Why “Love Yourself” Is Bad Advice — Here’s What to Do Instead
When I was struggling with my health issues, trying everything to feel good in my own skin again, I sought out help from everyone I could think of.
I went to doctors, nutritionists, life coaches, energy healers, and even a nice lady who claimed that we were best friends in a previous life and she could unlock all my blocked energies and release all my worries for good since she knew me so well.
You can’t make this up.
Eventually, I stumbled into the office of a life coach in Los Angeles, and after a good hour of me telling her all my troubles, she declared she had the answer for me.
“Finally,” I thought, “someone has figured it out!”
“What is it?” I asked.
“Well,” she said, lowering her voice and leaning toward me as if she were about to reveal a secret that had been passed down through generations of life coaches, “you just have to love yourself.”
I waited, thinking there had to be more to it.
Nope. That was is.
The profound, life-changing, this-will-fix-everything-forever advice this woman had for me was to “love myself.”
Since that day I must have read that same advice on a million different blogs, magazines, and podcasts. Maybe you have as well.
Now, look, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with loving yourself. You should love yourself. In fact, you should love, adore, and downright celebrate yourself.
How do you love yourself when you don’t even like yourself? When you’re not happy with the life you live, the body you have, or the choices you’ve made?
To pose a more significant question, how do you love someone when you have no idea who they are?
Here’s what I mean: We spend our entire lives trying to be someone else, a better version of who we really are. We’re taught from a young age that we shouldn’t be so loud, so different and that we should try to blend in.
Society tells us that we should be a great mom, a supportive wife, a powerhouse in the boardroom, a rock star in the bedroom and look like a Barbie doll while doing it all. And that’s not even the crazy part!
The crazy part is that we buy into that. We go along with it.
We have been so busy trying to be what “they” said we should be that we’ve forgotten who we are. So again I ask you, how do you love someone when you have no idea who they are?
The simple answer is, you get to know them first.
You wouldn’t go out on a first date and immediately say, “I love you” to the other person. I mean, you could, but you might end up finishing the rest of that date solo.
If you genuinely want to understand, accept, and yes, love yourself, get to know who you are as a person.
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS
- Do you go along with others because you’re afraid of disagreeing?
- Do you worry what others think of you and secretly wait for their approval?
- Deep down, are you afraid to voice your opinions because you fear what others will think of you?
- Do you avoid showing up in your business as your true self, saying what you actually think because you fear that people won’t like you?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you are not alone. These fears are all quite common. We fear standing out, so we compromise who we are, what we believe, and what we want.
Now that you’re starting to get the big picture of who you are and what you believe let’s dig deeper.
LET’S GET REAL HERE
- What makes me happy?
- What do I love to do but gave it up a long time ago?
- Who do I love to spend time with and why?
- What did I enjoy doing when I was a kid?
- If I could do anything tomorrow, money isn’t an object, what would it be and why?
These questions start you down the path of letting go of who you thought you were and embracing who you are. Don’t stop here, keep going.
ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS
- Do I really like my friends? If not, why are they my friends?
- Is my partner really the one? If not, why am I in this relationship?
- What do I really believe about what a partner should be in a relationship?
- Do I enjoy my career? Am I doing what I really love and does it light me up every day? If not, why am I doing it?
- If I could say only one thing to the world forever, what would it be and why?
- What would I do if no one would ever find out about it?
DIG DEEP AND BE HONEST!
Finally, once you’ve started to see who you are and who you aren’t, it’s time to start discovering what makes you so amazing — a.k.a. your self-worth.
- What is one thing that makes me unique?
- What can I do better than anyone else I know?
- What are three words people would use to describe me? (Hint: If you don’t know, ask them!)
- What am I most proud of?
- What have I accomplished in life? (This could range from getting the kids off to school this morning to landing that partner, job, parking spot, or client.)
As you start to ask yourself these questions, you will not only begin to discover the truth of who you are, you’ll discover how incredible you truly are.
In other words, you’ll discover reasons to love yourself.