Relephant: Stop the BS “Self-Care” & Start Showing Up for Yourself.
The reason most self-help books don’t work is because they are not addressing the core reason most of us are struggling.
It’s not because we haven’t journaled enough or taken ourselves out on enough dates (although those are great supplements), it’s because we have hard-wired a negative sense of self in our brains.
We want to take better care of ourselves. We want to feel better. But, we feel like we’re lying to ourselves when we try to live that way.
We might write in the journal. We might try intuitive eating. We might try to say mantras. But we feel like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop because deep down, we’re thinking “This won’t work, ” or “I’m too broken, ” or “Maybe once I get that job/boyfriend/body, I’ll feel better.”
These are limiting beliefs. They’re fear and shame. And the worst part about it: it feels like the truth.
This is the real work we must do:
Release your shame.
Whatever it is you’re feeling (doubt, frustration, anxiety), let it out. Go to that one girlfriend or family member that you can really trust. Someone who won’t try to make the situation better, but will just let you be seen. Get that ish out of you so you can begin to heal it.
Show up for yourself.
Journal every single day. Look at yourself in the mirror and say “hi.” Get present in your body when you’re exercising. Make it clear to your psyche that you’re done running from yourself and you’re committed to a long-lasting relationship with yourself.
Show up for others.
Stick to your commitments. Be yourself around other people. Spend more time with people you enjoy being around. Connection is a foundation for fulfilled living, but not if you’re pretending to be someone you’re not all of the time.
Practice believing new thoughts.
If your thoughts about yourself and your life situation are negative and fearful, you need to proactively practice thinking new thoughts that better support you. And not just saying them. You need to feel them. Think of how amazing it would feel if you were to believe in these thoughts. Pound on your chest, jump up and down, and say:
“I am a beautiful and confident person! I am worthy of love, success, and abundance! I am committed to myself and my happiness!”
Do this for at least five minutes every single day.
Revisit your childhood.
Most of us were conditioned to feel unworthy and insecure from a young age. Make a daily practice of looking at a younger picture of yourself and offer compassion. There’s no use fighting what has already happened, but you can choose today to give that younger version of you the love and attention he or she always wanted.
Call out your limiting beliefs.
Every time you feel doubt or insecurity creep up on you, ask yourself, “What am I believing about myself that is making me feel this way?” It’s most likely an old story you have about your ability or worthiness. Decide in that moment you are going to choose a new story and act from that place of empowerment instead.
Not only are you strengthening your brain’s ability to adapt, but you’re creating space between your thoughts to take the seat of consciousness and observe your patterns from a place of power. There’s no one right way to do this. Explore a variety of ways and see which one gels with you the most.
Sit with your emotions.
Don’t numb your way through life. Emotions are just a vibration in your body that want to be acknowledged. Show up for yourself, even though it feels uncomfortable, and learn to sit with them. Get curious about them, not attached to what they mean.
Invest in a coach.
Not a therapist. A mentor. A coach. Someone who is going to hold you to the highest expectation and be able to call you out on your sh*t when you’re too blinded to see it. I would be nowhere without my coaches—and even as a coach today, I will continue to seek mentorship from others, because it’s absolutely essential for growth. Think about all of the money you spend on clothes, lattes, and other crap that doesn’t serve you. Invest in yourself for once, and see how dramatically it affects your life.
Visualize yourself being your (real) powerful self.
If you want to get in the deep, subconscious layers, meditate until you enter theta brain waves, and then create your new vision. Visualize how you look, how you speak, what you say to others, what you’re doing. Make note to feel in your body the sense of confidence you feel. Play around in the visualization until you feel elated with your creation. And before awakening, express gratitude to the universe for bringing this visualization to manifestation. Acting as if it’s already on its way is the key to bringing it to fruition.
Stop saying sorry and/or making excuses for existing.
Seriously. You don’t need to apologize for every little mistake you make or opinion you offer. You deserve to be here—share your truth, and accept that you’ll slip up from time to time.
Don’t deflect them. Don’t avoid them. Don’t feel forced to counter them. Receive them.
Stop trying to fix yourself.
There’s a thin line between using self-development tools as a way to better yourself and trying to “fix” yourself. Listen to me carefully: you are not broken. You’ve simply been conditioning your thoughts and behaviors in a way that’s not serving your soul’s potential. That’s it. Make the commitment now to show up for yourself, love everything that is, and work toward love-fueled change—because you know in your heart you deserve it.
These are just some ways to get started on your journey of real self-care.
Know that this takes time, effort, and consistency. But most importantly, it takes unconditional love. So even in those moments where you feel like sh*t, eat an entire bag of chips, or do something you regret…get back on the saddle. Commit to loving yourself above all and showing up as your own version of a superhero.
Your journey won’t be rainbows and butterflies all of the time. But, with your struggle comes tremendous growth. And there will never be a day in your life you regret making time to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself.
Because that’s really all we have.
Author: Caty Pasternak
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Catherine Monkman