self love, tangible action to increase it

self love, tangible action to increase it

Earlier this week I interviewed a legend.

I’ve listened to his podcast for years, read some of his books, took a few of his creative courses, and saw him speak a few years ago… so when he extended the invitation recently, on his podcast, to reach out to him for an interview, I jumped on it! How could I not? 

Of course it was scary. And because the reason for the interview was to promote his latest book, that meant I had to read the book, take notes, then organize the notes, then set up a time for a Zoom call… all of it my main goal for the first part of January 2024. Happy to say Mission Accomplished! Now it’s a matter of splintering the interview to create valuable content for you, the reader… keep an eye out in February for that content! 

So. All of the above is good news. And something for me to celebrate… but I’m here today to tell you about the harder shit that came along with it. The stuff that twists a knife in your gut and makes you grow.

It can be hard to put ourselves out there.

But I forced myself to reach out this legend for an interview because I knew it was the right next move for me and it pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Of course I was nervous. Of course it was difficult because it was my first interview via Zoom and with someone I respect and adore. I had notes, yet I was doing my best to “not try too hard.” I wanted to be in the flow. Needless to say, I came away from the experience with a new respect for people who interview others and make it look easy on a consistent basis.

I felt good when the call ended. I’d done a good job.

B-

Which isn’t bad considering it was my first time interviewing someone I respect and adore, live.

But the next day was a lot harder…

It’s interesting because I’m the only adult here in the house this week, which gives me space to really live in my own energy and observe what’s moving in and out of my mind.

And in moved the negative self talk…

“You came across airheaded when you said that, you’re technical finesse was amateur, you shouldn’t have worn your glasses— they made your eyes look too big…”

But yesterday, for the first time, I was able to take a step back, as the negative self talk began to come into my mind, and I was able to observe it while feeling the pain from it.

I went for a walk, feeling the pain, and realized, yes, this is why it’s been hard for me to put myself out there. Because underlying, there’s been a voice in me that hasn’t had my own back. Because, while growing up, I wasn’t given a lot of support when I expressed different ways of seeing things. An unfortunate learned behavior.

Part of coming into our own is laying aside what’s held us back and continuing on our paths.

I haven’t let my past hold me back for quite awhile now. I’ve been writing and expressing things the way I see them. But yet, sometimes not without flighty, pestering thoughts over how I’ll be perceived, as much as I try to let that go. The bottom line here is, would I rather have artificial love, being someone I’m not, or real love, from myself and those who know the real me?

So yesterday, my growth was in observing the negative self talk but not believing it. Negative self talk, the culprit that’s held me back, and, instead of believing those thoughts, I had the chance to observe them and pick new ones:

“I’m proud of myself. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I am here for me always. I have my own back. This was another step in my evolution…”

Really put it into practice, not just writing about it or reading it on the page.

By the time my head hit the pillow last night, I had my own back again. And today I’ll write the things I can improve on for next time, with constructive self-love energy.

I went through the valley of negative thoughts and came through it without abandoning myself! Finally!

That’s why we step out of our comfort zones. Because afterward, it may be difficult to work through the negative self talk, but it’s in stepping back from it, not accepting it, and seeing how it’s held us back in the past, that it then becomes just a CONCEPT— something we can categorize as negative thoughts that aren’t true, and we can dismiss them, wrap our arms around ourselves, and say, “Good job!”

Yesterday I re-listened (for the third time) to this episode with guest Tracee Ellis Ross on We Can Do Hard Things, as a way of being there for myself. Truly healing. That’s why it’s today’s resource.

You can also find this podcast on Spotify or here.

validate yourself

validate yourself

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, validation means the following: to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of

With that in mind, the let’s delve further into this topic of validation. We hear alot these days about how we need to validate ourselves, and that’s a good thing. It means we’re growing, becoming more self-actualized, not relying on anyone else’s opinion of us! This is how we find true freedom. Of course we do the things, like take a refresher course or interview an expert, to give us the chops to offer legitimate support, too.

But what about the times others criticize us, when we’ve offered our best, and it gets us down? I remember once, after I played a piano piece I’d written for my friend’s wedding, a woman I didn’t know came up to me afterward and said in a snarky tone, “But are you classically trained?” I guess she’d seen my satisfaction since I’d played the piece beautifully. It’s like she wanted to swoop in and wash away the sense of accomplishment I’d felt.

And you know what? It worked. Her comment slid right under my skin because, no, I’m not classically trained. As if that’s a prerequisite for writing and performing a piece of music beautifully at a friend’s wedding! I’d co-written many songs prior to that, but this woman’s comment made me feel my performance had been subpar. Mission accomplished: she’d made herself feel better and me worse.

From a young age we develop how we feel and think about what we have to offer. Depending on a plethora of factors, we either decide we can give our gifts to the world or we can’t. It’s amazing how many ways the mind tries to focus on the negatives, the reasons why we’re not good enough, rather than on the things we want. But this is something we can and must work on so we can live true to what we want to put out there.

