Summary: Matt & Anna discuss self-love and it’s importance to creating a better life and better relationships. They also discuss some example of what self-love is and what it is not.
We are going to keep the notes for this episode very brief and encourage you dive into the books and videos we listed at the end
IMPORTANT NOTE: While we talk about changing thoughts and habits, we understand it is often easier said than done. In creating new habits, routines, and thought patterns, we recommend the book/audiobook “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. This book will show you concepts like creating a conducive environment and habit stacking to help affect change.
Self-love is not:
Generated from external sources. Self-love is generated from within and projected outwards on to the world. Just as the way people treat you is usually a reflection of how they feel about themselves, the way you treat others can be a reflection of your internal self-worth. You also tend to see the world in a way that reflects the way you feel about yourself and will miss the cues that contradict that view while focusing on those that confirm it.
It is more than just what feels good. Many people will turn to unhealthy habits or behaviors to feel good, but feeling good is not necessarily self-love. Some extremes of this may be things like drugs or alcohol but can also be more subtle like unhealthy food choices on a frequent basis for the immediate satisfaction it brings. Self love is is about taking actions that are overall good for you, even f they don’t necessarily feel great in the moment.
It is not conditional. Self-love starts with loving you, in all your imperfectness, as you are right now. The catch-22 of saying you will be worthy of love after you achieve a certain goal means you are also confirming you don’t feel worthy right now and it becomes self-defeating. Try writing the mantra “I accept myself as I am,. Unconditionally. Right now”
It is not Egocentric: While putting yourself first is important, it does not mean disregarding the importance of others. It means you are the most important person in the world to yourself, not that the entire world should also see you as the most important person. It also does not mean taking care of yourself at the expense of others.
What is Self-Love:
- It is being kind and caring to yourself because you deserve it right now. It is not from the external. It is also learning how to deal with the negative voices in your head that try to tell you about your unworthines.
Exercise to overcome negative internal voices
- Recognize the negative voice. Acknowledge the tone and inflection in the voice. How similar is this voice to your own actual voice?
- Give the voice a name. Preferably a goofy name that does not carry much authority with you.
- Change the sound of the voice as it talks to you. Make it sound super whiny, goofy, or stupid. Make sure it is a voice you can smile at.
- Listen to the voice in this new tone and realize how ridiculous it now sounds as it talks down to you.
- Thank the voice but let it know you know you have it handled or that you don’t need its input anymore. Understand that the negativity it speaks is actually a form of love and trying to protect you from hurt. Give it gratitude for it’s concern but then reassure it that it doesn’t need to worry anymore.
- Self-love maintains healthy boundaries. While self-love is not self-absorbed, it does care about those around as well. However, you also need to know when to say no to things in life when the need to give to another costs value in your own life.
- It is a willingness to say what you are willing to continue to tolerate and what you are not willing to tolerate. State it clearly in the form of “I am no longer willing to tolerate…..”. “I am willing to tolerate……”. Please read the book Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop for some great info on this and much more.
- Self-love is understanding your needs and realizing you deserve to have them fulfilled. For example, if you need a break from an insanely busy schedule or maybe even the opposite and realizing you need more focus and productivity in your day to feel happy. Please see Atomic Habits for help with the latter.
- Self-love understands you are perfectly imperfect. It is acknowledging that you are a flawed human being and still worthy of love. It acknowledges the great qualities about yourself as well as the not so great ones but willing to turn and face them. This actually is also the first major step in learning to control or even overcome the aspects of yourself that you are not so proud of.
- Self-love celebrates the wins and acknowledges your victories. It compares your progress in improving to yourself alone and not to others. You can use others as a model for which you want to progress but that is not the same as comparing yourself to them.
- It is Being open to an ever growing you. Be open to new experiences and allow yourself to experience new things.
- Remember we are all human and make mistakes. The path of self love is acknowledge those mistakes and allowing yourself forgiveness by asking “What have I learned from this?” When you understand the mistakes made and what you have learned to make sure they don’t occur again, you can forgive yourself and forgiveness is an act of love.
- Always focus on the things you can control and understand what the things you can not control are. Putting energy towards things that are not within your control takes that energy away from the parts you can, like how you are going to respond to a given situation. You may not be able to control a freak accident where someone hit your car, but you can control how you handle the situation now that it happened. You can’t control the hurtful things a loved one has said, but you can control how you respond to them by asking yourself who you want to be in that moment and what is the most effective response.
Ways to cultivate self-love
Pursue your passions without self-sabotage. Do the things that interest you or spend time thinking about what it is that interests you if you are unsure.
Implement physical exercise into your routine. We don’t need to go into depth here about the mental and physical benefits of exercise since information on this is everywhere, but creating an environment that is conducive to this is an act of self-love and knowing your own worth.
Start a gratitude journal. Every day write 3 things you are grateful for as well as affirmations for the day.
Go through your circle of friends and ask which ones help lift you up vs keep you down or even try to drag you down. Realize that you are the average of the people you hang out with most and begin surrounding yourself with people who are inline with your goals and vision of a better you.
Read “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. This is one of the best books about self-acceptance and self-love out there and you will know why we recommended it once you read it.
Two final points to remember going forward:
You Are Enough.
Everything you need to achieve your goals you already have within you.
Start where you are.Use what you have.Do what you can.– Arthur Ashe
Recommended Reading and Links