November 23, 2021
Do you or your clients struggle with practicing self-love? Most people forget to invest time and energy in themselves as they grow older, but self-love is the key to living with balance, purpose, and fulfillment. "Self-love is living in congruence...
Do you or your clients struggle with practicing self-love? Most people forget to invest time and energy in themselves as they grow older, but self-love is the key to living with balance, purpose, and fulfillment.
"Self-love is living in congruence with yourself." – Ajit Nawalkha
In this episode, Master Coach Ajit Nawalkha shares 4 effective coaching techniques you can use to coach yourself or your coaching clients to practice and nurture self-love every single day.
What is self-love and why do we need it?
Why do we struggle with self-love as we grow older?
Signs to identify if you or your clients are lacking self-love
Coaching techniques and tools to practice self-love
Coach Ajit (00:00):
You are listening to Master Coaching with Ajit podcast that inspires coaches to impact the lives of their clients more meaningfully. I am Coach Ajit and I'm known for coaching high performers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. I'm also a serial entrepreneur and author of many books. On this podcast, I am answering your burning questions. I'm also demonstrating and deconstructing behind the scenes coaching sessions.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
You are listening to Master Coaching with Ajit podcast that inspires coaches to impact the lives of their clients more meaningfully. I am Coach Ajit and I'm known for coaching high performers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. I'm also a serial entrepreneur and author of many books. On this podcast, I am answering your burning questions. I'm also demonstrating and deconstructing behind-the-scenes coaching sessions.
And today we are discussing a very important question that came in. The question is short, but it's powerful. It's loaded. Let me read the question out to you. This question comes from Anjana. Anjana asks, how can we help clients develop more self-love? Such a powerful question, such a powerful, meaningful topic to really discuss here on Master Coaching with Ajit podcast. And the reason why I think this is such an important topic is that very often have I found that my clients and a lot of coaches lack that feeling of self-love. And before we take a deep dive on how to develop self-love, let's start from a place of asking ourselves what is self-love. Self-love based on the Google definition of it is regarding one's own wellbeing and happiness. It is to love yourself regardless of who you are and what you have done or what others might think of you.
Self-love is the true expression of love for yourself. It is us acknowledging the beauty that lies within us, us appreciating the seeming nuances or challenges that we may have with the same love and affection. Like we celebrate our unique gifts. What has happened in the past few years is as the term self-love gained some momentum. We also started describing self-love as things that may not really truly always mean self-love. We started to see Instagram and TikTok videos about long spa dates as selflove. We started to see how a person splurges money and welcomes themselves and expresses that as self-love. We even saw individuals not caring about other people in their own interest and explaining that and appreciating that as self-love while these things sometimes may reflect as self-love. Some of these ideas are actually harmful and not in congruence with self-love.
Let me elaborate. If you truly want to take care of yourself, if you want to love yourself truly.
And honestly, it's not an expression of what you do, but who you are and how you talk to yourself, how
you behave with yourself, how you appreciate your body. How do you understand your energy? How do
you really feel the sense of happiness and wellb-eing for yourself? Yes. Going on long spotted, going to a
spa, splurges, or splurging on yourself can be a part of it. It's not excluded, but that is not all of it. The
splurge and the spa are only an expression of self-love. When you have started to have a conversation
with yourself in a way where it's loving to yourself, when you are really taking care of your wellbeing
and not using that spa splurge is a bandaid. So yes, all of the things where you are splurging on yourself
and taking care of yourself is yes, a part of self-love, but it doesn't start there.
That's one of the consequences. That's one of the ways of expressing self-love to you. So let's be really clear. self-love is not when you can take the money and spend it on something. self-love is when you truly love yourself. When you have a sense of joy and happiness towards yourself, that you direct love towards your inner being your outer being versus hate towards your inner being and outer being. So self-love is more than spotted. Self-love also is not being a narcissist. You love yourself. Doesn't mean you have to put others down that you have to cross other individuals' boundaries that you have to put somebody down. So feel bigger. self-love is loving yourself. self-love is appreciating yourself. Self-love is living in the most congruence with your true self. If you truly wanna see an expression of self-love, look at a two-year-old or a three-year-old.
