Want to learn how to love yourself and be confident? You’ve come to the right place. Let me tell you about the first time I learned how to do it. I’ve never told this story, not on paper anyway. The night that everything changed for me back in 2012.
You see, up until this point, I had been very guarded on my dates, and super judgmental about the men I was meeting. I hadn’t yet turned the camera inward. But that’s what MegaDating is all about. Reflection. Introspection. Self-realization. And on one particular night in 2012, while I was smack-dab in the middle of a 100-date experiment, I had a total meltdown.
The Real Magic Happens When You Want To Give Up
In hindsight, what was happening could have been called a clearing of bad karma. It might have been labeled a transcendent experience. Some might say that I’d had a come-to-Jesus meeting. I really don’t have words for what it was. Other than to say that it woke me up.
The night felt icky. It wasn’t fun and it definitely wasn’t comfortable. Up to this point, I thought I’d been conducting an experiment on other people, not myself. But that night, I realized it was me who was under the microscope, and it was me who was changing. It was me who was seeing all of the data from each of the dates, and it was me who was awakening to the truth of my self-created reality.
I’d created this mess.
How To Love Yourself And Be Confident With The 7 Levels Deep Exercise
During this time in 2012, I was dating a lot of men. After all, I’d created a 100-Date Experiment, and I had to see it through. That night, sitting alone on my twin, extra-long, dorm-room style bed… I totally lost it. I was upset because I’d just realized that I was attracted to assholes. My aha moment came after two guys in the experiment called me the “C” word. Jerks!
No one had ever called me that before. And it really bothered me because all of the nice guys I was dating at the time, seemed boring–I didn’t feel any sexual connection to them at all. That’s why, when the only 2 guys I actually liked called me such nasty names, in the same week, I really freaked out.
Was I so damaged that I’d only ever been interested in verbally abusive men? Why wasn’t I attracted to the men I was dating who were nice, impressive, and good on paper? Was there any hope for me to ever find love? And if so, would that love be happy or sustainable? Or would I just wind up getting divorced like everybody else?
My 7 Levels Deep Exercise
I was left with a lot of questions. Questions I’d never considered before. And as I began asking tough questions, I began to get closer to the truth. I could feel it, buried deep inside, and the discomfort of it all made me want to give up on dating altogether. But, I continued to question myself until I eventually arrived at the answer. And what I found was shocking.
Turns out the exercise I was doing by asking myself question after question, was a lot like an exercise called 7 Levels Deep a concept explained in Dean Graziosi’s book Millionaire Success Habits. It’s also well known as a problem solving tool that gets to the root of the issue using a root-cause analysis. In fact, the founder of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, created his own version of it called the 5 Whys.
Asking yourself why you are doing something over and over again until you arrive at the root cause of the problem can be transformational. Doing so often leads to a major aha moment. An epiphany of sorts. And I can say that I’m proof that this is true.
The question I started with was this: “Why am I attracted to men who call me bad names?” And the answer, “Because I know they’re not bad people. I know the phrase ‘hurt people hurt people’–I get that. They have good hearts. They’re just lashing out because they’re upset about something in their own life.”
Then I asked myself, “Ya but why am I allowing them to treat me poorly?” The answer was, “I don’t know. That doesn’t seem fair.”
Then I asked, “So why do I allow it? Because I… I… Oh no… Because I believe I deserve it.”
Then things started getting real. I knew I had to keep going because there was something under the surface that I hadn’t fully arrived at. So then I asked, “Why?… Because I’m used to it. Because my mom used to be hard on me too, but I always knew that she loved me. Just because she was hard on me, didn’t mean she didn’t love me. But I. I. Oh no. Well I believe… I mean… Back then… I believed that it was justified. I believed her, I believed the things she said to me.” Aha, there it was…
“I allow people in my life who are hard on me, or mean to me, because I’m used to it and because I know that they’re not bad people, they’re just upset with themselves.”
I was probably crying at this point. And I asked, “But why does that mean I should stay and take it?” The answer, “It doesn’t. Wow. It doesn’t mean I should stay, it doesn’t mean I should stay.”
I felt an almost empty feeling at this point, but I had to keep going. I asked myself, dejected, “Then why have I been staying? Why did I stay in that toxic relationship for 3 years? Why did I stay? Why didn’t I leave? What’s wrong with me?”And the answer, “I believed that I deserved it somehow.”
And finally, I asked, “Do I really believe that? In my heart, do I believe that I deserve to be treated like that, to be called bad names?” I thought about it some more and came to the realization that I would never call someone that. Nor would I ever do anything to hurt someone so much that they had reason to call me that.
My stream of consciousness went something like this, “No, No I don’t deserve that. I am a kind person, I care about people, and I want people to be happy. I don’t say mean things, and I don’t make people feel bad for no reason. C-word? I don’t deserve to be called that. No way, I deserve love, I deserve love. Woah. I deserve happiness. Oh my god. What have I been doing? Why have I been allowing this in my life for so long? I don’t deserve it, I don’t deserve it, I don’t deserve it. Please God, tell me I’m not hopeless, tell me I’m not doomed to only be attracted to mean men. Oh God, please, please help me.”
