Be Your Own Best FriendJul 20, 2022
When my daughter Meagan was little, we would say:
"Meagan, what are you?"
She would reply:
She was awesome. She is awesome. And I will continue to influence her to believe, think, and feel awesome.
She just scored in the 97th percentile of all High Schoolers in the U.S. who have taken the ACT college exam. She crushed it. I'm super proud of her. She's one of the smartest and most talented people I have ever met. I believe she is this because we encouraged her to know how awesome she really is.
Most people that I talk to and work with don't believe, feel, and think they're awesome. In fact, before we work together, most people I connect with feel broken and alone. They are buried in stories of insecurity, inadequacy, and insignificance.
My work is to help them realize how awesome they are. A few of the first times I get them to speak kindly to themselves and appreciate themselves, they say it feels awkward. It is awkward... until you practice it so much that you rewrite the stories in your mind and body. Then it feels, say it with me...
Here's My Story
For the first 43 years of my life, I felt broken, alone, afraid, incomplete, insignificant... and so many more painful internal conflicts. I literally felt like a mistake, and I was taking up everyone's oxygen. My life was about taking care of other people - my own happiness didn't matter.
When I started doing some deep healing work, my coach at the time told me to look at myself in the mirror and say, "I love you." I couldn't even spit out the words. I just started crying. I looked in my eyes and saw pain, suffering, fatigue, hopelessness... I had never really looked myself in the eyes, but I saw hurt that I never visually recognized in me before.
It was that hurt that didn't allow me to say, "I love you." The words just wouldn't come out. I tried, but they were stuck in my throat. And the tears didn't help.
The entire exercise was awkward. It felt unnatural and embarrassing. The reason it was awkward is because I was conditioned to hate myself. I had adopted the practice of hating myself so much, that to try to do otherwise felt wrong and strange.
The exercise wasn't wrong. In fact, mirror work, and self-acceptance affirmations are very right and powerful. It was the painful beliefs, feelings, and thoughts about me that were wrong. That's why the exercise was so challenging. That's what needed to be fixed.
My comfort zone was hurting myself. My comfort zone was lying to me. That's why I needed to do awkward stuff to correct the damaging stories about myself that I was carrying around.
The New Stories
I was sitting on my back patio yesterday, and I began to contemplate how much good I do daily. I make the world a more loving place by sharing my love with the world, and helping others love themselves. As I was contemplating the gifts that I bring to the world, I felt a deeper significance than ever before. I'd even say I fell even more in love with myself during that contemplation. I really am a good guy. I have a lot to offer, and I give away a lot of talents I possess without any expectation of a return. I am a giver.
Do you know how I have so much love to give? Because I feel a deep sense of love for myself. When our own bucket is full, we have more to give. The more love we feel for ourselves, the more love we can give away. Do you fully comprehend that? You can't give more love to others than what you feel for yourself. That's why falling in love with yourself - becoming your own best friend - is the most selfless thing you can do for the people you love most.
As you were reading the paragraph above where I was saying the gifts I give away, how significant I am, and how much I love myself, did you notice any sense of judgement that I am full of myself? Did you struggle with my bragging about myself? Were you resistant to me saying kind words about myself? Go back and read it again, 2 paragraphs above...
If you did perceive that I was bragging or full of myself, I'd have you consider that that's your outdated and painful programming judging my new and loving programming. If you resisted my self-love and self-acceptance, I'd have you consider that the beliefs that you're holding are tormenting you, and the stories you're carrying around will not allow you to accept, embrace, and love yourself. That's why it was uncomfortable for you.
I challenge you to start practicing loving self-talk. Rewire your mind and emotions to feel as much love for yourself as I feel for myself. Trust me, it will be awkward, but the new levels of joy you'll feel will be the reward you've always chased. Do it. I challenge you.
Putting It All Together
My daughter Meagan is awesome. My daughter Katie is awesome. My wife Angie is awesome. I am awesome. And guess what? You are too. You're awesome, and if you don't believe that, think that, and feel that on a regular basis, you are missing out.
Become your own best friend. Allow yourself to feel a deep sense of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion for yourself, and you'll see everything in your life change for the better. The entire world will get brighter, and you'll help others fall more in love with themselves.
You'll be doing us all a favor. Stop rejecting yourself. You'll never punish yourself enough to find the joy and acceptance you deserve.