How to: Learn to Love Yourself in 10 Steps
Morning Rockstars! Happy Monday! I want to share something I posted on my Facebook page at the end of last week, talk about it, and expand on it.
“Make sure you take a deep breath this morning and remember how awesome you are. Remember to love yourself – no matter where you are in your journey. Remember to give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Remember to push yourself. Remember that you’re making yourself better one step at a time. Don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t doubt yourself, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Challenge you. Become your best you.
And then I asked everyone : What is one thing that you tell yourself that helps you get in the right mindset for the day?
The majority of the responses concluded that other than working on fitting it in, they tell themselves that THEY are their own competition.
There were many times during my journey where I did NOT love myself. Where all I was looking at was an end goal. Where I was way too hard on myself. Where I beat myself up. Where I compared myself to everyone else. How did I change that mindset? It’s taken time. And patience <—oh that dreaded word. And people to support me who see the best in me. And practice. And guess what? I’m still practicing. I wrote about that here too: I’m Still Learning to Love Myself Too. I wrote about having cellulite, and despite this fact, reminding myself why I love and appreciate my legs and body. I feel that practicing loving yourself will be a lifelong journey. There’s no end goal with no upkeep. Just as you have to maintain muscle and body composition, you have to maintain your mental game. Reminding yourself that you truly do love yourself will be an ongoing journey. The journey will change over time, get simpler, less arduous, and loving yourself will become more of a natural response, which is the goal, just like sweating daily becomes more natural and becomes a habit over time. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to work at it, but that’s partly why it’s so rewarding.
How to: Learn to Love Yourself in 10 Steps:
- Change Your Choices: Decide to change just your next choice. This turns into changing the choice after that. And the one after that too. Decide that next time you look in the mirror you will find something you like or love about yourself instead of something you want to change. Decide that next time you see something you do want to change about yourself, take a step to change it, and get rid of the anxiety you have about it, because you have the power to choose who you are by the choices you make. You don’t like that your jeans don’t fit? You have a couple options. You can get larger jeans and rid the anxiety, or you can choose to lose the weight you want to lose, take the first step towards that, and rid the anxiety, since you know you’re going in the right direction. Large changes and large turn-arounds are a compilation of small choices, every single day, that band together and have the ability to change your life in a relatively short amount of time. And when you do make these choices, be proud of yourself for making a better choice each day than you did the day before.
- Be Your Own Best Friend: Practice positive self-talk. You can be your own worst enemy, as well as your own best friend. There has been this movement where people think they have to shake off compliments, put themselves down and can’t promote themselves or say good things about themselves without making someone else feel bad or being called a self-centered person. SELF-LOVE AND POSITIVE SELF-TALK IS NOT A CRIME. Of course there’s a way to do this, talk to yourself and love yourself in a way that is positive for everyone. The bottom line is that you can be your own best friend, your own best cheerleader. And this starts in your own head, right between your own two ears. Next time you hear your own mind say something negative about yourself, cut it off, and replace it with something positive. You hear your own mind say to yourself, “you’re fat”? Cut that off. Say to own mind and yourself, “I’m not fat. I have some fat I want to get rid of. And because I have the power to choose who I am by the choices I make, I can get rid of some of that fat if I want to. I want to. I will get rid of some of that fat starting now with the next choice I make.” It can be about anything: my hair is too this, my nose is too that, I don’t have that skill, my x, y, and z suck. No. None of it sucks, none of it is too this or that, and you don’t not have the ability to gain any skill. You can make yourself what you want to be, so remind yourself that through how you talk to yourself in-between your own ears. If you do something well – PRAISE YOURSELF. If you do something poorly, ENCOURAGE yourself to try again. You’d never talk to your best friend, your sister, even your acquaintances like that – so stop talking to yourself like that, and right now. Be your own cheerleader. BE IN YOUR OWN CORNER. Start making the place between your ears a positive, uplifting place. It costs nothing. You get to start now!
- Say Thank You: Learn to take compliments from others. This is simply said, but not simply done, for the reasons above. We’re afraid to have big egos, to make others feel bad. When I compliment someone, it’s because I love their earrings, or because I think they’re beautiful inside or out, or because something they did resonated with me. Them saying thank you means they’ve acknowledged the good in what they’re doing or being. Saying thank you doesn’t mean they’re self-centered. It means they’re aware enough of themselves to be and do good. Next time someone compliments you or says something nice about you, smile at them, and say thank you, genuinely. This changed my life. Once I stopped saying, “Oh, I got lucky,” or “Oh, that’s not really as good as you thought,” or “Oh really? I didn’t like my hair this morning,” and instead, just learned to smile and say thank you, I felt a WHOLE LOT BETTER ABOUT MYSELF. Speak positively to yourself, about yourself, and learn to take compliments from others.