I Should Note That I’m Not Religious
But I do pray when I’m afraid. I’m not sure who I’m speaking to. Maybe it’s just myself. Or my higher self. Or, the walls. I’m not sure. But I notice that I do it in times of stress. And in times of uncertainty. I think it means that I’m hopeful.
Even in my darkest hours of the 100-date experiment, I didn’t know if I believed in love, but I did have a tiny glimmer of hope that maybe love was real. That teeny tiny glimmer of hope, and my natural curiosity, motivated the entire 100-Date Experiment. I had to know. Was love real? Looking back, I had to know because I couldn’t have survived if it wasn’t. And it is. It’s so real. Even bigger than the fairytales and the romantic comedies and the dreams we all harbor somewhere deep inside.
Start Learning to Love Yourself Again
Love is everywhere, it’s in everything, and it’s all around us in every moment. Hitting rock bottom taught me that, though it took some time to fully understand it afterwards. Over those next few weeks though, it became more and more clear to me.
Love is an orchestra, love is an ocean. It is in every breath we take. But sometimes, life gives us really painful experiences that teach us to shut all of that down. Often in childhood, we experience disappointment, and we swear to ourselves that we’ll never allow that kind of pain, that heartbreak into our world ever again. But it’s exactly that, the wall of protection, that blocks all of love out.
My wall was sarcasm and I’d built it long before that night. It protected me from becoming too vulnerable, but it also blocked out all of the love too. And that next morning in 2012, I finally saw a little bit of it in everything and everyone around me.
The Next Day
When I awoke the next day, the whole world looked different. It was like that scene in the book The Giver when all of a sudden the audience realizes that the main character has only been seeing in black-and-white. Then, one day, out of nowhere, he begins to see in color.
The crazy thing about The Giver is that, only when you get to that part in the book, do you realize that the main character had no conception of color whatsoever. It would be like a blind person waking up and suddenly being able to see. Or a deaf person that suddenly began to hear sounds. It was like that.
All of the colors around me became so vivid. It was as if the entire world had come alive. Or perhaps I had finally awoken from a deep slumber. Every person I passed on my way to class became so interesting. It was as though I could feel their struggles. Like I knew what they were thinking or feeling.
A Few Of My Clients Inspired Me To Write About This
My clients inspired me to write this out, but they didn’t ask about it directly. However, their stories and their struggles and their apparent loss of hope inspired me to tell this story. Because I see their hope flickering smaller. And I can feel them wanting to give up. And I get that being a cheerleader isn’t going to work for them. But maybe relating will.
Maybe sharing my story, about the time I wanted to give up, about the time I was most afraid, most devastated, most disbelieving, perhaps that story will give them strength. Because it was only when I reached what felt like the bottom, that I could truly awaken to the truth.
I’d been living in a false reality, I’d been living a lie. The lie I was telling myself was that I wasn’t enough. The lie that I’d allowed myself to believe was that I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t deserve love. But when I got right down to the bottom of it, I had to question why. Why did I feel this way? And, did I really believe it? And who planted such an insidious belief in my head anyway? How could I have been led to believe that I was unworthy of anything?…Because it was all just a lie.
Nick Vujicic says it best in this video. “It is a lie to think you’re not good enough, it is a lie to think you’re not worth anything.”
Nick Vujicic is the ultimate example of overcoming adversity to find love. I watched this video A LOT during my 100-Date Experiment. It helped me to realize the truth.
P.S. Last I’d checked, he’s married to a beautiful woman so quit giving me crap about you’re too old, or too broke, or too fat, or too whatever to find love. That’s bullshit and you know it. Deep down you know it.
To conclude, I’ll just say, that next day wasn’t super easy. It wasn’t as if my dates instantly became all rainbows and ponies. In fact, dating got harder and scarier and more confusing before it got better.
Rewiring decades of false beliefs takes time and effort. You don’t just wake up having all the answers. But you do wake up. You do start to see everything differently, you do start to see the ways in which you’ve been in your own way.
The first change I made was in my dating profile. I looked back at it and realized I’d been using sarcasm as a defense mechanism to avoid getting close to people. So I rewrote it in a way that wasn’t funny and gimmicky.
My profile no longer sounded like I was the most interesting girl in the world, but now, at least it was real. I began to shift the way that I showed up in the world. From my online profiles to my dates, to my workplace. My friendships transitioned too.
It felt awkward and new but it also felt easier somehow. It’s exhausting to pretend you’re someone you’re not. Takes up too much energy. And it never leads to much happiness.
I kept dating and went on a string of really disappointing dates with totally different men than I’d ever dated before. I was calibrating. Trying to find the middle. It was scary but I didn’t have any other choice. I couldn’t go back to where I’d been. That door was closed. I knew the truth and the only path for me was forward.
Over time, I started meeting people who made me feel really good. And though it wasn’t easy, the path eventually led me to Tom, my best friend, business partner, and boyfriend of 7 years.
If Your Still Wondering How to Love Yourself and Be Confident….
I believe that everyone has what it takes to do what I did. Everyone can find love if they want it bad enough. But the journey isn’t easy. It’s not what you think it will be. But my god if it’s not the best, most worthwhile endeavor of an entire life.
Without love, we are nothing. Love is everything. It is inside each and every one of us all the time. We just have to learn how to get past all of the obstacles we’ve put in our own way to hide it.
I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from Rumi, which is this. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”