It’s a no-brainer! We’re born with certain things we love to do, things we’re drawn to, and this is what we’ll benefit from most when we allow ourselves freedom to pursue it! Cherry on top, this is what the world will benefit most from, too!

Other people’s ideas of perfection don’t matter; let it be something that holds them back, not you. It’s unfortunate we have those who stand on the sidelines criticizing others, but it’s only because they’re not allowing themselves the freedom and building bravery to express themselves. They’re not validating others or themselves. And anyone who is expressing themselves, yet sits back on their laurels and criticizes others, is deluded by their sense of self-importance.

Let’s do ourselves and the world a favor, and offer our gifts. I’ll write future posts on how to unearth our gifts and use them. Today’s resource is focused on self-validation basics.

This article does a good job in relaying what healthy validation is and how to give it to ourselves.

In our world of social media, I’ve thought a lot on this topic of validation. Before I post anything, I run it through my validation meter: is this something I enjoy sharing with others or am I need approval after posting it? Of course we all want “likes” on our posts, but if it’s going to affect how I feel about myself one way or the other, depending on the number of “likes” I get, I don’t post it.

Basically validating ourselves is treating ourselves like we would our favorite friend. According to the article, “Self-validation is a skill that takes practice. It won’t be easy at first.”

Wow! That alone should make anyone feel validated! Who knew self-validation is a skill we need to practice?! That means the norm for us is to go negative with ourselves rather than focus on our positive aspects.

The article tells us the four steps to validating ourselves are as follows:

1. Notice how you feel and what you need.

Example: I feel angry. I need time alone.

2. Accept your feelings and needs without judgment.

Example: Its okay to feel angry. Anyone would feel angry in this situation. Taking time alone will help me sort out my feelings. That’s a good thing.

3. Don’t over-identify with your feelings. We want to accept our feelings and also remember that they don’t define us. Notice the subtle, but important, difference when you say I feel angry vs. I am angry or I feel jealous vs. I am jealous. Our feelings are temporary, they come and go.

4. Remember, practice is an important part of learning self-validation!

The article goes on to give us examples of self-validation and tips for giving it to ourselves. Click here to read the article! I believe it all starts here: validating ourselves. When we can master this skill, we’ll have more streamlined success with giving others the best of ourselves.

flex the positive thinking muscle

flex the positive thinking muscle

It’s not lost on me how there are more posts in the “relationship with self” category than any other on this blog. It’s because I’m introspective and want to always move toward being happier with myself. If you’re reading this, you probably want the same.

I’m more consistent than ever with implementing good habits. This helps show my unconscious mind I’m capable of accomplishing the things I’ve set out to do. The other evening I was in bed working on my writing, and a flash of feeling like my future self washed over me; it was as if I was experiencing the beginnings of that future self in the present. This future self is humbly confident, focused, independent, and moving forward with intention. Currently, I am that person in many aspects, but still in the process of extricating myself from the past.

That’s where it gets tricky… past thoughts, past ways of living, past relationships, past experiences… and I’ve had a good life, but I haven’t experienced freedom and joy to the extent I’ve wanted to… so my mind sometimes tries to slyly slide into a more greyish, negative undertone, perhaps from underlying anxiety, particularly in the beginning of the day, even if I’ve had a stellar week of staying focused on my goals! What’s this about? Seems to me it’s from years of habitually allowing the negative undertone to be the boss. The cool thing is, now I realize, I have a choice! Instead, I can flex the positive thinking muscle. 

How do we continue to move on from the past?

We reframe our thinking patterns and focus on what we want rather than on what we don’t want.

We focus on what is working in our lives rather than what isn’t, but we’re honest about the things in our lives that aren’t working, so we can change them… but remember, there are pros and cons to most change, so hopefully it betters the situation overall.

We take the valuable lessons from the past, the situations that gave us insight, and hold them close, while the rest of what didn’t serve us disinigrates to ash and blows away.

It took a really long time for me to understand positive thinking is more than just a cliché. We’ve heard it so many times, it can be difficult to take a step back and implement positive thinking into our lives through practice.

I like this Healthline article because it gives us concrete actions we can take, to practice positivity. The article tells us we can do the following to practice positive thinking:

1) focus on the good things

2) practice gratitude

3) keep a gratitude journal

4) open up to humor

5) spend time with positive people

6) practice positive self-talk

For me, number 6, practice positive self-talk, is huge. It’s the one I’ve failed at the most when working toward becoming version 2.0! Which means I haven’t had my own back nearly enough. This is definitely changing, and I hope it does for you, too. The next time we’re tempted to put ourselves down, let’s reframe it in a positive light, encourage ourselves, and have our own backs.

I also like how this article tells us, “Positive thinking isn’t about burying every negative thought or emotion you have or avoiding difficult feelings. The lowest points in our lives are often the ones that motivate us to move on and make positive changes.”

Brilliant! This isn’t about being fake. This is about facing what is real, working through it, and then training our minds to focus on the positive, to help move us forward quicker.

Click here to read the article!