16 Simple Ways to Love Yourself Again

16 Simple Ways to Love Yourself Again

Learn to love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.

“Today I lost the respect of a few people I love, and the desire to kill myself, when I finally took your advice and told everyone the truth about who I really am and what I’ve decided to do with my life.  In a nutshell, I’ve chosen to love and honor myself, instead of convincing others to do it for me every day.”

Those are lines right out of a live chat session I had this morning with a longtime reader and recent course member of ours.  Although this person asked to remain anonymous, they gave me permission to share this with you, and I’m so glad they did.

Because the greatest struggle in life is the struggle to accept, embrace and love ourselves, with all of our imperfections.  To be 100% honest about who we are, how we feel and what we need.  To stop discrediting ourselves for everything we aren’t, and start giving ourselves credit for everything we are.  And to be aware that not everyone we love will agree with us every step of the way, and to be OK with it.

We have to learn to be our own best friends, because sometimes we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.  We love the idea of others loving us, and we forget to love ourselves.

What we must realize is that our greatest task is not about discovering self-love; it’s about breaking down the walls we have built against it.  When we have the courage to push through these walls – to know and embrace ourselves, despite our humanness, our flaws, and our rejections – we also open the door to connecting in more caring, empathic and intimate ways with others who are truly worth loving.

Which is why it’s time to…

  1. Start telling yourself what you love about yourself. – In your own life it’s important to know how spectacular you are.  You really have to look in the mirror and be kind.  Because what we see in the mirror is often what we see in the world.  Our disappointment in others often reflects our disappointment in ourselves.  Our acceptance of others often reflects our acceptance of ourselves.  Our ability to see potential in others often reflects our ability to see potential in ourselves.  Our patience with others often reflects our patience with ourselves.  You get the idea – you’ve got to show yourself some love first and foremost.
  2. Be one with what is. – Something that’s really difficult, but totally worth it, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the journey of becoming your true self.  The most beautiful part of this journey is simply returning to the peaceful feeling of being.  This peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. [Read more…]

5 Ways to Find Beauty in Painful Life Changes

5 Ways to Find Beauty in Painful Life Changes

Stepping onto a brand new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation that no longer fits, or no longer exists.

The reason for our suffering, in all walks of life, is our resistance to life’s inevitable changes.

And life is all changes.  To have lived is to have changed often.

Sometimes this is hard to accept…

What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow.  You never know.  Things change, often spontaneously.  People and circumstances come and go.  Life doesn’t stop for anybody.  It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day.  It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.

Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives.  A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth.  Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event.  And these events are always happening.

However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.

And while I resist change, and suffer sometimes just like everyone else, I have learned to adapt.  I have learned to be flexible and look for the beauty in life’s changes, even when they aren’t what I want.  But before we get into how to do that, let’s take a look at…

Common Life changes All of Us Tend to Resist

  1. Someone you respect snaps and yells at you – The change is rooted in the fact that we expect certain people to behave a certain way.  Specifically, we expect them to always treat us kindly, fairly and respectfully, but the reality is that they don’t.  They lose their tempers sometimes.  And when they do, we resist this reality, and want things to be the way we want them to be.  It forces us to change our perceptions and expectations.  And so we get confused, agitated, or even offended. [Read more…]

40 Quotes that Will Quiet Your Mind

40 Quotes that Will Quiet Your Mind

Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.

You know how you always turn down the volume on the radio when you need to think clearly about something complicated or confusing?

The same is true for your life in general.  The noise you need to cut out to concentrate?  That’s the noise in your head – the busy, worried thoughts screaming over your better judgment.

Turning down the radio refocuses your mind and offers you clarity when you need it most.  You don’t really think about how or why this makes such a huge difference, you just know that it does.

Now it’s time to apply this same strategy to all the other noise in your life, starting with the noise in your head.  And although it’s not quite as easy as spinning the radio’s volume dial, the good news is you can quiet your mind and train it to think more rationally simply by reminding yourself to do so every day.  Some people call them affirmations, or mantras, or convictions, but in any case these daily reminders keep you on track by keeping peaceful, productive thoughts at the top of your mind, even when life gets noisy.

Here are 40 quotes gathered from our blog archive that can be used as reminders to help tweak your thoughts and quiet your anxious mind:

  1. Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.  So pay close attention to the thoughts you choose.  They have a way of becoming real.
  2. There is absolutely nothing about your present circumstances that prevents you from making progress, one step at a time.
  3. Worry, and you get what you worry about.  Work, and you get what you work for.  It’s often just that simple. [Read more…]

3 Beliefs You Have that Hold You Back

3 Beliefs You Have that Hold You Back

You are the person you believe yourself to be.

