Why You Need to Learn to Love Yourself

Woman holding cup

This evening I took my dog for a walk.  Not my usual type of round the block in my slippers walk, but a trainers on, had to take water, 5 mile walk. I had had a healthy dinner, was feeling good about myself and actually quite proud as I don't enjoy exercise as such, and am still recovering from foot surgery. SO overall I was feeling good about myself. 

That is until I saw the runners!

There were at least 25 of them, running all around me, super fit, sweating, talking as they ran. I saw them before they saw me, so I quickened my pace, talked to my dog and walked past them, all was good.

However on the way home I saw them again. This time I felt a pang, that voice in my head -' see you should be running, you are just walking, you're not fit enough to run, you're lazy.'

Now this is what I had avoided earlier, I knew it was there as I often have this conversation with myself about exercise. This time however I had a reply ready. It wasn't my usual childish response of trying to excuse my laziness, this time it was 'I don't like running, I have enjoyed my walk and I feel good about myself.' 

Then I came home and wrote about it for you.

Why did I feel the need to do that? Well, because from what I have learned from working with my clients, many people's automatic response to that situation would be the confirmation that they are just not good enough. Mine used to be that, and don't get me wrong, challenging it has been bloody hard work. But what happened tonight was confirmation that the past years' hard work has been worth it.

I have finally after 38 years of negative self talk learned to be kind to myself and for that I am proud. 

To become a Psychotherapist I have had a ton of counselling (I saw my first counsellor at the age of 14) so I'm well aware of my triggers, my limiting beliefs, and where they all come from. The one that I have really struggled to challenge was I AM NOT ENOUGH and this led to some pretty nasty conversations with myself. 

A year ago I started working with Suzy Ashworth. I thought the work was about my business, and yes it was, but to build my therapy centre I needed to to this final piece of work on myself.

I had to truly believe that I am enough, that I am good enough and strong enough to build my centre, to mentor my therapists, to support my clients.

Suzy set me a task, a task that I hated with a passion, a task that I began through gritted teeth. That task was to look in the mirror every day for 30 seconds and say "I love you". The first day I did it I felt stupid, but I persevered and it only took a few days for the shift to happen. I began being nicer to myself, I began forgiving myself for making a mistake, I stopped being shouty mummy in the mornings, my children stopped being shouty in the mornings. From there I began to grow. My mindset shifted and the final piece of my puzzle fell into place. 

Negative self talk is a bitch, it can take you from feeling on top of the world, to feeling lower than low in an instant, and it can hit you from out of the blue. It can lead to comfort eating, binge drinking and many other unhelpful, unhealthy coping mechanisms.

This is why learning to love yourself is key.

When you love yourself, you make good choices for you and everyone around you benefits. I have spent the past year devouring material and working hard on me. I have read Gabby Bernstein, Denise Duffield Thomas, Mike Dooley, Ruby Wax. I have gone back into therapy, and signed up for an 8 week mindfulness course. I have had NLP and EFT.

I have cried, shouted, been honest with myself and those around me (both were really hard). I haven't just read the books, I have done the work and you know what it actually works. I have learned the difference between meditating, and meditating. What I mean by that is mediating because I know I should, and meditating because I choose to, and really going deep and letting it heal me. I can now say I love you and make eye contact with myself (I still cringe a bit), I now know that I am enough. This power I use to be happy and my happiness floods into my work with the therapists that I mentor who work at my centre, and my clients I work with. 

So if you are ready to do the work, to start loving yourself, and being kind to yourself, and saying goodbye to negative self talk, then drop me a line on 07969 315591, or send me an email rebecca@hertfordshiretherapy.org and we can tall about how I, or one of my awesome therapists can get you started. 

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