I have a three-year-old son and I see him loving himself every single day. He would do things that really gives him a sense of joy. It could be playing with toys, playing with his play, do it could be hanging out with his dad and his mom, whatever gives him a sense of joy and happiness. He does it. He does it because he loves himself. He takes care of himself and he truly appreciates all of his being. So if a three-year-old knows how to love themselves, why is it that we at 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 need to talk about self-love? Well, because self-love is kind of beaten out of us. So let's discuss how is it that somebody who is born with all the self-love a person can be born with finds himself at thirty, forty, or fifty, struggling to love themselves.
First reason why that happens. And it's important to understand why we lose self-love, to be able to build habits and attitudes, and practices around increasing our self-love for ourselves in different dimensions of our life. And so the first reason why somebody may start to not appreciate themselves or not love themselves is that most of the parenting that is done around our childhood. Most of the parenting that you may have experienced, your clients may have experienced is around what we shouldn't do. So it involves what not to do. Most parents are so busy and have such chaotic lives, that there is no space really, to nurture things like talking, talking about what you feel, talking about experiences, talking about your own self. And because there is not enough space that is created, there is not enough space created in a child's life to fully express and understand what is it that is amazing about them.
And because they never really got a chance to have that conversation with somebody they love
so much. And they trust so much as children. They never really developed that habit of actually having
that conversation. And that's the first reason why even when, when we were born as completely
amazing loving individuals, and we lose that self-love because our conversations, instead of being
external with someone who appreciates us, who reminds us of our awesomeness, we tend to have
those conversations within our own head without really understanding how to regulate those emotions,
how to really know and file those emotions in a way that we continue to appreciate all of our being. And
that brings me the second reason you see, when you buy an appliance, you buy a laptop, you buy a
phone, it always comes with how do you use it, or an online version of how do you really follow along
the instructions to make the most outta your device?
We, human beings are the most complicated devices that we probably know. And if that is the case, where is that manual? Where is that guidebook that can tell us, Hey, here is how you continue to love your whole being? You see, there is no education around us. There's no education around us as human beings. And because of that, an essential element like self-love gets missed. There is no document that can give you an understanding of, Hey, this is how you love yourself. And this is why it is so important. This is why this is going to change your life, not just for today, but for years to come. And that lack of education creates a gap in our understanding of what is self-love. And if it is even a thing, and that is why a lot of us even doubt it. A lot of us, when the first time somebody says the idea of selflove, he said, what are you talking about? Are you a narcissist? Why are you talking about self-love? What is the self-love, bullshit that we are talking about? And that doesn't help because we forget that self-love is not about being a narcissist.
It's not about some esoteric idea. It's a very psychological principle of accepting, appreciating who we truly are. It's a path to living a fulfilled life. It's a way to happiness. It's a way to joy. One thing that happens in all of our lives is that we are often rejected. We are rejected by a partner. We are rejected by a teacher. We are rejected for our ideas. We are rejected for our behavior. We are constantly told what is wrong with us. Very rarely though, as children and even as adults are, we told how amazing we are. And because our minds are wired in a way where it tends to have a bias toward the negative.
Each of the rejections lands as something that is not right with us, something that is wrong with us, something that is negative, something that is not to be appreciated. And when that happens, we take that rejection and make it our being, we take that rejection and start to believe that this is who we are. This rejection gets locked in our minds as something that is a part of us that is not appreciated. And when that happens, we start to build more habits and more attitudes around thinking that we are incomplete or in some way not fully loved. And that is why we start losing the love for ourselves because we start having that mental dialogue, that mental story that keeps telling us, oh, you're not good. That's why you were rejected. Oh, you didn't do that. Right. That's why you were rejected. That is why that person couldn't appreciate of what you did because you know, you did this wrong.
And these rejections over the course of time, over years and years of programming become a part of our being. And that takes away from our ability to love that part of us. Let me expand that with an example, say you were in a school where a teacher publicly humiliated you because say you did a bad job at a particular speech. You were asked to speak in the school assembly, you went up there, you put yourself out there, you made an effort. It didn't work out. The teacher kind of laughed at you or said, you know, good. Or you got bad ratings for it. And you suddenly go, oh, I've been humiliated for it. It must be that. I'm not a good speaker. It must be that I have no skill of talking on stage. I have no skill in presentation. This one event can create a domino effect where you may start believing that you are not a good presenter, that there is no appreciation that you have for yourself as a presenter, as a communicator, as somebody who can talk to a large audience.
