Learning to love myself was an intricate process that took many years of my life to achieve. It may come to your surprise that I was not a confident person in my younger years, I had to build up my self-esteem and was far away from understanding my true inner beauty (or outer beauty for that matter). By my mid 20s, I was fed up of feeling insecure, lost and having no real sense of direction in my life. I knew that somehow I had the answers inside me but how to tap into them?
I believe that nothing in life happens by coincidence. Around that same time, I met a wonderful lady who introduced me to life-changing workshops that explained the workings of the mind and meditation as well as other self-healing and complementary medicine techniques. This started me on my fascinating discovery of understanding my true self which eventually led to me becoming the successful trainer and therapist that I am today. Along the way, I learned some very simple yet profound exercises that open your eyes to a new perspective of yourself and may spark a chain reaction of positive change.
This is one of my favorites:
- Take a piece of paper and pen. Then write 10 things that you LOVE about yourself. Give yourself around 15-30 seconds to do this.
- The 1o points can be related to physical, emotional, personality traits etc.
- Then when done, write 10 things that you DISLIKE about yourself (I do not use the “h” word- I’ll explain eventually in another post) in the same amount of time.
So what did you find? Which list was easier to write? Which list had the most points on it?
Generally I have found in my many years of conducting workshops people will find it easier to write the things that they do not like about themselves- with that list being significantly longer that they love about themselves. I myself was included the first time I did this exercise.
Why is that? Well, I believe we have become a culture of criticism and self-deprecation. Instead of finding ways to love ourselves, it has become “cool” or humorous to put ourselves down. We can change that.
Here’s an exercise that you can do that will help you to love yourself more. It’s simple, it feels good and takes you only one minute to do this in the morning as you are getting ready for the day.
- Look in the mirror and stare at yourself straight in the eyes. Then tell yourself 3 wonderful things that you love about yourself. It should be heartfelt, genuine and expressed out loud. Do this a few times and you will begin to notice bubbles of joy stirring inside you.
- Commit yourself to this exercise for at least 21 days (this how long it take to change a behavior- and a neuro pathway in the brain) or just do it every day. It feels so good!
- This is a superb exercise for children as well as it builds strong confidence and self-esteem at a very young age.
Self-love is the only real path to true happiness and inner satisfaction. I have observed that those who love themselves have healthy relationships with their partners, success in their careers and family life, plenty of confidence, feel and look beautiful and most of all… the solid belief that they can achieve or accomplish anything they put their mind to.
Go ahead…give yourself a hug!