Ep. 241
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Here’s why self-love is CRITICAL. 

You think your problem is:

People pleasing 


Caring too much about what other people need 


Imposter syndrome 

But the root of all of those is a lack of self-love. And this isn’t in some woo-woo “all we need is love” kind of thing. I’ve coached thousands of people and the root of almost every problem is some underlying belief of:

I’m not good enough. 


It’s a worth issue. Think about it. 

That’s why we so desperately need other people to approve of or like us. 

That’s why we try so hard to be perfect. 

That’s why we keep checking off all the boxes society tells us to in order to be “good enough”. 

They’re all defense mechanisms. 

Because we’re terrified that somehow our deepest insecurity might be true…that maybe we’re really not good enough in some way. 

And so we hustle…we perform…we give and give…

But no amount of other people’s love or accomplishments or perfection will ever outrun that thought. 

If it would, you would’ve done it by now.

It only changes when we decide to change our own thoughts about ourselves. 

It’s available to you right now.

No need to do or be anything else. 

And it’s one of the most important skills to cultivate. 

On today’s podcast episode, I dive deeper into why self-love is critical.


Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons from a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams. Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited to have you here. I actually had another episode planned and then I saw that Tuesday falls on Valentine's Day and I had to scrap the idea. I had to record this because I have wanted to do an episode on self-love for a long time and what better day than Valentine's Day to give ourselves the love that we so desperately deserve and have withheld from ourselves. So I wanted to do this topic for a number of reasons that I will get into, but one of the things that I really wanted to talk about is a lot of people that are attracted to my type of work, like attracted to me as a coach are here because we tend to be rational, logical, type A left-brained people.
And I know when I found personal development, it was because I found the model and it resonated with that part. It was something I could understand. So much of self-help tends to be a little woo woo for some of us that aren't used to accessing that part of our brain. And so it's easy to dismiss. It's easy to think like, oh, they're a bunch of weirdos. Or you know, whatever the thoughts are that you have about it. Um, it's funny for me being someone that was not into woo at all, um, I feel like thought work was like the gateway drug. I have very much become much more woo and I'm so glad I have it. It's enriched my life immensely and I wish I hadn't rejected so much of it early on and still I'm getting used to it. I still prefer kind of logical linear thinking.
I, um, still need to kind of intellectualize my thoughts. I can't just go straight to my body and kind of do feeling practices and things like that. And that's okay. That's the way my brain has o operated for decades. But I have started really leaning into some more woo practices. And I just say this because I think a lot of times when we hear words like self-love, it's easy for us if we haven't really engaged in those conversations or in those practices to dismiss it and to roll our eyes and to think like, okay, yeah, all we gotta do is love ourselves. No, you know, like there's more to it than that. And so I want you to just not dismiss it. Cause I want to talk to you today about how self-love truly is the root of every problem we face. The lack of self-love, I should say.
I've now been coaching for almost four years, you know, a little over three years. And I can tell you now after coaching hundreds and hundreds of people that every single issue that I deal with, the root cause of it, like when you get down to the nitty gritty of it, the reason why it's there is because it comes down to some kind of thought of I'm not worthy. I'm not good enough. Okay? Now we don't think these thoughts consciously, but when you start thinking about the reason so many of you come to coaching or to therapy even, or to you know, personal development, how you find it is because you're dealing with kind of the symptoms that are disrupting your life. That might be people pleasing, right? The need to have everybody like you and never have everybody be upset. I want you to think about why you need that, right?
Why we feel so uncomfortable when someone doesn't like us? Perfectionism, right? The need to always be perfect and never let anybody see that God forbid we might have a weakness or we might make a mistake, we might be human. The fear of what other people think, this fear that debilitates so many of us in so much of our life, I want you to think about why are we so scared about what other people think about us? The fear of failure, right? What do we make it mean when I try something and it just doesn't go the way that I want it? Now, if we were just on the surface of things, let's say like the fear of failure is a good example. If I try a business and it doesn't work, okay, so what? Who cares, right? Like it's a fact out in the world.
