How to fall in love with yourself
The Coaching Institute's Matt Lavars has a simple strategy for practising self love to boost your relationship with yourself and everyone else.
Back when I was a kid, knowing how to fall in love with yourself was like having egg sandwiches in your lunch box: something you'd never admit to. It was a classic playground sledge: “You’re up yourself. You love yourself so much.”
These days, with a few life lessons on the clock, I can proudly say to anyone that I love myself.
If you’re not there yet, I have a tip to share around self love that I wish I knew years ago. (I'll be talking more about this at The Coaching Institute's first ever virtual training on 'How To Become A Relationship Coach' on August 1.
First, you need to understand self love is not about having a relationship with yourself where you think you think you’re better than anyone else.
Self love is how you relate to other people. Because how we relate to others is a really great window into whether or not we are loving ourselves.
Before I tell you how to fall in love with yourself, know that self love isn’t self care. It’s not spa treatments and cashmere socks and afternoon naps.
And it doesn’t come with a switch. You can’t hear the words ‘I should love myself’ and presto, you got it.
That’s not what it’s like. Because just like a great tennis serve, or knowing how to cook cacio e pepe—have you tried? I don’t know how two ingredients in one pasta can be so tough to pull off—it takes practise.
In fact, it is a practice.
Learning how to fall in love with yourself is something anyone can bring into their day every day. I do—it’s something I choose to do and practise because it feels great.
And because the relationships I get to have with myself and others are improved as a result.
Here’s how to develop self love, to fall in love with yourself:
Become aware of your judgement of others. This is a super reliable way to check how we’re starting to relate to ourselves.
If I’m getting really negative on the world and pointing out the things I think are wrong with everyone else, what I’m doing is I’m going to notice everything that’s wrong with me.
So one of the beautiful practices we can bring into our life to deepen our own relationships with our self acceptance and self love is forgiveness.
LET IT GO!
Forgiveness is another thing I used to get wrong.
I used to think it was something we would only use when somebody had done something wrong by us.
But forgiveness is the opposite of acceptance. If I don’t forgive someone, what I’m doing it withholding love not just from them but from me too,
And that means I’m the one who loses out. I’m not open to receiving my own love.
This is a frame you can use to fall in love with yourself: Think of a person in your life and ask, ‘Is my heart open or closed to this person?’
When I first learned this I became very aware of the weight of resentment and grudges I was carrying around, thinking ‘This person didn’t listen to me’ or ‘My last workplace sucked’ or ‘My dad wasn’t there.’
I was holding onto how everyone had let me down.
It was heavy. And walking around with these massive burdens of withholding love from people meant I wasn’t giving myself love.
Here’s how I let it back in: I simply started the process of forgiveness. I said, ‘I forgive this person. I forgive this person. I forgive this person.’
And I let it go.
I practice this daily. I pay attention to what it feels like when my heart is open: warm, connected to other people, not overly worried about things.
When we have an open heart we see the greatness and potential in other people. And that means we see it in ourselves as well.
Starting to love yourself might start out as a challenge. It will turn into a gift. (One I'll be unwrapping more at 'How To Become A Relationship Coach.' I'd love to see you there on August 1.)