Hats off to Mae West for being able to say this. Loving yourself is really not that easy for many of us. Ranging from ‘I wish I was a bit more…a bit less….’ to some serious self-loathing leading to mental and bodily harm, we struggle to like ourselves let alone love ourselves.
We all want to improve certain things about our appearance or personality but I often see that become an obsession in men and women of all ages: obsession with weight or diet, with body image, with popularity. You know being preoccupied with what is wrong in our view can be very stressful. Stress in turn can make it more difficult to manage weight and body shape. It can be a very vicious cycle of negative thinking.
We can of course approach change in a more positive way. For example, you might be able to accept that by losing weight your clothes will feel and look great, that you will be even more confident than you are now, that you are defined by so much more than what the scales tell you. Acknowledging the good stuff and loving yourself will reduce your stress levels, helping you sleep better, reducing the production of cortisol in your system (if you are losing weight you should look that up).
Therapies generally and hypnotherapy specifically focus on a person getting a better sense of ‘self’. Most of us respond well to the odd ‘well done’ or ‘don’t you look great but really knowing we are good and beautiful and worthwhile, warts and all, can be altogether harder to accept. In hypnotherapy we often do this more subtly and indirectly than telling someone they are awesome.
A client who is unable to be positive about the person they are as well as the person they want to become is going to find change just that bit more difficult. Learning to strengthen the ego is a fundamental part of hypnotherapy for just this reason. It is like building up a foundation for a structure to stand on – permanently.
Strengthening your ego can come from something as simple as the language you use to introduce or describe yourself to others. It can also make use of strong positive images, emotions and experiences from the past. Strong positive emotions and experiences can equally be linked to how we act and think. They can be used to shape confidence and self-worth.
Do you remember a time when you were crazy about yourself? Hang on to that and feel it every day.