For almost 20 years in my role as therapist and now coach, I have been asking my clients to fall in love with their most unloveable self. It has been no easy task to get them to stop hating these aspects of themselves, and almost impossible to get them to buy into the idea that they could love it.
The good news is that it is totally possible to go from hating parts of yourself to loving that part and honoring it consistently. What happens when you are able to make this shift is truly magic. My clients have experienced more love, more joy, more money, more successful businesses, deeper relationships, and a unique understanding of themselves that propels them forward with love.
So let me ask you a question. What would change for you if you could love the part of yourself that you most dislike?
How would your life be different if there was no more self-loathing and only self-understanding and love?
Do I have your attention now? Are you intrigued by the idea of loving the deep yucky aspects of yourself? Good. Keep reading I am going to show you how you can begin to take steps towards self-love.
- Write down a list of the aspects of yourself that you hate most. Yes, I used the word hate because I hear women and men daily tell me how much they hate parts of themselves. Example, it could be a part of your body, a part of your personality, or that voice of that inner critic that keeps you frozen and loathing.
- Pick one from the list. Now I want you to write that one down separately on a piece of paper. Example, If you hate your stomach you would write the word stomach on a piece of paper all by itself, in the middle of the page.
- Next, you will write down all of the amazing things that this aspect of you has given you. Write down the gifts that it gives you every day. I promise you that you can find reasons to love your stomach. Give it some thought stay open.
- The next step in this process is to become more mindful of all of the times per day that you respond to this aspect of yourself with negativity. What language are you using? Pay attention to how much energy you are putting into reinforcing the negative role of this aspect of yourself. Example, I hate my stomach, I wish I could cut it off, I wish it were smaller. When you get curious and mindful about your role as the perpetrator of this mean energy you are directing at yourself. You will be shocked at how much time and attention you give to recreating this pattern of self-loathing.
- Next, you are going to send big old juicy loving thoughts to the part of yourself that you hate. Whenever you find yourself in a mean self-loathing hate fest towards your stomach or inner critic you are going to pause take a breath and make a new choice. You will build new pathways in your brain that reinforce self-loving, instead of self-loathing. Rinse and repeat these processes with each one of the parts of you that you dislike on that list.
I have done this exercise with clients who hate their inner critic, a body part, the part of themselves that hates dieting, you name it they have healed it. I have learned to love the ADHD part of myself and my anxious inner critic. I have systematically gone from hating these aspects of myself to honoring them, and yes now loving them. I can see the gift in each one and I revel in their light instead of their shadow.
I understand that this may be a new concept for many of you, and the thought that you could love your lazy self, your greedy self, or your big feet might be hard to envision. That is totally ok. Stay open to the idea that you could…and follow the steps listed above and see what unfolds.
When we learn to honor, accept and love all of our parts, we open ourselves up to experiencing abundance and joy that comes from inside. We are better able to love others when we love ourselves, all of our parts even the ones we have deemed bad. We are more accepting of others when we accept all of the parts of ourselves. We can become more compassionate of others when we are compassionate towards all of the parts of ourselves.
So go give that flabby stomach a hug! Go give your inner critic the day off! Go give your greedy self all of the love and goodies that it could ever imagine, and see what happens.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me at email@example.com. If you have any comments or want to share the outcomes you have from following these steps, please comment, and or email me. If you would like to read more articles like this one follow me on Medium. And if you loved this post please comment like and share it.
Great article Nicole! So in line with what I just wrote about loving yourself! I love your exercises in seeing the gifts even in what they don’t like, great way to shift the perspective. Thanks so much for sharing! I will happily pass on your wisdom!
I am so very happy that it resonates and build upon your work! Share away and thank you!
Thank you Nicole. I was a little crabby when I first started this exercise and struggled a bit. But started to see the gifts and notices my handwriting even got better and more purposeful, than the scribbles as first. <3
That is not uncommon to get agitated or crabby. I am glad you stuck with it. I was a tad crabby myself when I wrote down the gifts of my lazy self 🙂 but I most definitely found some!
Yes, important message and written in a way that is so relatable. I love the idea of going direct to the thing you cringe about the most. And then, of course, healing it with love.