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Challenge: Back to School 2021

What If I Just Loved Myself?

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Resolutions have been on my mind. This is not surprising given that 2023 is right around the corner. It also doesn't help that every time I scroll there is a suggestion for how to approach the new year ... how to ring in the new year .... how to be my best self in the new year ... how to change what I don't like about myself in the new year ... etc..

But today a new idea came to me during my workout class. Not a resolution. Just an idea.


The instructor had suggested we look in the mirror to check our form. When I looked, I immediately started criticizing myself and my reflection. The spiraling was about to continue, when instead something wonderful happened. A simple question popped into my mind ...

Hey - what would this workout feel like if instead you just loved yourself through it?

I know. I know. That sounds a little woo-woo, but it was such a welcomed mental balm for the self-critique that was taking over and stealing my joy.

I kept the conversation going with myself. ( tell me I'm not the only one who does this? )

What would it feel like to just love yourself even if your skill level or execution isn't on par with others in class or on par with where you'd like to be?

Allowing myself to both accept myself in the moment and accept that I'm not exactly where I want to be brought me a lot of relief. I didn't have to pick one side. I could be both. I could accept the now and want a different future. This acceptance allowed me to drop back into class and enjoy the rest of the workout.

During the rest of the workout I also started thinking about how I could apply this question to other areas of my life ...

What would work feel like if I loved myself during the tough moments ( instead of getting down on myself for not hitting goals) ? Would possible solutions come more quickly if I skipped the shame spiral?

What would dating feel like if I loved myself through the process ( instead of over-analyzing and personalizing the actions of the other person ) ? Would I instead focus more on if I am interested vs. if they are interested?

I was on a roll.

Next thing I knew after class I was talking to Autumn, the instructor, about this idea. About how differently life could feel if I just asked myself "How would I respond to this if I really loved myself?"

We started playing around with the questions some more ...

How would you fuel your body if you really loved yourself?
How would you choose to move your body if you really loved yourself?
How would you select your friends if you really loved yourself?

It's such a radical act to love yourself even when you aren't exactly where you want to be in life.

But we know the alternative never works. You can't bully yourself or hate yourself into working harder. That may work temporarily but ultimately it leads to burnout.

You also can't bully or hate yourself into being a better version of yourself. In order to bring out the best in you the only answer is radical love and radical ownership. Ownership of where you are on the journey and ownership of where you want to go and what it will take to get there.

So maybe the greatest resolution we could all make this year is to continue to ask ourselves ...

How would I approach _______ if I really truly loved myself?

Perhaps living the answers could lead to our best year yet!

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