Why Self-Care Fails (It's Not What You Think)

A few years ago, a friend recommended I read a book.


In the book, the author discusses the rough time he’s been having, and how he started repeating to himself “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.”


He suggested I try it too.


I literally couldn’t get the words out.


A few years later, I picked up the book and this time, I also picked up the mantra.


“I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.”


At first, it was really hard to say it. So I just thought it.


When I could think it with minimal cringes, I made myself start saying it out loud until it felt better.


Then I started saying it out loud while looking at myself in the mirror. (Let me tell you how awkward THAT was in the beginning… even if it was just me!)


Over time, the mantra got easier.


And one day I realized something.


During the time I was practicing the mantra, repeating to myself “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself…” 


Many things had changed!


I was maintaining boundaries that I had trouble maintaining before. Things weren’t getting to me as much. I was happier, I was smiling and laughing more.


If things got hard, I would automatically start to fall back onto the mantra again, and I would immediately remember that things would be okay, because *I* would be okay. And just having that different outlook made things easier. Helped me to be more resilient.


My self-care improved because I was more focused on what *I* needed. So I was sleeping better, eating better, being more intentional about doing my meditations.


You get the point.


And it all stemmed from one simple action.


“I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.”


This is why so many of us are doing self-care wrong. We spend so much time focusing on external ideas of self-care: massages, pedicures, sleep, meditation, boundaries, therapy.


But we don’t focus on the INSIDE.


What good is a massage or therapy if two minutes later (or even during?), we’re beating ourselves up for some mistake or telling ourselves that we’re not good enough or we’re not worthy?


Here’s the answer:


NONE of those things are good enough if we aren’t caring for ourselves on the INSIDE. None of those things will change our lives, will be enough, will create the reality that we want to live.


Because all of those things we don’t like about our lives? 


They’re just SYMPTOMS of an internal problem, an internal lack of self-care and self-love.


This week I challenge you to pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Maybe even borrow the mantra (after all, I borrowed it too). And repeat it over and over. Even if it doesn’t feel good at first, that’s because of the contradicting stories your subconscious believes about yourself (and your subconscious has CREATED your current reality, which I’m guessing you want to change in some way since you're here and reading this). Repetition is one part of how we RETRAIN the subconscious. If what you’ve been telling yourself has created a reality that you’re not loving, then are you ready to try something else? 


So repeat to yourself: “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.”


Anytime you find yourself in your thoughts, come back to the mantra. Remember, you have control over your thoughts, and this gives you something to intentionally turn them towards.


Then report back to me. 


Did you do it? How did it feel? What did you notice changing over the course of the week.

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