in Life Lessons

The Year You Decided to Put Yourself First

Love and work, tenants that psychologist Sigmund Freud would argue was the meaning of life is crucial for your well being. You are the captain of your ship and so that means you better be in top shape. Hence, loving yourself and working for yourself makes you love the day that much more.


Loving yourself

1. Say I Love Myself

In the book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It, the author Kamal Ravikant writes about the exercise he does every day where he says “I love myself”. Don’t think for a second if this sounds wacky. It works.

He writes: “Imagine the feeling of catching yourself loving yourself without even realizing you were doing it.” Do it even (and especially) if you don’t believe it. Because if you do it long enough, you will.

In the book, Kamal introduces 3 steps he uses to gently remind himself to return to self-love every day:

  1. Mental loop
  2. Meditation
  3. Question

Mental Loop

Repeat, “I love myself” over and over again and it will become automatic and become your reality like most mental loops/beliefs you already have. Lay the pathway for that loop to run again and again. Eventually, it will take hold whether you believe it or not.

You need to create a thought that is deeper than those unhappy and unhelpful thoughts you’ve solidified over the years.


Each day, the author listens to a 7-minute piece of music that he likes and thinks, “I love myself.” Here’s his pattern: Inhale > Think “I love myself” > Exhale > Let out whatever thoughts you have.


“If I love myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?” The answer was always “no” for the author. This question gently shifts your focus from wherever you are to self-love.


2. Believe You Are Enough

This technique is provided by therapist Marisa Peer. I first came to discover this when I heard her talk at Mindvalley.

She would tell this story of a celebrity who had everything he ever wanted – cars, houses, women and yet he going through his third divorce and depressed. She assigned him a simple exercise, which is to write the words “I am enough” with lipstick on his mirror every day. He did this for a while. The result? It changed his life and now he is a lot more content and happy than before.

Other followers of her technique suggest setting a reminder twice a day at 8am and 8pm that says simply: “I am enough.”

In one of her blog posts she wrote:

“The repetition of that simple phrase over and over (both out loud and in your head) will eventually make it difficult for your mind to object to it. As the audience member said, even though she didn’t feel rich enough, smart enough, thin enough, or successful enough when she first programmed the words into her phone, slowly but surely she began to believe the powerful message itself.

In my 25 years as a therapist, I’ve discovered that the root of so many modern problems—hoarding, excessive drinking, compulsive shopping, and over-eating—come right back to a need to fill the inner emptiness of not feeling “enough” with external things. The more you tell yourself you are enough, the more you’ll believe it. It sounds so utterly simple—and it is—and all you need is the commitment to do it and the belief that it will work.”


Working for yourself

1. Place your own personal tasks first before doing your work tasks

The biggest learning I’ve learned from morning routines after doing it for a year is that you have to get your most important tasks for you by you done first.

Everything, even your job has to wait for you to get to your stuff done.

Getting other people stuff done first may provide relief and assurance, but it won’t give you happiness and the feeling of “I’m winning at my life”

Examples of your tasks would be meditating, reading that book, writing your blog posts, promoting your own work or business.

What they said on the airplanes was correct – “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.” You can’t help others to the fullest until you help yourself. Without you taking care of you, who will?


In a nutshell

Telling yourself you love yourself, that you are enough and putting your own personal task before your professional tasks are just some of the 3 things you can start doing on your path to self-care. Love yourself and you will love life all the more.