Self belief and self talk, the dialogue we have with ourselves and showing ourselves the same kind of love we give to those closest to us, is a huge topic in coaching.
The crux of it is that the beliefs we hold about ourselves directly affect the life we create for ourselves. So if you are seeking happiness, success, fulfilment, you need to look at the relationship you have with yourself. Recognising how you talk to yourself, is the starting point to looking at what limiting beliefs you might have, and turning them from negative to positive where needed.
Living through the crisis of the past year has left many people feeling exhausted. Challenging times like these can make the self sabotage more pronounced.
This might mean your inner voice sabotaging you, telling you you aren’t good enough. The ego thrives on patterns that are well established in ourselves, it makes for easier living, that you can keep repeating the same pattern over an over. But limiting beliefs hold us back, they can play out in weak boundaries, self sacrifice in the place of love, not saying what you need, not knowing what you need, living other people’s dreams, or showing up through eating disorders and addiction.
For many years, I looked outside myself for the answer o feeling happy, to finding success, to living a more fulfilled life. But it was only when I felt exhausted and in pieces a decade ago that I could no longer ignore the relationship I had with myself – that relationship had a dynamic of pushing myself as hard as I possibly could, to prove that i could, that I was capable of enduring anything. But when I got to a point where I recognised I couldn’t go on any longer like that, that I began my journey to finding a greater sense of peace, wellbeing and true freedom. And at the heart of it is this truth – it’s only when we accept ourselves as we are, that we are complete and beautiful and unique as we are, that we’ll really start to grow.
Everyone has struggles, everyone has a past. But rather than judging your younger self from today’s knowledge, be kind to yourself. Recognise that you handled past situations in the best way you knew how to back then. Yes, you may handle them differently now, knowing what you know today, but back then you did your best with the knowledge you had, and that is enough, that is what matters.
Self belief means you recognise your value, your worth because until we learn to love ourselves, to forgive ourselves, to be kind to ourselves, we are incapable of living as our truest selves. For as long as we play games with ourselves, bargaining, condemning, shaming, hiding, rebelling, having these self sabotaging conversations with ourselves in our heads, we are not living with integrity. When you get to a place of recognising you are complete as you are, that’s the starting point from which you can go on to do all the amazing things you dream of doing – creating strong loving relationships, setting up a business, taking your dream job, whatever it is.
To support yourself to do this, ask yourself these questions:
- how many times a day do you engage in self criticism versus self praise in your mind, and when talking to others?
- what do you repeat in your mind over and over, each day about yourself
- How much is helping you move forward, and how much is it keeping you back
- what happened in your past to create this belief – it might have been something that happened to you, something you needed then that you no longer need, a response to situations form your past that you can now leave and move forward
- what was its purpose back then
- what does it make you feel now, witnessing your younger self and understanding where that belief stems from
- in what areas of your life are you unable to achieve your goals because of the story you repeat to yourself?
- what is the change you want to see , what would a positive opposite of that limiting belief be
- what would you like to feel instead
- what is the first step to making that happen – create new positive stories which will take you from where you are to where you want to be
When i first really started doing this work, there was one question that stopped me in my tracks – when am i going to allow myself the happiness i deserve?
Here are some tips on ways to start to show yourself self love, because the more we practise this, the more we fire up the cells to create new ways of behaving
Believe you are enough.
We live in a culture where we are told they aren’t enough – beauty industry, advertising, films and tv, fashion. We’re bombarded with messages that tell us we need more to be happy. When you say no, I’m enough as I am and I’ll choose what brings me happiness and live that life, it’s the most freeing moment. Allow yourself to rewild, to step beyond the boundaries and confines that keep you repeating the negative patterns and convesations you have with yourself.
Show vulnerability and courage
Being able to show up, as you are, flaws and everything is how you start to heal. For me, it was only when I admitted to myself that I felt broken, that things were really not right for me, did I truly start on my healing journey. It takes courage, to look at yourself and say I can’t do this I need something to change. Whatever it is – how you take care of yourself, your job, your relationships, but owning up to your own experience to yourself – and saying I love myself enough to give myself the best chance in life of being truly free and truly happy. That’s an act of self love. And it comes from courage and then vulnerability.
When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, to show up as you are – you allow yourself to experience real intimacy with yourself and with others.
Learn to trust yourself, your intuition is your guide
Keeping company of people who respect, who cherish you, because if you don’t it will do you harm. Be mindful of who you spend time with, who you give yourself to.
Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you love
Often repeated but it’s crucial – if you put yourself down, you internalise that language. You need to change the way you speak to yourself if you want to raise yourself up, raise your self worth. Find someone you trust and talk to them. Shame becomes stronger, it sets in, when we remain silent. Talk to someone, talk kindly and with love to yourself.
Be present and show gratitude
By really allowing yourself to be in the present moment, and to reflect on what you are grateful for in that moment, is healing. Everything else falls away, there is only the present moment. And in that moment is true freedom. Meditation and mindfulness are so valuable here – they have been fundamental to developing my relationship with myself over the past few years.
We are our best selves when we are our truest selves. Be authentic. Accept your flaws, accept your history, Allow yourself the time to go at a pace you are comfortable with.
theres a beautiful quote filled with hope by Martha beck, author of the way of integrity – “The path to true love – true anything – is the way of integrity. No other person can ever find yours for you, much less give it to you. But you can always, no matter what your circumstance, find and follow it yourself.”