“The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.” – Hugh Black
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When people ask me questions about self-love or body positivity it will usually start with a what or how. “What can I do to love my body more?”, “How can I learn to love myself?” These are great questions and I am glad you are asking them. My blog posts will tell you the what and how and if you read them and apply them to your life you can definitely build a better on top of your foundation for your self-love journey. However, you need the foundation to build on first. The foundation of your self-love journey should be your WHY. Why are you on a self-love journey? Why do you want to love your body? When you know your why your what and how has more impact because you will have a purpose. I want to discuss on today’s post how you can figure out your why and use it to change your life. Without a purpose, cause or strong empowering belief, your inspiration or motivation will fall flat and you will find it harder to makes substantial changes within yourself.
It is so important to know that on your self-love journey you must work from the inside first then move outwards. Your why is going to be coming from the inside and it will drive you towards making a change. Many people start from the outside and don’t even touch the inside. They work out to get a nice body, dress in nice clothing, put on makeup but something still doesn’t feel right. This is surface level confidence and won’t keep you from getting into a situation that will end up hurting you because you still don’t know your true value, worth, and purpose. You can still be persuaded to go along with things you may not necessarily like because you think maybe you will find a purpose in it or value. Diet companies know this and take advantage of the insecurities you have on the inside. That is where most of us go wrong. We have to begin with a purpose and know we are worthy and valuable from the get-go. How can we figure out what our why is for changing how we feel about ourselves and our bodies?
The first thing you can do to find out your why is to simply ask yourself. Why do you want to change? Grab a pen and paper or something you can write down pages of your reasons why. It may take you a little while to get at least a page of writing to your why but that is how detailed it should be. For instance, if I asked "why do I want to love my body" and I wrote down that "I wanted to feel better about my body" and that was it do you think I will really feel empowered to make a change in myself? No. Feeling better is a good start but again ask yourself why. "Why do you want to feel better?" Keep building on it until you can see a clear purpose. Try to get a least a page of reasons even if it takes weeks. Make sure to also note the negative reasons why you want to change.
For example, my reason why I started this journey was learning the hard way. I was broken hearted and in such a dark place that it made me physically sick. I picked myself up from this mess by working on myself through self-help. I didn’t have family or friends to help me through these tough situations either because I had just moved cross country. However, this was a blessing as I was left exposed to my self. When you are exposed to yourself you are forced to be accountable for your choices, mistakes and all of the painful stuff. This has to happen in order for you to become self-aware. The day I made it through to a happier place my reasons why became so clear. My reasons for change was to never get back into the awful situations I had put myself in ever again. I wanted to protect myself from people who did not value me. I needed to learn how to value myself. This was a big enough why for me to work hard on myself and learn what I needed to do to protect myself. By learning how to value myself, my body came easier to love because I had built a foundation and once I learned and knew that I could pick myself up and that I was valuable loving my body came naturally. It made me focus on the good things about myself.
Secondly, focus on the things that you are good at. Maybe you are a good listener, can sing, can cook, have empathy for others. Write down all these things you know you are good at. Some people struggle here which means they don’t know much about themselves. This is good now its time to get to know yourself. You can even get help with this by asking loved ones you trust on why they love you. Ask your friends why they are friends with you. Try to get to a deep conversation of why you are friends to understand what it is they see in you that you may not see. Knowing what you are good and more about yourself you can then focus on building on your strengths. For example, with my blog, I realized I am good at listening and being empathetic which made me want to become a life coach. I am also great at researching and learning which also helps me in so many areas and that is what I focus on.
Third, now you can start to think of how you can add value to your life from your reasons why and your strengths. How can you now add value to your life or the lives of others? Focus on what matters most to you. Maybe it's you want to have healthy relationships instead of bad ones. Maybe you want to stop the unhealthy cycles of your family living with eating disorders and want your children to never suffer from it. This is where you will grab your most empowering why. If your why doesn’t make you cry or emotional you don’t have a big enough reason why. You will have to dig deeper to find it. You don’t want a why that is inspiring or motivating that will be short lived. Your reason why has to last a lifetime. It may take time for you to figure it out but don’t give up on it keep working on it every day until you find your why so that it will drive you. I would recommend doing these exercises for all things in your life such as career, relationships, etc.
Lastly, when you do find that why don’t stop building on it. Keep going back to your why and ask more questions when you feel like giving up. A building still needs maintenance or may be restructured so keep looking after it so you can grow. Just like a business would do come up with a mission statement from all your why work. For example my why statement for this blog looks like this, “To inspire others to love themselves so that they can change the world.” Once you stand for something you are not ready to take on your goals and dreams. This is what drives me to post every week. Also, can you see how it is up to you to save yourself and build your foundation to your life? When you expect others to do all this work for you that is ridiculous. You wouldn’t want to do all this work for someone else either. You can create goals together with people but if they don't match with your why it won't' work. You are the only person that can build and know your why!