How To Build Lasting Confidence
Episode 32: Own Your You Framework: Building Your Self Love
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Welcome back for another week of the Own Your Confidence Podcast. I'm your host, Ellie, and today we're continuing our discussion on our signature framework here at Own Your You, which is the roadmap I created to help you go from questioning who you are to truly loving yourself and the life you have.
In today's episode, we're diving into the second stage of our framework, which is all about building self-love. This stage requires a lot of mindset work because it's often the phase where you might still feel distant from the idea of self-love. Trust me, I've been there too. It can feel impossible, but it's important to keep going and trust yourself throughout the process. Self-acceptance is the key to this area.
Understanding Belief Cycles
Each stage of the framework has a focal point, and in this phase, it's about understanding belief cycles. I like to call them "belief cycles" or "thought cycles." It's about recognizing the stories we attach to the circumstances in our lives and how those stories shape our belief systems. We need to question the stories we tell ourselves about not being lovable or any other negative beliefs we hold. It's crucial to stop blindly believing everything our minds tell us because our minds prioritize survival and minimizing effort, not necessarily the truth.
I'll explain how thought patterns are formed in our brains and the amazing fact that we can change them. Imagine your first encounter with a thought being like clearing a path in the woods. It's brand new, and there might be a trigger associated with it. For example, you might look in the mirror as a child, and someone makes a comment about your weight. Your brain creates a neural pathway: the trigger is looking in the mirror, and the belief is "I need to lose weight." Over time, that pathway becomes like an eight-lane highway, and it becomes an automated thought whenever you see yourself in the mirror.
As adults, our task is to become aware of this process and consciously create new neural pathways. This is why the awareness phase we discussed last week is crucial—uncovering these belief systems and the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. If you've held a particular belief for a long time, it's like that neural pathway has become a highway in your mind. But now, we have the power to choose a different path, to reshape our thoughts and beliefs.
Understanding your belief systems and thought cycles is instrumental in changing how you perceive yourself as lovable. We need to shift from thinking, "I'm not lovable" to embracing self-love. To get there, we need to practice new thoughts and beliefs that support our journey of self-acceptance.
Understanding Lasting Confidence
Another aspect that contributes to lasting confidence is learning to pivot where your confidence comes from. In a previous episode, I talked about how my confidence used to depend on my appearance and attention from others. I realized those sources were flimsy and unstable. So, I shifted my focus to my character and who I am as a person. I learned to put my confidence in my kindness, compassion, and love—the qualities that define me and remain constant.
Within the self-love stage, there are three areas to concentrate on. First, there's self-love, which ultimately means being kind to yourself. It's about responding with love, kindness, and compassion when your inner critic emerges or when you face challenges and failures. Second, there's self-respect, which involves living in alignment with your highest, most loving, and kind version of yourself. It's about recognizing where you might be living out of alignment and making changes to honor who you truly are.
Lastly, there's self-trust. I used to struggle with following through on my commitments and promises to myself. It eroded my trust in myself. So, I developed a strategy of building trust through small, achievable actions. For example, I started with something as simple as closing a social media app for a minute and reopening it as promised. Each time I followed through, my brain recognized the trust being built. I expanded this practice to other areas of my life, gradually rebuilding trust in myself.
Self Acceptance Is Key
In this phase, self-acceptance is the answer to transforming our self-love. It's the most challenging part because it requires us to embrace the parts of ourselves that we've labeled as not good enough. We often wage war on these pieces, trying to control or eliminate them, but that only perpetuates the cycle of self-judgment and shame. Instead, we must offer love, kindness, and compassion to these parts. We can't build a healthy relationship with something we're trying to control. Acceptance allows us to create a new narrative and experience true freedom.
During the self-love stage, remember that it's a practice, not about perfection. We're changing the way we relate to ourselves, and it's okay to be messy along the way. Practicing kindness, compassion, and self-acceptance will gradually reshape our perception of ourselves. If you want additional guidance, I've created a workbook called "Become Your Own Hype Girl," which offers daily ways to celebrate and acknowledge something positive about yourself. It's about reinforcing self-love and tracking your progress over three years.
In conclusion, building self-love is an ongoing journey of self-acceptance, understanding belief cycles, and shifting where our confidence comes from. It's about practicing kindness, respect, and trust towards ourselves. Remember, it's not about being perfect, but rather about allowing ourselves to exist, messiness and all. Kindness is the secret sauce that fuels lasting confidence. Embrace self-acceptance, practice self-love, and watch as your perception of yourself transforms over time. I'm sending you all my love, and if you need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out. Have a fabulous week!