"You can't love yourself if you're not being yourself."
For what it’s worth, I define self-improvement as the pursuit of two things: Self-awareness and self acceptance.
Self-awareness comes from understanding what our strengths and weaknesses are, knowing the biases and beliefs that govern our lives, seeking others' perspectives so they can see us from a different angle than we can see ourselves, and having insight to the things that genuinely motivate us and drive us forward.
Self-acceptance is then being at peace with what you’ve come to know about yourself. Not judging who you are or what makes you tick, trusting your intentions and that you are the way that you are for a reason, and appreciating your nuances and quirks because they make you unique rather than thinking there’s something wrong with you.
I share that because I heard Ed Mylett say something that delivers a similar message. He says “You can’t love yourself if you’re not being yourself, and you can’t be yourself if you don’t believe in yourself.”
The first part about being yourself is the self-improvement piece. You can only truly be yourself when you’re self-aware enough to know who you are and what you genuinely want, and have the self-acceptance to pursue being that person even when you doubt yourself or others criticize you.
But then he goes an extra and important layer past that - "You can’t be yourself if you don’t believe in yourself". Saying that you want to live a life that’s true to yourself is one thing, having the courage to do it is another. It requires self-confidence and self-esteem to do things different from what others expect of you.
For example, we think it’s weird when people sing in public, or ask us a random question, because we’re projecting our own insecurities about how we’d feel if we could express ourselves with that level of authenticity.
But at the same time, self-belief is everything. According to an iconic study done by Australian palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware, the greatest regret of the dying is that people wish they’d “lived a life true to themselves and not the life others expected of them”.
"You can’t love yourself if you’re not being yourself, and you can’t be yourself if you don’t believe in yourself".
So how do you start believing in yourself? You give yourself reasons to. You show up, get bolder, manage your impulses and practice self-discipline, put yourself out there, take calculated risks, and do your best. Do it enough times and the evidence is undeniable.
And I get it, it’s hard when you’re busy, worn out, and have so much going on that you don’t have the motivation or energy to do be your best self - But if you want to start transforming your sense of self-belief, so that you stop feeling so unmotivated and start feeling on fire, in just 21 days - let’s install your Super Habits System to lock in the habits and processes that make you feel and show up at your very best!