They’re staring at you again.
From envy to disgust, admiration to annoyance — the look in their eyes slowly shifts from sparkled intrigue to fiery condemnation.
If this were a mob, they’d be after you by now. Pitchforks in hand, lanterns ablaze, ready to peel you apart and feed you to the dogs.
Luckily for you, people are more ‘civil’ now — they only tear people apart in the comfort of their minds and the safety of their rolling Twitter feeds.
You better be careful being so sure of yourself. All that confidence and self-love can get you in a lot of trouble ‘round these parts.
People love to hate on anyone with a little panache.
Confidence is cockiness.
Self-admiration is vanity.
And any semblance of being comfortable in your own skin is just a screeching cry for attention — “Look at me! Look at me!”
But thankfully, there’s a new mob in town. And instead of hunting people down with pitchforks, they’re sprinkling the world with a dash of self-respect.
A world where people actually like each other… a world where others admire those who admire themselves… a world where self-love is accepted as the prerequisite for loving others… and a world where admiring yo’ damn self is seen as the smart thing to do.
Sounds like a wonderful place, doesn’t it? Well, read through this article and I’ll show you how we can build that noble utopia together.
Let’s address some of the tired wisdom that’s been holding us back, shall we?
Two Ubiquitous & Dangerous Ways the World Stops Self-Love Dead in its Tracks
Self-Love Stopper #1: Teaching everyone that sharing is caring
Right from the get-go, you’re implored to play well with others.
Share your toys. Give other kids a turn. Hop in the sandbox with a buncha little farts and “let Sally play with your Triceratops, Brendan!”
It’s a constant give and take. And if you don’t conform, you’ll likely be labeled as the nasty kid who doesn’t know how to act around other children.
There’s a lot of incentive for parents to groom their kids into little Share Bears, too. If they don’t, the kid gets left out. The parents get left out. And no one gets invited to playdates or parties. It’s a sad world for the selfish child.
Therefore, selfish tendencies must be destroyed — the only problem is that we’ve destroyed self-love right along with it.
The baby has indeed been thrown out with the bathwater.
Self-Love Stopper #2: Always protecting other’s feelings
When was the last time you heard someone say…
“You know what? I really like myself!”
My guess is quite a long time. Perhaps even never.
And the reason for that is simple: People don’t like themselves… or at the very least, they’ve been conditioned to eliminate all traces of boastfulness in order to protect how others feel.
In other words, if people do like themselves, they’re quickly taught to not show it.
For example, if you…
- Don’t talk about everything you have because it might hurt those who can’t or don’t have it, or…
- Don’t talk about how good you feel because it might hurt those who feel terrible or not nearly as good as you, or…
- Don’t talk about amazing experiences because it might hurt those who feel left out or unable to take part in the same activities, or…
- Don’t show too much pride in yourself because it might hurt those who feel less than you…
… then you’ve been letting this tired and toxic wisdom dictate your life all along — and without evening knowing it, you’ve surrendered your own self-love to the cause.
You’re constantly walking on eggshells trying to protect everyone’s feelings — and slowly but surely, it’s been erasing your desire to show off your own unique and beautiful expression.
Sheltering the feelings of others has indeed left your own to freeze in the cold.
Two Undeniable & Unquestionable Reasons Why That’s All Poppycock (… and Secretly You Know It)
Reason #1: You have to be selfish
Don’t get me wrong — sharing is caring.
But to what extent have we let that notion destroy our sense of self?
Think about it…
You’ve been taught to share EVERYTHING you own. Your toys. Your time. Your resources. Your attention. Your love. Your energy. There’s not a single thing that you’re allowed to keep solely to yourself.
If you do, you’re selfish.
You don’t play well with others.
You don’t even care about others.
But what if we’re looking at this all wrong?
What if the child who wants to play by themselves feels better playing by themselves? What if they’re just trying to fill their own emotional cups before they get thrown in the sandbox with everyone else? Just because they like to play by themselves doesn’t necessarily make them selfish.
Eventually, we all seek out human connection and companionship, don’t we?
So what’s the problem with letting our children naturally gravitate to others after they’ve learned how to self-regulate and enjoy their own company first?
The problem here is that you’ve never been given the space to truly love yourself. Every time you try, you’re told that you’re being selfish.
But here’s the thing…
You have to be selfish.
You have to learn how to enjoy your own company.
You have to learn how to appreciate yourself… how to love yourself… how to savor the moments and experiences you enjoy in solitude.
Then (and only then) can you truly share those things with others.
The saying goes that you cannot pour from an empty cup — it’s an undeniable and inescapable truth. Therefore, if you want to share with others… doesn’t it stand to reason that your own cups should already have something in them?
