Good morning again, Fancy Oatmeal readers!
I have been blessed with having an amazing family; they are supportive, creative, and totally inspiring. My sister is a life coach in the Baltimore, MD area and I have been benefiting from her guidance to help clarify a pathway to my goals. Here is a link to her blog as well as her Facebook page. She also teaches an amazing lesson on self love and how to create the life you have always dreamed of having. She’s wrote an inspiring article that describes exactly what self love is and how to get it.
Happy New Year!!
I wrote an article for my dear friend at Inspirit Studios http://www.inspiritstudios.com/ and I thought I would share it with you.
Self Love-Creating the Life You Really Want
One of the biggest topics discussed in my coaching practice is self love. The client usually comes to me with a set of goals they want to achieve and a list of reasons why they believe they cannot reach their goals. After a few sessions (or more) we come to the conclusion that the key to getting what they want is SELF LOVE or in other words SELF ACCEPTANCE and SELF APPROVAL.
When you truly love yourself, you feel joy, excitement and passion. Remember a time when you felt really good about yourself and how well your life was going? Your problems just seem to disappear and everything just seemed to fall into place. By feeling good about yourself you are also letting go of your resistance to the constant flow of well-being that is available to you.
In this culture, we beat ourselves up, blame ourselves for everything and judge ourselves relentlessly. There is a saying that I learned when I was in school for coaching that sums this up perfectly: “If we treated our friends the way we treat ourselves, we would all be in jail”. No wonder we are not creating the life we really want. We are buying into false beliefs about ourselves that we collect and create along our life’s journey. By being conscious of these beliefs we can start to change the way we see and think about ourselves and start truly feeling the love we deserve.
So let’s take a look at these beliefs/blocks that keep us from truly loving ourselves. As you read through each of the 4 listed below, think about the beliefs/blocks that are keeping you from truly loving yourself.
Limiting Beliefs: A general idea or statement. A belief about an event or a situation that is outside of ourselves. They come from the media, our parents, religion, etc. They are not based on our personal experiences, but something we take on as true for us. An example of a limiting belief would be: Good mothers never get frustrated with their children. Many of us grew up with Carol Brady and the perfect picture of moms on TV. We also see our friends with their children and judge ourselves against their behavior (even though they are on their best “mom” behavior when we are together). So if we take on this belief as true and we get frustrated with our children, then we would see ourselves as bad mothers. We then beat ourselves up and feel terrible and in turn continue to create this same scenario. Start thinking about the limiting beliefs that stop you from loving yourself that come from some outside influence and write them down. When you are done, ask yourself, “How true is that belief really?’’ and “How can I let that belief go?”. When we ask ourselves those questions, we realize that the belief is not really true at all. We all know many women that are truly wonderful mothers that also get frustrated with their children. We can let it go by replacing it with a new belief: I am a kind and loving mother who sometimes gets frustrated with her children.
Interpretation: Something happens, an event occurs and you make up a story (interpretation) about it. This interpretation is coming from your own personal frame of reference. It becomes true for you, but it is not the truth. This example of an interpretation comes from a session with my clients (names have been changed): Mary believed that her sister-in-law, Judy did not like her. When the family would get together Judy would chat with her for a short time to be polite and would then go off and spend the rest of her time with other family members. Mary felt she had made an effort over the years to become closer to Judy by inviting her to lunch or including her when Mary and her friends got together, but Judy always refused. Mary stopped asking and just decided that Judy did not like her. This belief made Mary feel very badly about herself. She would often ask herself, “What is wrong with me?” When Mary and I talked about this in our coaching session, I said to her, “Because you don’t really know the real reason that Judy refuses your invitations and because you have the choice to believe whatever you want about this situation, what is another way of looking at this or another interpretation that feels good to you?” She thought about it for a few moments and said, “Well, another interpretation might be that Judy is very private and doesn’t share herself emotionally with many people”. I asked Mary, “How does that new interpretation feel?” And she replied, “Much better because I realize that Judy’s behavior is not about me”. Can you think of an interpretation that is keeping you from truly loving yourself? What are some other ways you can interpret that situation that make you feel better?
Assumption: Because it happened to me in the past, it will happen to me again. Assumptions come with a long laundry list of why they are true. An example of an assumption is a belief that I had about meeting the “right” man. I believed that I would never meet the “One” and have a successful relationship because of all of the boyfriends that I had in my past. Holding on to this belief left me feeling sad and defeated. I used to think that something had to be wrong with me because I could not attract the great relationship I wanted? Clearly, something was wrong with my “relationship skills”. At any given moment I could have given you a long list of why I would never find “Mr. Right”. I am attracted to the wrong men, the men I like don’t like me, I am not pretty enough, men did not appreciate me, all my past relationships have not worked out, etc. What are the assumptions you make about your future that is based on your past experiences that are keeping you from loving yourself? When you figure them out, ask yourself, “Just because that was true for me in the past, why does it have to be true for me now? Shortly after I decided that my past did not have to be my future, I met my husband.
Gremlin: Part of the Ego. That inner critic that makes us doubts ourselves. This gremlin is a part of us, but it does not define us. This belief/block holds the most energy for us and has the most power. The gremlin is all about making us feel not “good enough” in some way. For one of my clients, her gremlin doubted her abilities as a writer. Her gremlin told her that she was not good enough to be a writer and that she didn’t have anything valuable to share. By identifying her gremlin and seeing it as separate from herself, she is able to move beyond the doubts and recently finished her first chapter of the book she is writing. Do any gremlins come to mind for you as you read this? Once you identify your gremlin at work it loses its power over you. It can even help you to give it a name so that you can see it as separate from you. You can also use positive affirmations to replace those gremlin beliefs like I am powerful, I love me, or I am an awesome writer!
My hope is that by being more conscious of the ways that our beliefs keep us from truly loving ourselves, we can change the negative, false and self defeating beliefs that have come from our families, society and personal experiences. We can replace them with loving and supportive beliefs that lead us to a life that we truly want and deserve. You can start by looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you. You are amazing!”
NOTE: The beliefs/blocks in this post as well as the process of identifying them and changing them were developed by iPEC Coaching.