Mental Health Champions: “Practice self-love daily” With Cat Raincock
Practice self-love daily — whether that is saying ’no’ to social commitments, taking time to slow down, nurturing myself, eating nutritious food, exercising and moving your body depending on what it needs. It’s about taking care of you physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Cat Raincock. She is your typical girl-next-door Londoner, clinical hypnotherapist, women’s mentor, podcaster, and author. Obsessed with: celery juice, her dog, and yoga pants. She helps women live life as their true selves. She is just released her debut book (14th March 2019) ‘Born to Shine — The modern woman’s guide to a happier life’ which based on her own inspiring journey of transformation.
It’s her mission to empower women. Everyone is entitled to a big life upgrade. Her story is here to show women that there is hope, women matter and there is more to life than what you are experiencing. She believes that we all deserve to have the life we dreamt of as a kid and to fulfill our potential, to rid ourselves of self-limiting beliefs, to be happy, free, living with passion and purpose.
Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.
I didn’t always have this life: the amazing family, beautiful home, fulfilling career, in fact, just five years ago my life looked and felt very different.
I was newly married and had just had my first of two children but felt empty. Despite ticking the boxes that society told her would equal happiness, she felt lost, stuck, overwhelmed, underwhelmed and desperately wanted more from life. Was this it?!
It was this moment that I made a commitment to myself to change my life and I have dedicated the last few years to me. I have now faced my shadows, looked back over my childhood and learned why I was feeling like I did. It suddenly all made sense. Finally, I could let go of all the limiting beliefs I had picked up and I was free to start again and live to my potential while fulfilling my purpose. I was so amazed at the power of my own personal transformation, I couldn’t keep it inside and felt compelled to share my story and the tools that changed my life. I trained as a coach and hypnotherapist so that I could transform other women’s lives and here I am.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
I am just about to launch my debut book ‘Born to Shine — The modern woman’s guide to a happier life’ which based is based on my journey of transformation and how I found fulfillment and a life of happiness. My book was specifically written to empower and educate women, helping them become the best version of themselves. It is relevant to any woman whose life looks good on the outside, but feels something is perhaps missing on the inside; these women have tried self-help options but nothing is shifting the void inside. In my book, I give tools to help you make friends with your mind, guide you to reconnecting with yourself and introduce the concepts of the laws of attraction and how to manifest in a simple and enjoyable read. My book breaks down neuroscience and psychology into light-hearted, easy, fun reading, enabling women to re-write old limiting self-beliefs on a subconscious level via her signature Three-Step Process.
My mission is to help women rediscover their worth and live life from a place of healthy self-esteem and inner confidence.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?
My catalytic moment was when I gave birth to my son. Despite being so happy that I had a healthy baby boy, I woke up the next day with him in my arms and I looked out the hospital window and just cried. I didn’t know what I was crying about but the word ‘overwhelm’ just kept repeating over and over in mind. I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of the role I was stepping in to as a mum, I was overwhelmed with how to cope but mostly (and I know now) I was overwhelmed with my own feelings that I had buried for 35 years. I couldn’t keep a lid on it any longer and this was the start of my own meltdown. My son’s birth was my rebirth.
Prior to this moment, I had never self loved (I mostly self loathed). I had never met my needs and had no understanding of myself and why I was like I was. Self-love wasn’t on my radar and when I did discover it, I realized I had never done it. The truth is when we don’t accept ourselves for who we are then we don’t feel any desire to self-love. When I learned to accept me, I learned to self-love. Six years later, I’m proud to say, I’m in self-love!
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
When we don’t like our appearance, it’s actually a much deeper issue than this but we are pinning it on our appearance that we’re ‘dissatisfied’ with. If you peeled away the skin and looked beneath the are a whole host of limiting beliefs that are holding you back from loving and accepting yourself. These beliefs go back to your childhood when you picked up beliefs from critical parents, teachers, siblings, and key caregivers. Beliefs such as I’m not enough, I’m don’t matter, I’m not lovable are just a few of the debilitating thoughts and feelings that we can have as a child based on events in our childhood. Eventually, these beliefs become us so the early beliefs ‘I’m not enough’ feeds into the way in which we see ourselves.
Low self-esteem is endemic in modern society. 60 to 80% of women in the UK and the US suffer from low self-esteem. It’s a shocking statistic and one that I’m on a mission to change.
