How to Love Being You: 3 Steps to Be the Light

You know that person in your life who is so much fun to be around?

She radiates warmth and love wherever she goes.

She exudes confidence when she enters the room.

And whenever she comes to mind, you feel immediate joy and think to yourself, “I. Just. Love. Her. She’s so amazing!”

Today I’m here to remind you that you’re that person, too.

And in episode 74 of the I’m Busy Being Awesome podcast, we dive headfirst into this topic and discuss loving who you are.

We explore how to show up authentically as ourselves without holding back.

We learn how to feel confident about who that person actually is.

And we talk about how to embrace the belief that “you’re amazing and I’m amazing. I love you, and I love me.”

Because here’s the truth, my friends, self-confidence is not self-centered.

Believing in yourself and what you have to offer does not mean you think you’re “better than.”

In fact, it’s the exact opposite. 

When you fully learn to love who you are, you stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.

You stop comparing yourself to others and wondering how you “measure up.”

Instead, you get to live in the moment.

You get to soak up the incredible warmth and light that everyone else brings to the table.

And you get to bask in knowing that we’re all amazing humans together. 

And let’s be honest, what could be more fun than that?

So if you’re ready to start truly loving who you are, make sure you check out episode 74 of the I’m Busy Being Awesome podcast.

You can listen to the episode below, or stream it on your favorite podcasting app here:

Prefer to read? No problem! Keep scrolling for the entire podcast transcript.

Listen To The Podcast Here!

In This Episode, You Will Discover… 

  • Why many of us struggle with self-love
  • How to develop love and appreciation for ourselves
  • Actionable steps to put this into practice today

Links From The Podcast

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Episode #74: How To Love Being You (Transcript) 

Hey everybody. Welcome to episode 74 of the podcast. I hope you are doing well. And for those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope that your Christmas week is off to a great start. 

So the day this episode drops is December 21, which is – if you live in the northern hemisphere – the shortest day of the year. In Boston, it’s about 9 hours of sunlight, which of course means roughly 15 hours of darkness. And for people north of Boston it’s even less. 

While we have lots of different ways to create light during this time of year with Christmas lights, menorahs, candles, and fires in the fireplace, today I want to explore this concept through a slightly different lens. And we’re going to consider how WE as individuals can be that light and provide that warmth for both ourselves and others. 

Now, I know this might sound strange. You may be hearing me say this and think, what? What are we even talking about today? But stick with me. Because the concepts that we talk about today will show up in literally every area of your life whether you are working toward a goal, thinking about relationships, strengthening your executive functioning skills, or sticking with your New Year’s resolutions. What we’re exploring today is some super important work. And I can’t think of a better time than right now to share it with you.

Bring the Light

So what do I mean by bringing the light? First, let me ask you this. Can you think of someone who is absolutely magnetic? They are one of those people who you absolutely love to be around. You have so much respect and admiration for them, because they show up with respect for themselves, respect for everyone around them, and you can tell that they genuinely love their life.

And this could be someone you know personally, or it might be someone you know of. Maybe is someone who is in your industry, or you follow on social media, or is a distant acquaintance, and when you see them you immediately think, oh my gosh I want to be her best friend. I just want to be around her all the time. She’s amazing. Look how much fun she’s having. I love her.

To me, that person brings the light. They offer that magnetic energy that you absolutely love and love to be around. And you love to be around it, because you’re thinking all of these amazing thoughts that make you feel incredible. Because as we’ve talked about in previous episodes, when we feel love or affection toward another person, who actually gets to feel that? WE DO! They don’t feel our love. WE get to feel it. It’s the best thing in the world. So when we are around these people who we have all of these amazing loving thoughts about, of course we want to be around them all the time. Because it feels amazing.

You Can Be the Light

Well, here is the deal. I want to offer that just as that person “brings the light,“ You can absolutely do the same thing. You can bring that light and love and joy into every room you enter. That is completely within your power. And regardless of whether you are listening to this episode when the days are quite short and there is a lot of darkness, or whether it’s the peak of summer and we have bountiful sunshine, stepping into that version of yourself is not only amazing for you, but it’s also so much fun for everyone else around you. It’s a total win-win situation.

But how do we do this? How can we be the light? We do this by recognizing who we truly are and all of the things that we offer to the world. We do this by taking the time to acknowledge all of the strengths that we bring to the table. And we do this by celebrating our accomplishments and feeling gratitude toward ourselves for the things we’ve done. And we do this by knowing that we also have areas for growth. We have areas that we still want to work on. And what’s more, we love ourselves not despite those areas, but because of them. Because those areas also make up who we are.

Self-Confidence Is Not Self-Centered

Now, often when I talk about topics like this – especially with new clients – I get a little bit of pushback at first. I get questions like, isn’t that super self-centered? They’ll tell me, I don’t wanna come across as really conceited. It just seems so arrogant to focus on the strengths and the values that I bring to the table. And I get that. I absolutely understand where they are coming from, because I used to think the same way. But here’s what I have found to be true. When you take the time to fully believe in your self and what you bring. When you take the time to feel proud of your accomplishments and feel grateful for your strengths. And when you fully realize that this genuine appreciation for yourself is not done at the expense of anyone else, things feel different.

