My initial thoughts on Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It
I love that not only is this a great and simple practice anyone can execute (as well as an easy read — 30 minutes or less), but that the author is an entrepreneur and investor in Silicon Valley.
While this was in the foreword of Kamal Ravikant’s book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, I had to include it. It’s a message from one entrepreneur to another. Off all the advice, resources, and money that the author could provide — this is the only important message. If I could add a subhead to the title of Love Yourself Like It Depends On It, it would be simply… because it does. Because truly — the only important message is this. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It… because it does.”
The reason I chose self-love as the February theme for Modern Entrepreneur Book Club is because of this — I want this for you. I want this for me. I want this for every entrepreneur I know. If we all loved ourselves, even just a little bit more, the work we created, the people we served, and the teams we led would be transformed.
After all, if you loved yourself truly and deeply, would you limit your life to what you previously thought possible? Nope. You’d blow your own socks off.
You would. You’d blow your own damn mind. A risk-free way to grow. No money, no additional staff time, no additional time of yours. So what are you waiting for?
Just like love, the subconscious has a positive association with light. Plants grow towards the light. As human beings, we crave light. We find sunrises and sunsets and a bright moon beautiful and calming.
How can you shed more light?
How do you express self-love?
- Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Stand in front of a mirror, with your nose a few inches away. Relax. Breathe.
- Look into your eyes. It helps if you focus on one. Your left eye. Don’t panic, it’s only you. Relax. Breathe slowly, naturally, until you develop a rhythm.
- Looking into your left eye, say, “I love myself.” Whether you believe it that moment or not isn’t important. What’s important is you saying it to yourself, looking into your eyes, where there is no escape from the truth. And ultimately, the truth is loving yourself.
- Repeat “I love myself” gently, pausing occasionally to watch your eyes.
Let that sink in. Struggle reinforces pain. What are you struggling against? In entrepreneurship, I see this all the time. We glorify the struggle, the hustle, the fear, the pain.
And the more we struggle, the more we hurt. And the more we hurt, the deeper those groves of pain and struggle exist. So much so that “this is just how it is” is common cocktail discussions. But it’s not – it never was. You have a choice. You always, always, always have a choice.
I get it — for years I was there, seeing my business as something that required pain, endless sacrifices, and a “too busy” struggle in order to grow or be successful.
That is until I realized I had a choice. The pain became so bad and I was just so over it. I said no fucking more because nothing is worth feeling like that.
So, what choice are you making right now? What are you struggling against? Where does it hurt?
Instead, go to love. Love for yourself. Feel it. If you have to fake it, fine.
It’s the common adage — fake it til you make it. And let’s be real — we fake so many things. Our orgasms, our confidence, our lack of vulnerability, our interest.
So let’s fake something that matters. Go to love. Love for yourself. Even if you have to fake it.
Fighting fear doesn’t work. It just drags us in closer. One has to focus on what is real. On the truth. When in darkness, don’t fight it. You can’t win. Just find the nearest switch, turn on the light.
My mentor and friend, Craig Filek, once asked me about what would happen if you got in a bully’s face and yelled, trying to assert yourself. My answer: “They’d probably just kick my ass harder that time.”
Fear is a lot like that. I think we default to this idea of…
This is my statement switch when I’m determining how I might react to something.
Here’s another angle on this — how is blank emotion (anger, fear, frustration) helpful here? What does it get me? How does it serve me in communicating what I need/want/desire/feel? What you’ll find is that it doesn’t. (Almost) Ever.
That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t feel those things – please, please do. Simply, don’t allow your emotions to take the steering wheel. You are the driver. Always.
See, acknowledge, and choose. Is it useful? If not, how can you make it useful?
What is your light switch? How can you reframe your emotional response to shed light? Did you just learn something? Did it remind you of something you needed reminding of? Did it point out something you were ignoring? Or more simply — is there anything useful about this? If not, let it go and move on.
If love isn’t right, nothing else will be.
I chose this book as the first book for the Modern Entrepreneur Book Club because of its clear focus on self-love. Why? Because without self-love you are building a house on a missing or unstable foundation.
No amount of remodeling or decorating will change the fact that it won’t last or isn’t livable. Start with the foundation of you.
So I ask myself the question, “If I loved myself, truly and deeply, what would I do?”
I love this question. There is no threat, no right or wrong answer, only an invitation to my truth in this present moment.
What is true right now? If you were giving advice to someone you truly and deeply loved — what would you tell them?
Now take that advice, lovely. Because that is your truth. And you deserve that love. So go on and grab it.
You can argue that obsession fuels innovation in our society. True, perhaps. But quite often, behind obsession is fear.
This one was a doozy for me. Why? Replace “obsession” with other words we like to use when describing our relationship to our work as entrepreneurs — love, committed, workaholic, dedicated. While we’re softening the word choice — the literal meaning is much closer to obsessed.
I couldn’t afford to take time off. I didn’t have time to work out. I forgot to eat. I couldn’t call that friend back. I couldn’t make it to the wedding. I couldn’t afford coaching. I couldn’t afford to pay my staff more or hire the help I needed. I couldn’t train my staff because no one could do it the way I did it — which is the best and the only way to do it. I have to say yes to every meeting because I’m the only one who knows how to ____.
Fear strengthens the ego. Love softens it.
I became more open, vulnerable. It was natural to be gentle with others, even when they weren’t loving towards me.
If anything, Kamal’s book really drove this home for me. Not only that I have a choice about how I respond, but that in choosing, I can be more loving.
You see, the thing is, I like myself more when I am compassionate, gentle, and open. I fall a little bit more in love with myself every day that I’m able to open up, be more vulnerable, and in turn, be more accepting — regardless of whether or not it’s returned.
Because it doesn’t matter — my loving and openness are (arguably) totally selfish and just as much for me as it is for the other person.
Instead of reading loads of self-help books, attending various seminars, listening to different preachers — we should just pick one thing. Something that feels true for us. Then practice it fiercely.
What is one true thing for you? How can you honor it and practice it fiercely? Because you deserve it. You are deserving and worthy of respect, love, and support. So say yes.
What is your one true thing?
Is it your morning pages? Meditating? Working out? Respond in the comments – I can’t wait to see how you honor yourself.
Hopefully after reading this, you are starting to see a clearer picture of how self-love is a crucial aspect of how we live and work. So are you ready? Are you ready to join me on this journey of exploring self-love through my Book Club for the Modern Entrepreneur? Grab a copy of Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It and join today!