Thursday, March 17, 2011

Love Yourself

“You cannot give away what you don’t have.” Are you familiar with that old adage? I often have to remind myself of this truth. How am I to be generous, patient and kind to others, when I find that I deny myself, am self-critical and try to use negative reinforcement to motivate myself?

“Your dress size is a clear indication that you do not need that ice cream.” This statement serves to motivate me to make healthy food choices. A more effective self-talk would be: “I lovingly choose foods that help me maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Charity truly does begin at home. My mission to use story to empower others to think critically, choose wisely and believe fervently in their ability to succeed must begin with me. So I must ask myself, “What stories are you telling yourself?” “Are the words you speak to yourself inspiring and empowering?”

To motivate myself to maintain my four-day-a-week exercise regiment, I remind myself of how far I have come in my physical rehabilitation, since my near-fatal car accident in August 2009. This story is far more encouraging than berating myself about my dress size.

That inner critic is an enemy to many people. If most people were to broadcast their inner voice, undoubtedly, it would be a barrage of negative self-talk. It is my strong belief that such self-sabotaging talk has absolutely no value. In fact, I would purport that negative self-talk is the major contributor to low self-esteem and a major obstacle to obtaining goals.

If you want to begin to silence that inner critic, spend just a few minutes at the start of your day speaking loving, affirming words to yourself, while looking in a mirror. If you need help with writing your daily affirmation, check out the book, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. It contains powerful, loving affirmations for every area of your life: relationships, work and health.

Start each day loving yourself and you will find you have so much more love to give to others.

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