I’ve got a challenge for you today. It’s not part of my 35 for 35, it’s a start-right-now challenge. And while I am really challenging you to commit a year to it, if a year-long challenge is too daunting, think about it as a month, or a week, or a day. String together a few days into a week and a few weeks into a month and soon you’ll be at that year.
What if you vowed to love yourself, fully and completely, today? For these next 24 hours (and come on you’ll be sleeping for at least 8 of them), can you commit to not speaking negatively towards yourself? Compliment yourself, instead of tearing yourself down. Be kind to other people, yes, but start by being kind to yourself! I know that a lot of us tend towards being critical of ourselves, and it can be difficult to change old thought patterns, but we have to start somewhere. So start with those negative, non productive thoughts- when they sneak in, counter them quickly. If you think or say a mean thought about yourself, stop and take a intentional moment to tell yourself something positive about yourself.
Did you know that if you speak negatively to a plant it will die, but if you’re kind to it (and water it), it will grow. There was also a study done on ice, where scientists sent beautiful and loving thoughts to one piece of ice, and negative, hateful thoughts towards another. One piece of ice had beautiful snow crystals in it, and the other had cracks going in all different directions.
What you say to yourself matters more than you know.
We need to be kind to ourselves. We need to be nurturing and compassionate. Who you are is already perfect, in this moment, exactly as you are. That doesn’t mean you never want to change at all. It simply means any changes you make don’t mean you deserve to be given more or less love or kindness. We are constantly changing and re-inventing ourselves and our lives. But wanting to change shouldn’t come from self loathing, but from self love. Because if you don’t love yourself, there is no amount of change that will make you feel happy. And really, isn’t love and happiness the goal?
So, I dare you to accept my challenge. Love yourself for 365 days. A year is a funny thing. Looking forward, it seems like a long time. But in hindsight, it usually feels as though it was yesterday. And I truly believe that if you focus on treating yourself with love and kindness, you’ll find yourself with a year full of happiness and positive memories.