Like I tried something, there's a million reasons why it could not work. I could just pack it up and try something else. But we all know that that's not how it works. And the reason is, is because we started attaching a story, right? We attach a story about who we are and what it means about us. So when we are so deathly afraid of failing is because we're so deathly afraid of finding out like maybe my biggest insecurity about myself is true. Maybe I'm not good enough, maybe I'm not smart enough, maybe I'm not worthy. Who did I think I was? Right? We have these really painful thoughts and we're gonna talk about where those come from in a minute, but underlying everything we do. And so then we have these protective measures, we start becoming a perfectionist. If I can just do everything 110%, if I can meticulously go over it and over it and make sure I never make a mistake, then I can protect myself from having this thought come up.
Because if I make a mistake, then I have to think about, oh my God, what if I'm not good enough? What if I'm not smart enough? What if everybody hates me? Whatever the thought is that we have. And so, so many of us are trying to put these band-aids over these feelings that we have, these thoughts, these deep wounds that we have usually from childhood. And we're trying to correct it with these overprotective fears and defense mechanisms that we've built up this constant hyper vigilance and like hyper-awareness of what other people think of us. This people pleasing. I'm needing everybody to love me because then I don't have to grapple with the thought of like, do I like me? Do I even love me? Do I even know me? Do I know what I want? Like I've become such a chameleon for other people cuz I'm so desperate for other people to tell me that I'm good enough.
Have I ever stopped to really think about whether I think I'm good enough? What are my thoughts about me? And I think that sometimes on the surface if I ask that question, people will say like, yeah, no, I like myself and I think I'm pretty cool. And yes, we all sort of like the quote unquote good things about ourselves, right? The things that we do well, our strengths, things that other people like about us that other people find admirable. We can find some pride in that. We can find some joy in that. But that's not what I'm talking about. Like can you love the parts of yourself that you don't deem are good enough that you think there's a problem with? Can you love all of yourself? Can you see yourself as a full human who has some strengths, some weaknesses, whatever. Even those terms mean like who determines what's a weakness?
But we'll save that discussion for another day. Self-love comes from like, can I understand that? Of course I'm not gonna be perfect cuz no human is. And how beautiful of a thing that is. How beautiful that makes us, that we're all different. Why would we want everyone to be the same, everyone to be the perfect amount of outgoingness, the perfect amount of striving, the perfect amount of intelligence, the perfect amount of whatever. Like we're not robots. And so of course I do some things better than other people's and somethings worse and can I love all of that? And when you can really get rooted in that, so many of these other defense mechanisms tend to dissipate go away, right? When I'm grounded in how much I love me, it doesn't matter if other people don't love me. It doesn't matter if someone else thinks what I did was, I don't know, rude or not nice or whatever.
Let's say like my mother is upset because I didn't go over for dinner. I'm not as threatened when I already know I'm a good daughter and I already think good things about myself. It's okay if she's upset, she's allowed to be upset. I don't have to question if whether that affects my worth or not. And so I want you to truly understand that like the root of everything you're working on, like yes, you should work on people pleasing, yes, you should work on perfectionism. And sometimes it is easier to work on the symptoms like the kind of behaviors that you exhibit. It's easy to see like why do I get anxious when I don't respond to an email immediately or whatnot? And we can work on those. The cheat code, if you want a little cheat sheet into all of coaching and all of therapy is like the root cause comes back to this.
It comes back to like when I say, and I've, if you've listened to the episodes at the podcast, you've heard me say like, can you have your own back? This is what I mean. That's what self-love is. It's like can I not abandon myself every time something goes wrong or every time something doesn't go the way that I think it should? Can I still have my own back? Can I still really see how wordy I am as a human being and how deserving I am of rest and joy and love and respect and all of those things, whether I'm killing it, like it's really easy to think those things when you're doing all the things and you're super productive and you're getting the accolades and you're achieving, like that's easier to have those thoughts. Can I have those thoughts when those other external circumstances aren't happening?
When I'm not on the hamster wheel of needing to prove that I'm worthy enough, can I just know that I am worthy enough that it is non-negotiable, that it does not matter what I achieve, it does not matter the amount of money I make. It does not matter to the degree I get. None of that matters. None of that changes my inherent worth as a human being. And so I wanna talk a little bit about how we've even gotten here. Like why so many of us suffer from this lack of self-love, right? Somewhere along the line, usually in early childhood, we get the message that how we are is wrong. Something about us is wrong. You're too shy, too loud, too aggressive, you're too weak, you're too pushy, you're too much of a pushover, you're too ambitious, you're too lazy. Isn't it funny though, that is like no perfect amount, no matter what you do, there's something wrong with you.
