Loving yourself is important for the success of every aspect of your life – your money, your relationships with other people, even your career success hinges on the belief that you are worthy and loveable. But, what does that look like on a day-to-day basis?
Start with your self-talk. All of us have inner critics that like to offer comments about how we look, the words we have said and the actions we have taken. Start tuning in to these voices – are they helpful? Do they move you closer to self-love? Do you talk to yourself with love and compassion, the way you would speak with someone you love? If not, this is your starting point.
1. Name the critic – maybe yours is Judge Judy or Negative Nancy. When you hear the voice of criticism, you first want to notice those thoughts and name them. Most of us can predict that our inner critic has a lot to say. When mine starts talking, I notice and think to myself “oh, there’s the judge, I knew she would have an opinion about this”. Naming the judge reminds us that these are just thoughts based on old thought patterns.
2. Listen to what the judge offers you and start to discern if you want to keep thinking these thoughts about yourself. Is there any wisdom in what your inner critic is offering, or are you just beating yourself up about something? In your journal, write out all of the thoughts that are bubbling up.
3. Decide what you want to keep and what you want to throw away. Garbage thoughts are unhelpful and unloving – like “I’m stupid”. Thoughts that are more inquisitive like “I wonder if there was a better way to say X” can be helpful and you may choose to explore them in more detail. Use your journal to explore why you would intentionally throw away or keep your thoughts.
To love yourself, you have to be able to see the thoughts that are creating your beliefs. Most people don’t do this work because it feels scary and we don’t necessarily WANT to see that negative crap. But, you are not like most people. You are brave and strong and (I am guessing) you have a great sense of humor. You can do this and I am here to help!