Self-esteem and self-confidence seem like the same thing, but they are not. Here is why. You might have no trouble at all standing in front of a big audience on stage, or a boardroom full of people and give a presentation or speech and work your magic, but at the same time, you feel rubbish about your ability to public speak — that opinion of you illustrates your lack of self-esteem. It’s the way you view you. Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself overall, how much esteem, positive regard or self-love you have. Self- esteem develops from experiences and situations that have shaped how you view yourself today.
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
Self-love was a completely new concept to me; five years ago, I had no idea what it was. It turns out that the reason I didn’t know what it was is that I have pretty much never done it. I had to learn to love me, not just on the outside but, more importantly, on the inside. This had been a conscious daily practice of talking to myself kindly, being compassionate to myself during challenging times and learning how to put my needs ahead of other people’s. It took time and practice and at times it still catches me out and I hear the negative voice creep in, but it’s not long before I notice it and return to a place of love and compassion towards myself. For me, self-love hasn’t just been about the way I talk to myself but also the way I feed myself, exercise my body, the amount I do (or rather don’t) put in my diary, and the choices I have made regarding the environment I choose to be in socially and physically (in nature as much as possible). Self-love is a way of life, it’s my overall code of conduct and I ensure these days that every choice I make and action I take is from a place of self-love. So if you’re reading this and thinking, ‘oh hell, I have never self-loved, ever’, fear not. You can learn to do this, just like I did. Start by making you the priority as of today and begin by slowly introducing self-love into your daily life and eventually it will become your way of life.
Make self-love a priority. From today, even a little action towards that goal will grow that dynamic part of you, and gradually your self-confidence and self-esteem will flourish. When you give yourself self-love, you nourish and nurture your mind, body, and soul giving yourself time to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually. When your self-love, you show yourself unconditional love and understanding while meeting your needs, needs that weren’t met by your parents or early caregivers as a child.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
I believe we stay ’stuck’ in relationships, jobs, dynamics because we don’t have the confidence or belief in themselves to make a change. Humans love familiarity — it makes us feel safe. You have to courageous to change your life. A mediocre relationship isn’t how we should be living. You deserve more than that but if you don’t feel more than mediocre how on earth are you going to have the courage to say ’there is something better than this out there.’ People also don’t trust that if they took the leap, that things would work out and it does. Staying stuck keeps us ’safe’ but unfulfilled.
Work on your self-esteem and confidence and learn why you are better than being in a mediocre relationship. You are enough and you deserve so much more than what you’re experiencing. Get hold of those old limiting beliefs and upgrade them. Don’t stay stuck, dig deep, find that courage and change your life today. Life is a choice and all it takes it that moment of clarity to say, ‘I deserve more and today I am making the commitment to myself to get more from my life.’
When we talk about self-love and understanding we don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but for our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves?
Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
Are you ready to sacrifice current relationships and friendships to upgrade your life? Are you prepared to let go of roles that you used to play as a child all the way through to adulthood so that you can thrive? Start by asking yourself, how did I really feel like a child? Were my needs met? Did I get the love, attention, and care that I really needed as a child? You have to be honest with yourself and it can be tough and it takes a lot to start with these key questions. It feels uncomfortable to truly admit that our needs weren’t met and that our parents fell short of their job. But this is where you need to start because this is where your early beliefs were formed and are still haunting you and holding you back and keeping your stuck.
In my very first coaching session, I was asked these types of questions and forced to see how my life wasn’t the fairytale I had told myself. This was when I cracked open and saw how things really were for me and that as a kid despite no major trauma or events, I felt not enough, not loved, abandoned, neglected and the list went on. As kids, we are naturally narcissistic and we make a parents emotional or physical absence all about us — ‘if Daddy loved me, he would be here.’ This was my story — Mum and Dad had creative jobs and were away a lot — either on stage or on a film set and this left a lot of time for me to create my own stories and debilitating beliefs that stayed with me until adulthood.
So many don’t really know how to be alone or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
You have to enjoy time with yourself before you can genuinely enjoy being with others. Your relationship with yourself is the foundation for a happy life but one cannot do this until you understand the root of the discomfort of being alone. If you don’t understand this or know the root of it, you end up in codependent relationships with an expectation that another person is responsible for your happiness. You are your responsibility — It’s your job to take care of you, not the other way around.
This isn’t a practice, it’s an understanding. It’s not about practicing being lone, it’s about understanding where the discomfort comes from and remedy this. Why do you ’need’ to be around others or in a relationship always? What void are you filling that you are using a relationship to fill?
