Self-Love? or Self-Loathe?

How do you talk to yourself about yourself? 

Like your own best friend?...or your worst enemy?

Most of us are better to our pets than we are to ourselves. 

Here's a myth about self-love: in order to be successful and driven, we have to be hard on ourselves, telling ourselves, "I'm not good enough because I haven't done  ____."  The myth follows that, if we get too cocky, we'll get complacent and will cease to grow. 

This thinking can breed shame. 
Shame is a really bad way to self-motivate.

Shame tells us: you're a bad, unworthy person. 

Shame is the lowest vibrating emotion. That means that it's the emotional equivalent of poison. 

It's not fun to be around shame.

Others sense some bad mojo from you, and no one wants to try and fill the void inside your soul.

We barely have enough energy to take care of ourselves. 

Here's another myth about self-love and self loathing: People who believe they are awesome, do not care about other people and often mistreat other people. 

Reality check: Those people who brag, boast, and put others down are actually wearing faux-confidence as armor to protect their fragile, shame-riddled ego. They are filled with self-loathing, not love.

People full of self love, on the other hand, have enough to share with others, and don't need to bring others down a peg. It's delightful spending time with someone who needs little to no ego stroking. 

The feeling of "I'm not worthy enough" kept us alive and in the tribe many years ago. If we acted beyond our status in the hierarchy, we might be ostracized or killed. 

Even today, many collectivist cultures encourage people to stay small and not stand out. 

Unworthiness keeps you safe now, by keeping you from taking risks that could end up disappointing you. It may sound like

  • “Who am I to write a book? No one would publish or read it anyway.”
  • “I won’t try online dating because I’ll just get rejected.” 
  • "I won't be honest with my partner because they might get upset."
  • “I won’t apply for that job because I don’t have the required experience.”
  • “I won’t accept that speaking gig because I’ll just embarrass myself.”
  • “I won’t pursue my dream because it’s too late.”
  • "I won't apply to that job or program because I'm not qualified."
  • "I won't quit my job (that I hate) because it's too risky."

While unworthiness (also known as status pain) may come from a well-intentioned brain, its cost is very high...

because our biggest regrets in life come from risks not taken. 

So, show yourself some love. Then take a risk knowing that you will still be lovable, still be worthy, even if it doesn't go the way you hoped. 

And if you need help developing a true sense of self-love, this podcast can help.

"It is not virtuous to be victimized by a bully, even if that bully is oneself."
~Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

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