How to really like yourself when you look in the mirror in the morning
I love how when I asked you guys last week what you wanted to hear more of from me, one of you said that the phrase “how to like yourself when you look in the mirror in the morning” really stood out.
It got me thinking, because, that IS really important. And yet, if I asked you what you thought when you looked at yourself in the mirror this morning, what would you tell me?
Maybe you didn’t think anything. Maybe you just looked at yourself and thought: “Nice face” or “Meh”.
Something that I do, and have been doing since I was able to recognize myself in the mirror, is smile.
I have vivid memories of me standing in front of my mirror in the house I grew up in, brushing my hair thousands of times over, wearing some sequined costume and smiling like a glamazon in the mirror.
But in my mind, I think, who cares? Since when is smiling at yourself a bad thing, even if to other people you look like a cheese ball?
Here’s what I want to talk to you about today.
It is not a sermon on confidence. It is not about beauty. It is not about saying “I love you” to yourself over and over.
And it is not about smiling like a clown every morning in the mirror like me (but if you’re up for it, I can’t lie that you will, instantly, look 100x better. Especially if you wear sequins).
It is about falling in love with your “mistakes”
We think liking ourselves is all about having it ‘’figured out’.
On perfect days, we love ourselves. On not so perfect ones, all hell breaks lose.
This is the exact opposite of the kind of relationship you want to have with yourself and life itself.
Because “mistakes” aren’t a real thing.
Because the very word itself has an underlying assumption that there is a ‘right way’ to do something that you deviated from.
But there are MANY right ways to do something. And while we may ‘fall off the track’, it is never a ‘mistake’. Or something that you need to beat yourself up about.
In fact, it is a fantastic moment to learn.
And you know what? Maybe you feel like you already know this. “Yeah, mistakes are great!”
But do you FEEL it?
Do you actually feel, deep in your gut, that that is TRUE? Or would you prefer to be perfectly polished without chinks in the armor?
Be honest. The idea of making mistakes used to terrify me and give me a panic attack (not kidding), so you’re not alone if you feel that way.
Knowing something, and then really feeling something on a deep level, like something that’s been burned into you?
Completely different worlds to live in
So even though none of you explicitly asked me for this, I’m going to be sharing much more of my “mistakes” with you, and showing the profound insight we can extract from them so that the idea of “Failure” is no longer terrifying, but delightful.
Because when you’re not scared of ‘failing’, when you make ‘mistakes’, you will extract all the juice you can from them and realize it’s not personal…it’s not about “you”…and that it’s actually incredibly fun.
THEN, you can look in the mirror and really freaking love yourself. And you’ll feel that on a deep, primal level.
And, the best part? We’re going to do this together.
I’m going to share, and I’m going to make it a point to share OTHER people’s stories. Not ‘success’ stories, but stories of mistakes other people have made and how they learned and improved from them, and got to an even better place than they were in before. Innovative strategies and creativity will be what we celebrate, in all aspects of our lives.
…Not doing it ‘perfect’.
Now, I’m going to share what I feel was one of my biggest ‘mental mistakes’ with you.
When I first started my business, I was so excited about how once I got “X amount of money” I would be able to get “Y”.
..I’ll be able to get more massages
…I’ll be able to travel more
…I’ll be able to get my food delivered
And by the way, it’s fine to want more massages and to travel. I’m pretty sure I got a massage every day in Thailand and felt like I was floating on a cloud. And, traveling has always given me more than I have paid for it.
The problem was they were the top of the mountain, that once achieved, felt hollow
Even though I was excited about what I was doing, the end goal was: “What does this get me? What am I allowed to do now?”
Do you know what happens when you think that way?
You feel stripped of motivation. You feel creatively blocked. You tell yourself lies about why you’re doing what you’re doing, and it leads to a downward spiral of REAL mistakes. The ones you feel all yucky inside about.
Because think about it.
If you are embodying that way of thinking: “Once I get X, I’ll get Y”, you will never feel satisfied.
Instead of feeling like you’ve accomplished a lot, you’ll feel like you need to do more, and feel ungrateful/awful for feeling unsatisfied, and create new goals to feel better, only to start the cycle again.
You’ll tell yourself things like “I DESERVE this [chocolate/vacation/veg out time”, because you have missed the point. And you always feel, deep down, a very slight, barely audible whisper of “something’s missing”. And this is destructive when from the outside, it looks like you “have everything”.
This couldn’t have hit more home for me the day my Business Insider article came out that talked about how much money I was making and how ‘successful’ I had been.
It was all true. But I felt myself hiding from it.
Worse, I felt deflated.
THIS is the mountain top? I thought. Now what?
Every day, whether we’re conscious of it or not, we think about how we can have more meaning and impact in our lives. Every fiber of our being begs for it, and we don’t feed it what it needs. At least, I thought I was, but I really wasn’t.
What I have understood (and am still “noodling on”, my favorite word for meditating on something) is that I really needed to think about ‘success’ differently.
Is conventional success REALLY success? If something goes *exactly* how I planned, is that success…or failure? How do I really know what the best way is?
The answer is, I DON’T. At least, not in the neat, wrapped-up answer way. The ‘best way’ changes moment by moment.
But this ‘mistake’ in thinking, is actually a beautiful thing. Because it led me to being able to realign myself with what I actually want to be doing. Part of that is doing long-lasting, deep leadership and business coaching work with my clients who I am honored to have worked with for so long.
Another part of that, is opening up to a new path, which is being an artist. That which I am a complete beginner at in a lot of ways, and even though I can’t call myself Picasso right now, I’m going to get there and share these applicable lessons with you. There is something enormously liberating about sucking at something, showing other people your work, and feeling the thrill of improving every day. (For anyone who follows me on Instagram, you may have noticed the cropping up of paintings and drawings).
I tell my clients this all the time whenever they hit a roadblock or stumble: GOOD. THANK GOD. Let’s dig into this. It’s where all the best stuff happens.
Now, it’s your turn:
I would LOVE to hear about your ‘mistake(s)’ and how you turned it around. How did you think differently about it? What was your approach? What insights did you get from it? What new path did it lead you down?
Just comment below. I’d love to hear your story and really be more open about this stuff.
And if you want to hear more from me about resources I used (books, systems, approaches to thinking and creativity in my story mentioned about, ask and I’m happy to share more detail).
PS: I recently did an interview with Laura Coe from The Art of Authenticity about How to Focus on What Matters. Laura asked me a very potent question: What does living an authentic life mean to you? Go to the 31 minute mark to hear my answer.