not exist. And I did this for years, I told myself that I should have mothered better, and then my kids should have had a different mother. And therefore the experience they had was less than ideal. And I hated myself, and my life, because it was so vastly inferior to this alternate magical life that I was supposed to have lived to this like, alternate magical version of me. I couldn't love me, or my life because it wasn't that fantasy version.
I told myself that I should have spent my money differently, and spent my time differently. And again, when I believe this, I couldn't love the life I had, because it was inferior to this life that I was supposed to have lived. This like imaginary alternate life, by the way, that I was supposed to spend my money, that I was supposed to use my time. All of that is an alternate version that doesn't exist. And when I think that I was supposed to have that one, I can't like the one I have. Here's what I want you to know. That alternate version isn't real. That alternate past doesn't exist, and you are missing the life you have waiting for that superior alternative version that is never coming. And I also want you to know that you are 100% wrong about the fact that that other version is superior to the one you are living. Your opinion that other version would have been better, is wrong. You were never supposed to live that life, you were supposed to live the one you lived. You were supposed to get it wrong in all the ways you did, and all the ways you will. You are having the exact experience you're supposed to be having. And the sooner you can make peace with that, the sooner you can allow yourself to like this version. This version of you, and this version of your life.
And I know that I have told you this story before, but I'm going to tell it again. It bears repeating. About six or seven years ago, we were living in a rented house. And I had this thought that we had done it all wrong. We had lost our house, and we were living in this rented house that I thought that we had messed up so phenomenally that there was no way to like this life. This life we were living was just a life of mistakes. How could I like that? How could I approve of a life full of mistakes, and errors, and bad judgments, and failures? And I was just constantly trying to go back in my mind, and figure out where it had gone wrong. And where I missed the life I was supposed to get. And I will never forget driving to Utah, one time I was listening to a coaching call with my coach, and she said, "You were supposed to do it wrong. You are living the exact life you are supposed to be living." And I was so overcome by that thought I had to pull the car over. It was one of those utterly profound moments of my life where I could see that as long as I thought it was supposed to go another way, I would be waiting for some alternate version of my life that was never coming, and thinking that I should be living that version was keeping me from liking the version I was in. It was keeping me from liking my life, and me in it. And once my coach showed me that, I could never think about my life the same way again, it changed everything for me.
I liked my life and nothing had changed. I was still in that rented house, I still had over forty- thousand dollars in debt and not one dollar saved for a down payment. Every mistake I had ever made still existed, and I fell in love with my life, this life, my real life, the life in front of me. I really, and truly liked it, and I never would have imagined that was possible. And from that moment on, I decided I would never think it was supposed to go any other way. I would like my life exactly as it was, as long as I believed it was the exact life with the exact lessons I needed, and there was nothing at all wrong with it. I could like it. I could just believe it was perfect and I could like it as it was. It was a choice made entirely, by the way I decided to think about it, and it is the same for you. No matter what you, or your life looks like, or what you think it should look like, it is totally possible to be in love with all of it.
Liking you, and your life is a choice that is 100% available to you regardless of anything else. You can drop your conditions, they aren't helping you to be different and they are creating enormous amounts of pain for you. You have the power to question every thought your brain has if you want. Yes, it thinks thoughts, but you can examine and question and dismiss those thoughts and think what you want. And it is so much easier to like you and your life when you know that this is the exact version you are supposed to be living.
It was never supposed to be any other way, and neither were you. You are exactly where you should be, and you and your life as you are right now are one hundred percent likeable. And that, my friends, is one hundred percent awesome. I love you for listening and I'll see you next week.
Applications for my group coaching program made for more are now open at aprilpricecoaching.com Your brain was program for survival, but you were made for more than that. You were made for more love and more accomplishment and more joy right now. And I can show you the simple way to get all of that. Join me in Made for More where we will spend six-months coaching and reprogramming your brain so that you can get the most out of this life, and the next. Go to aprilpricecoaching.com to apply. And I'll see you there.
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