Cultivating self love can be one of the greatest feats of the human existence. Much of our thoughts about self are subconsciously hardwired based on early experiences, societal impact, cultural beliefs and environmental influences. A continuous thought becomes a belief through perception, which then becomes feelings that we embody through choice, habit and behavior. Thoughts are the woven fabric of everything we feel and do. They are the framework in which we live both our inner and outer worlds. Thoughts can hold us steadfast in stagnation or motivate immense change. The thoughts you have about yourself formulate your TRUTH about who and how you are. They are the singular most powerful determinant of whether or not you love YOU!
Pause for just a moment here and answer this:
When you think about yourself, what are the first three thoughts you have?
Cognitive neuroscientists point out that “we are conscious of only about 5 percent of our cognitive activity. So most of our decisions, actions, emotions, and behavior depends on the 95 percent of brain activity that goes beyond our conscious awareness.” Essentially, our thoughts are just as automatic as breathing. Of our thoughts, it is said that 80 percent are negative and 95 percent are repetitive. In the negative, you may think things like “I am…ugly, unlovable, stupid, fat, impatient, mean, awkward, weird…” Though it has been widespread that we can think upwards of 70,000 thoughts a day, psychologists and researchers at Queens University in Ontario, have actually found that the average healthy person has more than 6,000 thoughts in a day. Still, that's a new thought at least every 15 seconds!
When it comes to self love the research designates that the subconscious stream of the inner critic inevitably creates our lives as we know it. For example, if I believe that I am impatient, then I show up as such when I am rushing about town, running errands, cursing at every stranger that could have the audacity to go below the speed limit in front of me. We create our experiences based on what we believe. You have likely heard the statistic that men apply for more jobs than women, because women tend to only apply if they meet 100% of the qualifications, whereas men do so at about 60%. This is a real life example of how our inner critic can talk us in or out of changing our circumstances. Another example, if I believe I am ugly or not skinny enough, I may choose to wear an oversized t-shirt and shorts at a friend’s lakeside birthday party so as not to draw attention to my bodily insecurities. If I didn’t think I was these things, I wouldn’t feel the need to hide parts of physical essence based on Another example: if I believe I am ugly or not skinny enough, I may choose to wear an oversized t-shirt and shorts at a friend’s lake birthday party so as not to draw attention to my bodily insecurities. If I didn’t think I was these things, I wouldn’t feel the need to hide parts of physical essence.
Though these are merely examples of how what we think about ourselves can show up in normal life circumstances, the fact of the matter is that our thoughts can make it very difficult to see ourselves in a positive light. However, with a little conscious effort we can begin to embody the light from within more effortlessly.
Founder for Girls for Change, Niko Everett shares in her TEDtalk three easy steps that she encourages you to try to cultivate self love.
#1 Be a friend to others by pointing out the positive characteristics that they may not see in themselves. When we mirror to others what we see in them, it can boost their self confidence and efficacy.
#2 Imagine yourself with a dial and delete button. As you have a positive thought, DIAL UP the volume for your subconscious mind to hear more clearly. As you have a negative️ thought (you inevitably will), hit that DELETE button and say goodbye. The more mentally conscious we become, the easier it is to adapt a gentle and loving outlook on self.
#3 Write down ten things that you love about yourself today. It can be tough in the beginning to come up with ten of your favorite traits, but over time, it gets a little easier to live in the TRUTH that will set you free!
So, as you begin your own journey to deeper self love, I challenge you to SHARE this article with a friend, along with something you love about him or her. Then, take it a step further and grab pen and paper to write down the ten things you love about you. One day at a time, you will be on your way to loving you for who you REALLY are and not the lies you once told yourself.
Want support along your journey to loving YOU? Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We would love to be by your side.
– Casey Edmonds, MPH, CILC, CHWC, CMS, CPT