How do you start to love yourself? I mean, for many people I think starting with liking yourself feels like less of a leap so let’s start there.
Why am I talking about this today?
I’m seeing left, right and centre people with big dreams AND capabilities, struggling.
They’re struggling with low self esteem and low self worth and when you’re trying to start or run a business that makes it very tricky.
You’re going to second guess yourself at every turn.
You’re not going to trust yourself or your decisions.
You’re always going to have that niggling, often very loud, self doubt running in the background telling you you can’t do it.
The gremlins get in your way ALL the time. You beat yourself up for it. You make it something ‘wrong’ with you on an identity level.
It does not feel good!!
So, as someone who’s very much been in the trenches with this in the past I thought it was worth me doing an episode dedicated to it.
So where to start? I used to not be able to list anything I liked about myself other than…my feet.
Yep, that’s where I started with one of the exercises I’m going to talk you through.
I was FULL of self doubt. One of the most negative people you would meet. I was the energy vampire in the room. I always saw the worst possible outcome on things. Never looked at the positive. You will have heard me refer to myself as Eeyore on a bad day and that isn’t an exaggeration.
It’s safe to say I had a very low opinion of myself…and that person wouldn’t have been able to start this business.
Certainly wouldn’t have been able to start a podcast, let alone be nearly 200 episodes in. Or be able to do silly reels on instagram.
Wouldn’t have been able to put myself out there with the chance of criticism, judgement. It was ‘scary’ to be myself. I was hiding. I was a social chameleon who felt I needed to change who I was depending on who I was with because whichever group of people it was it felt like I didn’t fit in. It felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. That I was lucky to be and needed to be a certain way in order to stay there.
I have so much love and empathy for that girl. But that wasn’t who she really was.
The more of this work you do the more you peel the layers of the onion away to be the core of who you really are. And that’s a beautiful thing. Yes, it can feel daunting to start with, sure. But it’s so worth it for the calm. Clarity. Peace.
I’m not a finished item because there really is no such thing. We’re always peeling back these layers of ourselves and I LOVE that. Life would be very boring otherwise. I love a bit of polarity.
But I thought I would share some of the exercises that I found super helpful. They may make you feel the ick…or a little tension…but that’s a GOOD thing because growth comes after tension.
The first exercise is to really allow yourself to write a list of all the things you DO like about yourself. When you’ve practiced and rehearsed the opposite for a long time it can feel tricky at first but that list really does start to grow but more importantly, it shifts your focus and helps create new neural pathways through neuroplasticity for you to notice and really acknowledge the positive.
That can only be a good thing.
Now, this can be physical stuff, which is a big part of it but also the inner stuff. Your values, your qualities.
Allow yourself to list them. I’m giving you FULL permission. Not that you need it…but your unconscious might. See, many of us were raised to believe that saying good things about ourselves was BAD. It meant you were arrogant, and therefore not a good person.
Don’t show off, don’t talk about your accomplishments, don’t be conceited. It’s literally used as an insult, it definitely was throughout my teens and twenties. ‘Urgh, she just loves herself so much’.
We’re taught to dim ourselves and not let ourselves shine too bright because it might mean people don’t like us.
So we learn to be self deprecating. We learn to put ourselves down.
Compounded by mean things people say to us as we’re growing up.
Add all that together in one big self doubt low self esteem smoothie and you have a recipe for things feeling difficult when you have to back yourself.
But it’s not your fault. It’s other people’s ‘stuff’ that you’ve borrowed and taken on as your own.
Next thing I’d love you to do is accept ANY compliments that come your way. If you have a tendency to bat them away or return the compliment straight away, stop. Let the person giving you the compliment feel good for giving you the compliment and making YOU feel good.
If you’re feeling brave, choose 3 close friends who you trust and ask them why they love you or why they’re friends with you. Say you’re doing a challenge if that makes it easier. What do they value about having you in their lives. What do they think your strengths are?
It’s such a powerful thing to know.
It’s starting to give your brain evidence to the contrary of what you’ve been telling yourself. It deals in evidence…so the more you provide it the less it can deny that you’re a good egg!
List out your achievements too for good measure!
Lastly, a little something I always try to do, that forms part of my journaling for the non dear diary type method and will be in the Positive Pants Planner too when that comes out, is ‘nice things I did for people today’ and how many people I made smile.
It’s like my mission to do kind or thoughtful things for other people. I mean double whammy because it makes me feel good of course. But that’s half the point. It helps you feel better about YOU. Who you are as a person.
So, there’s a few things to get you started.
Just remember when you’re having a wobbly day…If I can heal, so can you.
No doubt in my mind.
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage at www.franexcell.com
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