Seems like common sense to me…
Sharing is caring — but only when the self is cared for first.
That’s not selfish… it’s necessary.
Reason #2: It’s imperative to let your freak flag fly (and learn how to protect your own feelings first)
It’s a nice notion to protect how others feel — there’s no denying that.
But when protecting the feelings of others means holding back your own unique, wonderful, and beautiful expression, everybody loses.
If someone feels bad for not having what you have… or gets irritated for not looking how you look… or gets annoyed and angry because they can’t experience what you experience… that’s on them, not you.
It’s not your fault they’re lacking in the self-love department. And no amount of holding yourself back is going to help them, either.
Be yourself, fiercely and fully — and never be ashamed to let your freak flag fly.
You wanna really make a difference? You wanna really inspire others to be their best selves? You wanna really feel amazing in your own skin?
Then never hold back being who you are.
You have to learn how to protect your own feelings first… how to express yourself truthfully and without restriction… how to stand with confidence and pride knowing that you love who you are and who you’re becoming. It’s this type of honest expression that makes the most impact in the world.
When you build yourself up and finally stand tall, remember this…
It’s never to look down on others — it’s to give you the strength and the courage to bring everyone else with you.
Holding yourself back is a surefire way to keep every single one of us lower to the ground.
Be the one who rises — and as you rise, may we all rise together.
The ‘Self-Love Paradox’ is the Hero We Really Need
The road ahead is seldom-traveled but clear…
Self-love is the key to bring all of us forward together in harmony.
That may seem counterintuitive, but it’s an unassailable truth.
Think about it…
How are we to truly care and think compassionately about others if we don’t care or think compassionately about ourselves first?
How are we to fix the state of our cities or our countries or our planet if we don’t fix the state of our homes and our own home within first?
How are we to support the growth of our families… of our loved ones… of our communities and our children if we don’t support the growth of our own self first?
The simple answer is that we won’t.
This is the Self-Love Paradox… for the more that we put into ourselves — of our own love and care and attention — the more we’ll ultimately be able to give back to the very world around us. This is the wisdom that matters.
Your legacy. Your destiny. Your profound and positive impact on the world… all of that starts by being the very best you that you can possibly be.
Real change begins within — remember that.
Never feel guilty for admiring who you really are — because it’s through your own self-love and admiration that all of your love and light will be shared with the world.
Introducing the “Full of Yourself’ Utopia
Imagine, if you will, a thriving world of love and laughter.
A world where nothing seems impossible… where friends, family, even complete strangers support one another to become their best selves… where every relationship starts from a place of compassion, empathy, and respect.
Imagine a world where you never had to hide who you really are… where you could just be yourself fiercely and fully and never for a moment have to worry about what others think, do, or say.
Imagine a world where everyone was comfortable in their own skin… where no one was jealous about what others have or jealous about how others look… where everyone had so much to give because they were all overflowing with their own abundance inside.
This is a world where self-love is accepted.
This is a world where self-love thrives.
It’s a world that gives more back to itself because it understands the value of self-care and respecting that which is sacred and important.
It’s a world that cares more about the wellbeing of others because it’s taken the time to care about the wellbeing of each individual first.
It’s a world that strives to bring out the best in all of us because it thrives on supporting each person’s unique and beautiful expression.
And it’s a world that makes the biggest impact because it allows all of us to be exactly who we are without the fear of judgment or expectation.
Such is a world where self-love is the norm — and it’s the very world you take part in creating every time you choose to be unapologetically yourself.
This is the “Full of Yourself” Utopia — and it’s yours for the taking so long as you choose it.
Go Forth & Admire Yo’ Damn Self for the Greater Good
Admiring who you are isn’t a sign of cockiness, selfishness, or vanity.
It’s a sign of strength. It’s a sign of assuredness. It’s a sign of personal power and growth. It’s the mark of someone who’s ready to make their impact and bring their best self forward to the world.
When people look at you with hateful eyes because of your confidence… because you’re happy with who you are… because you’re proud of how you look, what you’ve achieved, and what you hope to accomplish… remember that they themselves are hurting inside.
They want to be like you.
They want to love themselves.
And they want to feel as comfortable as you do in their own skin.
But dialing back your own unique and wonderful expression isn’t the answer. That’s not what’s going to help them. In fact, it’s this exact suppression of self that’s deteriorating everything around us.
If you really want to help… if you really want to make the biggest impact… if you really want to leave this world better than how you found it…
Then you have to love yourself fully and completely.
You have to become the most confident person you know.
And you have to walk with pride and never be ashamed for who you are and who you’re becoming.
That beautiful and wonderful utopia we talked about is yours for the taking — but there’s just one catch…
You must go forth and start admiring yo’ damn self first.