There are three camps when it comes to how we treat ourselves.
Which camp do you belong to?
These peeps love themselves, treat themselves like their own best friends, rock around emitting that love to everyone they come into contact with, and generally thrive due to the fact they can actually see the truth of how fab they really are.
Next door is a camp full of people who know that loving yourself is the access point to an awesome life. They totally ‘get’ that self-love is the foundation for flourishing in every single freaking area of life… the catch is that they don’t quite feel that self-love within, but they outwardly express, act and behave from the desire to love self, and generally speaking over time the shift in consciousness will help to create an environment within (mental, physical and emotional) which is conducive to love for self, and therefore allowing thriving in life as a flow on effect. The tricky thing is that when you don’t love yourself unconditionally, when there are sneaky little beliefs, memories, regrets, conditioning (mentally and emotionally) that you may hold onto (consciously or subconsciously) that feed a story that you’re not worth every bit of joy and success in your life, then when the ‘shit hits the fan’ it triggers that lack of self-love within, and it feels like you’ve all of a sudden returned to square one (ie. back to beating yourself up, talking down to yourself, struggling, battling, trying to find your way back to positivity and self-love). Belief in your own capability slowly rebuilds over time, until the next ‘shit hits the fan' moment.
Then there's a camp of peeps who haven’t quite found their way to Camp 1 or 2 yet, that don’t love themselves, they don’t even like themselves, and they actually don’t even try to pretend otherwise. This is full blown living within and expressing (possibly even embracing) self-loathing, unworthiness, and talking on down to yourself like your own worst enemy.
How Do You View and Treat Yourself?
I went out and asked my readers and clients to tell me anonymously exactly how they view themselves and treat themselves, in order to get a really good sense of what internal blocks people are experiencing when it comes to living a rocking awesome life. Given we all have the inbuilt potential to live a completely joyful and peaceful life, a life of success (whatever success means to you), and we all have endless possibilities available to us in the Universe, what exactly is stopping some people expanding into that possibility?
I’ve grouped the hot points below into 3 sections: Love, Respect and Support.
The uplifting news is that across all the people we asked, approximately 50% said:
- I love myself
- I am loveable
- I am worthy of love
And a rollicking 63% acknowledged that loving oneself is key to flourishing in this life. This is great to see. It’s undeniable truth that we each are the key to our own unfolding. We each are the ‘secret’ to living our happiest experience of life. Nothing and no one can stop you from experiencing your joy and happiness. It is only you that can block it or unleash it.
A number of people gave me blatantly honest responses, which allows us all to see into the heart of what a significant number of our fellow peeps in the world are experiencing in day to day life. They said they felt unloved (by self and others), disconnected and alone. Even one person in our world feeling this way is one person too many!
This finding, of people feeling unloved, disconnected and alone, speaks directly to a message in my book “Going Out On A Limb”, and it’s a message that I’m seriously all-out passionate about. That message is that even when we feel alone, unloved, disconnected, unworthy… despite that feeling, we must remind ourselves (or let others remind us lovingly, like right now!) that we are all beloved, we are all part of the universal energy, we all have an important and divine reason for being here, and we are never alone or unloved, EVER. That is because the Universe/Source/Divinity, our guides, our signals, are ALWAYS with us. They seek to show us this, if we are aware enough to notice. Life can be tough in moments, or for prolonged periods, and leave us with internal feelings that do not reflect this truth of how all-out brilliant we each are, just for being who we are, without even having to try!
It was great to see that nearly all of the people surveyed said that they really want to accept, respect and forgive themselves and are actively practising this in their life.
