Skip Your Self-Love Affirmations & Watch this Video.

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I used to think that all I needed to do, to combat the critic in my head, was think positive thoughts and do self-love rituals. If I could just do enough loving affirmations, I could prove to myself that I was worth loving.

This is a nice theory, but it would inevitably come under fire anytime that I would hit a surge in hormones, when I would say something stupid in public, or when I’d get a cold sore. Oh, the dreaded cold sore.

When self-judgement hits, the only thing worse than the shame is the disappointment. I’d think, “Really? Am I really still this insecure?” And my thoughts would prove it to me. Hideous, they’d say. You’re hideous. You’re disguisting. No one wants to see you like this. Just hide till you’re better. Hide till you’re perfect.

A few years ago, I got really sick of facing the judgmental, cruel perfectionist in my head all by myself. I wrote a public letter to that voice and told it: “I’m not going to face you alone anymore. I’m going to share with others what this is like.”

So I have been. And, you know, I thought I was doing really well. I’d share about being hurt by criticism, facing debilitating fears, and struggling to accept my body. And then, while returning from Central America in July, I got a cold sore.

“Am I still this insecure?!”

I was crushed. But then, I remembered—every single time that I’ve chosen to react to my self-judgment with vulnerability, to share exactly what I feel when I feel it—the self-judgment has weakened. So, when I felt that familiar burn of shame coming on, I decided to take massive action. I decided to do more than just journal and practice self-loving thinking.

I hope this video is just as liberating for you as it was for me.

I’ve realized, throughout my journey of self-love, that self-judgement is like a plant: it grows when nourished, and it withers when it is starved. And the only thing that self-judgment needs to survive is action. To get stronger, my inner critic needs me to believe her and act on her advice. Each time I go against her advice, it’s like I deny her a dose of her worst addiction: control. Her grip on me weakens.

The truth is, you can’t think yourself into being courageous. You can’t do enough affirmations to be brave. You can’t sit in a corner and visualize happiness, creativity, joy, and love. You have to take action. Talking, thinking, feeling—this is not enough.

Only in action can we suspend our self-judgment and build self-respect.

When we act out of self-judgment and fear, we imagine what we’ve avoided. Those imaginings are delusions. They’re not real. If all we do is follow self-judgment and fear, we will drown ourselves in those illusions. Taking action is a way to return to reality, to get a grasp on what’s real as opposed to what’s in our heads.

Self-judgment is a kind of prejudice. And prejudice only thrives when we have two-dimensional labels of people, instead of real experiences of them.

Experience yourself. Set yourself free. Step into the unknown, boldly. Make yourself three-dimensional, so that those little labels can just fall away. Don’t hold yourself back until it “feels right” either. Making this video would never have “felt right.” It felt horrible. But, afterwards, it felt really good.

I think, sometimes, we have to force ourselves to do what’s loving and brave so many times that, eventually, it “feels right” only because it’s become a habit. Don’t wait for courage to “feel right.” It won’t. I honestly believe that the next video that I make will be just as authentic, just as courageous, just as inspiring, and it will be even easier for me to make.

I’m making radical authenticity and courage a habit, and like any habit, it will get easier over time. Will you join me? 

It’s always best to do these things together. Together, we can unite in love, and leave judgment where it belongs (like evaluating the freshness of food, following traffic signals, and paying taxes).

Let’s love ourselves together by being honest and letting ourselves be seen.

What about you? What will you do today to overcome the grip of that judgmental voice in your head?

~

Relephant Read:

To Love Anyone, We Must First Love Everyone.

~

Author: Vironika Tugaleva

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Video Still

 

 

3.4

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

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anonymous Sep 28, 2015 6:35am

Thank you for making this video, I totally relate. Much love! 🙂

anonymous Sep 19, 2015 6:31pm

Love this: "To get stronger, my inner critic needs me to believe her and act on her advice. Each time I go against her advice, it’s like I deny her a dose of her worst addiction: control. Her grip on me weakens." xox, Reba

    anonymous Sep 23, 2015 8:28pm

    I know you, yourself, practice this beautifully, Reba. Thank you for stopping by!

anonymous Sep 18, 2015 7:21pm

It's so nice. It make my feeling move strongly. Thanks

anonymous Sep 18, 2015 2:12am

That’s a nice way of saying what each of us feel. Thanks a lot vironika.

    anonymous Sep 23, 2015 8:28pm

    We do all feel this, don't we, Mahadesh? Thank you for your support, as always, my friend.

anonymous Sep 17, 2015 5:56pm

I am crying! Oh my goodness, let me hug you! Thank you!

    anonymous Sep 23, 2015 8:27pm

    I feel your hug, Penny. Thank you for opening your heart to me, to this message. Sending you all my love.

anonymous Sep 17, 2015 4:11pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. Yes hiding can feel safe but when we show up as our "imperfect self" this allows others to be their "imperfect self" I personally believe we are all perfectly imperfect!
Great message XO

    anonymous Sep 23, 2015 8:27pm

    Yes we are! Thank you so much for your support.

anonymous Sep 17, 2015 2:53pm

As I hear you say get out there no matter what is going on..my eyes welled up with tears..& then you said to get out even if youre eyes are welling with tears. Im really imperfect today..& I wish i could hide today. But ive come across this video & its brought peace to me in this moment. Thank you ♡ Love, Sarah

    anonymous Sep 23, 2015 8:27pm

    I am so glad this came to you at the right time, Sarah. I hope that you can find love for that beautiful, courageous woman in the mirror!

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Vironika Tugaleva

Like every human being, Vironika Tugaleva is an ever-changing mystery. At the time of writing this, she was a life coach, world traveler, and award-winning author of two books (The Love Mindset and The Art of Talking to Yourself). She spent her days writing, dancing, singing, running, doing yoga, going on adventures, and having long conversations. But that was then. Who knows what she’s doing now? Keep up at www.vironika.org.