I recently watched the above youtube video, of a young girl, Jessica, who is standing on her bathroom counter, looking into the mirror, and shouting all the things she enjoys about her life. “my whole house is great! I can do anything good….I like my hair! I like my hair cuts! I like my hair ties! I like my pajamas! I can do anything good!”
It made my heart smile. The video has received over 19 millions views.
What would people think if the video content was the same, except the child was instead, an adult?
My guess is the video would not go viral, understandably, because adults just aren’t as cute. But I believe the behavior would be labeled as childish, self-absorbed, egotistical, and borderline psycho.
I have a confession: I’m addicted to talking to myself in the mirror. Yes, I am crazy,
but I’d rather be a crazy person who gazes deeply into my own eyes every morning and loves myself, than a crazy person who walks around acting like I’m okay all day, but inside I feel worthless.
It simply feels good. And it feels good to feel good.
There is research up the wazoo about how self-love leads to more happiness, better health decisions, less risk of depression and anxiety, enhanced academic performance, increased problem-solving skills, reduced procrastination…the list goes on (Huffington Post article with scientifically backed benefits here)
I’ve noticed that practicing self-love translates into other areas of my life, including my sport.
I bounce back quicker from an inaccurate pass on a day where my energy feels off, and when I receive criticism. Instead, of swearing at myself and asking what the hell is wrong with me, I send myself some love, and move forward.
Loving ourselves as a child comes naturally, but as we age, it becomes increasingly difficult. We are constantly being influenced by our environment on what is “good” and “bad”, and if we aren’t doing “good” then it’s easy to self-criticize. We have to consciously practice self-love every day or we fall into the comparison trap, and perceive ourselves as inadequate.
Loving myself in the mirror is the single greatest exercise I do to gain confidence.
Our relationship with ourselves is the only one that is guaranteed. We cannot escape the conversations that we have in our own head every day. I don’t know about you, but I personally prefer to talk with kind-hearted souls, rather than bullies.
The Mirror Exercise
- Look look in the mirror, and stare deep into your eyes. Not in the way you check to make sure your toothpaste isn’t smeared on the sides of your mouth, or that your nose isn’t symmetrical with your lips. But in the way that you would look at the one and only love of your life.
There’s something about looking into your own eyes that forces you to be present and realize that you are a human being who is doing the best they can, just like every other human in this world.
- Look into your eyes until you feel that you have connected with your true self. You’ll know when you know.
- Talk to yourself as if you are your best friend. Tell yourself what you love about yourself. I say things like, “I love you. I believe in you. You are the hardest worker I know. I am so proud of you for all you’ve been through. You are a champion. You are the hardest worker I know. Your dreams are coming true.” This is your time to tell yourself what you want to come to fruition, for yourself, and not anyone else.
- Continue speaking to yourself in the most compassionate, genuine tone, until you feel the way that you want to feel.
- Repeat this exercise as often as you like (anytime you’re alone with a mirror). I perform it as part of my morning routine, after I visualize, make my bed, and move. I find this exercise most effective when I’m feeling low or want to get myself pumped up on life.
This exercise for sure feels bizarre and uncomfortable at first, but I believe you can’t grow without some discomfort.
If you’re bold enough to try it, let me know what you think. Did you notice a difference in your mood? What kind of things did you say to yourself?
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