The whopping 50+% that said they judge themselves regularly is a fairly accurate portrayal of modern society, we’re conditioned to try to measure up, and when we try to measure up, we end up judging who we are and what we do… we measure ourselves against what we think we should be doing or how we should be and when we appear to fall short of whatever norm we think is acceptable (in our family, our social setting, our workplace, our community or even our country), or we fall short of our own expectations, then we get on the JUDGEMENT TRAIN, that is… we judge ourselves endlessly as we chug along in our day to day life. This is another hot topic (and raw nerve) that I’m passionate about helping people to heal… because expectations and what I call the “Should’ing Syndrome”, looking to measure ourselves against constructs that leave us feeling less than, is crippling. This is another key topic covered in my book Going Out On A Limb (self-help learnings derived from gritty first-hand experience!)
And, last but not least in our 3 key topic areas in response to the question “How do you view and treat yourself”…
1/3 of people said they are their own best friend, but… here’s the reality for so many people… another 1/3 also said they are their own worst enemy. It’s so true for many of us, unless we wake up and proactively make choices about how we treat ourselves, we can end up living with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other!
Most people said they practise positive self-talk as a daily ritual, and a smaller number confirmed honestly that they talk down to themselves on a frequent basis. I’m no Freud for sure, but I would hazard a guess that at least once a day, a good chunk of the population would scold themselves internally for something, and probably without even realising they are doing it. It could be as big and nasty as “I’m a bad mother/father/manager/friend/person”, down to smaller and seemingly unimportant, derogatory self-talk like “I’m an idiot for missing that appointment” or “I’m a terrible driver”.
Our perspective of reality is ENTIRELY based on upon our perception of who we are. How you view yourself has everything to do with how you thrive, or not, in this life.
The survey showed me that while most of us acknowledge our development areas, just as many people said they are embarrassed about their weaknesses. Which leads onto the most interesting result from the survey that caught my attention.
The clincher… almost 70% of people said they find it really hard to ask for support when they need it. When I saw this in our survey results, I thought to myself:
- Is this because we are conditioned to believe that we should all be able to cope without help?
- Do we think that no one else is asking for help when they need it, and so we should be able to cope as well?
- Do we fear being judged if we let ourselves be vulnerable by reaching out to others?
- Are we simply too busy in our chaotic modern day lives to take time out to ask for help?
I tried to count the number of times I asked for help and reached out to others for information, guidance, support, advice and so on, during my adventures and ‘life transformation’ over a 3 year period. I lost count. My journey was not a one-woman endeavour, nor was Aaron’s transformation a one-man endeavour (as we journeyed the road to happiness together). We had to reach out for help – from each other, from family, friends, from work colleagues, from experts, from mentors, from coaches, from advisors, from strangers, and the list goes on!) or we would have remained stuck. I would have found myself stagnant with a suffocated soul, from not living the type of life I really wanted. Whether it was David and Augustus at the ‘spiritual advice’ session I attended, or Meredith teaching me new things at the spirituality course, or asking my boss for a transfer to Auckland and a new type of role, or my sister Charlotte endlessly helping me when I fell over along the way as I went about completely tipping myself life upside down to redesign it from scratch (or more accurately to break myself down to the truth of who I really am, in order to rebuild myself to BE WHO I AM and to DO WHAT I LOVE).
And, I’ll tell you right now, after this last year, leaving Waiheke Island and going to Hawaii on the continued spiritual and nomadic journey, well… I feel freer, happier, more peaceful and more my true self than I ever have in 35 years and I categorically COULD NOT have done it if I had not reached out for support.
So, I implore you, if you are someone who is afraid to reach out for support, please… for the love of all things… swallow your fears, your negative self-talk, your pride or whatever is keeping you stuck and please, please put your freaking hand up! The Universe will deliver what you need if you will only step up to help yourself. People will materialise to support you. Information will find its way to you when you move forward to open your arms to receive it. You will find help in the most unlikely of places if you are willing to step outside your comfort zone. Do not judge how things may have gone before… perhaps once before you reached out and you didn’t get the response and support you needed. The past is gone and it has no bearing now. Life is short, don’t waste one second of it when the support you need lies all around you, beckoning you to call upon it.
With love, Bernadette