Is It Time To Start Loving Yourself?
Do you often find yourself caught in cycles of negative self-talk, with doubt and criticism dominating your thoughts? If so, it might be time to make a crucial decision to start loving yourself. Check out Kristin Maxwell’s process for silencing your inner critic and finally finding peace.
Recently, I had the opportunity to hear the fabulous Lisa Nichols speak. One thing she said really stuck with me, and I suspect a lot of us could use to hear it.
Her advice? Every day, you need to decide to love yourself. At first glance, the advice sounds unnecessary. Once you unpack the reasoning behind the advice, though, you just might decide to start loving yourself today — and to make this decision a conscious daily practice.
Self-Love Is A Choice
Who knew that you could decide whether or not to love yourself? Most us don’t realize that self-love is something we can choose to have. Usually, how we think and feel about ourselves is dependent on outside circumstances or on our moods. When life is good, we like ourselves. When we are in a bad mood or life is hard, we don’t. However, how empowering is it to recognize that whether you love yourself or not is something you can learn to do, like a skill? And it’s your choice. Decide — right now — to start a loving-yourself practice.
Steer Your Thoughts in a Positive Direction
When you take the time each day to consciously decide to love yourself, the structure of the practice automatically guides you to look at what is great about you. The question presented to your brain is this: “Why would I love myself?” With this question, your brain automatically goes to everything that is great about you — your ability to love fiercely, your determination to become a better, kinder person, your love for funny movies or dogs or yoga, your big laugh.
When you decide to love yourself, you give your brain the direction to think positive thoughts about yourself. Much of our negative self-talk is merely habit. Make the decision to remember and think about the parts of yourself that you do like. Then, throughout your day, if you start going into your negative self-talk habit, actively remind yourself – “Hey, I decided to love myself today,” and tune into that feeling of compassion for yourself – and consciously turn your thoughts back to why you love yourself.
When You Acknowledge Love For Yourself, You Will Also Find Compassion
The daily practice of deciding to love yourself also allows you to develop compassion for yourself. Take the time to think about yourself the way you would a child — as someone who is fallible and who makes mistakes — but who you love expansively and compassionately, no matter what they do. Take that feeling of expansive love and apply it to yourself. Picture yourself from the outside and surround yourself with compassion and understanding and love. Notice the things you aren’t getting done, or the ways you aren’t measuring up to your own standards. Feel the love for yourself and notice how those things don’t impact your love at all. Notice, even, how you feel compassion for the angst you feel about these perceived inadequacies.
Remembering your good qualities tunes you into your higher self, the part of you that actually already knows you are a lovely and loving being. When you focus on the good parts of you, you show up differently for your day. Instead of starting the day in the energy of “I am not up to this. I just am not enough,” you shift into the energy of, “I like who I am inside. I am strong, and I can take on and handle anything.”
If you live this way, taking a couple minutes each morning to recommit to loving yourself, you may find that life is easier. Seeing yourself through loving eyes will give you the space, the courage, and the support to be fully yourself. And just think how free that will be.