Amazeballz Stories Day 75/100: Do you like yourself?
There is a saying:
Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
I spend a lot of time work on my outlook, my state, my programming. I meditate. I try out strategies I find in books by important thought leaders. I exercise. I plan. I organize.
But do I like myself?
The quick answer is yes. But the real answer is more complex.
Of course I like myself. I am doing well personally and professionally. I have healthy relationships and I live in a place that I love with people who I love.
Liking yourself also means security. Deep deep clarity that you are going to be okay. That you are okay right now, even if things are messy. Liking yourself means knowing that YOU ARE ENOUGH, exactly as you are, right now.
That all sounds great. How do I DO it?
How to do the work of liking yourself
1. I make time for myself.
When my kids were little I barely spent 20 minutes a day without a child pressed against my body. It was comforting, being needed and wanted that intensely. The kids fought over the right to be in my arms and to be held in a deep wellspring of my acceptance and adoration. And Oh how I adored them.
I imagine that boundless love I had (and have) for my tiny helpless infant child. It was so fathomless, deep and pure. They did not have to earn it or perform to merit that feeling. It just was. And part of that love was deep connection.
Now I strive to connect with myself like I once did with my infants. I strive to adore myself — without reason or justification — as I love my kids. I remind myself of that love that I give so willingly — that it belongs to me too.
I make time for myself because I am my own best friend in the world. I know me better than anyone. I see myself in my minds eye — all the good and all the challenges and I repeat the ho’oponopono prayer:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
2. I take responsibility for my life and refuse to be a victim.
I used to get so mad at people who had power over me.
Bosses. (I’ve had LOTS.) Teachers. Parents. Friends. Employers. These people with power would invariably fuck up. They would misunderstand, ask for the wrong thing, be incompetent at something important or generally behave like a fallible human being. And then I’d win (in my mind.) See? They are not so great? I’m better than that! It was my way of regaining my power when I was feeling powerless.
But I actually had never lost my power. I have always had the power to change a bad job (done it) or change a bad relationship (done it) or learn from a bad teacher (done it) and THEN walk away.
I have been a victim (THEY did it. THEY are responsible.) and I have been the anti-victim (I chose to be here and I make the decision what to do next).
I like myself and my life so much more when I refuse to play the victim card.
3. Fact Check.
Ah. You’ve heard of fake news, yes? Guess how much fake news I make every single day? A. Lot.
I make fake news about what an email meant. I make fake news about my mood and my stress level so I can justify not going to the gym. I make fake news about what someone has said and what that thing I thought I heard meant. I make fake news about how when I fall short at a task that it means I have lost value as a human being. I make fake news that my husband is telling me I’m wrong. I make loads of fake news and so do you.
Here’s how to stop fake news. Fake news ALWAYS gives you a big charge of negativity. As you hear the fake news story in your head your psyche is all “yassss! I knew it! bad thing! I am so mad/sad/freaked out! Again!”
As soon as I recognize “the charge” building up I begin THE SEQUENCE.
a. STOP. No more words. No email response. No complaining. No nothing.
b. BREATHE. No really. Breathe. Again. Again.
c. MOVE. If I am really charged up — there is NOTHING better than a quick walk around the block to remind me of who I am and how I CHOOSE to react rather than how my old subconscious pattern wants me to react.
d. FACT CHECK. Now that I am back inside my body and out of the story I can see where some facts are pretty shakey. Is this thing I’m thinking true? Is it really really true? How would I feel if I didn’t believe it was true?
The sequence feels like it saves my life some days. Try it.
FINAL CAUTION: The concept discussed today is ONLY to be applied to yourself! This is not a weapon to use when you see someone having a hard time and judge them “Oh, well clearly THEY don’t like themselves because their outlook is shit.” We know so very little about other’s internal state and process. Don’t apply to anyone but yourself.
I am in charge of my own life and my own perception of the world and my own behaviors and choices about how I view the world. I choose to like myself every day.
Hi! I’m Mary — a chiropractor, a writer, a marketer, and a teacher.
I am the founder of The Art of Story Project, an online business which coaches speakers and content creators to use story to become more powerful influencers.
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