Welcome to the first episode of the Calmer You Podcast. In this episode I talk about:
- The difference between self love and arrogance
- The main reasons we don’t love ourselves
- Some practical steps towards loving yourself more
Welcome to the very first Calmer You Podcast. I am Chloe Brotheridge. I’m a hypnotherapist specialising in helping people with anxiety and confidence and also the author of The Anxiety Solution.
This podcast is designed to guide and inspire you to become your calmest, happiest, most confident and amazing self.
I’m gonna introduce myself in case we don’t know each other. I’ll talk a little bit about my story and why I’m starting this podcast. Then we’ll get into the first podcast, which is about how to love yourself.
I want to talk about this because I remember a few years ago when I first heard of this concept of self-love. It was a completely new concept to me and I didn’t know how to do it. I really wanted to give some practical guidance and ideas on how to do that.
In case we don’t know each other, I’m Chloe Brotheridge. I’m somebody who has suffered with anxiety myself. After about 10 years of pretty intense panic attacks, really low self esteem, feeling like I worried about literally everything, I finally got some help.
Mission: becoming a calmer person
I embarked on a bit of a mission really to become a calmer person. I tried everything and I’ve made a load of progress. I’m definitely not perfectly calm all the time, but I’ve made a load of progress.
About six years ago, I trained as a hypnotherapist, and now I feel really privileged to be able to help other people with anxiety and self-esteem. Helping clients to become calm enough to live their lives more freely and to live the sort of life that they want to live.
Why this podcast?
I started this podcast because quite a few people have requested it via a survey I did with my email subscribers. Starting a podcast is one of the things that people wanted the most. At that time, I don’t know exactly what it was, but I just wasn’t ready. I think I was scared.
There’s something about podcasts that are just so intimate and personal, that I think I was basically scared to do it, but now I’m excited about it.
On the go support
I’m really, really excited to be doing this now. As a huge fan personally of audiobooks and podcasts myself, I love being able to walk to work or be working out at the gym, sitting on the bus and learning. I want to be able to share that with you guys as well.
For so many of us, we don’t necessarily have the time to sit down and read a book or read a blog post or watch a video. Most of us, however, have got time to pop in our earphones and listen to something while we’re on the go. I really wanted something that could be accessible, and easy to dip in and out of while you’re going about your life.
I hope this podcast reminds you that you’re not alone. And it gives you loads of practical ideas, the things you can do to help yourself.
What to expect
What can you expect from this podcast? I’m not only going to be talking about anxiety. I also be taking about other areas that support our mental well being, you know everything from talking about nutrition, to exercise and bringing in lots of experts.
What is self-love
As I said before, when I first started this journey to overcome anxiety and working on my mental health, I heard of this idea of self-love. But, I didn’t know how to do it. Wanting to love yourself more, is not enough to create that to happen.
We can’t just suddenly decide to love ourselves. It’s not actually that easy. We need to do the work and to take action.
I’m going to share with you some practical things that you can do and some ideas that are going to actually help you to know exactly what you need to do to love yourself more. It is a journey. You are not going to wake up one day and have perfect self-acceptance and self-love. It’s a journey and it’s not necessarily linear.
It’s not a step back
You might wake up on certain days and feel really good about yourself and be really accepting and then other days you might feel as if you’ve taken a step back. Actually, it’s not a step back. You’re still always moving forwards. Like anyone you can have ups and downs.
I remember when I first heard of the word self-love and thinking it’s just another word for masturbation. I don’t know what kinds of connotations you have. But for me, growing up in the northwest of England it was an insult. If you felt that you were arrogant and full of yourself. In my mind and my subconscious, I’ve still got this idea that somehow it’s not good to love yourself.
Were you told not to show-off?
I wonder how many of you listening also have this idea. I hear this all the time with my clients. You know, maybe from a young age, you were told not to be a show-off. Don’t be too full of yourself.
I know from my experience I was brought up to believe that you have to be modest that you shouldn’t be bragging or you shouldn’t be overly confident.
That can also backfire and go the other way. When you get down to arrogance, it’s usually to do with people having a point to prove. They’re feeling like they need to display how amazing and clever they are in order to get approval from other people. Normally, if someone is arrogant, it’s because they don’t love themselves. It’s because they don’t really accept themselves and they’re seeking that approval from other people.
Self-love vs arrogance
It really is a different thing. Self-love and arrogance that don’t go hand in hand at all. Healthy self-love is what we’re aiming for here. It’s really about accepting yourself as an imperfect human being. Somebody that is intrinsically worthy, a good person and knowing that you deserve good things. You also deserve to be nice to yourself and feeling that sense of peace that comes from accepting yourself as you are.
