Do You Like You?

How often do you criticize yourself in a given day? That question isn’t intended for you to judge yourself for self-criticism! Rather, it’s an invitation to notice how you treat yourself.

I’ve been focused lately on self-love and self-esteem for myself, my clients and my yoga students. Self-criticism comes up often in my work and I’m on a mission to help as many people as I can to break through this self-limiting behavior. We each have too much to offer to be held back by beliefs that are rooted in fear, negativity and judgment. That’s right, the world needs YOU, the authentic you with the unique gifts that no one else can offer.

I started reading Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life last night and I was hooked before I finished the first chapter. I feel confident that this book could be a game changer for anyone who reads it and applies the principles. I’ll send you a review after I finish it, for now though I’m excited to share what’s already resonating with me. (As I sat down to write this email, I wanted to include the entire first chapter, it was hard to choose just a few points!)

Hay writes, “most of us have foolish ideas about who we are and many, many rigid rules about how life ought to be lived.” She talks about how we’re each doing the best we can at any given moment. In fact, “if we knew better, if we had more understanding and awareness, then we would do it differently.” It’s easy to look back and think I should have done that differently, however that whole thought process sets us up for defeat. Of course we would have done it differently! We now have a whole new set of circumstances, beliefs and experiences to call on. The thing is, we didn’t have those in the past, so we did in fact do the best we could at that time with what we had and what we knew. Criticizing ourselves for something that happened in the past using circumstances from the present isn’t in the least bit fair or even an accurate observation.

She also writes, “all of the events you have experienced in your lifetime have been created by your thoughts and beliefs you have held in the past.” Those experiences, thoughts and beliefs are the past though and our “point of power is always in the present moment.” We have the ability to empower ourselves and choose to engage with a new thought at this very moment. The thoughts and ultimately beliefs that we hold true shape our future and impact how we experience each upcoming moment. The same event will be experienced or perceived vastly differently by the person whose thinking is positive and approving versus the person whose thinking is negative and critical.

I nearly fell out of bed when I read the next point because it is so simple and so true. Hay writes, “no matter what the problem is, our experiences are just outer effects of inner thoughts.” Each thought creates a corresponding feeling and if we change the thought then the feeling will also change. We have the power to choose our thoughts and therefore we have the power to feel exactly how we want to feel. If you’re thinking you don’t have control over your thoughts, think again, she states, “look how often you have refused to think a positive thought about yourself. Well, you can also refuse to think a negative thought about yourself.” There is an element of practice that’s necessary here to be sure: practice noticing our thoughts, practice catching ourselves when we think something critical, practice reframing our negative thoughts, practice thinking positive thoughts and practice saying positive affirmations to ourselves. All of that is possible for you though and you can start right now!

I’d love to hear from you. What are the strategies you find helpful in cultivating self-love and self-esteem? If you’re familiar with Louise Hay, how has her work impacted you?


PS: If you’re struggling with self-criticism and self-judgment and would like support to feel more authentic, empowered and confident in your own skin, then let’s chat! I designed my custom 1:1 coaching program, Reset, Refuel & Rebalance, with the intention to help my clients break through those limiting beliefs.