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Self-love isn’t a To-Do Item

Can you turn your self-doubt into self-acceptance?

What about turning self-doubt into self-love? (Is that going too far?)

If it is, you are not alone.

I work with a lot of high achieving people suffering from excruciating self-doubt. Recently, one young woman lamented, “Why does it take so much work to feel better?” It’s a common refrain. Now it’s true that it takes effort to grow beneficial habits or change mindsets. There’s no magic wand. No swapping out the negative thoughts and emotions for the positive ones. It’s not that simple. 

Yet, the effort toward greater wellbeing can be joyful. It doesn’t have to be another item to squeeze into your schedule. It just takes tiny, repeated actions. Like if you want to grow flowers, a little watering will do. 

. Like if you want to grow flowers, a little watering will do. 

I was thinking about this when I bought my husband a sweet succulent plant for a wedding anniversary gift. Kind of lame, I know. But after years of partnership, we don’t need epic things to mark the passage of time. 

The instruction from the perky florist was, “Just a teaspoon of water once a month!” Once a month? That’s a low bar. Can we keep this plant alive with such minimal effort? 

Helping this plant thrive is now a symbolic challenge. A little attention every day… even if we just look at it, talk to it, encourage it. Sprinkle some H2O now and again. I found a perfect spot where we can invoke the spirit of Dobbie: Loyal, brave, quirky.

We all need little practices of tending — to oneself and to other beings. It’s how we can learn to befriend ourselves and those little inner doubters roaming in our mental spaces.

So I invite you to imagine the little voices inside your head. Who are they?

Take this quiz to find out.

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