Do you ever get that feeling that you’re just not good enough? That no matter how hard you work, you never get as far as you’d like? That as big as your dreams are, you can’t seem to discipline yourself enough to achieve them?
Have you ever had that fear that if you were easier on yourself, you’d fail miserably? That if you stopped pushing yourself you’d never get where you want to be? That if you accepted yourself as you are, and your life as it is, that you’re doomed to never get any better?
I certainly have.
I’ve felt frustrated with myself, my work, my accomplishments, my progress, and my life many times over the years. I’ve been my harshest critic and my most abusive bully. I’ve believed that if I could just beat myself up hard enough I’d finally improve. I’ve believed that if I accepted myself and everything that I do, I’d somehow resign myself to mediocrity.
But none of that ever got me anywhere.
Nothing that I’ve ever achieved came from being my own bully.
Quite the opposite in fact.
Everything that has made my life flourish, everything that has made me grow, everything that has made me “successful”, came as a result of loving myself.
Whether it was getting rid of everything and traveling the world, building an unconventional business out of nothing, releasing myself from painful relationships, or creating a life that’s more than I could have ever dreamed of, radical self acceptance has always been the key. The more I love myself, every single part of myself, the more I grow into my most amazing self and the more amazing my life becomes.
How can this be possible in a world where we’ve been conditioned to believe that the only way to achieve greatness is by beating ourselves down?
We’ve been taught that the only way to achieve anything, is to know what you want and then do whatever it takes to get it. If you don’t get it, it’s because you didn’t try hard enough or you didn’t do a good enough job. Then, you’ve got to punish yourself incessantly so that you do better next time.
Well, life has taught me that it rarely works that way.
I’ve wanted things desperately and fought as hard as I possibly could to have them, then ended up feeling heartbroken and exhausted when I didn’t. The more I beat myself up for not achieving what I wanted, the less motivated I felt to try again. The harder I became on myself the more I felt like giving up. If I did get what I wanted, after all of the struggle, I wasn’t sure the prize was even worth it.
These experiences have taught me that the key isn’t struggle and masochism.
The key is love.
This is not to say that energy and effort have no merit. Rather that a huge piece of the equation is missing here. To truly step into your greatness and begin living a life of deep purpose, you must first believe that you are worthy. You must first believe that you’re already amazing, effort or no effort. You must first love yourself regardless of who you are.
Otherwise you will continue to attract experiences that validate what you already believe about yourself. Believe that you’re a failure and you will be given opportunities to confirm that belief. Believe that you’re spectacular and you will be given opportunities to confirm that belief.
Every experience in your life is designed to help you grow out of your own unconsciousness. So, until you start loving yourself without the validation of the perfect career or the perfect partner, life will give you more and more challenges until you make loving yourself your priority. Life will give you more opportunities to feel bad about yourself until you wake up out of the unconscious belief that you need validation to recognize your true greatness.
You may not always get what you want, but you always get what you think you deserve.
Which is precisely why loving yourself is the secret to achieving anything. Love yourself more and not less in every experience, every relationship, every moment, and everything not only gets easier, it gets a whole hell of a lot yummier.
The more you love yourself the less pressure you feel to produce and the more free you become to create.
The more you love yourself the more you start making choices that allow you to grow into someone even more lovable.
The more you love yourself the more you let go of aspects of yourself that were hard for you to love.
The more you love yourself the more experiences and opportunities you allow into your life that support the belief that you are worthy.
The more you love yourself the more you invite people into your life who can truly love you the way you deserve to be loved.
The more you love yourself the more the universe understands that love is all that there’s space for in your reality.
The more you love yourself the better everything gets.
Because that’s how love works. Love attracts more of the same. Love attracts more of what it likes. Love yourself and you’ll get more and more love.
Focus on the parts of yourself that you do love and watch how much they flourish. Focus on all that you have already accomplished, and watch how much more motivated you feel to do more. Channel your energy into loving more and judging less, and notice how much more beautiful everything becomes.
Loving yourself, like anything, is a practice. It’s a choice that becomes more and more automatic and natural the more you do it. In a culture where we’ve been programmed to do the opposite, it can take some getting used to. Which is why I’m sharing with you two super simple exercises to help you love yourself more and celebrate your fabulousness, right now.
First, write down all of the things that you’ve accomplished in the last year, five years, ten years. Look back to the time before you had done these things, and ask yourself if the you back then would have believed it was possible. Take a moment to acknowledge how much you’ve already achieved and celebrate yourself. Celebrate how amazing you are and all that you’ve done already. When you feel like you’re not capable of creating what you want, or like you’re not accomplishing “enough”, come back to this list. Let it be evidence of what the future you already knows. That you are capable of achieving so much more than you give yourself credit for.
Next write at least ten things that you already love about yourself. Ten things that make you absolutely amazing. No need to be modest here, it’s time to honor your greatness. Pick a few of your favorites, and commit to giving yourself these compliments every day. Look yourself in the mirror and say, “I am so brave, I am so kind, I am so powerful,” or whatever qualities you’ve chosen. When you feel hard on yourself, take a deep breath and fill yourself up with light then exhale all of the loving compliments. Remind yourself that no matter what you do or don’t achieve, no matter what accolades or validation you do or don’t receive, you are worthy simply because you exist in this body on this Earth as the light that is you.
Love yourself as you are right now.
That’s the key to achieving your greatest potential.
It’s that stupid simple and it’s that easy to forget.
Just love yourself.