We are our own worst critics…sometimes even downright hateful with our own tender hearts. We say and do things to ourselves that we would never do to another person, especially a loved one, as if we’re exempt from our own love and appreciation. We make demands, create expectations, and then unfairly beat ourselves up when we don’t meet every single mark.
Why? Why have we convinced ourselves that we’re anything less than whole and complete, just as we are?
I don’t know, but we do these hurtful to ourselves all the time, taking cruel action against the one person that we have to carry through this world and actually BE for the duration of our existence. The person that we share with others, the ones we give to our families and friends. We do this, and then plunge ourselves into the world somehow still expecting to perform at our best. That is counterproductive, to a great extreme.
Now obviously, we’re stuck with ourselves, so we can either confront this self-defeating force and change it, or live life forever creating our own misery. I choose the former.
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
1.) Spend a few moments each day appreciating yourself.
Verbalize and audibly speak at least two kind messages to yourself every day. This can be as simple as a compliment, such as “Hello Self…you’re looking pretty hot today” or an acknowledgement of a job-well-done, like “I went the extra-mile on that project and it came out great!” It does not matter how big or small the messages may seem to you. What is important is the sincerity, that you really mean it, and that you say them out loud. Take some time to focus on and appreciate all the good that you create.
2.) Reverse negative thoughts.
Whenever a hurtful idea about yourself comes to mind, consciously choose to think the opposite. If you look in the mirror and think sadly “ugh, I’m so fat” then you have to STOP right there, and counter with “I am a strong, healthy, and beautiful person.” Maybe you are quick to “damn, I’m such an idiot!” when you make tiny mistakes. When that happens, again STOP, and say instead “I am intelligent, resourceful, and always do my best to make the right choices.”
It may feel silly at first, or like you’re completely lying to yourself, but that is a result of the years of conditioning we’ve all had pushing us in the other direction of comparison and discontentment. The truth is that you are perfect, in all ways, just as you are.
3.) Quality self-care.
Its important to invest in your own personal well-being. You have to choose to take care of yourself physically because without your health and wellness, you’ll end up with a whole lot of nothing. I know its easier said than done (which is why I developed the Total Wellness Project) but it still has to be put into practice to make a difference. Exercise. Eat clean. Sleep well. Get some sunlight. Practice yoga and meditation. Go outside. Read. Laugh. Pray. Spend time with your loved ones. Truly, those few things can absolutely transform a life.
4.) Bring it all together.
It gets easier to do all of these things as you go along. All new habits are challenging to form at first, but its more than worth it to form them. And the greatest thing about them, really, is that they’re compounding. Positive changes segue from one to the next and build off of each other. For instance, it might be difficult to come up with daily compliments when first starting, but it becomes easier every day because as you bring the concept of self-love into your awareness, you start “taking notes” about yourself to reference later. You begin to recognize your value and inherent goodness while forgiving, and even embracing, your shortcomings.
The more love that you give to yourself, the more you will recognize the beauty of your whole being, flawed as it may be. And it opens your heart more to others as well, creating a space for Love to fill and empowering you to accept people unconditionally. This is a driver of peace, which is something we could always use more of.
© Danielle Hewitt (of Loving A Fit Life) and DanielleHewitt.com (including LovingAFitLife.com) 2011 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Danielle Hewitt and DanielleHewitt.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.