Arrogance is when you use your accomplishments or successes in order to be better than someone else. Being conceited or self-centered is when you are so focused on your self because underneath it all, you’re actually really insecure. And you think you need to prove yourself in order to be “good enough“ in the eyes of everyone else. And we know these people, too. Right? And there’s a difference.

The Difference Is In The Belief

That difference comes in the belief. When you truly and genuinely feel love and appreciation for who you are and what you have to offer, you understand that that does not make you any better than anyone else. It does not put a rank on you compared to others in your life. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. When you feel so much confidence in yourself, you stop worrying about you. And you are able to focus on everyone else and feel that genuine love and connection and curiosity toward the light that everyone else has inside of them. 

You are no longer focused on thoughts like, “am I coming across OK? What are people thinking of me? What if I don’t measure up here?” And instead, you are completely living in the moment with the other people around you, asking thoughtful questions, and connecting with them on an entirely different level.

You Drop The Judgement 

When you learn to love yourself and stop judging yourself, it is so much easier to stop judging everyone else and trying to gauge how you measure up in their eyes. Rather than focusing on whether or not your fit in and whether or not you’re making the “right” impression, you’re focused on enjoying and being in the moment. 

In other words, loving yourself and appreciating who you are does not mean, I love me and nobody else. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. It is I am amazing AND you’re amazing. I love you AND I love me. And can we just pause for a minute and acknowledge how mind blowing that is? Can we just think about how FUN that is? Just think about it. What if you showed up to the next Christmas gathering or the next work meeting – whether virtual or in person – and everyone had the mindset of “you are amazing and I am amazing, so let’s make something happen. Let’s have an incredible time being amazing together.”

I mean seriously, who DOESN’T want that?

Why We Struggle With Self Love

Now here’s the deal. Most of us aren’t quite there yet. The idea sounds amazing in theory, sure. But most of us have not had much practice celebrating ourselves and our contributions and our strengths. Most of us still get a little bit squirmy when we have to talk about ourselves in a loving way. So rather than showing up fully and unapologetically as ourselves, we have a tendency to play small or hold back.

But here is some real talk, my friends. That does not help anyone. Playing small and holding back what we have to offer doesn’t help other people, and it certainly doesn’t help us either. And I tend to see this show up in three key ways, which aligns pretty closely with the concepts that we talk about in episodes 69 and 70 when we explored other people’s opinions.

What Other People Think

So first of all, we tend to worry about what other people will think. We worry that people will judge who we really are if we show up with that unapologetic confidence, or if we show what we really think or really feel. So we don’t share the full versions of ourselves and we keep the areas where we feel less confident hidden.

Many of us also find ourselves slipping into different versions of people pleasing. We try to control what other people will think or how other people will feel by acting in a certain way. We think that if we do say something or don’t say something, people will approve or disapprove of us. But remember. We can’t control the other humans. Other people’s thoughts create other people’s feelings. Plus, we aren’t showing up as the authentic version of ourselves, so even if we’re doing things to please other people, we aren’t making ourselves happy. And remember our equation? I’m amazing AND you’re amazing.

And then the last area where we get stuck are all the judgments we have of ourselves. All of the shoulds that we give to ourselves. I should be better at this. I should know how to do that. And I shouldn’t have done this. Or different versions of that thought. I am too much. I am not enough. We don’t show up fully who we are, because our own judgments hold us back.

Can you hear yourself in any of these three categories? As I’ve mentioned before, depending on the situation, I’ve been in all three of them. It’s not a problem ,it just means we’re human. 

We Can Be The Light

But at the same time, I also want to remind you of that magnetic person you thought of when I had you imagine them at the beginning of this episode. Because here is what I know to be true. When I am around someone who has genuine love and appreciation for themselves and everyone around them. When they have fully subscribed to the belief that “I am amazing and you are amazing.” They are just so much fun to be around. And I get so much joy from spending time with them because I’m thinking all of those amazing thoughts about them.

And here’s what I propose today. What if we decided to be those people? What if we decided to love what is? And what if we decided to love who we are, where we are at, and we extend that love to everyone else as well? Imagine how amazing this would feel. Imagine how fun it would be. 

Now, I can hear some of you thinking, but not everyone is going to do this! You just said I can’t control other people, so how do we know that everyone will participate? 

We don’t. And in fact, I can guarantee you that not everyone will. (But if you want to share this podcast episode, please do!) But here’s what I also have to say about that. It only takes one person to change the dynamic. It only takes one person to show up with love. And you can be that person. 

Are you in? What do you think?

How to Love Being You

OK. So how do we do this? How can we embrace this new perspective? How can we celebrate what we bring to the table and be that light?

I have three areas that I think are really valuable to explore when you do this work. The first focuses on uncovering your values. What is truly important to you? What do you believe in? And what lights you up inside? When we aren’t clear on our values and what we believe in, it’s easy to second-guess ourselves. It’s easy to feel insecure. Because we don’t have that strong belief locked in yet and we’re still questioning things.