And we may not even gotten that message explicitly. And it might not even have been in like a mean-spirited way from someone. It could have just been that you saw an action that you took, something that you did resulted in maybe somebody didn't wanna be your friend anymore or whatnot. And you took that to mean, oh no, if I speak my truth, if I say what I think, then people may not wanna hang out with me. So I have to hide that. I have to stop saying that. Or if I get straight A's, then people are happy with me, okay then that's the only important thing in my life is to prove how smart I am constantly. And so then we just start these patterns cuz you know, our young child brains don't understand any of this. They just see kind of cause and effect.
If I do this, then this happens. If I don't do this, then this happens. If I, you know, act out and my parents get angry, I did something wrong. So I have to like suppress the emotions I'm feeling if I start crying, then other people get upset. So I have to cry less. And we get this message that like the way I'm doing it is not right. I'm not good enough. I haven't figured this out. I shouldn't be the way that I am. If we zoom out too, and you look at society and all of capitalism, it's built on sending messages to us that the way that we are is not good enough and that we need to change in some way. But the entire beauty standard and kind of beauty industry is built on this. The healthcare industry and fitness and how you look, all of that's built on this.
But really anything, it's all built on selling you a dream that if you had this in your life, then you would be happier. If you learned how to do this, then you would feel better. If you lost weight or had a six pack or wore these kind of clothes or whatever, then then you might be good enough. Then you might be like these other people that feel like they're good enough and you don't feel like you're good enough, so you should try these other things. You should buy these things, you should achieve these things. And so we start on this perpetual never ending quest to get the things that we think we need to change who we are in order to feel better. We start looking at the markers outside of us. Like maybe if I make more money, I'll feel better about myself. Maybe if I get that degree, maybe if I make partner, right?
Like by the time I make partner, then I'll feel better if I buy that house with the picket fence, if I have kids, if I discipline my kids more, if I spend more time with my kids, whatever the standard is, then I'll feel successful. Then I'll finally feel good enough. Like we think that there is this destination in which I achieve something and I feel good enough. And we've all done this throughout our whole lives and we've achieved the things. We've gotten them all. We've lost the weight, we've worked out a certain amount of time, we've gotten a degree, we made the money, we've bought the house, we had the kids and we still don't feel good enough because they're all made up. All of these markers of success are made up. The amount of money you make has no bearing on whether you're a worthy person.
The degree you have has no bearing on who you are as a human being. The house you live in, what you do with your time, none of that has any bearing, right? And the thing is, is that so many of us, when you take a step back, you realize that the markers are made up because they change, they constantly change. Back in the day, you needed to have kids in your twenties. Now people have kids in their thirties or forties or they don't have kids anymore, right? It's becoming more common to just decide that you don't wanna have kids. Because the idea that you need to have kids in order to feel whole was just a made up marker. The idea that you need to be married or engaged in that institution is just made up. The idea that women shouldn't be in the workplace was just made up.
And we change it. We're constantly changing it and yet we keep trying to stay up to whatever the markers are now. Like we don't realize like, oh yeah, that changed from 60 years ago. That was insane that we thought that women shouldn't be given the same opportunities as men. That was crazy. But then now I'm just gonna jump into whatever the marker is today where it's like now women should work and they should also be the perfect moms and they should have Pinterest parties. That seems like a totally normal marker. I should just completely live by that standard and make myself miserable when I can't live up to it. And then tell myself how terrible I am and this is why I'm not good enough. So if you've ever had the thought that you are behind, this is a big one for people in my community.
Love to think we're behind. This is what's happening behind what, which marker of success did you decide that you needed to be at in order to feel good about yourself? Which one are you continuously dangling in front of yourself to say like once you get there, then you're allowed to feel good, then you're allowed to love yourself. If you had that, then you could feel like you are a worthy human, but you can't until you get there. So just keep trying, kill yourself, get up every morning and only sleep five hours and build that business and make that partner and marry that person so that maybe we can start filling this void that we feel within ourselves. And it's amazing to me to see, and I do this, I'm not saying it, I've done this constantly in my life where it's like the marker just keeps changing.