And suddenly you may find yourself doubting and not loving your ability to communicate as an individual, depleting yourself, love for yourself because you look at yourself and you look at this flaw, you think, oh, I'm not good enough. And so I can't possibly be a presenter at one point in my life. This may seem like a juvenile example, but it can completely transform your life. I still remember when I was about 13 years old, I was making a presentation at school. I used to love the idea of going on stage and speaking my heart out. So I would make presentations. I would at least try to, and eventually, I got a chance to speak in front of about 40 people from my class. And as I was speaking on stage, I realized that the audience wasn't really listening to me and the teachers were making kind of smirky faces.
And I kind of took that too hard and started to feel like I'm not good enough as a speaker. And that got built in me. I remember after that, I stopped trying to get any stage time. I stopped trying to get on stage because I thought I wasn't any good. And I held that belief for a long time. Until three years later, there was a chance somebody was to do a news in the morning in our school. That's just what used to happen. Uh, and the kid that was supposed to do it felt sick. And one of my friends was in charge of getting that person on stage and doing the news. And he reached out to me because I was just the first guy he could see like, Hey, can you do the morning news today, please? I really am kind of in a bind here.
I don't have enough time. And I need to find somebody in the news is to do in like 10 minutes and need to delete it off of the paper. It's not really that complicated. And because I was helping out a friend, I was like, fine. I mean, even with my belief, I was like, fine. What the worst that can happen? The worst is nobody goes on stage. So I'd rather just do it. So I'm like, sure, I'll do it. So I go on stage and I read out the news, simple enough, right? Thinking nothing of it actually thinking it's probably gonna suck. Now. As I stepped off the stage, my English teacher, the head English teacher are off the school. And also the vice principal of the school stopped me backstage. And she said, aji, that was fantastic. You did a really good job. And I was taken aback.
I was like me doing a good job as a speaker. What are you talking about? I am the worst. Well, at least that was the memory that I had. She went on to say, I think you should do this more often. I'll ask Sanja to give you more chances. And I was still kind of surprised. I was like, I don't know where this is coming from. And I don't really wanna do another one because I know I'm not really good at it. Right. And so I kind of said, thank you. And moved on. And soon enough though, Sanja would come back and he would say, Hey, Ajit, you should do more of these news things. So you're going to do tomorrow. Just make sure you come on time so you can do the news. And I do it again. And I get this appreciation again from my teacher so much so that she actually took the time to invite me to her office and said, I just, I know you're studying for engineering, but if you ever consider another career, you should think of a career as a news anchor.
And I was taken aback completely. And the reason why I tell you the story is that sometimes small events like these can completely change our lives. They can completely transform our stories from something that we can't appreciate about ourselves is something that we do appreciate about ourselves. The reason I tell you this story is so you can be reminded that there are events in your life right now that have happened that have taken away your ability to love yourself that have taken away your ability to appreciate yourself. And there can be other events in your life that we can look for, create in our lives and reignite that self-love for ourselves. You can reignite that self-love for our clients. Let me reflect on some of the signs that you may observe in your client's life. If they lack self-love. If they're not able to love themselves enough, the first sign that you would see is they're in a toxic relationship.
They're in a relationship that either they don't wanna leave, or even if they leave, they go back to the same person. They are always going back to the same toxic relationship that is abusive, emotionally abusive, physically abusive, and they can't seem to get out of it. The reason why this happens is that they don't have enough appreciation for themselves. And so they feel that this toxic person is the way they can really live a happy life. And they feel like they're nothing beyond this person, or they're nothing without this person. And that is why they end up in the same toxic relationship or same kind of toxic relationship again. And again, and again, many times you would find that in your friends, that even when they know that the person they're with is toxic for them, they stay with the person. They, for some reason, can seem to get past it the way to get these individuals to realize that they need to get out of this toxic relationship is not so much about talking about the toxic relationship but letting them love themselves and appreciate themselves.
The second sign that you will see in your clients and in your friends' lives is they would very rarely or never actually be able to really tell what they want. They're always a function of what people want around them, but they are not very clear on what they want in their life. What is, it's not clear to them as to what is it that they wanna create in their life. They don't have a vision of their life. That is very, very clear. And that tends to happen again when somebody is not, uh, really appreciative of themselves are not really operating from a place of self-love. These are also individuals that usually tend to overwork. They overburden themselves. They stretch themselves to the maximum because that's how they get validation. That's how they feel that they are lovable. That's how they feel that they can be appreciated for who they are.
