Challenging times call for self-love, but it’s actually harder than it sounds. Do you always treat yourself with respect and love? Or are you more prone to being self-critical or even self-loathing? Our thoughts about ourselves are super important in how we behave and show up in the world, and as I always say, our thoughts are optional, so choose good ones.
What I’m diving into today is all about practicing self-love and why we find it hard to do sometimes. I want you to see how your negative thoughts could be affecting your life and business, and how more love for yourself could positively affect everything.
You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 36.
Welcome to The Design You Podcast, a show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth, and joy. Here is your host, Tobi Fairley.
Hello friends, and welcome to the holidays. Yeah, we’re in full swing, aren’t we? And the new year is just around the corner. I mean, it’ll be here in a blink so if you didn’t listen to it, be sure to check out my episode number 34 and get my free guide for thriving through the holidays because we’re in the middle of it, friends, and if you’re thinking, I can use all the help I can get, then you’re going to want to get that guide. Episode 34.
Okay, so this time of year can be challenging for sure, right? And hopefully that guide’s going to help you out in a lot of ways, but what else will help you is a healthy dose of self-love. So let’s talk about that today. Your relationship with yourself.
I mean, we’ve covered all kinds of stuff on the podcast here about relationships, right? Relationships with other people in recent episodes. But the toughest relationship for many of us is the one that is nearest and dearest, right? So how do you feel about you? Do you treat yourself with respect and love or are you more prone to being self-critical or even self-loathing?
Well, it’s important to realize that all relationships are just our thoughts about another person, or their thoughts about us. Our minds are these powerful things, and what we think determines how we feel. So if we think wonderful thoughts about a person, we’re going to feel wonderful things about that person too.
And unfortunately, the opposite is also true. And the reason this is so important is because if you don’t have a great relationship with yourself, it’s your thoughts that are the problem. Not your thighs. Let’s say that again. It’s your thoughts. Not your thighs that are the problem. So if you are kind and loving and generous and forgiving and accepting of yourself, that is also only coming from your thoughts.
And as I say in just about every single episode of The Design You Podcast; all of our thoughts are optional. Even the horrible ones we think about ourselves. So we can choose to adore ourselves if we want to and we can choose to think we’re amazing, and we can choose to decide that we are enough exactly the way that we are.
Or we can choose to think about ourselves in ways we wouldn’t think about our worst enemy. Which of those do you think serves you more? Well, I’m pretty sure which one serves me more, and which one adds to your quality of life? Which one helps you live your life to its fullest? Versus which one causes you to miss out on life because you’re so focused on all the things that you hate about yourself?
Yes, you know and I know exactly which type of thinking serves us the most, right? So why do we choose to pick the option that is essentially like punching ourselves in the face day in and day out? Good question. I watch smart, beautiful, talented women that I know think and feel this negative way about themselves daily and it blows my mind every single time because I can see their gifts and their beauty and their creativity and their intelligence and all the other amazing things about them and they just can’t see it.
And I used to be one of those women, but after years, and I mean years, of frustration and missing out on life because I wasn’t happy with my body or my pant size or something else about me, I decided to give this way of thinking up for good. There were too many moments in my life that had already been wasted due to internal drama about myself, and all those moments were in my control completely. I could have chosen another behavior by choosing a different thought if only I had known.
But then I realized one day that no one ever thinks about me the way I’m thinking. No one ever does that. Nobody ever says, “Boy, I would love to hire Tobi Fairley as my interior designer if only she was 15 pounds thinner.” Or no one ever says, “I sure would enjoy spending time with Tobi in her amazing and beautiful home if only her thighs were a little smaller. If they were smaller then we could really have a wonderful time together.”
And my family never thinks, “That would have been a really fun trip or a really fun family game night or a really fun dinner out or an amazing holiday if only Tobi’s butt were a little bit smaller. If that were the case, we could have all really enjoyed each other.” And my girlfriends don’t think, “Well, if Tobi just made more money, I mean, if she could hit the seven-figure mark, then I’d really like her. And I know she’s been published a lot, but if she could just make the cover of Architectural Digest, then we could finally be friends.”
Of course, y’all, no one says or thinks this stuff about us except us. And if someone does think that about us then we don’t want to spend time with them anyway, right? But we spend so much time thinking negative thoughts about our bodies or our accomplishments or our finances or just about every other facet of our lives and ourselves. And we hold ourselves back from living life to the fullest because of our opinions of us.
And when we think these terrible thoughts about ourselves, we totally zap our confidence. We deplete our personal power and we make ourselves feel wretched, right? And why on earth would we want to go anywhere or do anything or be around anyone or really push ourselves and do something out of the box or do something that we’ve dreamed of when we feel horrible?
Because just with our thoughts, we’ve made ourselves feel absolutely worthless. Good question, right? No wonder. I mean, it’s a miracle that we even get out of bed some days with the way we talk to ourselves. If someone else treated us this way, we would consider it abuse, and it is abuse, even when it’s coming from us.
So I want you to see how much time you’re wasting with this sort of negative thinking about yourself and time is our most precious resource. We can’t get any more of it, and we choose to spend time being upset, being unhappy, feeling less than, feeling worthless all because of the way we are thinking about ourselves? That is crazy.
And I want you to see the damage and the suffering that you’re inflicting on you that is all by choice. Think about that again for a minute. We are choosing to make ourselves feel this way when we could choose other thoughts that make us feel amazing. I hope that is an a-ha moment for those of you who aren’t loving yourself.
So many of us think, “If I’m not hard on myself, then I won’t become great. If I’m not hard on myself about my weight or my body then it will really get out of hand. I mean, I’ll just be sitting around eating Doritos and ice cream all day every day.” But how is abusing yourself with your words about your body or your business or some other part of your life really working for you right now?
