Editor’s note: This is a guest post by best selling author, Lisa McCourt. Lisa is here on Sources of Insight to share with you insightful and actionable steps to be comfortable in your own skin.
If you don’t know Lisa, you’re in for a treat. Lisa specializes on the topic of self-love and her books on unconditional love have sold more than five and a half million copies. Lisa’s latest book, Juicy Joy — Seven Simple Steps to Your Glorious Gutsy Self is all about leading a life that is rich, real, and powerfully satisfying, while embracing your biggest, gutsiest, and most authentic self. It’s you, at YOUR best.
I asked Lisa to write a guest post to share her best lessons learned on how to be comfortable in your own skin because of her personal experience. I’m a fan of people sharing what they have learned the hard way or what they have had to work at. It’s always deeper and more meaningful. Most of all, it’s keeping it real.
Whether or not you are already comfortable in your own skin, I think you’ll really enjoy this post. I’m impressed with Lisa’s ability to distill and share such pragmatic wisdom on the fine art of loving yourself, flaws and all. This is more than a beautiful piece of prose. It’s life wisdom that you can use to live a little better every day.
Without further ado, here’s Lisa with her top ten lessons learned on how to be comfortable in your own skin …
Imagine being blissfully comfortable in your own skin, knowing with the utmost clarity exactly who you are and feeling eager to lovingly, proudly share that authentic you with the world. Imagine being perpetually sustained by an inner source of joy—not the smiley, fluffy kind of happiness we sometimes associate with the word “joy,” but the rich, meaty, substantial flavor of joy that comes with extraordinary self-knowledge and self-appreciation. That’s the vantage point I want for you. From that vantage point, in the words of Franz Kafka, “the world will offer itself freely to you. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
In uber-consolidated nutshell fashion, here are the top 10 ways to be comfortable in your own skin:
1. Get real.
Do the work to get clear about who you are—not just who you routinely consider yourself to be, the person you habitually show the world—but who you are in the deepest recesses of your authentic heart and soul.
The word “authenticity” is misunderstood sometimes. People think of it as a virtue, like honesty . . . like you owe the world your authenticity and you should feel bad if you’re not authentic. That’s not the case. I’m not suggesting you should become more authentic because it will make you a better person—you already are a phenomenal person. I’m telling you that becoming more authentic is your golden ticket—to joy, to success, to vibrant health and energy, to easily manifesting the life of your dreams. It’s every bit that transformative. You’re not doing this to better serve the world; you’re doing it to better serve you. But—happy bonus!—it happens to be the best way to serve your loved ones and the world as well.
2. Adore YOU.
If you’ve been on a personal development path for a while, I’m probably not the first to suggest that you need to love yourself. But I’m surprised to discover how often my students don’t really seem to know why I’m so insistent on that point. Are you tired of hearing about how you need to love yourself more? Does the thought of it feel kind of like of a burden—one more thing to check off your To-Do list? Does the whole concept feel a bit worn-out and cliché? Maybe you just need to understand what’s in it for you.
Self-love is the fastest route to literally anything you want right now. Money, love, health, romance . . . it all hinges on your level of self-love. The circumstances of your life are always providing you a crystal-clear, precisely accurate measure of how much you love yourself and what you believe you deserve. All you can ever create is what you believe you’re worthy of experiencing. It’s an immutable energetic law. That’s why elevating self-love is the not-so-secret path to elevating everything else.
3. Trust your wants.
Stop trying to justify and rationalize your most heartfelt desires. Your desires are the clearest indicator of who you are. Denying them is denying you. No one needs to understand why you want what you want. You don’t even need to understand it yourself. Just trust it, and trust yourself to manifest it. The reason you don’t already have everything you want is crazy-simple. You don’t love yourself enough yet to deeply believe that you deserve everything you want. My students argue that sometimes, but they always discover it’s true. You might even believe, on a conscious level, that you do deserve a certain thing, but I promise you that if you were fully, wholly believing you deserved it—even in the cobwebby corners of your unconscious belief system—it would already be in your life.
4. Stop trying to vanquish the “bad stuff.”
And stop whining about it, too. Celebrate our unwanted circumstances because there’s so much valuable information for us in them. Get clear on why your unwanted circumstances are here and why you created them. Then use them as a springboard. Once you can start genuinely thanking “the bad stuff”, it’s pretty easy to move past it.
