Happy Wednesday, everyone! How have you been? So it’s been kind of a crazy week for me again. I feel like I say that a lot but anyways, before I get into talking about fierce inner love today. I want to take a quick second and give a shout out to Sadie Girl 01. She has left me a comment/review on the apple podcast and I’m so grateful for that! She says, “So enjoyable to listen to.
Amber has great ideas to really think about. I especially like that she makes it real with her own life as an example and that it is a short Podcast. It doesn’t take forever to get to the meat of the of presentation. Very good, much food for thought. I am excited to hear more and learn more.”
Thank you, thank you, Sadie Girl! I can’t even tell you how much that means to me. I don’t know if the things I’m saying are helping you so when I get these comments, it really helps. And I would welcome any other people who would like to get on and rate and review. I appreciate those who have also jumped on and rated for me. I’m currently at 5 stars, which is awesome! However, I do want to know your honest opinion as well. That’s just a shout out. thank you, Sadie Girl.
Let’s get into the meat of it!
I actually had a different podcast lined up for you but then I was really thinking about it and I know Valentine’s Day is coming up and I know that that’s one of those holidays where people either love or hate. But today I wanted to talk a little bit about love. There are so many kinds of love; and there are so many different levels of it. There’s love for your friends, love for partner, love for your kids, love for co-workers and neighbors. There’s tough love, unconditional love, conditional love, and then there’s deep, fierce inner love that says, I love me no matter what. That’s what I want to talk to you about today: self-love.
It is that deep, inner love that you can have for yourself. The kind that says I am 100% worthy of love and completely lovable just the way I am and then believe that. Truly, truly believe it.
How would you rate your own self love?
When you look in the mirror, do you feel good about yourself?
Do you feel comfortable in your own skin?
Do you feel like you are a loveable person?
Can you forgive yourself and move on from mistakes you’ve made?
Do you handle criticism well and try not to take it personally?
Do you trust your decisions?
Can you say no to others when you are tired, stressed or just don’t want to do something?
Is It easy to be yourself around others?
Are you kind to yourself when things don’t go as expected?
Are you confident you did a good job even if someone else doesn’t acknowledge it?
What do you think? Can you can answer all these questions with a resounding yes, absolutely, 100% of the time? I, myself, am still working towards that.
Sometimes having fierce inner love isn’t easy to do because we know every little detail about ourselves. We know the good, the bad, and we know the ugly. We know, those little things that we would never tell anyone else and never want anyone else to know because they are embarrassing or we are ashamed by it.
Self-love is the most important love because if you don’t love yourself, you can’t fully love others. For a long time I thought that I can love anyone else, but myself. It seemed easier to love them. However, when you don’t accept yourself, it’s because you’re judging yourself. That inner-critic is saying you’re not enough just as you are. When you don’t think you’re enough, it’s usually because you’ve compared yourself to someone else who you’ve decided is better in some way. They have something you don’t have or are someone that you are not. This thinking typically causes you to feel inadequate, which is a very uncomfortable way to feel, so you look to change that. You begin to think that if you were more, if you could measure up, then you could accept yourself.
Listen to me right now. You are a unique individual who has a special purpose on this earth. When you compare yourself to others, you’re not only setting yourself up for feeling inadequate, but you also risk not fulfilling your purpose because you’re trying to walk someone else’s path. Take someone else’s journey. I’m not talking about ditching your role models. I’m saying: figure out who you want to be. How do you want to show up in your life? What kind of a person do you aspire to be?
I spent so many years wondering what was wrong with me. Trying to chase one thing after another to fix myself, to feel better about myself because I never felt like I was enough. Instead of looking for what was right about me, I was always focused on what I needed to change. I was always putting myself down and beating myself up because I was not measuring up to what I thought I needed to be. I wasn’t successful enough. I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t skinny enough. I wasn’t a good enough daughter. I wasn’t a good enough wife. I wasn’t a good enough mom.
I treated myself poorly and allowed my inner-critic to run the show. And It was never the constructive kind of criticism. It was the kind that caused me to feel like I wasn’t worthy enough to be loved. It kept me stuck in shame. Which, is no fun either.
What is your relationship with yourself? How do you think about yourself?
How do you treat yourself?
Do you treat yourself like you’d treat the person you love the most, or are you your biggest critic?
Do you put conditions on whether or not you’ll love yourself?