- Stop the Judgment: Practice positive thoughts about others. You’re going to start being in your own corner, thinking and speaking positively about yourself, and saying thank you when someone compliments you. Just as you owe this to yourself, you owe this same consideration to others. I’ve written about this before, and especially working in the emergency room where I see many people on the worst days of their lives, you never know what someone is going through. You just don’t. Judging why someone is overweight, or judging why someone isn’t well put together, or judging why someone is this, that, or the other thing, won’t help you feel better about yourself. When I didn’t have the confidence about myself and the love I have for myself, I saw myself putting others down and judging others in my own head or aloud because of my own insecurity. It had nothing to do with them. It had everything to do with me and how I felt about myself. I thought and said things because the psychology in my head told myself that if I made someone else look worse, I wouldn’t look as bad as I felt about myself. How do you fix this? One – by starting your own positive self-talk and stomping those insecurities away. And two – by every. single. time. you think a negative thought or say a negative thing about someone else, stop yourself or vow not to do that again. Instead, change that negative into a positive. Maybe that person who is obese had a major accident and has been on bed rest for a year, and is just lucky to be alive. Maybe that person who is disheveled just had the love of their life pass away. Maybe that person who is this, that, or the other thing, is an amazing person. No one is 100% all the time. Everyone has bad hair days, everyone has different viewpoints on life, everyone has different lifestyles. Be the best you that you can be and talk positively to yourself. Give others that same consideration, and your life will change for the better. You’ll get to know people you’d have otherwise judged, and maybe that will change your life. Opportunities open up for people who give themselves and others consideration. The golden rule, treat others as you’d like to be treated, always applies. And it applies in your thoughts too.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Anyone Else: Learn to appreciate yourself and others separately, and appreciate the differences that are present. You’re going to start thinking about and talking to yourself and others positively. Appreciating everyone’s differences will help this along. Comparing yourself to others is a trap. You cannot ever look like me, and I cannot ever look like you. We’re different down to the cellular level. Our upbringings are different, the people in our lives are different, our career paths are different. Your best is different than my best. And that is OK! Actually, it’s more than ok. It’s amazing. How boring would life be if we were all the same? If there was no variety? Appreciating this variety and these differences will give you peace in regards to yourself. It’ll remind you that you don’t have to be all of what he or she is, that you’re different, and you’re great in your own way, and that decreases anxiety. Perfectionism and comparing yourself to others are futile. It won’t get you anywhere. Take inspiration. It’s okay to say to yourself that you love what her shoulders look like and want to make yours the best yours can look. Saying you want her shoulders is unrealistic and futile, because even if you work your deltoids to death and eat as close to perfect as you can, your shoulders will NEVER be her shoulders. It’s physically impossible. No shoulder transplants please. Remember that we each have weaknesses, we each have strengths. Appreciate others’ strengths, even if they’re different than yours. Know your weakness, and improve upon them, but do just that and don’t beat yourself up about those weaknesses <— positive self-talk, remember? This leads me to my next thought … appreciate others differences but work on being your best YOU, not your best them, since that’s impossible!
- Work on Being your best YOU: The quote, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” by Oscar Wilde used to baffle me. I never understood. Everyone else is taken? What? I didn’t get it. I now understand this perfectly and it’s one of my favorite quotes I’ve ever heard. It’s impossible to be someone else, it’s impossible to have their looks, it’s impossible to be in their brain. Have you ever noticed that no one notices all the little imperfections you’re stressed about? Have you ever been so embarrassed or stressed about something that you then come to realize that no one has even noticed? When I first started to see this, and first started to see how I was very anxious about little imperfections (perfectionist much? Yep, definitely used to be. Now I work on being excellent, not perfect. There IS no perfect!) but then no one even took a second glance, it was an eye opener. When I first started talking about this, I told my brother, “We’re not that important. Everyone is worried about something on themselves, no one even notices what you’re worried about.” That was a poor description, and it’s not that we aren’t important, but it was important break through in my mind. Now I understand that it’s that we’re WAY MORE important than those little things. That people care about the kind of person we are, not how big our pores on our face are, or if we slip up a word or two in a sentence. People care about the whole picture, the whole being, not that a few hairs are out of place on the top of our head. And those little imperfections? Those are beautiful, and I have come to embrace them. Remember that you’re beautiful. All of you. That weird freckle? Those funky baby hairs? That big butt? Or crooked nose? Someone thinks that those are all beautiful. Let’s make that first someone yourself. Be your best you, be yourself, be a good person, heck – BE THE BEST PERSON YOU CAN BE – it’s a whole lot more important than the small imperfections. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Instead, work on making yourself better, through every single choice you make, and being your best you. Everyone else is taken.
