How to Love Yourself Even When You Don’t

How to Love Yourself Even When You Don’t

How to love yourself starts with you.

Growing up, she was bright, timid, shy. Always pleasing, always appeasing, doing everything she could to get that sweet approval she so desired.

Deep down, she hated herself. She hated her life and wanted to die.  

When she spoke to herself, she’d say

“I am ugly”

“I am not enough”

“Nobody loves me”  

And she believed it.

Bullied and teased, she preferred to be alone, avoiding the rejection she feared from everyone around her. Lonely, dejected and disheartened by the people she wanted to like her the most, she looked at the popular kids around her, in their unabashed beauty, getting all of the things she wanted.

All she wanted was to be loved.

So, she desperately searched for an identity that would save her from her despair, an identity that emulated the kids that felt so distant from her, and began to associate beauty with popularity, developing an unhealthy obsession with the way she looked, believing her outer beauty was all that mattered to fit in, to be loved, accepted.

That her self-worth was a fresh pair of trainers or the latest Moschino jeans. Still, she cried herself to sleep because she couldn’t get the thing she truly wanted. To belong.  

Why did all the beautiful kids have it easy?

But still, she said:

“I am ugly”

“I am not enough”

“Nobody loves me”  

She let in people that didn’t value her because she didn’t value herself.   Deceitful friendships and abusive relationships offered small glimmers of love amid the cruelty, but she clung onto desperately, betraying her self-worth in the process.  

Blind to Subconscious Beliefs

As she grew into an adult, in her search for love and acceptance, she put up with more of the same, all because she didn’t want to be alone, but she didn’t know how to act in social situations and found it hard to form friendships.

Pouring her pain into her image, she fixated on every inch of her body, undergoing cosmetic surgery and obsessive exercise regimes.

When she looked in the mirror, she was repulsed by what she saw. How could she love herself if nobody loved her?

What started as a belief that she was ‘not enough’, spiralled into Anxiety and Body Dysmorphic Disorder that reinforced the belief that she had to be beautiful in order to be accepted.

Because, how could she love herself if nobody loved her?  

Harsh Society

Unfortunately, this story replays throughout the consciousness of our children, throughout their growth into adults who weave their beliefs into the world around them.

It’s perpetrated by our society, in the beauty and fashion industries, advertising, social media.   Perfect photoshopped images fill our commute to work and are plastered across magazines and social feeds.

Unattainable beauty standards have left women (and now increasingly men) feeling like we’re simply not good enough to compete in a society where only the beautiful survive.

We compare ourselves to the have-it-alls and believe we fall short of the dream.

You tell yourself you’re afraid of being alone, so you stay in unfulfilling relationships. You tell yourself you’re not good enough to apply for that amazing job, so you sit back and let somebody else take your dream. You tell yourself you’re not beautiful enough to glance at the handsome guy walking by you, so don’t find out if he could be the love of your life.

Too fat, too thin, too ugly, too weak, too everything, except for who you truly are, which is a beautiful, radiant person capable of anything you set your mind to!

You limit the potential of your life with just a few words “I am not enough”  

YOU ARE POWERFUL

As humans, we possess enormous, untapped reservoirs of power. We literally create our reality with our thoughts and feelings which manifest as actions and choice.

Those actions and choices intersect with the beliefs of other people, thus creating the web of life we weave our way through.

The problem is, it’s so easy to become trapped in a negative thought-cycle and many people don’t believe they can actually break free, so our power is tied up in limiting beliefs and in turn, those beliefs create lack in our lives.

When we don’t like ourselves, we create a life we don’t like.

The good news is, everything is a choice, including how much you love yourself and ultimately, your life.

In the story above, the girl’s pain drove her to understand her conditioning and changing her subconscious beliefs. Once she learned how to love herself, her life fell into place; mirroring the new, supportive view she held.    

And it all starts with how you speak to yourself.

Think for a moment what language you use when you speak to yourself?

Are your thoughts supportive, or do you find yourself criticising yourself often?

“He thinks you’re ugly.”

“You’re not good enough for that new job.”

“Don’t even bother because you’ll fail.”  

Does this sound familiar?  

Now ask whether you would you speak to your friends like that? If you do I bet they don’t stick around!

So, why on earth do you speak to yourself like that?

What would life look like if you were as kind to yourself, as you are to others?

Check out this incredible campaign by Dove, You’re More Beautiful Than You Think that highlights how we think we see ourselves. It might bring a tear to your eye!    

Flip The Script

You are literally the best friend you could ever have. You can either wage war against yourself and treat life like a battle, or you can choose to be compassionate, supporting yourself through all your ups and downs, knowing that you’re always doing your very best, no matter what life throws at you.

And damn, life sure packs a punch.  

But starting to love yourself seems so hard, right? That’s your limiting beliefs telling you it’s not possible!  

To shed them, first we must understand what they are, so that when they rear their ugly heads, we can challenge our old beliefs, with new, positive beliefs born from love and compassion and in effect, reprogramme our subconscious.  

So how do we do this?  

STEP 1 Observe your thoughts.  

Over the course of a day, make a note of how many supportive thoughts you have vs negative thoughts.  

Don’t engage, simply observe.  

STEP 2 Once you’ve made a note of your thoughts, ask yourself whether those thoughts are Facts or Opinions.  

