heart beachIf you’ve followed me for a bit, you know about my morning tooth-brushing routine – I look myself in the eye in the mirror and mentally repeat “I like myself” for 2 minutes. (Read more about my routine here.)

I first learned about looking at yourself square in the mirror in Jack Canfield’s seminal book The Success Principles. He swears by it as a way to change underlying beliefs, face fears, and up-level your relationship with yourself and your life.

But no one wants to do it. Seriously, it sucks – it’s really, really hard.

The first time I tried it, I giggled the whole time before sneaking away to cry about how incredibly uncomfortable it was to look at myself in the eye.

The next few times, I put up a mental mask and faked my way through whatever ridiculous affirmation I was trying.

Then I quit and didn’t try again for years.

It was too uncomfortable. I felt ashamed of myself, though I didn’t know why – at least, I couldn’t pin-point one specific reason out of the hundreds of possible candidates that came to mind.

Then a year ago, Brian Tracy convinced me to try again while listening to his book The Psychology of Achievement.

I was already brushing my teeth like superwoman, so the pose gave me the confidence (and rush of feel-good hormones) to look myself in the eye and mentally repeat “I like myself” over and over.

At first, I could only look in my left eye. I read something about that being easier and it was. I could do it.

I could focus on just one eye and say “I like myself”. I didn’t have to believe it.

8 months later, I tried sneaking glances at my right eye – just to see what it was like. My right eye is deeper, warmer, like it touches a place much more intrinsic to my being than my left. It’s both more forgiving and more demanding, in ways I don’t yet understand.

Some days, “I like myself” felt like a joke. Some days it felt easier, almost natural. Some days I could hear the voice in my head follow the thought with “except for …” and “or at least I would if you’d….” That voice is so helpful, isn’t it?

Then one day the most miraculous thing happened.

I picked up my toothbrush, put my hand on my hip, looked myself in the eye and said “I love myself”.

Just like that.

Like became love and I couldn’t stop smiling.

All the work I’m doing to improve my relationship with myself – as silly as that sounds – is working! The tapping (EFT), journaling, exercising and calls with more coaches, mastermind groups, and accountability partners than you’d think one person would need is working!

I love myself.

And that’s a wonderful, unexpected, miraculous thing. 🙂

I hope you experience the rush and beauty of loving yourself too.