The root of all problems
Now, the vast majority of a self-help type people and therapists will agree that not loving ourselves is kind of at the root of all of our problems. If you think about things like anxiety, if you don’t like yourself or love yourself, you’re going to be beating yourself up. You’re not going to take care of yourself or have that belief in your abilities. It’s going to cause a lot of anxiety and a lot of worry potentially.
The root of depression
When you get to the root of what depression is, often there is this sense of being unworthy not being good enough. Having made big mistakes being a failure, it all comes down to this lack of self-love.
Actually, the thing that you need is a sense of acceptance and love for yourself. For many people a barrier to self-love is believing that it is selfish to love themselves. I just want to remind you that being mean to yourself or giving yourself a hard time is not taking care of yourself. That doesn’t actually benefit anyone.
Putting your self-love first
If you are putting everyone else before your self, and you’re not taking care of yourself, and you’re stressed and resentful, and anxious and low as a result of that, that doesn’t actually help anyone around you. You help people the most when you take care of yourself first.
The Dalai Lama talks about this. He says that the purpose of life is to be happy, and to make yourself happy first. And once you’re in a good place, once you’re happy and peaceful within yourself, automatically, you spread those good vibes and that happiness to the people around you. If you’re loving yourself, if you’re nice to yourself, your kids, partne, work are all going to benefit
Foundation of love
I certainly don’t love myself completely all the time. I’ve made loads and loads of progress over the last few years. But I’m not perfect. And so don’t, don’t let that be a source of giving yourself a hard time. Don’t beat yourself up about where you are on that journey on any particular day.
Just remind yourself, you’re making progress all the time. And just by listening to this, you’re doing something positive for yourself to make progress.
Change is possible
Another thing I think that is incredibly important when it comes to self-love is a belief that change is possible. This is something that not a lot of therapists will tell you but something that you learn as a therapist. If you can get the client to believe that they can change, their chances massively increase. So your belief that change is possible is incredibly important.
Babies are born with extremely high self-esteem. If a baby wants something, they cry, they grab for what they want, they grab food, when they’re hungry, they demand to get that love and attention. They intrinsically know they are worthy, and that they’re valuable. They are very vocal about that.
Born with self-esteem
You were born with extremely high self-esteem. And so, if you don’t have that sense of your own worth, if you think that you’re worthless or that you’re not good enough, or that you lack in value, then that’s something that you learned in your life. It’s something that you took on board.
The programming that we all absorb throughout our lives, particularly in our childhoods, and how that can really shape our adulthood. It can create a lot of negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours for potentially the whole of our lives unless we start to take some action to change that. So, you know, perhaps you have an idea now of where that lack of self-love actually came from.
I’ll give you some examples of things that I see a lot. Say that your mom or your dad left when you were growing up. As a result you have a sense that they left because they didn’t love you. Perhaps as an adult, you can look back and see they were having loads of arguments and it’s no wonder they split up. You can see that as an adult, the reasons why that might have happened. But as a child because you don’t have that awareness of life and relationships and how the world works, you take things literally.
You may have misinterpreted what happened. Dad leaving and shacking up with another woman meant that he didn’t love you and that you are not worth loving. This sort of thing is something that I see all the time.
Another example of this might be, say, you were ostracised by a group of friends at school. One day your friends just decided that they didn’t like you anymore. I remember really vividly this happening with my best friend at secondary school, and it’s quite traumatising. For a week, you were out of the gang and you were ostracised from that group, or maybe for the rest of the year or forever. You took on board this belief that I’m not good enough. People don’t like me and I’m not worthy. Honestly, that can stay with you. And that can be a source of why you don’t feel good about yourself and why you don’t love yourself in your adult life.
You can unlearn it
There are an infinite number of reasons why that could be. I think it does help to consider where that might have come from. Unfortunately, it’s not the case that when you figure out where it came from you are cured. You’re not born with that belief that you’re the odd one out. It’s something that you learned and therefore, you can actually unlearn it, let it go and you can transform it.
It’s about cultivating that belief that it is possible to change. That is so important.
Tips for self-love
Some practical tips you can take on board to help cultivate self-love. The first thing I want to suggest is to fake it until you make it now. You don’t have to love yourself right now. That’s okay. Act as if you do love yourself.
Ask yourself, what would I be doing differently if I loved myself? What would I eat for my dinner tonight? What would I do on my lunch break at work? Who would I see at the weekends? How would I speak to myself?
Perhaps just take a few moments to make some notes on your phone, or with a pen and a piece of paper. Think about how you can fake it until you make it and acting as if you love yourself.
Action is incredibly powerful. We can tell ourselves positive affirmations, but actually taking action is one of the most powerful ways to change a belief
If you can start to act like you love yourself, then that’s going to send you a very powerful message. It’s going to send you a message at a physical and subconscious level that you are worthy, worth loving, and worth taking care of.
That leads me on to the next practical idea that I have for you. That’s about self-care. We hear a lot about this term self-care. It’s become extremely trendy. There are loads of books that have come out this year. I know there’s a few more coming out next year about self-care, which I think is amazing.
