On my last podcast (which I’m sure you’ve already listened to at least a few times 😉), talked in depth about some practical strategies for improving your efforts at self-love. If you’ve got that figured out already, don’t waste your time reading this. If not, carry on…
Step 1: Quit trying to hate your way into loving yourself. It’s not possible. If you insist on beating yourself up second by second for your failures, you won’t ever be able to love yourself. I’m sorry; it’s just plain true. You can’t hate your brain or your body or your emotions…enough so that they become better and then you find yourself loving them. Which leads to step 2…
Step 2: Practice better self-talk. I used to call myself an idiot at least 2,000 times a day. Every time I dropped my keys or walked out of the grocery store without something or selected the wrong channel on the TV guide… “Tim, you idiot!” I decided to switch it up and start calling myself “you silly man” instead. It’s helping a lot! I actually don’t see my “failures” as failures anymore. They’re just mistakes…growth opportunities.
Step 3: Twice a day, look yourself right in the eyes in a mirror and say the following (or something more relevant to you): “I love you. I value you. I appreciate you. I see you and all that’s beautiful about you. I will support you no matter what.” Will it feel awkward? Of course! Do it anyway, and don’t stop for at least two weeks.
Step 4: Write a letter to whatever version of you you need to forgive: the child, the teenager…Write a letter as the older, wiser adult you are. Promise to take care of that person, to forgive that person, and to love that person. After you’ve become comfortable with the mirror affirmations in step 3, start reading step 4 to yourself. At first, just read it; then read it aloud; and then read it in front of the mirror.
Step 5: Keep working at it. FOREVER.
Remember, you CANNOT hate your way into loving yourself. You have to practice self-love if you ever want to feel more loving toward yourself. And you should. I guarantee you that you deserve more love than you are giving yourself!