So....last year was pretty monumental for me. We didn’t win a Grammy, I didn’t get to tour with Linkin Park, and I didn’t write or publish my brilliant book.
But it was the year I learned to love myself.
I didn’t even know it was an issue. I always thought of myself as a confident person, and tried to give off an "I-don't-care-what-you-think" vibe. But you know what? There's a difference between walking like you own the place and actually liking yourself. Projecting insane confidence doesn't equal self-love.
I realize that term, "self-love" sounds kind of lame, and a sort of low on the priority list. For me, it never seemed to be something worth dealing with. It seemed selfish, a waste of time, and unnecessary. My “aha” moment happened when I met a girl who liked herself. She left such an impression on me that several months later I am still captivated and dumb founded. It changed my life. I have decided that I want to make the same impression on everyone I meet, and I want to inspire you to like yourself too.
See, here’s the problem-you probably don’t even know what you think of yourself. I didn’t. I actually thought I liked myself, when in reality, my thought patterns toward myself were cruel and tormenting. And I wondered why I wasn't all that happy, when everything in my life was going pretty freaking amazing. Have you found yourself wondering why you aren’t happier? Almost like you feel guilty that you aren’t happier, because you have so many things to be happy about? This happened to me on a plane ride. I was sitting next to my band mates, flying across the globe to play our music, and I was so frustrated that I wasn’t enjoying myself. I remember thinking “This is what you’ve dreamed of! You’ve worked so hard to be here and so many people would trade places with you in a heartbeat, what is wrong with you? Why are you not enjoying this?” I saw first hand that a change of circumstances wasn’t enough to affect my level of happiness. And it occurred to me that the common denominator in every area of my life was....myself. Circumstances change and bring good and bad news on a daily basis, but the one thing that does not go away is ME. I’m everywhere I go, I cannot escape myself.
What a miserable life we lead if we do not actually like ourselves.
Do me a favor-begin thinking about this. Try taking inventory of what thoughts pop into your head when you look in the mirror first thing each morning. Just begin asking yourself questions like “Did I punish myself today? Do I feel stupid? Do I feel ugly? Do I feel like I’m worthy of respect?” Asking these questions was kind of scary and embarrassing for me. Journaling my responses has really helped me get to know what I think of my self on a subconscious level, even if I don't always like what I'm seeing.
I learned that a great tool to uncover what your true feelings are about yourself is by saying good things about yourself out loud, and then noting your emotional reaction to the words coming out of your mouth. Try saying these things out loud, right now:
“I love myself.”
“I am valuable.”
“I am intelligent.”
“I am a blessing to my family.”
“I like myself and people like being around me.”
“I am freaking gorgeous.”
The statements that make you cringe as they come out of your mouth are the ones you don’t believe. If you flat out physically can’t say some of this stuff because it makes you feel so dumb and ridiculous, there’s you answer. It means you think it’s dumb and ridiculous to value yourself.
In the coming days, please take note of how you really feel about yourself. And in the next post, we will explore what a difference changing your thoughts about yourself can make.