I think is really important that we discover what is self-care for us. You might be someone that loves a hot bath, listening to Enya, getting the bath oils and aromatherapy. Or you might be someone that hates baths, hates being oily and feels like you don’t have time to spend half an hour soaking in the bath.
What makes you feel good
It’s really important to think about what makes you feel good, taken care of and loved, essentially. It really is about making yourself feel worthy when it comes to self-care.
Next up is self compassion. If you haven’t heard of this word before, this is incredibly important. I talk about it a lot in my book, The Anxiety Solution. The word self-compassion comes from Buddhism, this idea that we’re kind to ourselves. It’s so simple being kind to ourselves, and yet, so few of us actually do it. And in fact, I ask every client that comes to see me: How do you speak to yourself, and about 90% of the time people look at me confused. They’ve never actually thought about how they’re speaking to themselves.
How do you speak to yourself?
We are speaking to ourselves all day, every day in our heads. I want you to get a little bit of awareness around how you’re speaking to yourself. What is the tone? Are you being kind to yourself or critical? Would you speak to a friend like that is the key thing to have in mind here? Would you speak to a friend like that?
If you’re walking around all day, saying to yourself, ah, God, you’ve gained 10 pounds. I’m such a fat bitch. With that type of self-talk, of course, you are not going to feel good about yourself. The first step is bringing awareness to the way that you’re speaking to yourself. And I call it the friend filter in my book The Anxiety Solution.
The friend filter
Put everything that you want saying to yourself through the friend filter. Ask yourself, would I speak to a friend this way? Would my best friend speak to me this way? If it’s not kind, compassionate, constructive, gentle, loving, then make a conscious effort to start to change that.
I’m not saying it’s easy, if you can do this, it will absolutely transform your self-love and the way that you feel about yourself. Self-compassion is being kind to yourself, and it’s recognising that you are a human being. Part of being a human being is that you’re never gonna be perfect. You’re going to make mistakes and that is 100% guaranteed. We are all a work in progress.
Treat yourself with kindness
It’s simply treating yourself with the same kindness and respect as you would a friend.
The next practical thing I want to share about increasing self-love is something I learned quite recently a meditation retreat. We were asked to give some thanks and some appreciation to different parts of our bodies. Very often, we’re not very nice to our bodies. We’re not very nice to certain parts of our bodies in particular.
Just to give you an example from my life. From quite a young age. I’ve not been nice to my hair. I have a cross between curly and straight hair. If there’s any kind of moisture, it goes extremely frizzy. When I was 15 it was trendy to have a fringe in my town. I was always trying to straighten this fringe and it was never straight.
My hair triggered so much negative self-talk. Recently I’ve been focusing on giving a lot of appreciation for my hair and trying to change the thoughts and the feelings I have about it.
I want to invite you to give some appreciation to different parts of your body. If you’ve always been giving your stomach some grief and hating on that part of your body, can you send it some appreciation and say thank you for digesting my food.
I think it’s about 90% of women experience some kind of body shame. I’m not sure what it is for Man. I’m pretty sure it is not quite as high as for women, but lots of men experience it too, unfortunately. Try to turn that around by sending some appreciation to your womb to your hair, your stomach, legs, and all the different parts of your body. Thank your eyes for what an amazing job they’re doing to help you see It is quite an amazing practice for developing more self-love.
Look up at the stars
I just have one more idea for you in terms of this. And this is not really a practical thing you can do. I suppose it’s slightly practical, but sometimes I just like to gaze into the night sky. Look at all these stars, and recognise that the light from those stars has been travelling for millions, if not billions of years sometimes to reach your eyes.
Remember that you actually evolved out of stardust over 5 billion years ago. You are basically a miracle. The fact that we as human beings are here, alive on this planet. The fact that we evolved out of dust over billions of years is such a freakin miracle. Sometimes that puts things in perspective.
I really hope that this has given you some ideas on how to love yourself more. I really think that self-love and self-acceptance underpins so much of how we feel. If you can nail this, the rest just gets so much easier.
Thanks so much for listening to the first episode of the Calmer You Podcast. I’m Chloe Brotheridge, author of The Anxiety Solution. If you head on over to calmer-you.com/free you can download a free guided hypnotherapy session which is designed to help you to switch your brain off to feel more relaxed and to escape from your worries for half an hour. I pretty much guarantee that it will help you to relax and feel better.
If you liked this podcast, please consider subscribing. Leave a review. It really helps if you leave reviews for me to spread the word a little bit further. If you’ve got a friend who you think might benefit from this, why not tell them about this podcast? Send them a quick text now and tell them to check out the Calmer You Podcast.
How to contact me
If you want to contact me. The best place to find me is on Instagram. I’m on there probably the most.
I’m sending you loads of love.