The Inner Work Required to #liveyourbestlife

We all have struggles. Maybe not all the time, but on occasion, struggles creep into all of our lives. I believe that having self-love helps support you during your struggles. To love yourself, you’ve got to dig deep and do the work.

What does “do the work” mean? When I first started my self-love journey, I realized that my thoughts were either going to be the success of me or the failure of me. I first had to learn to actually listen to what my thoughts and inner dialogue were then place them as either “positive” or “negative” with the intention being to cut out the negative thoughts. Boy, oh boy, was I surprised by just how many negative thoughts were running through my mind. I realized that if I was ever going to #livemybestlife, I needed to transform the negative thoughts into positive ones, or at the very least, neutralize them.

Dr. Lou Whitaker writes that “the prefrontal cortex of our brains decides the amount of attention to pay to something based on its importance and how you feel about it. The more you focus on negativity, the more synapses and neurons your brain will create—supporting your negative thought process. Negative thoughts slow down the brain’s ability to function and it actually impedes cognition.”

With it being scientifically proven that negative thoughts slow down your brain, how do we stop entertaining our brains with negative thoughts? During my self-love journey, I learned that if you can’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do. When you learn to control and maneuver your thoughts, you learn how to control and maneuver your life. With that truth bomb being dropped, we’ve got to dig deeper into our thoughts—more specifically—how our thoughts are creating our reality. Just like everything else in life, if you want something, you have to work for it—and the inner work—that is where the real work is done. This is where the seed of self-love spreads its roots. This is the where we cross over from self-development to soul-development.

To implement having more positive thoughts than the negative ones, I began to work on my thoughts coming into alignment with a positive intention. Anytime I noticed that I was having a negative thought, I would immediately change it. To change my thought, I would counteract it by saying a positive affirmation aloud (the trick to overcoming a negative thought is to counteract it with a positive affirmation). Then, do a physical action that affirms the affirmation, showing the Universe that you have faith and trust in the bigger plan, and—most importantly—that you believe in yourself!

For me, the physical action was to light a candle while reciting the positive affirmation. Think of how candles are used in many major religions for prayers; lighting a candle can be a very sacred moment. I’m a little over a decade into my self-love journey and while most days are filled with love and positivity, there are still moments I catch myself having a negative thought. But you know what? It’s totally okay. We’re human and going to mess it up every now and then. When I have these negative thoughts, I mindfully remind myself that this is just a thought. Nothing more, nothing less. I allow myself a “this too shall pass” moment and move forward with positive intentions.

The inner work required to live your best life is called work for a reason. It can be hard at times, yet also very fulfilling at times. Overcoming your negative thoughts is the only way to live a positive life.        

by Heather Reinhardt

As the Self-Love Aficionado, Heather Reinhardt really loves herself. And, she wants you to really love yourself, too. Heather’s lifestyle brand and product line, Amour De Soi™, includes Affirmation Candles, Self-Love Jewelry, and her debut book, Go Love Yourself.

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