“This afternoon I found out I had been accepted to the university of my choice with a full track and field scholarship.  Despite everything my alcoholic mother and her abusive husband put me through over the years – the hungry, sleepless nights I spent in tears due to their relentless negativity – it didn’t ruin me.  With your coaching and guidance, I’ve worked hard to get out of this mess once and for all, and it’s finally paying off.”

That’s the opening paragraph of an email we received last night from Monica, a longtime reader and junior client of ours (she gave me permission to share this with you today).  Her email then goes on to say that she has forgiven her mom and stepfather, but also knows being on her own and taking this next step is a priceless gift.  “Honestly, for far too long the people in my life had me convinced that I wasn’t good enough,” she says.  “And I have no grudges, but I’m so happy I’m able to prove to myself that they were wrong about me all along.”

Monica’s email made me pause, reflect and smile, for obvious reasons.

And although Monica’s circumstances are unique to her, I bet you can relate on some level.  I know I can.  Sometimes the pressure and dysfunction coming from family, peers, work, and society in general is enough to make us feel completely broken inside.  If we do things differently, we’re looked down upon.  If we dream big, we’re ridiculed.  Or if we don’t have the ‘right’ job, relationship, lifestyle, and so forth, by a certain age or time frame, we’re simply told that we’re not good enough.

Monica’s story truly is a perfect reminder for all of us too, even though she’s only 18, because the self-limiting beliefs that get instilled in our minds often arrive at an early age.

Maybe we got cut from a sports team as a child and thus determined “I’m not athletic enough to be fit and good at sports.”  Or we tried to play a musical instrument and were told to practice outside because we weren’t very good.

For whatever reason, we encounter seemingly insignificant moments that drastically alter our mindset for years to come.  It happens something like this:

  • We hear we’re bad at something, or we have a bad experience with something.
  • We avoid trying again for a prolonged period of time, because we want to avoid the potential of more pain and disappointment.
  • When we do try again, we try half-heartedly, so we can point to that and say, “See?  Just as I predicted… it didn’t work out.”
  • We never improve in this area of our lives, because we never commit to doing so.
  • It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we’re left feeling ‘not good enough’ every day thereafter.

Sound familiar?

Well I’m here to tell you that it’s time to break yourself out of this cycle!

How?

By identifying your self-limiting beliefs and proving to yourself that these beliefs are wrong!

Here are the three most common self-limiting beliefs we see our coaching clients and course members struggle with (see if you can identify with any of them):

1.  “Those haters are right about me.”

Don’t let rude people ruin you.  No matter how much negativity is thrown at you by others, there is absolutely no need for you to stay put and partake in the decay they choose for their own lives. [Read more…]

10 Questions that Will Change the Way You Think About Your Problems

10 Questions that Will Change the Way You Think About Your Problems

It’s not about having all the answers – it’s about asking the right questions.

The saying “She who teaches others, teaches herself” is very true, not only because constant repetition helps impress facts indelibly on the mind, but also because the process of teaching itself gives greater insight into the subject taught.  Selfishly, this is sometimes the reason Marc and I take on new coaching clients and write new personal development articles, even when our schedules are full.  The strategies we teach help us grow too.

One of the strategies we teach over and over again is self-inquiry – which is basically the art of asking ourselves the right questions.  Why is this strategy so important?  Because the questions we ask ourselves become thoughts.  Thoughts then become words.  Words become actions.  Actions become character.  And character changes everything.

Truth be told, when times get tough and big problems arise, as they inevitably will, it is the strength of our character that sees us through.

And since our character is directly influenced by what we say to (and ask of) ourselves on a daily basis, I want you to think about how you’ve been speaking to yourself lately.  Have you been using the empowering, encouraging words you would speak to a friend?  Or the belittling remarks you would shout to an enemy if you had no heart?  Or the negative remarks about life you might utter if you had no faith?

All day long you speak silently to yourself, and a part of you believes every word.  Which is why it’s important to stay mindful when problems arise, and meditate on these questions:

  1. What could you be positive and happy about right now, if you really wanted to? – Your greatest weapon against stress and negativity is your ability to choose one thought over another.  Happiness escapes from those who refuse to see the good in what they have.  When life gives you every reason to be negative, think positive. [Read more…]