I’ve been doing lots of work around love and acceptance with my clients lately. We all at various points in our lives wrestle with negative feelings about how we look. We question whether we are good enough, worthy enough, intelligent or educated enough, tall enough, loveable. The list could go on and on. We can be so hard on ourselves criticising, scrutinising and belittling.
This voice of self-doubt and self-criticism is in all our heads and a lot of the time it holds us back and it can be downright nasty! Yet most people are unaware it exists in their head. We think it’s just who we are and accept what it says to us without challenge and sadly believe it.
I didn’t know I had this inner critical voice. I thought it was just me until I learned differently. And what a revelation that was! All those years I listened to it. All those years I believed it.
I learned the tools and techniques to get to know my inner critic, manage it and keep it under wraps. And this is what I’m passionate about helping other people learn too.
The seeds of self-doubt, fear and anxieties are sown mostly when we are young. Messages we heard and often repeatedly from perhaps a parent, family, our culture and society, teachers or anyone who told us something negative about ourselves or that we perceived as negative. These early messages hugely influence the beliefs we have about who we are, what we deserve, what we think we are capable of doing, how we look and how other people look at us.
So on the idea of love and acceptance, ask yourself: What does loving you mean to you?
Here’s what I think it means after living the very opposite at times in my life.
Love is respecting and accepting yourself, knowing that you are a unique person with special gifts and talents, that you have value and worth.
Loving yourself means you make choices and decisions that value and respect who you are. You feel secure in yourself, self assured and have a natural self-confidence, not loving yourself in an arrogant, vain, competitive or ego driven way.
Loving you is speaking up when you have something to say, is knowing that your opinion or what you have to say matters.
Love is appreciating you, your story, what you’ve been through and learning from it.
Love is accepting your body as it is and making the most of it.
Loving you is listening with your intuition, trusting yourself instead of constantly seeking the opinion of others, pleasing yourself and not everyone else.
Loving you is eating and drinking what makes you feel good, exercising and taking good care of yourself in small ways every day. And when you fall off the wagon, being okay with that and knowing tomorrow is another day.
Love is courage. Courage to be you. Authentic and real. Love is facing truths about ourselves. And IT IS the foundation of everything great.
In what ways are you NOT loving yourself?
What are you putting up with in your life and why?
What do you believe about you? Write down all the negative thoughts and stories you hold about yourself or that you were told.
What thoughts do you regularly think about yourself that make you feel like sh*t? If you’ve never really paid attention to them start now. Make a note as you go through your week.
What limits to put on what you can do because you believe certain things about yourself?
Read what you have written down and ask yourself truthfully no matter how painful:
1. IS IT TRUE? Can you say 100% that this belief or thought is true? What evidence have you got to support this belief/thought?
2. Who would you BE without this thought, or belief?
3. How would it FEEL not to think it or believe it anymore?
What if you decided to rewrite the script? To let go of long held beliefs and start to love and accept yourself little by little, day by day.
No matter where you are on the journey to self-love and acceptance of who you are, there is always work to be done within ourselves, each and every day.
So being the month of love, make a declaration to yourself. Decide to stop. Decide to love and accept yourself more. Decide to appreciate who you are.
If any of this resonates with you and you’d like help and support to overcome any barriers and beliefs you may have, that are stopping you living a better life, please get in touch. All you need to do is email email@example.com or message me.
Buddha said: “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” And he knew a thing or two…