A fact has evidence to support its truth and is objective, whereas an opinion is a personal view and is subjective.  

People beat themselves up with their opinions all the time. Your inner critic piques up and defines your experience of the world, and therefore your interactions with the people in it, with:  

Fact: The man in the black car looked at you

Opinion: He’s hot and probably thinks you’re ugly  

Fact: You knocked a cup of hot coffee over your paperwork

Opinion: Everyone thinks you’re stupid  

Fact: Everyone has opinions

Opinion: They’re all about you  

Note how much of your world is made up of personal projections vs hard, evidence-based facts.  

STEP 3 Trace your opinions back to the formative events.  

Ask: “Why do I feel this way?”

“Where did this belief come from?”

“What events formed this belief?  

As you’re tracing your opinions back to their originating beliefs, and the beliefs back to the originating events, keep asking Fact or Opinion. This is immensely important because your perception of an event is just that, a perception.  

In the story above the girl perceived that nobody loved her, but because her mind was in survival mode, it tried to protect her by avoiding situations that would cause further pain. It wasn’t because she wasn’t interesting or fun to be around, but rather she pushed people away out of her own self-disbelief and the need to stay safe.  

This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle, which reinforces the same belief, over and over.

Knowing is half the battle. Break the cycle.    

When we start to understand that our perception of past events is largely subjective and therefore incomplete, we can begin to build a full picture of the event based on objective facts and can free the emotion we assign to that belief, which begins to lose its power.  

STEP 4 Now you’re beginning to understand your limiting beliefs, let’s flip the script and give yourself new beliefs, born from love and compassion.  

Ask yourself, “What is the opposite of my limiting belief?”  

For example  

“Nobody loves me” becomes “I am love”

“I’m ugly” becomes “I am beautiful”

“I’ll never be good enough” becomes “I am enough”  

Then, every day take a few minutes to slowly repeat your new beliefs 7 times out loud  

“I am [your full name]”

“I am love”

“I am beautiful”

“I accept myself”

“I am enough”  

Even if you don’t believe these statements, commit yourself to saying it daily for a month, and see the change for yourself.  

“I am [your full name]”

“I am love”

“I am beautiful”

“I accept myself”

“I am enough”  

It takes between 30-60 days to form a new habit. Habits and behaviours are stored in our subconscious. The conscious mind is a quick learner, but conscious shifts are often temporary whereas subconscious shifts are long-lasting.

By repeating these loving statements to yourself for a month, you’re creating a new subconscious programme.  

Note on STEP 3: Getting to the bottom of why we belief what we do and how it motivates us, can take time and dedication to our self healing and growth. A Tarot Reading can help shortcut this process by identifying where your perceptions and energies are tied-up and how to release them.  

Words Are Power

In Life Energy and Emotions, Dr John Diamond writes about the effect of positive and negative statements on human energy systems.

He spent much of his career as a psychiatrist in Western Psychology before becoming disheartened by the lack of long-term progress in his patients.   Searching for alternatives, he studied Chinese Medicine which states that where the flow of energy is disrupted throughout the body’s energy systems (meridians and energy centres), the conditions for disease are created.

Dr John Diamond used Muscle Testing from Applied Kinesiology on his patients and he discovered their condition and negative self-beliefs correlated with the meridians and emotional state that corresponded with the diseased organ.

When his patients repeated a negative statement out loud, their muscles tested weak, but when they repeated the opposite positive statement, their muscles tested strongly.

Thus, he gave his patients a series of positive affirmations, which corresponded with the meridian responsible for their emotional state and dysfunctional organ, and found that over time and with ongoing practice, their conditions healed.

This is why it’s so important to speak lovingly towards yourself. Not only does it re-programme your subconscious over time, yielding mental and emotional benefits, but is shown to improve your health.

It’s widely known in Western Medicine that stress is the precursor for disease.. So, be kind to yourself.  

You can try this now.  

1. Hold your left arm out in front of you, parallel with the floor

2. Say your name out loud and push your arm down at the wrist with the opposite hand

3. Now, make a negative statement which isn’t true and push down again  

What should happen is your arm remains strong when you make positive, or true statements, and weaken when making negative or false statements.  

Giving Yourself The Gift of Love

How you feel about yourself, colours your interactions with others. If you are consistent with this approach, you will begin to feel differently about yourself and this will ripple outwards into other areas of your life.  

With your new found love for yourself, perhaps you’ll decide to leave that unfulfilling relationship, apply for that new job or look up at that handsome guy and discover a love you never knew was possible…  

To Change The World, Change Yourself

What if we lived in a world where hate and intolerance doesn’t exist? Where each person loves and respects one another, with compassion replacing judgement and unity replacing separation?  

What if, person by person we embrace love, for ourselves, for others? What could we achieve as a collective?  

How to love yourself. Be the change you want to see

The girl in the story above changed how she spoke to herself, from “Nobody loves me”, to,

“I am love. I am beautiful. I am enough”

Slowly, the pain that kept her heart locked, began to unravel and blossom, until one day, the girl looked in a mirror and didn’t feel repulsed by what she saw.  

Instead, she said “I am beautiful just the way I am”.  

And she believed it.  

I know, because that girl was me.  

You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are enough.  

Sign up for Free Healing

Every Sunday I send nourishing healing energies to all names written in my Book of Healing so please enter your name as you'd like it written.

Leave a comment!