And that is why they tend to all work and all work and all work and prove themselves and improve themselves and prove themselves because they feel like that is finally how they can get some love in their life. They tend to people please, big people. Pleasers usually are individuals that, uh, that lack self-love because they do it for other people. They wouldn't do it for themselves. They'll hurt themselves or, or be deter deterrent to their own growth and success and joy to help somebody else. So that's one more thing that you will observe in somebody who lacks self-love. Usually, they would also always identify themselves as what they do. So they will not be able to explain themselves or elaborate on who they are as an individual, beyond the work that they do, because they seek validation and confirmation of their being in their work versus their being in their being.
And so they lack self-love across different dimensions, to be able to really know who they are as human beings, they struggle. They struggle so hard to take personal time. Like they would never take time off. They would never go for that walk that they really need. They would never take that solo vacation that they really, really need. They would never take that time for themselves. And they will keep themselves busy at all times because they feel uncomfortable sitting with themselves because they can't appreciate the company of themselves. So if somebody's struggling with self-love, you will also find them struggling with personal time. They tend to not have ambitions or dreams. They doubt themselves so much. They don't appreciate themselves so much. They don't think they can have a dream. They don't think they can have ambition. And so they tend to not have one.
They tend to not have ambition. They don't tend to have a dream. And lastly, and you might have seen somebody like this and they are really, really hurting. They are really, really finding it hard to appreciate themselves is if they put other people down, they act superior. They act as if they are somebody greater than everybody else. Those are individuals that are usually hurting the most. These are individuals who find it really, really difficult to love themselves. So the only way they can validate themselves is by putting other people down. And those individuals really need your help. They're really struggling. And it's really hard for them to ask for that help. These are individuals that need it the most. Are there names of your friends, your clients, or your own name, knock, knock that popped in your mind as I was sharing some of the signs of somebody who is finding it hard to love themselves, if that is the case, maybe that is the person you need to reach out with these techniques that I'm gonna share with you on how you can develop more self-love.
Now, I'll be honest. I struggled with self-love for a very long time. It wasn't that I always had this figured out it's fairly recent, actually, where I've truly, truly understood how self-love has shown up in my life or lack of self-love has shown up in my life and how I can build more rituals around building selflove for me. So I'm gonna share some of these techniques with you. I'm gonna share some of these ideas with you. And some of them are more applicable to some individuals and some of them are more applicable to some other individuals. It really changes from the personality, but all of them work. Sometimes it's just more about which one's gonna work better for which person. So the first thing that I would invite anybody that is looking to develop more self-love in themselves of define themselves, finding not loving themselves, define themselves struggling is to read a book called "Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It."
This book is by a friend of mine called Kamal Rabikant. And he wrote this book as a thing for his friends because of a practice that he did. He wanted to explain that practice and his friends always encouraged him. So he wrote that book. It's a beautiful book. It's a really short read. You can do it in a couple of hours, probably not even a couple of hours, even less, but it is something that will at least start your journey to understanding why it's so important to love yourself and how to love yourself. One of the key techniques in that book that I really appreciate is where he would sit down and write. I love myself again and again and again and again and again, endlessly until he felt the love. And I did that for myself.
I spoke to myself, I looked myself in the eye and said, I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. I wrote that down. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. And this sounds really silly. I know hearing it when I heard it first, I was like, this is really silly. I shouldn't do this. This is terrible. This is not, this is not advice that works. It cannot, it makes no sense until I tried it. And once I tried it, I realized it works. And then I also understood why it works. You see, most of our reality is a subject of how we talk. Our words often impact our reality. Like our reality often impacts how we speak. And because of that, if you constantly tell yourself verbally and you write it down, I love myself. I love myself.
I love myself. I love myself. Soon enough. You start to love yourself or start the experience of loving yourself, experience those moments, where you fully experience the love that you have for yourself. Inherently. Like I said, in the starting of this episode, we were born with a lot of self-love. We all kids loved themselves and that was beaten out of us in one way or another. Now to rebuild it, we have to remind ourselves that we love ourselves. And so I invite you to start with the idea of telling this to yourself and writing it for yourself for nobody else to see just for you that you tell yourself. I love myself. My business partner, Vishen Lakhiani, suggests this. He says, go stand in front of the mirror and ook into your own eyes and tell yourself I love myself. And the reason why he suggests that is because eye to eye contact.
