HOW TO START LOVING YOURSELF AGAIN
Article by Jentana Lee Dabbs
While we’re growing up and learning how to be a good little boy or girl, our well-meaning parents do the best that they can to control our behavior. This often leads to the consistent disapproval of our actions. We write on the wall and get punished, we use the flower pot rather than the toilet and get punished, we break a vase and get disciplined, we're told that we don't deserve something we want, and all of those things add up to the belief that we're defective and inadequate in some way.
As a child from 0-5 years old, our biggest goal is to make our parents happy and for them to approve of us; therefore our little brains begin to believe that if we disapprove of ourselves too, then we are going to make our parents happy and love and approve of us more.
So, you accidentally break a glass or spill some milk and cry over it, then tell your parents that you are sorry. They're happy that you owned up to your mistake, and that releases a rush of endorphins and dopamine in your little mind, because they approve of your self-disapproval, and BAM you get hooked on disapproving of yourself, like getting hooked on a drug.
But it makes me feel bad to disapprove of myself!
Sure, you may be thinking that it feels pretty bad feeling the disapproval of yourself and you wish you didn't do it, however, whether you realize it or not, you are getting a dose of endorphins and a mild high from beating up on yourself, and then you feel like crap after. Have you ever drunk too much alcohol and woken up with a nasty hangover the next day or eaten way too much food to the point of feeling bloated and sick later? It’s like that! You didn’t stop drinking the alcohol or eating the food at the time, because it felt too good to stop and even if you knew that you were going to suffer for it later, the immediate high of the alcohol or food was just too good!
Over time, after much disapproval of yourself or disapproval from others such as your parents, you have collected enough evidence to believe that you are defective.
Beliefs about defectiveness reflect a general sense that one is inherently flawed, incompetent, or inferior. Often times, people who maintain thoughts and characteristics of a defective core belief, withdraw from close relationships for fear that others may discover that they are inherently wrong.
Examples of thoughts patterns characteristic of defectiveness include:
· I’m not good enough
· I can’t get anything right
· I’m stupid
· I’m inferior
· I’m nothing
· I’m worthless
· I’m insignificant
· I’m a bad person
· I’m unattractive (ugly, fat, etc.)
· I’m useless
· I’m a failure
· I don’t deserve anything good
· There’s something wrong with me
· I do not measure up to others
· I’m always wrong
· I’ve done things wrong
· I’m abnormal
Searching for evidence
When you are hooked on disapproving of yourself and believing that you are defective, your subconscious mind will explore and attract the evidence every single day. Chances are you have been disapproving and beating yourself up for so long, that it becomes a conditioned habit and you don't even realize how many times a day throughout the day you do it! Many people search for the evidence and beat themselves up, from the time they wake up, to the time they go to bed!
The only way to change this is to throw small positive pebbles daily into this cycle of madness until it changes directions.
Here’s what you do
From the time you wake up, all throughout the day, till the time you go to bed, you praise yourself for anything and EVERYTHING.
•I’m so proud of myself I went ahead and did the dishes
•I’m so proud of myself that I ate 11 Oreo cookies instead of 12 today
•I’m so proud of myself I got gas first
•I’m so proud of myself, I ate 1 piece of vegetable
•I’m so proud of myself for being proud of myself
•I’m so proud of myself for trusting my gut on what to order
•I’m so proud of myself for taking the time to pet my dog
•I'm so proud of myself for putting on my workout clothes, and maybe next time I'll get to the gym
•I’m so proud of myself for singing in the car
•I’m so proud of myself for….
Do you get the picture? Every time you praise yourself, regardless of how big or small, it throws another positive pebble into your cycle of beating yourself up. Praising yourself also raises your endorphins, which eventually replaces your harmful disapproval addiction with a positive approval addiction.
Soon you will begin to stop beating yourself up as weaken your attachment to disapproving of yourself and begin developing a powerful new feeling of love and approval for yourself!