If I loved myself, I wouldn’t be defensive, when someone criticises me.
If I loved myself, I wouldn’t feel wrong, when someone makes a jokes on my account.
If I loved myself, I would be full of love and understanding for myself and others.
If I loved myself, I would look into the mirror and be happy, and therefore infect others with happiness, who would infect others with happiness until the entire population levels up on happiness.
I truly believe, that the root of most problems in our lives is a lack of self-love. But I also know, when I say to my partner or children: “You have to love me!” And they don’t feel that, that’s not going to happen, right? I don’t think you can force someone to feel, what they don’t feel.
So how can we generate that feeling? How can we accept and love ourselves?
I used to have a self-love-support group and I want to share the top 5 things:
1. Stop criticising yourself. Every time we hear criticism (especially when it comes from our inner voice) our subconscious mind logs in the evidence: “I’m not good enough.”
And with enough evidence we build our belief about ourselves.
It took me quite a while until I actually heard the voice in my head, which criticises me. Because I was so used to it, that I really needed to pay attention and notice it. In order to shut it up, every time I hear it, I repeat the sentence, but I make it funny. For example, when I had to drag my heavy suitcase three flights up, the voice said: “you shouldn’t have bought those 5 books in the charity shop!” (nag nag nag). So I repeated the sentence with a heavy German accent and I started laughing. I couldn’t take this criticism seriously anymore and it lost it’s grip.
And the limiting belief “I am not good enough.” is not supported in evidence anymore. And it’s time for a reality check. Maybe, meanwhile I am good enough. Did I ever double check since childhood, since this belief started? Since then I grew, I evolved, I learned, I improved. So clearly that belief is outdated for a long time now, I just forgot to update it, because I got used to the voice keeping me small!
2. Every morning I read positive affirmations, just to have new thoughts in my head, to file new evidence in my subconscious mind.
“I am perfect, exactly as I am.”, “I am worthy of love.”, “everything I do, I see through the eyes of love.”, “My empathy grows day by day.” Start the habit of writing down sentences, that resonate with you. From lyrics, from books, from what people say. And keep repeating them.
3. Have you ever heard the sentence “Fake it until you make it”? The movie “Catch me if you can” is based on that amazing mental tool. I wrote an identity statement. And I also read this out loud every morning. At the beginning I thought that was really exaggerated, almost embarrassing. I thought, if that was my description, I would be the most amazing woman on earth. But isn’t that exactly one of love’s qualities. To see the best in people? Wasn’t that the goal of all these exercises to love ourselves more? So let’s fake it until we make it. Write down all the qualities you want to have or want to be, and read them day after day after day. After a month I found more and more evidence, that this is really me. Our subconscious mind is like google. It finds evidence for what you are looking for. If I say every day “oh I am so stupid!” of course it will find evidence every day of how stupid I am.
So just imagine what your subconscious mind can find if you say something like this every day:
I am an attractive, charismatic, empathetic, brave, tolerant, rich and happy visionary, power-woman and lover, who inspires and motivates the people around her. Everyone loves me and is grateful that I exist. I guide myself and others to success and an independent, happy lifestyle. I enjoy my abundant life and find the partner who supports me in being me. Because I am the best thing, that ever happened to me. Even if someone tells me I am doing something wrong, I immediately know my good intention and I am able to communicate friendly and clearly what I need and why I need it.”
4. Develop a gratitude practice, for every little detail, that works in your life. Everything is there in our life at the same time. The things that work, and the things that don’t. The things we like and the things we don’t like. But where we place our attention, is where the energy goes. And things that are fuelled by energy multiply. As our brain constantly points us in the direction of what doesn’t work, make a list of everything, that works and read it in desperate times:
I am grateful, that my organs work perfectly together, that I have 2 legs, which enable me to walk through my life. I am grateful that I can move my hands, that my heart beats 100.000 times a day, and I don’t even have to think about it. It even beats when I am asleep, to keep me alive! I am grateful that I can taste different flavors, so I can taste amazing food. I am grateful that I have ears to hear my favourite music, that YouTube is for free and I can just access any song at anytime. I am grateful that my brain is so creative and I can imagine the coolest pictures and visions, that I can mentally travel anywhere I want, without even leaving the room. I am grateful, that billions of cells in my body work together in harmony and actually know what to do – because honestly, if they asked me what they have to do, I wouldn’t even know. I am grateful, that I am allowed to take this masterpiece of complexity called my body, through my life.
5. replace fear and anger with curiosity. Ask the right questions. Imagine you are in a situation, you really don’t want to be in. Instead of reacting with your usual pattern (eg. being annoyed, justify yourself, leaving, being sad, being afraid, having the feeling of not being good enough…) Or you can ask questions to your google brain: What is good about that? What can I learn from this situation? What else is possible right now? What am I waiting for? Where do I want to go? How do I get there? How do I want it? How can this have another outcome? How can I do it differently? And what if it’s easy? What’s the first step to the solution? In what way might this be perfect? What if it’s all changeable and what if it’s all a choice?
An example: One day my colleague said to me, that he thinks I am quite arrogant. Of course I could have reacted with anger, denial, justify myself or tell him, that I find HIM bloody arrogant. But I replaced fear and anger with curiosity and I asked him instead: “What exactly did I do, that you think that?” After that we became good friends!
Last but not least I want to invite you to do a challenge:
Seeing beauty. This is your scale, to check your self-love-level. When you see another person and the first thing you notice: too fat, nose too big, eyes too narrow, too many freckles, hair too thin, too much make up, too, too, too… critic critic critic… faaaar from love, faaaar from self-love. Change! Do this challenge and find something beautiful in every person you meet. Honestly and authentically. Don’t say “I like your hair” if you don’t. Find the thing, that is beautiful. And trust me, there is something beautiful in everyone. Remember to find it in yourself also. You are beautiful.