How to Fall in Love with Yourself

love_yourselfToday I want to share with you an important story. It’s vulnerable, it’s personal… and it’s from the heart. 

5 months ago, I was on the verge of burning myself out. I was exhausted from pushing myself so damn hard every day.

One day, my brothers Ben Williamson and Jordan Grey came to my house. After chatting for a few minutes, they told me I looked like I could use a day off work.

I thought… “Are you crazy? I can’t take a day off. I gotta hustle, man. I gotta work. I gotta keep pushing”. 

Thank God, they didn’t accept my bullshit at face value. Instead, they asked me a beautifully simple question that changed my life…

“Why? Why do you have to keep working all the time?”

I had no answer. I had never stopped to think about it, so I relented and took a Friday off. That day started a chain reaction I could NEVER have predicted.

I spent my free time reading the book Conversations with God and the veil of illusion started to fall.

I realized something so profound, so humbling… yet so needed in that moment.

I became clear that for most of my life, I didn’t truly love myself.

Much of my motivation to succeed came from a place of fear. Fear of not being enough. Fear of failing. Fear of not being loved.

How much I loved and respected myself constantly fluctuated based on my achievements in swimming, school and business…and based on whether other people liked me or not.

When I was kicking ass and receiving praise, I loved myself and thought I was awesome. But when I was struggling, I felt shitty about myself and quickly lost my confidence.

Can you relate to that?

This lead me to work ridiculously hard because I knew if I didn’t succeed, I would feel terrible. I wanted to avoid that at all costs. I HAD to succeed. My happiness literally depended on it.

This went on for years and years.

But on that fateful Friday, for the first time in my life, I started to consider the radical notion that I could love myself UNCONDITIONALLY.

That I could love myself no matter if I succeeded or came up short… and no matter if other people thought I was a champ or a chump.

I started to realize that just by being a human being, I was lovable.

I didn’t need to do anything. My very existence was a miracle.

And that was enough.

As Margo Anand wrote, “Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.

A few weeks later, my brother Danny Grewald lead me to an incredible process in our Men’s Group. I don’t even remember the experience (I’m pretty sure I had some sort of blackout moment).

But through this process, it all clicked for me.

Self-love is not something we have to learn or figure out. It’s our natural state.

Before all the conditioning, before all the heartache, before all the bullshit.

And getting back to that place doesn’t have to be hard. We just have to remember who we were as little kids.

Pure love. Pure energy. Pure self-acceptance.

When I realized that, I started laughing. For like 5 minutes straight. I just couldn’t stop laughing.

I was letting go of YEARS of pressure, psychosis and self-inflicted suffering.

And since then, things have been better than ever. I feel more relaxed, more playful, more present. I have more fun than I’ve ever had pursuing my dreams. And surprisingly enough… I’ve had more success than ever before.

If you could relate to any of this, I invite you to really look within and see what drives you.

Do you pursue your dreams and goals because you’re excited about the possibilities, because you want to serve others and honour your mission?

Or do you do it because you want to prove to yourself and others that you are worthy of love?

Please be honest with yourself. This is an extremely important question.

And the answer…it changes everything.

Much unconditional love my friend,

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  • Failure…what is failure anyway? Some of the most amazing advances in science and medicine are a sub-product of failure… which makes me wonder if failure really is a bad thing or just an opportunity for something else to happen.

  • Hey Phil,

    Loved this post, and related to it on so many levels (also read that book)! Remembering who I was when I was a kid always brings me back to a special state, but I forget that sometimes. Thanks for the reminder! I remember back when I was in school and a lot of my ambitions were driven by the desire to prove myself to my peers. Needless to say that didn’t work out so well and I remember it being a pretty painful time despite everything being fine on the outside. Here’s to staying away from that line of thinking and going after intrinsic goals :)

  • I could totally relate to this article Phil. Ginger and I had a chat about this the other day. I always feel like an achievement machine and I never feel like I’ve done enough.

    What were some practical ways that you did to get over this? I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it!

  • Just experienced a moment reading something so close to home that today I will begin to find what it means to love myself truly (not just say it and convince myself that I do)

    Your words were powerful and raw !
    Thank you for sharing

  • In various forms at various times and in various ways I’ve heard all this before, but today you reawakened this truth in my heart! So I obviously heard it but, I’d never really “heard” it after all. Wow! Oh, and thanks. :)

  • I can relate. When i was still working in the corporate world, i often had to prove myself to others; otherwise i would not be liked by my peers. Looking back, my actions were based on wanting to be accepted by others. I made sure i finished a project not because it genuinely made me happy but because i wanted to look good to them and i wanted my peers to want me to be part of their team. How sad. I was busy pleasing others at my own expense. I am learning to be comfortable being and accepting myself even when i fail. No more trying to be an achiever just to prove something to others.

    I hope you make it clear in your blog that you do not need to be “superhuman” to be considered successful and acceptable. Superhuman or not, we are all ok. :)

So, what do you think?