If 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.
- What to do when you start slipping on your goals - January 9, 2019
- “But it’s not safe to be me…” 3 approaches to the fear of not being safe - January 7, 2019
- 3 tangible gifts of living your truth - January 5, 2019
Alexis, this post is right on time as usual. I have been focusing on loving the body in my personal yoga practice and the classes I offer to others. I start with the body because from personal experience I have come to realize this is often the hardest part of ourselves to love. We expect things of the body but we rarely accept it, let alone love it. My own personal journey to accept, then like and eventually love the body has been long and full of stories. For me it’s a god start. I realize you are speaking of the whole self not just the body or the mind. I thank you for revealing yourself so that others, including me, might understand that we are not alone on our path to self acceptance, and dare I say . . .full on love.
I love that your teaching helps others bring acceptance and love to themselves and their bodies. I feel so blessed to have been on the receiving end of your gentle approach as a student! Yoga is a funny thing – we’re both accepting and improving, allowing and shaping. Sometimes it seems like the line between honoring and disapprovingly pushing is very thin… I’ve started using intentions to be clear. Thanks!