5. Take responsibility.
Own every last drop of everything you’ve ever created. We’re so conditioned to blame our unwanted circumstances on other people, or on the “system” or the world . . . What if it’s really all within your control? Taking full responsibility for the life you’ve created for yourself and the life you’re in the process of creating is hugely empowering. But it requires first getting uber-honest to a degree that’s terrifying for most people. Don’t be “most people.” Understanding that you alone are holding the reins on your life is the first critical step toward learning how to operate them.
6. Stop tolerating.
Tolerating is slow emotional suicide. It sucks the life out of you, drains your energy, numbs you, depletes you, and keeps you immobilized. There’s no reason for you to ever tolerate anything. We sometimes confuse tolerating with accepting—we all know it’s good to accept the things we can’t change, right? If we make very clear distinctions between what can be changed and what can’t, then it’s astounding the kinds of life-altering adjustments people are able to easily, joyfully make when they understand the underlying reasons they’ve been tolerating things.
7. Get out of the spin cycle.
Where in your life are you on autopilot, creating the same situation for yourself (in essence) over and over again? Maybe you keep dating the same romantic partner. Maybe the current model is better looking, or more successful, or slightly more open than the one before, but in essence you’re with a lover who triggers your tried-and-true insecurities, defense mechanisms, and familiar unhealthy spirals. Or maybe you find yourself in the same employment dynamic over and over again—even if you change careers completely. Maybe you’ve attracted a series of supervisors, or a series of friends, who stir up the not-good-enough feelings a parent invoked for you as a child. Escape the spin cycle by learning how to look closely at how these patterns develop and how to benefit from the opportunities they offer.
8. Permanently shift your beliefs.
Focus on the deliberate rewiring of your belief system because your beliefs are determining everything you experience as your reality. That’s not New-Age speak anymore; it’s common knowledge. It’s why researchers always have to use placebo control groups whenever they test any drug. If they don’t have a group taking a sugar pill, their findings won’t be considered valid by the agencies that govern pharmaceuticals. In pain-control experiments, when a new pain pill is tested, fully half of the sufferers who are given a placebo will report having less pain. The mind is that powerful and the scientific community knows it. Changing your mind will change your life.
Many of your limiting beliefs are not unique to you; our culture suffers from a long-standing epidemic of crappy shared beliefs. Most of us, at some level, harbor the same fears, the same tragic self-doubts, and the same profound longings to be liberated from our self-made prisons. In our outer circumstances, we may vary greatly, but at deeper levels, this is seldom the case. If you aren’t living the precisely blissful, richly textured life you crave, take the steps to discover which of your beliefs are keeping you from it and what you can do about that.
9. Dream loudly.
Stop limiting yourself according to what seems practical. Practical goals do not inspire enough passion to propel you toward their certain fruition. As John F. Kennedy wisely surmised, “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.” Be those men (and women.).
10. Live passionately.
Once you’ve done the self-examination work to uncover your most delicious desires, don’t pussyfoot toward them. Hurl yourself recklessly in their direction! Trust that the Universe wildly adores you and is always orchestrating on your behalf. It’s been waiting for you to get pumped and grow a pair so that it could swoop in with divine assistance that will leave you breathless.
The author Natalie Goldberg has a cake analogy I love. When you bake a cake, you have ingredients, right? You have eggs, butter, milk, sugar, flour. The ingredients are the different parts of your life. You mix them all together in a bowl but this doesn’t make a cake. It makes goop. To turn it into a cake, you have to add the energy of intense heat. To turn your life into a life worth living, you have to add the heat and energy of your whole heart and soul. Otherwise it’s just goop.
Being comfortable in your skin and living with authenticity is knowing precisely who you are and passionately adoring who you are—with all the countless accoutrements and benefits that come along with that practice. You are spectacular. Not the elaborate representation of You that you routinely show the world, but the raw, uncensored, vulnerable You underneath all of that. Find that You and learn how to deeply love and honor that You. That’s feeling blissfully comfortable in your own skin, and it’s the secret to everything you’re longing for.
About the Author: Unconditional love expert Lisa McCourt is a dynamic speaker, seminar leader and author whose 34 books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide. Her new book, Juicy Joy – 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self, teaches people to embrace “radical authenticity” to fully experience unbridled joy in life. Lisa lives in South Florida with her two children. For a free Juicy Joy audio program, visit www.LisaMcCourt.com.