Too often too many of us hold perceptions of ourselves that simply are not true. We remember our personal histories and get lost in what others have said either about us or to us. But if we stop and reexamine these conclusions, when we realize that perception is a choice and not a fact, we can reshape our own self-image. Through a consistent practice of Self-love we can increase our sense of deserving, let go of self-imposed limitations, and achieve higher levels of success.
Definition of Self-Love
Self-love, like any form of Love, is all about remembering who you are. To truly love one’s self is to remember that we are deserving, not because of our past or present, not because of something we did or didn't do, not because of our personality but simply because we are each a Child of God, a Child of the Universe. We do not breathe ourselves, and therefore do not owe it to ourselves that we are living another day. When we release into this knowing, then we can really LOVE ourselves for being who we truly are and embrace the dreams that were given to us!
Importance of Self-Love
It is so easy to find reasons why something can’t be done or won’t be done that by contrast, the practice of increasing one’s sense of deserving and Self-love may initially seem foreign or sound weird. But don’t be fooled, the ways in which we self-sabotage are numerous and well-documented. In his book The Big Leap, Dr. Gay Hendricks calls it the “Upper Limit Problem.” He recounts story after story of people who reach a level of success in some aspect of their life and then do something nonsensical or even outright stupid to mess things up. And each time he examines with them why it happened, the answer is always somehow related to the belief that they are don’t deserve their success
That is why a genuine and heartfelt belief that we not only truly want, but also deserve, to realize our Dream is so fundamentally important. If we believe we aren’t capable or worthy or somehow “right” for the Vision we have created for ourselves, then we won’t try for it, we won’t believe it’s possible and every setback or circumstance will only corroborate that theory.
When we remember that our Dreams come from the Universe and that we allied with the divine, we create a feeling-state around us that is noticeable, and that will yield tangible results. It is this energy that attracts the tools we need and creates the environment for us to learn and embrace who we truly are. For to know one’s self is to know that you are a strong, smart, capable and deserving of everything that is your Dream. All that is required is to go after it!
Not surprisingly, a number of studies back up the value of loving ourselves. According to the Mayo Clinic, those with a healthy level of self-esteem are less likely to develop mental disorders, more able to create and maintain secure relationships, and are more confident in their ability to make decisions. Relatedly, those with high self-esteem tend to enjoy more happiness, a healthier lifestyle and more enjoyable social interactions.
Examples of Deserving
The notion of tapping into our deserving and self-worth shows up throughout literature, business and in the everyday lives of ordinary people. In the words of famous contemporary poet Maya Angelou, "a person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream." In these words, we see the simple truth that our actions are based on our thoughts, so if we think about what we want in this life, our actions will fall in line. Angelou was born the second daughter of a doorman/navy dietician and a nurse/card dealer in 1928 St. Louis. And somehow, by the age of 32, she had started a dance team with the legendary Alvin Ailey, sang and danced to her own “calypso” music, recorded an album, became a published author, was named the Northern Coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, learned several languages and, somewhere in the middle of it all got married, had a child, and divorced. She then went on to become one of the most influential poets, activists and performance artists of a generation. She had every reason to accept a number of rational, logical limiting beliefs that would have prevented any of this from happening, but instead, she allowed herself to dream great dreams and never doubted whether she deserved them.
For another example, I’ll turn to a client I have the honor of serving, they are a young lawyer who recently started their own practice much earlier than most do in their line of work. At the start, they noticed they had a limiting belief that they were younger and had fewer years being a lawyer than many others out there. But rather than accept this limiting belief, I supported them in choosing to write a new one. Their new belief was that they were a lawyer who gave their clients as much time and attention as they wanted, providing them with a high quality service at a deserving high price. In the beginning, they had a hard time believing that they were really worth that level of investment, but the more they reiterated their new belief and demonstrated this to those they served, the higher their sense of deserving became. They now openly charge 50% to 100% more than most of their competitors and yet nearly everyone who meets with them ends up hiring them. When I asked them what their biggest lesson was, they simply replied: I know my worth!
Invitation to Practice
So let’s stop thinking small and start shining our light! Why? Because we deserve to and it's healthy. To do this I invite you to take the time to practice these 3 steps:
1) Ask yourself “What is one limiting belief I’ve always had about myself?” Below are some examples of common limiting beliefs:
3) Write that new story down every day this week
Post your about doing this practice or another healing practice on instagram and/or facebook with #SHdailypractice and be an inspiration while also feeling encouraged by others who are implementing daily healing practices into their lives!