It would sound something like, when I weigh this much, then I’ll like how I look. When I get this promotion, then I’ll be proud of myself. When I make this much money, then I’ve made it. Then I’m successful. When my child graduates from college or is whatever your dream profession is for them happens, then I’m a good parent.
When you don’t love and accept yourself for who you are right now, when you put conditions on yourself, you’ll always be chasing something else to feel like you’re worthy of love. You may be happy for a time, but it will only be until your brain finds something else that’s wrong with you.
If you’ve realized you are doing this, watch that you don’t make it another reason to add to the “what’s wrong with me” category. We all do it. It’s a basic human instinct.
Our toddler brain, the lower brain is always looking for what’s wrong. What’s wrong with this circumstance and what’s wrong with me? It likes to solve things and it wants you to fit in. It naturally focuses on the negative because that’s where it thinks you need the most help. In the more primitive times, when safety was linked to fitting in, it made more sense to worry about what’s wrong. If you didn’t, you may have been kicked out of the tribe and left to face the dangerous world without the safety of protection. But now we live in a world with houses… that have doors… with locks. There are still dangers, but they are different. Yet still, our toddler brain is trying to answer the same questions. What’s wrong with this circumstance and what’s wrong with me?
For example, if I were to post something on social media and had a hundred good comments and then one negative comment, my toddler brain would be focusing on that one negative comment if I let it. Or if you had a review at work and your boss had ten great things to commend you on and then one thing for you to work on, your brain would fester on that one thing.
One woman was referring to loving herself as needing a complete renovation and didn’t know where to start, but a renovation is a project that has an end. Because our brains always veer towards the negative, there may not be an end date. Working on loving ourselves is closer to owning a home. There are always projects to make sure it’s in working order and still looking nice. There’s always going to be dirty dishes and toilets to clean and rooms to vacuum. Some days the work will be light and others it might need a deep cleaning. So even though the day before we may feel a deep inner love for ourselves, the next day we may need to add extra work to get there.
If you struggle to love yourself, finding room to do so can be ongoing. And that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. In fact, you’re completely normal.
If you find that you need a little tune-up on loving yourself, here are three things that you can start doing:
First, Challenge the thinking of your inner-critic: If you allow your brain to continue to criticize you, eventually you will think it’s right and log it in as a truth. What your inner critic is thinking is based on a combination of your past experiences and what your brain is noticing in your surroundings. So if you’re thinking when I look this way, I’ll be happier. Realize that looking that way is not linked to your happiness. The idea to look a certain way to be acceptable to society was just made up by someone who one day decided that’s an ideal way to look and convinced enough people to believe it that it became an aspiration. If you’re thinking I’ll be successful when I’ve got this title or when I’m making this much money, that’s also just made up and your inner-critic is trying to sell you on the fantasy.
When your brain offers you something that causes you to feel inadequate or shame, you could journey into why you’d think that. Or you could just decide that it’s not true. it’s just made up and you’d rather spend your brain power thinking about something more useful. Be aware that if your beliefs are deep-seeded, they may need more unraveling and that’s where coaching can help.
Second, stop comparing yourself to others. Remember, you have your own journey in life and if you’re always comparing yourself against other people’s circumstances you may lose your way on your individual path. Trust me, you have exactly what you need and everything will work out in your favor.
Third, Decide right now to never put yourself down. Even if you are being funny while doing it. Making it funny doesn’t make it hurt less. It’s still a thought that deep down you know is an insult. So what if you messed up. So what if you said something wrong. We all do it, we are all human.
I know I said only 3, but I actually want to throw a bonus one in there. Surprise! The fourth on is to give yourself permission to forgive yourself. It’s kind of ironic that I recently spoke about walking through the fire because this past week, I’ve been battling the feeling of shame. When you’re feeling shame it’s because you’re thinking there’s something wrong with you and this past week my brain has been relentlessly trying to convince me that I’m doing everything wrong. It’s says, you’re not good enough, you’re not doing enough, you’re doing it wrong, you should be doing this better. In every aspect of my life I felt like I was failing and my brain kept pointing out to me exactly how. Instead of focusing on what I was doing right, I was focusing on everything I was doing wrong. If you were a better wife, if you were a better mom, if you were a better coach, if served in your church better, if you were a better business woman. I’m telling you, all the things!
