Rupaul says it best when he is addresses the queens at the end of every Drag Race episode. “If you ain’t loving yourself,” he says confidently, “how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
It’s an old phrase, really, but it still packs a punch. How different would our lives be if every decision we made first asked, “Is this really loving myself?” What would happen to the food you eat, the habits you keep and the thoughts you let yourself linger on? What opportunities could you say yes to, or challenges could you finally conquer? How close to your dreams could you be? How much would change if you knew, right away, that your words and actions were not in fact “loving yourself” but actually saying, “I really don’t like myself at all?”
It’s a tough question to ask, but damn it you really should try. It’s a very short life we live, with miles of challenges along the way. Sadness and tears are all part of the journey but so is joy, laughter and feeling great about the person you are and the spectacular qualities and gifts that only you have. Excessive worry, fear and self-doubt — those are the consuming behaviors that build walls in our lives. They are what really separate us from the things we truly want. As my philosophy teacher said last week, “Whatever you put your attention into, grows.” So let’s grow something you really want, shall we?
Join Zenfulie this year and take the Lovin’ Myself Challenge. It’s simple: just ask yourself these four words everyday —Is this loving myself —with every thought and every decision you make. Impossible – hardly. In fact, I’ve been doing it for the past few weeks and have seen a world of benefits. I’m down a new dress size, my relationship got a little bit clearer (and thus easier), I’ve discovered tons of awesome new things I like and I’ve stood up for myself in places I never could before. It was unbelievable how many things I discovered I was hold myself back from. And the more people I talk to, the more they agreed they were doing the same. So no more! Let’s kick some bad habits together and make this the year something we really want it to be.
How it Get Started:
It’s actually quite simple. For the next seven days, give the challenge a trial run. If you want to make a special go of reminding yourself, maybe wear an eye catching bracelet, or put a bouquet of flowers by your office desk. Special things in frequented places to remind yourself to constantly ask the question — because you WILL be asking it a lot.
Once you are all set up with reminders (if you need them), you can just begin. You’ll probably see the question naturally float up to your mind when you have a decision to make— whether it’s food, or going to the gym, or not getting mad at work. Just give the question a go and answer it as honestly as you can in the moment. And if you realize later that you made a decision not based in love, just love yourself in that moment of realization, and try again next time. It’s that simple.
Putting It In Practice:
When another Zenfulie reader heard me talking about this, something sparked inside her. She immediately thought this exercise could do something incredible for her life. And so she gave it a whirl. One week later, she sat down with me to talk about it.
On What Stood Out For Her:
“If you apply it in every thought or decision you make, you quickly realize how much negative self-deprecation you expose yourself to. It unmasked some bad behaviors. I really liked it.”
Using It In The Office:
“So, I had a meeting that I believed went well, but then a few days later I hadn’t received a response yet. I thought, ‘I guess they don’t like me and don’t want to work with me… too bad.’ And I thought that was self love. But then I stepped out of my ego and thought, what if they didn’t see what I saw? What if I let this turn into nothing? So I followed up and stopped beating myself up over the rejection. I was subjecting myself to more pain. The pain of me really saying I’m a failure.
I realized I have to fuel myself. Get out of my own a rut. Even if I’m only getting rejections, I can’t just sit here. I need to be out there, Go to more meetings, get to networking events, get people who are on my side to spread the word for me. That’s really loving myself.”
The Hardest Part:
“When I needed it most, I wasn’t in that kind of mood to apply it. It’s always useful, but there were days I would forget. But I would remember it again when I found myself thinking ‘What am I doing?’ I would remember I had forgotten to ask myself the question first. I would just be in a negative behavior and then it would be like, ‘ Are you really loving yourself?’ I’d ask myself several times for sure.
And I’ve been sharing it with other people. It’s helped them too. It’s like going to the gym almost for your soul or your spirit. Sharing it is a reminder too.”
“It’s clarity. Realizing how much mental gunk is in myself and dragging me down. Remembering to ask this question all the time in the littlest thoughts, the littlest activities. Everything manifests.”
See… it’s not just me. Kinda excited, yet? Think it’s time to try something new? Yay! Then just get started right now. It’s such a simple idea to implement and such a huge change to the game. You are sure to see incredible results and Zenfulie will be cheering you on every step of the way. Follow up with a daily boost on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and share your stories with the hashtag #ibelovinmyself. And sign up for the newsletter in the footer for a monthly boost too!