Identify Your Values

So the first thing I encourage you to do is uncover your values. And get really clear on them. And by values, I am talking about the core principles or beliefs by which you live your life. They are the guidelines that help shape how you show up in the world.

Now, if you haven’t thought about these much before, it might seem a bit abstract at first. That’s absolutely okay. If you go online and search core values, you will get a whole list of different questions you can ask yourself to help you identify what’s most important to you. I have a handful of questions that I find especially useful, and I’ll share them here. But if they don’t resonate with you, just hop online and do a quick search. You will find lots of guidance to help you uncover these values.

First, what is important to me? This is open ended, but that’s intentional. What is important to you in your life. Is it family, work, health, communication, relationships, success, reaching goals, traveling, etc. Really dive into the question and uncover what’s important to you.

Second, what do I love doing? What lights me up inside? And another question related to that is, when do I feel the most alive? 

I also love thinking about times when I was at my happiest or when I felt the most proud. I think about what I was doing, who I was with, what happened.

And finally, how do I want to be remembered? 

When you take time to think through these questions and identify when you’re at your best, what you love doing, when you feel most alive, when you are most happy and proud, and how you want to be remembered, you will uncover themes that pop up throughout that identify those core values in your life. And once you get clear on those, and you love your reasons for choosing them because they’re true and authentic to you, it is so much easier to show up as yourself living into those core values.

Uncover and Celebrate Your Strengths

The second exercise I encourage you to do is uncover your strengths and recognize what you bring to the table. How do your strengths add light and value to the world? And when I say value, I don’t necessarily mean monetary value. I mean value generally. How are you enhancing the world because you are in it? Because I promise you, you are. 

And in fact, I have an awesome Discover Your Strengths 5-Day challenge that takes you step-by-step through uncovering your top strengths and recognizing the important role they play in your life. So if you have not done any strengths work before, I highly encourage you to sign up for the challenge. It’s a totally free 5-day challenge where I pop in your inbox once a day for 5 days with a simple prompt or activity for you to do to help you dive further into your strengths and understand how you can incorporate them into your life more often. So if you want to check that out, just head to imbusybeingawesome.com/strengths

What “Should” Be Different?

Okay, so you have gotten clarity on your values and you’ve uncovered your strengths. The last step is to look at those areas in your life that you think should be different. Where do you tell yourself that things should be different? What are the things about yourself that you think are a problem that need to get fixed? Maybe you think you should be more organized. Maybe you believe you shouldn’t work so much. Or maybe you think that you should be more outgoing or less talkative. 

What are the areas in your life that you think should be better?

Once you have that list, I want you to explore how all of these things are exactly right. How are all of these traits and situations and current circumstances happening right on time? How are they happening for you? And how are they actually adding to your light?

Now, you’re probably going to fight me on this one. If you sit down and make the list of all the things you think are quote-unquote “wrong” with you, and then try to find ways that they are actually right and happening FOR you, you are probably going to get annoyed with me and argue for your story.

That’s okay. I invite you to challenge yourself. How is this adding to your light? 

My Negative Self-Talk

When I asked myself this question, one of the answers that came up was my negative self-talk. And what’s ironic here, is it’s in complete contradiction to the lesson I’m teaching on this podcast, which is all about dropping the self-judgment and celebrating who you are.

So let me tell you, my brain had a heyday with this one. In fact, I debated even sharing it on the podcast because my brain kept offering thoughts like: “you should know better than this. You’re teaching this stuff. You know you shouldn’t judge yourself anymore. You know that it’s not useful.” So now, my brain is beating myself up for beating myself up. It’s like the inception effect of negative self-talk. 

But once I was able to silence that chatter a little bit, I stepped back and got a little more objective. And I tried to think about the situation in different ways. And I kept asking myself, how is this part of me, that I really want to think is a problem, actually happening for me? How is it adding to my light? And eventually, I realized that this characteristic allows me to connect with other people. 

It allows me to feel genuine empathy and understanding toward others, because I know we all deal with this negative self-talk at one time or another. It helps me better understand my clients who struggle with imposter syndrome and worry so much about what others think because I’ve lived it, too. And even though I have the tools to help me move forward, and I’m definitely way better at it now, my brain still gets the best of me sometimes. And that’s okay. Because we’re all humans with human brains and thank God for coaching, right? Even coaches need coaches. 

But I’m telling you, once I could accept that part of me – “the problem area” – and see it as a bringer of light, I could show up even more authentically as myself. I could get out of my head that much more, and focus on others. And soak in all the light that they bring. And that is a truly incredible experience.

It’s Your Turn

So this week, and every week going forward, I invite you to be the light. I invite you to celebrate who you are. And I invite you to recognize not only your values and your strengths, but also the areas you’d prefer to keep hidden and find how each one of them makes you the incredible person you are.

I invite you to embrace the mantra that I love you AND I love me. I am amazing AND you’re amazing. Because the results that come from those beliefs are nothing short of incredible. And I invite you to join me in creating exactly that in the new year.

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