So okay, I gotta get the degree and I gotta get married and I gotta have kids. I did all those and then it's like immediately my brain's like, yeah, but you're overweight. Yeah, but your body doesn't look, your husband's probably gonna leave you. You're probably not attractive enough. Yeah, but you're a terrible mother and your kids are gonna need a lot of therapy and you're probably messing everything up. It's like if achieving the things worked, it would've worked by now, right? When you got that first degree, you would've been like, I made it. Look at me, I can feel great about myself now I feel so good. But what happens is that when you don't change the thoughts about yourself, it doesn't matter what actions you take. I want you to really hear me on this. If you've followed my work, and if you listen to the podcast, then you know that we use the model which tells you that your thoughts cause your feelings and your feelings cause your actions.
And what a lot of us try to do is we try to do this equation backwards. We think if my actions cause my feelings, if I act in a certain way, if I make all the organic food and get up every morning and make sure my kids' lunch is cut up in nice little hearts and squares, and I, you know, give up on my own sleep to make sure that they have, I don't know, fresh baked muffins in the morning and I stay up late at night to do whatever you, you get it, then I can finally feel like I'm a good mom. But it doesn't work that way. Your actions don't cause your feelings, your thoughts cause your feelings. So if the underlying thought is I'm still not good enough, I'm not a good enough mother, I'm not a good enough daughter, I'm not a good enough sister, I'm not a good enough partner, I'm not a good enough lawyer.
It doesn't matter how much you act, your brain is gonna be like, yeah, but you're still not good enough. Remember this thought that we've decided to practice for decades and decades, we're gonna go back to that. Or like, oh yeah, maybe you're good in this area. Fine, you got the degree, you got partnership. Which again, imposter syndrome is like a key example of this is like you can get all the accolades, everybody around, you can see that you're clearly qualified and your thought can still be like, Hmm, but I'm a fraud. Nobody knows that. I have no idea what I'm doing. So the work doesn't come from doing more. The work doesn't come from achieving more. The work comes from changing your own thoughts about yourself. That is where your own love for yourself comes from. If you think there's something wrong with you, then the marker will always move.
You will spend your life on this achieving hamster wheel trying to run away from this belief that you're not good enough and you will create so much pain, so much unnecessary pain and so many maladaptive coping mechanisms to try to run away from one thought that is untrue. That's the saddest part of all of this, is that for so many of us, it's very easy to see that other people have so much inherent worth and other people are worthy regardless of what they do. And of course, it's lovely that we have differences and that some people have different strengths and different meaning, weaknesses. And we can see the beauty of like what that provides in our society and in our communities and in our families. And we can love that about other people that like, oh, they have some kind of strength, I don't, and how wonderful, but we can't see it for ourselves.
And so I just want you on this Valentine's Day for you to truly think about like what are my own thoughts about me? Do I like me? And I'm not just talking about the shiny, you know, award-winning parts, I'm not talking about the parts that everybody loves that are easy to love. Do I like the parts that the world tells me should be different? And you don't have to be there. You don't have to, right? Right. Now when you've tried and practice the thought for decades, you don't just come out and be like, you know what, I've just decided to love myself. I'm going to do it. You've practiced that thought. It's deeply ingrained and you have to replace the thought. I just want you to like start questioning what if it's possible that I don't have to achieve all this stuff and I don't have to change all this stuff in order to be able to truly love myself?
What if there was nothing wrong with you exactly as you are? Nothing needs to be changed. I know for a lot of you, it's like immediately you wanna object to that. You're like, no, no, no, there's no way. And so many people have like that. Well, well then everybody would just be lazy and not do anything. It's like amazing how all or nothing our brain becomes. And listen, I'm not saying you can't achieve things. I love me some goals, but only when the goals are for fun and to help stretch me and to help me see like new parts of myself and to help me like do things I haven't done and to just keep my brain busy and to gimme something to work for and to have something cool to try not because whether I love myself is dependent on whether I achieve that goal, not because my entire self worth is hinging on whether that goal is accomplished or not.
And so what if there's nothing wrong with you? What if self-acceptance doesn't mean only accepting the parts of you that you like, but truly accepting parts of you and making peace with parts of you that you've told yourself are bad for so many years? Like just questioning it. Are they really bad? How have they benefited you? How have they been amazing? How could you love those parts? What if you're just a human like the rest of us? We have so much compassion for other people and yet we're so completely and utterly harsh with ourselves. What is self-compassion is simply the act of recognizing the fact that you're a human and that there's parts of you that you like and there's parts of you that you may not like as much and there's parts of you that you might wanna work on. But that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you.