- Surround Yourself with Support: Surround yourself with people who want to empower you. Surround yourself with people who care about you. Surround yourself with people who want to make you better. They say that you’re a compilation of the people you spend the most time with. The people you let into your life and spend valuable time with, whether on purpose or accident, shape you. Your environment shapes you, and there’s nothing more powerful than the people in your world. Respect yourself enough to stop spending time with people that don’t make your world a better place, that don’t help you grow. Quality over quantity. Finding that one or two or three people that are your rocks, that will change your world. For me, it’s my boyfriend and my brother. That’s not a whole lot of people. I choose to spend the most time with them that I can. Why? Both of them care about me to the core. They don’t care if my hair is sticking out every which way, I have no make up on, and my clothes are all mismatched. They care that I’m happy and healthy, and they’ll do anything they can to help me better myself and be there when I need them. It can be anyone. And remember, if you feel like you have no one, look at yourself. Make sure you’re open to BEING that support for someone, and more than likely, you’ll have an inpouring of support as well. Surround yourself with people that empower you, instead of tear you down. Above we talked about how insecurity can cause you to judge someone, tear them down because it has everything to do with you, and not them. If you empower others, and surround yourself with people who empower you, there’s nothing you can’t do. Impossible becomes I’m Possible with support and empowerment.
- BE the Inspiration You Want to See. Inspire and Empower Someone Else: Just as you want others to support you, inspire you, and empower you, you can be that for someone else. Just like I talked about how Betty Rocker inspires me, and how I feel lucky enough to be that person for others, it’s a paying it forward kind of deal. Be who you want to be, give what you want to be given, smile like you want to be smiled at, and you’ll gain all that in return. Be the person you want others to be to you. Nothing is more motivating than knowing you’re someone else’s inspiration or motivation. BE the inspiration you want to see. THAT ALONE, will empower you.
- Two words. Patience and Practice: Give yourself the gift of patience. All of this takes time and practice. In the instant gratification culture we live in today, it’s so easy to look at this post I’ve written and say to yourself, “BUT I JUST WANT TO LOVE MYSELF NOW!” It’s easy to wish that just reading this post would cure every insecurity you’ve ever had. And I get that. And you can. Start with your next choice. Your next thought. Bring positivity into your world. Fight tooth and nail to get rid of negativity, from your thoughts, your actions, your life. Every choice you make and thought you have shapes your world and who you are. Practice making yourself your best you every day, and have patience, knowing that every choice you’re making counts and that you are on your way. You’re on your journey of and to self-love and love of others.
- Be Thankful. There are many people that have much less and have many more obstacles than you’re facing currently. Your obstacles are valid, and not unworthy of appreciation, but understanding the notion that it could always be worse and to be thankful for all that we have helps us love where we are and who we are while we better ourselves and our lives. This is exactly why if motivation is lacking for me, all I have to do is think about someone who WISHES they had four working limbs to sweat with and that makes me work harder. It’s the little things to be thankful for, and in turn, it will encourage your self love even more.
My hope is that these 10 steps to take help you strengthen your mental game. With every choice and every thought, strengthen yourself. That alone should start your own self-love. Self-love can give way to so many opportunities, decrease so much anxiety. It will change your world to take a few of these simple steps, and practice them daily.
My #Sweatfor5 October challenge (sweat for 5 minutes a day with me and have a chance to win swag!) is getting into full swing and everyone is ROCKING IT. I am so incredibly proud of all of you!! Here’s a recap of days 2-7. I just wanted to remind you all how proud I am of you and that I’m honored you’re spending 5 minutes every day with my during your october and making sure to fit it in. I believe in all of you, keep rockin’ it and showing me what you’ve got!! Even if you missed the first week, you can still join!! Lots of swag up for grabs as prizes! Sign up here: #Sweatfor5 Challenge!
Have a fantastic monday! Start your week off rockin’!
I’d LOVE it if you’d join me here too so you don’t miss a thing…
- Do you do any of the ten steps above?
- What is your biggest hurdle in loving yourself?
- TELL ME ONE THING YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF!
- Are you participating in #sweatfor5?