When you look into somebody's eyes very deeply, you can look into their soul and it's true. If you ever tried eye gazing, you would know that. So go ahead and look at your own eyes and tell yourself I love myself. I'll start the journey of you, loving yourself. The second thing that you wanna do is you wanna write your own about me page. This idea comes from therapy, where you're asked to take a journal and then write about five pages about yourself. Just five pages, things that you love about yourself, things that you appreciate about yourself experiences or the way you showed up for yourself. You showed up for your friends. What is it about you that you love about yourself? Write five pages of it. So that's the key five pages. You can't just write a paragraph. It needs to be long. It needs to be a lot.
And the reason is that only then you are really telling the truth. The first paragraph, the second paragraph, we are kind of saying what sounds right? The third, fourth, fifth, six, seven, date 9, 10, 11, 12 is when the truth is speaking louder than our projection of truth. So five pages on you, just yourself, just appreciating yourself, loving yourself, talking about how amazing you are. The third thing that you wanna do is to identify self-love across different areas and dimensions of your life. You see very often, we just say, I love myself, but what do you love about yourself? And sometimes it's easy to write the five pages and you will have a lot of the elements covered, but sometimes you forget some things, forget some areas like, for example, what do you love about yourself when it comes to social life? How is it that you connect with people?
Do you connect deeply with a few individuals? And you love that about you. Do you connect with a lot of people and you're the life of the party? Do you love that about yourself? What do you love about your emotions? How they show up for you, what they do for you, how they're indicators of life, what do you love about your mind? What do you love about your body? What do you love about your spirit? What do you love about your sense of self? What do you love about your shadows? Things that may seem that they're off and not right, but they're really great for you because they fuel you in a different way. What is it that you love about yourself and what areas? Uh, these are some of the areas that I mentioned, but you could pick many, many more areas. You may appreciate particular body parts more.
You may appreciate your relationship or how you show up in a relationship. You may appreciate some parts of your parenting. Each of the area that is important to you. Each of the categories that are important to you in your life. Find something to love. As you identify each of the categories, you will see how much you really can love yourself, because you're so amazing as a person, your clients are so amazing as a person that they can really holistically love themselves. Not just some parts of them, but all of them. And it may start with just a few items under each of the categories. But eventually, as you do this practice, again and again, you'll find there are so many things to love about yourself that you would discover. The fourth tool I wanna offer you is self-awareness and acceptance. If you can invest time in just sitting with yourself and finding more points of awareness for yourself, who is it that you truly are?
What is it that you truly are? What is it that you really like? What is it that you really appreciate? What are the things that you don't really like? How is your awareness around you and your being? How do you operate at different times? How is your awareness of your body? How do you feel, how are your fingers? Have you taken the time to really just sit, to sit with yourself and be really aware of who you are and become more and more aware of your thinking and your overthinking? And you are coming up with stories. And as you're building this awareness, how much time have you invested in accepting them as you, a lot of these thoughts as they appear in our minds, we start to say, oh, I don't like that thought. And we try to shove it away, but that doesn't help because all we are doing is ignoring parts of us instead.
What if you accepted it? You told yourself, oh, that part of me showed up. And I love that part about me. That shadow of mine has shown up and I love that shadow about me. What would it mean? How would it change you psychologically and biologically, if you decided to understand yourself more, if you're more aware of yourself and then you accepted it, as you build more awareness towards yourself, as you start to accept yourself more and more as an individual, you will find that your love for yourself will increase. Loving myself has changed my life. Loving myself has changed my client's lives and loving yourself. It will change your life and your client's life. I really invite you to take this episode and take the tools and try it for your life. Because as you will try it in your life, you will find that you will slowly, but surely start to love yourself more.
And as you will love yourself, more, everything in your life will get better. Your quality of life will get better. Your happiness will get better. Your jet levels of joy will get better. So take these exercises that I've talked about in this particular episode and see which one of these could work for your clients, adapt them based on your understanding of self-love. You could try these exercises for yourself as well. You could try these tools for yourself and see does your level of self-love increases. I'm pretty confident it will, but I would love to hear from you if it did, if you found today's episode useful to you and to your clients, I encourage you to share this episode with someone, someone that is a coach that can use this trainings, somebody who might be a client that can use this podcast episode as their gateway into understanding self-love and why it's important for them. If you haven't yet subscribed to the podcast, please go ahead and subscribe to the podcast. Your support means a lot to us. If you haven't yet reviewed our show, please go ahead and do that. We'll really love to hear from you how this episode and this podcast may be changing. Your coaching career may be changing your life. Thank you so much for tuning in. This is Coach Ajit and I'll see you next week.
November 28, 2023Listen Now