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
If you have a deep understanding of yourself, you can form healthy relationships that are based on a healed you, as opposed to a wounded you. The more you deepen your understanding of self, the more you will understand your needs and wants and stop taking mediocre as the norm. When you ‘know’ you, you will be able to know when you are triggered and own what is yours and stop projecting on to other people. When you learn compassion for yourself, you learn to be compassionate to others. When you learn to love you, you learn to truly love others. When you accept you, you accept others. The way that you show up for yourself mirrors back to you. If you judge others, you are judging yourself. So it always starts with you. Take care of your mental health and heal your limiting beliefs and you open yourself up to a life of love, joy, and happiness with yourself and others.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
Stop the stigma associated with therapy. We have all picked up limiting beliefs and these are holding us back. Everyone needs a coach or mentor to help them see why they are like they are.
People need to be responsible for their mental health and well being and have the courage to step up and show up for themselves.
We are responsible for the way life is planning out. If you don’t like it change it but stop staying stuck and moaning about it.
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
1. I practice inner child work — this is about connecting with my younger self who was the one who felt not enough, fearful and lead to me being a perfectionist and control freak! When I connect with her and reassure her that she is loved unconditionally by adult me then we can move forward and achieve the audacious goals I set out. I do this by closing my eyes and asking that part of me what I am feeling and who is feeling it. Then I dialogue with them, let’s say my inner 5-year-old and reassure her that I’m here to keep her safe and that she has no need to worry.
2. I allow myself to feel my feelings — our feeling is our GPS navigation system and they are there to tell us how and what we feel. Instead of reaching for the wine after a long day which numbs how we really feel, I ‘feel’ the tension, anxiety, and anger instead of pushing it away with self-medicating addictions such as endless social media scrolling, wine, shopping, gossiping. And when I feel it, I explore what and why I might be feeling this way.
3. I meditate — when we quieten the mind we can find out what we feel and then meet our needs. If we ask ourselves the right questions we open up a world of inner understanding.
Just closing your eyes and noticing the sensations in the body, the internal dialogue and allowing peace to return to my mind allows me to have calm and tranquility in my life.
4. I put my needs first — then I have more energy to help others. It’s not self to do it this way around, it’s selfish not to. I ask myself, what do I need or not need to do today. How do I feel? I manage my day, in line with what I need. If I feel tired and could do with a night to self-care, I say no to commitments. At times that could not going to a particular event and disappointing people but as long as you have ensured you aren’t leaving someone in a tricky situation alone, then you are within your rights to say, ’I need to do this, I’m struggling and so self-care is my focus tonight.’
5. I practice self-love daily — whether that is saying ’no’ to social commitments, taking time to slow down, nurturing myself, eating nutritious food, exercising and moving your body depending on what it needs. It’s about taking care of you physically, emotionally and spiritually.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
I love Rebecca Campbell’s books Light is the new black and Rise Sister Rise — these spoke to my soul and connected with me on a deep level. They kick-started my process and showed me that I’m here on earth for a reason.
Love Your Lady landscape was a brilliant book on how to connect with your feminine self. This taught me to show up for me and honor my cyclical self.
I love Melissa Ambrosini’s podcast — she always brightens my day and I love her interviews with other people in the field of self-discovery.
Obviously, I love my book because it offers psychology tools and breaks down the neuroscience of how our brain works and how we can make it work for us. I talk about the Universe and how we can manifest a life you love and it kick start my readers journey back to themselves, posing questions that will make them think and explore why they think and live as they do and how they can upgrade it!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
My mission is to empower women. I want to show women there is another way, that they don’t have to be ‘damaged’ to seek therapy or healing. Everyone is entitled to a big life upgrade. My story is here to show women that there is hope, they do matter and there is more to life than what they are experiencing. Women deserve to have the life they dreamt of as a child and to fulfill their potential, to rid themselves of self-limiting beliefs, to be happy, free, living with passion and purpose. It’s time to align their life so that they can become the woman they were meant to be before the world told them who they should be.
I was an ordinary girl who learned some key things and now lives an extraordinary life. I have manifested my dream life and have achieved, and continue to achieve, more than I could have wished for. My self-limiting beliefs were stifling me. I was running the same thought patterns and behaviors over and over. I was stuck, trapped and suffocated under the blanket of life.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by?
I am enough just as I am.
Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
I remind myself of it when I’m over-exerting myself to look good or show up and sometimes I just need to remind myself, I’m only human, I’m doing my best and the way I am and what is do is enough.