I kept myself so busy with trying to get things done, that I wasn’t taking the time to just sit down and unwind how my inner-critic was wrong. Finally, on Saturday I sat down and had a heart to heart with myself. I first wrote out all the things I was thinking. I did a brain dump on paper and filled 3 pages worth! The crazy thing is, when you download all your thoughts on paper, the ones that have been on the forefront of you mind, all the loudest thoughts come at first, but after you free all those up, then the secondary thoughts, the hidden thoughts start to reveal themselves. After I had finished I felt a weight lift. No wonder I was feeling so yucky! But this was just the beginning. Now it was time to unravel my thinking and start to coach myself through them. I didn’t get through them all. In fact, there’s a lot that I’m still working on, but the very first thing I did was I gave myself permission to forgive myself. To remind myself that I am a messy human and that’s ok. My brain still tries to criticize me, but I also forgive myself for that because I know that for three decades I thought the right way to get myself to anything was to beat myself up. To make myself feel bad enough to want to change. So my brain built a very strong habit of doing it and if I don’t stay on top of it, it will start to creep it’s way back in, by first whispering, “you’re not good enough.” Then when that’s turned into white noise, it’ll get a little louder and a little louder until it’s screaming at me again and I’m back in the full shaming myself mode.
With some of you, this may not resonate and you may not understand fully what I’m talking about and that’s okay. But for some of you, this may sound like the story of your life. Either way, we all have times when we feel like, in some way, we aren’t enough. Whether it’s we aren’t doing enough or we aren’t being enough of the person we envision for ourselves. So, I am giving you all permission right now to forgive yourself. Rise up into your power, which you fully possess, and forgive yourself. It’s the only way on the path to finding the deep, fierce inner love you that you need to be able say to yourself, “I love you, no matter what” and truly believing it.
Start with at least one of these four things. Challenge your inner-critic, stop the comparing yourself, decide you’ll stop putting yourself down, or decide that you’ll forgive yourself for being the normal, messy human that we all are.
Why didn’t I mention affirmations? Do affirmations work? They can, but if you’ve spent your entire life telling yourself “I hate you” or “you’re falling short”, or “not good enough” or “you need to do more or be better” then looking yourself in the mirror and saying “I love you” probably won’t be believable. It would be similar to me looking in the mirror with my brown hair and trying to convince myself it’s pink. Self-love affirmations will only work if you believe them. If they resonate with you. There is a way to get you there, but we’ll talk about that another day.
How different would your life be if you accepted all of you right now?
Imagine all the possibilities!
When you have fierce inner love, having goals can be fun. Taking chances can be fun!
It means you’re willing to take the risk of rejection or disappointment because it would be fun to see what you can accomplish. It’s the excitement of the challenge instead of doing it to prove your worth to yourself or to the world.
Fierce inner love means you spend way less time worrying about what others think about you and more of what you think about yourself and how you want to be; in what ways you want to contribute.
Fierce inner love is recognizing that sometimes you’re going to show up differently than your best self. You’re going to make questionable decisions or act in a way you later regret and your toddler brain will be demanding that there’s something wrong with you because it thinks you need to change and fit in to be accepted. But you give that toddler brain a time-out and you find the space to accept yourself wherever you are, as you are and still love yourself anyways.
You aren’t stuck in shame because no matter what you do or don’t do, no matter how you look or don’t look, no matter where you’re from or what your past is- you are priceless just the same.
Loving yourself is a vital piece to your happiness. There is no one else you are with more than yourself. Your get to be with yourself 24/7. I can’t see a downside to finding the space to love yourself.
This is why I decided to call my company inner love coaching. Because no matter what, starting with inner love will make all the difference in yourself, in your relationships, and in your life.
Before I close, I just wanted to remind you about my podcast launch giveaway. You can log on to www.myinnerlove.com/podcastlaunch to get all the details, but there are some great prizes! If you haven’t heard about the prizes go back and listen to another podcast because they are over $1,000 with of prizes.
The ultimate goal is not getting to the point where you are good enough, perfect enough, or successful enough that you can finally love yourself. The goal is accepting yourself for who you are right now. All the good, all the bad, and all the ugly. We are human. We are all 50-50. That means that 50% of the time we’re not going to be our best selves. At that’ okay. Can we find room for ourselves to be okay with who we are right where we are?
That, my friends, is my wish for you. Have a fabulous day!
If you’re looking for a life coach, I’d love to be yours. If you want to lose weight, better your relationships, or need help with crafting your confidence, I’ve got you! go to myinnerlove.com and sign up for a free mini-session today.