It just means you're human that you're not gonna escape this human experience. What if other people didn't know more than you? And I don't mean it in a sense of like knowledge, like obviously a doctor knows more than you maybe if you're not a doctor. Like I mean like the lack of self-trust that I see with my clients in making the simplest decisions because we've been so trained to believe that other people have all the answers. And what if that's just not true? What if it was a lie that we were fed? What if other people don't know better than you and they're just trying to figure it out too? And you know, just as well, you probably know better than anybody else what's best for you. Like what if you could lean into that? All of that is self-love, like self-acceptance, self-compassion, self-trust, self-confidence.
It all comes from recognizing your own humanity and not wishing it away and seeing the beauty in it and knowing that it is worthy and loving yourself from that place. All of that comes from self-love. And so I know when we think like, oh, this is just some kind of woowoo, like all you need is love and let's just sit around and kumbaya it. No, we're just talking about like how has hating yourself felt all these years? Where has it gotten you? I mean, it has gotten you to achieve a lot of things. So a lot of you think that you still need it, but are you happy achieving those things? Was it worth it to have all the accolades and maybe to have the money saved up and have the house and all this stuff but have to hurt through the entire process? So on this Valentine's Day, I want you to lean in to simply questioning what are the thoughts I have about myself and how can I work on maybe changing some of those thoughts?
Can I believe that I'm okay the way that I am? Can I believe that I don't need to be fixed, I'm not broken. Can I believe that I'm worthy of love exactly as I am regardless of what I do? Because every human being is, can I start there? Can I practice those thoughts? Am I able to look at something that I think is a weakness? And not to say that I wanna just accept it and not change it, but just notice maybe how it served me, maybe how it was a defense mechanism, maybe how it's just part of my personality. That's been a fantastic blessing that I've been missing this whole time because I've been wishing it away. So many of my clients I see like come to me with parts of themselves that they so desperately want to change. And I'm always so stunned because it's, they're superpower, they're so upset that they're so quiet or that they're shy and they make up these stories about how they're socially awkward or whatever the thing is.
And they wanna change certain things, but they're the best listeners and they're so observant and empathetic and emotionally in tune. All of the things that so many of us think are what's quote unquote wrong with us are the basis of so many of our skills. Yet we refuse to see it when we're constantly in a rush to just change ourselves. And so I just want you to ask yourself, what if there's nothing wrong with you? What if you're a beautiful, messy human just like the rest of us? And what if starting from there can open you up to creating a life that you want? Not because you have to achieve all these things in order to prove that to yourself, but just knowing you already are that person and that you get to have these other things as a bonus, just cuz it's fun. Just cuz we're on this earth for a limited period of time and why not Life becomes so much more fun when you can get grounded in loving yourself.
And so on this Valentine's Day or whenever you listen to this, I hope that as you listen to this, you can begin by just practicing one thought. Whatever that thought is that you believe is true, okay? Don't start with a thought that you don't believe. Maybe the thought is I'm okay the way that I am. Maybe this, the thought is even. There are parts of myself that I don't like, but I'm working on that one thing that gets you closer to recognizing your own humanity, to appreciating everything that you are, to accepting yourself the way that you are, to practicing some self-compassion. That is my wish for you all on this Valentine's Day. I hope you take this hallmark holiday that it was made in order to get us to buy things. And you use it as a way to simply use it as a marker or a day to go inward and think about how proud you are of yourself, of everything that you've accomplished and everything you've survived and how you've had your own back and everything you've figured out and how much you love yourself or everything that you are and everything that you are not.
I hope you spend some time in gratitude for you. There is nothing wrong with you, my friend. I promise you that. And if there's one thing I could teach everybody, it's this, that you get to love yourself exactly where you are with exactly what you have. There's nothing else you need to do in order to be able to have the benefit of your own self-love. Nobody can take that from you. So practice that skill. And if you need help practicing that scale, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club because there's truly no more important skill than learning how to do this. So you can go to lessons from a club and get on the wait list for when we open doors. But truly everything else that you think is a problem in your life somehow comes back to this issue. So just start here.
Let's bypass doing all the other work that we have to do and just start by getting to a place where you love yourself. All right, my friends, I hope you have a fantastic Valentine's Day and I'll see you back here next week. Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does, and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life, and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to lessons from ac club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.