Probably not really good, right? Probably it’s the reason you are already eating Doritos and ice cream at least on occasion, right? And it may sound counterintuitive, but when we love ourselves, that’s when we put healthy food in our body. When we love ourselves, that’s when we exercise. When we love ourselves, that’s when we do great things in our businesses and make the most money. And when we love ourselves, that is when we find joy.
It is in the self-loathing that the emotional eating and the procrastination about our work or our health and other poor choices work their way into our days. And why wouldn’t they? I mean, if we think we’re worthless, why bother trying to care for ourselves in the best way? If we think that we are less than, why try to make our business outstanding? If we feel this way about ourselves, really, why bother at all?
Having a wonderful relationship with yourself or anyone else is just a commitment to thinking amazing thoughts about the person you are loving. So in this care, it’s just a commitment to thinking amazing thoughts about you. And if you’re in a habit of thinking negative thoughts about you and you don’t work to change them, then you will struggle to love yourself forever. You don’t just suddenly start loving yourself.
You’re amazing, you’re spectacular. How do I know that? Because we all are. So in what ways are you amazing that you haven’t even given yourself credit? What accomplishments or gifts or behaviors could you focus on that will help you feel more loving towards you? Choose to focus on those and not your faults. Choose to focus on what’s right and not on what’s imperfect.
It’s hard to understand sometimes that these thoughts and feelings and behaviors are a choice. And it’s difficult to understand why we do this to ourselves. Why are we so hard on us? Why are we so critical and judgmental of ourselves?
But know this; our brain naturally goes there. Our brain looks for problems. It looks for what’s wrong. It looks for the bad in us and in others. Our brain is in the habit of judging unless we reprogram it. And this negative and destructive behavior is usually unconscious. But we must become aware of our negative thoughts on purpose, and that takes practice.
Society makes is to easy for us to compare and judge ourselves, and it makes it really difficult to praise ourselves and to toot our own horn. Society says, you know, if you love yourself too much, you’re arrogant. But that’s not true. That’s only true if you’re saying, I’m better than somebody else. And loving, confident people don’t say that anyway. Insecure people do.
Insecure people say, “Well, at least I’m better than her.” We’ve got to do that to build ourselves up. But when you’re loving and when you’re confident, you can think, “I’m amazing,” and that’s not arrogant at all because I can be amazing and you can be amazing too. We can all be amazing at the same time. We can all be talented at the same time. We can all be gifted and creative and our best at the same time.
And saying that we are isn’t at all bragging. It’s loving, and it creates confidence. So it’s really important that we get in the habit of saying how amazing we all are and stop with all of the talk about how we aren’t.
This is especially needed for women. I see it in my daughter who’s a teenager and in her friends, who talk poorly about themselves and complain about parts of their body or complain about their faces or complain about their hair or complain about something about their body. They’re self-critical, and I immediately jump in and tell them how amazing they are and immediately tell them to never say negative things about themselves. That is the worst thing they can do.
But for so many of us women, we’ve been doing it for years, right? We’re so in the habit of it. It’s just second nature. So it’s really important that we stop this behavior, especially during this time of year when life is super busy and we’re hard on ourselves because of that, because we’re stressed and we’re tired and there’s so much to do, and also because during this time of year we may be spending time with family members. Some of whom aren’t our biggest cheerleaders. Some of whom have also been critical of us for years.
Maybe that’s where we learned it. Maybe they have a lot of scarcity mindset or limiting beliefs and they passed it on to us. But it’s time that we take back our emotions. It’s time that we decide to live in abundance. It’s time that we decide to love ourselves just exactly how we are. Because we know that no more days are really promised to us. They’re all gifts. And at the end of the day, as much as you want to pick apart things about you, there’s so many things to be grateful for.
So many of us have our health. And on a day that might come in the future where we don’t, wouldn’t we be thrilled to just be healthy? Heavy thighs and all? Yeah. So we got to embrace it and enjoy it and celebrate it and be grateful in the moment when we are who we are.
We’re adults now and yeah, other people in our family and in our lives may not be our biggest cheerleaders, but the only cheerleaders that we really need during the holidays or any other time of year is us. So be your own cheerleader. Have your own back. Love yourself fully and completely in spite of all the things that you’ve been in the habit of picking apart about you.
You know, it’s what we want for our daughters, it’s what we want for young women in the world, so we got to start by setting the example with ourselves. And trust me friends, when I got over what size I was and just started caring about who I was on the inside, that’s when everything started to change for the better. That’s actually when my size changed.
Instead of resisting who I was, when I started embracing me exactly how I am and being grateful for the body that has carried me to so many amazing things, to being a mom and a designer and a businesswoman and in travel and being a daughter, that’s the only body I’ve got and look at the amazing stuff we’ve done together. And when I started being grateful for her and when I started celebrating my successes in business instead of picking apart all the things that I hadn’t done, that is when everything started coming together.
So I highly, highly, highly recommend loving yourself. Because it’s in the practice of loving you that you become all that you’ve ever wanted to be. So think about this daily during the holidays. Use your journal to help you see the negative thoughts that you’re practicing and to rewrite those negative thoughts into positives. Use your journal to be grateful for all the amazing things about you every single day because if you get in the habit of that, if you get in the habit of celebrating you instead of being critical of you, that’s where the magic happens.
So I’ll see you next week as we get one step closer to the new year and over these next few episodes, we’re going to talk about how getting organized and getting ready to be our best self next year is going to be the game changer to create the year and the life that we’ve always wanted. So I’ll see you then. Bye for now and thanks so much for joining me here on The Design You Podcast. Now go love yourself. Bye friends.
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Design You Podcast. And if you’d like even more support for designing a business and a life that you love, then check out my exclusive monthly coaching program Design You at tobifairley.com.