Each of us believes that the basis of our dreams, our desires and expectations are unique and different from anyone else. But are they really? Our dreams may differ, much as our desires and what we expect to achieve in our lives; however, there is a common denominator that lives in each of us, that sits behind why we often fall short of what we hope to accomplish.

It’s our own lack of self-love, as well as our inability to accept life as it is versus as we expect it to be. How we were loved or not loved as children, plays a major role in how we identify with ourselves in regard to self-love. In life, many of us walk it’s path with our own definition of and expectation for achieving certain levels of happiness and success.

Let’s explore these two scenarios together. As we do, we’ll begin to see how each have played a role in our lives, as to why and how we have given up on ourselves in the past.

I’d like to begin by asking you a question, and I’m going to ask you to be totally honest with yourself "do you like to do nice things for someone you don’t really care for?" Being human, the answer for many of us is...........no. So, think about that concept for a moment. If we don’t like doing something nice for someone we don’t really care for, why would we choose to do something nice for ourselves, if we don’t truly love ourselves?

Good question right! The reality of human behavior dictates that you can’t give to someone else, what you can’t give to yourself. Oh, you may say but Larry, I’m an empathetic and compassionate person; I’m a giver and I love to help people. For many of us, this would be a true and accurate statement. But in the act of giving, is your giving truly unconditional or are you giving with the hope for a specific expectation to be realized?

Now, apply that same question to yourself in regard to how sincere the act of giving is toward yourself. Why would you make a decision for yourself, which would allow for joy, success or happiness to enter into your life, if you don’t truly love yourself? The answer is you wouldn’t. Consciously we think we are but because we have not mastered the art of "being aware" we don’t realize that it’s our subconscious that is pulling the strings.

Our subconscious is plugged into our self-image, which for us is the "truth" about how we really see and feel about ourselves. What we see when we look in the mirror and how we envision ourselves in the world, has everything to do with who we are. Like an artist, our self-image paints our canvas of the world, in which we create our own reality, true or false.

Understanding this concept will help you to "cut yourself some slack" and allow you to forgive yourself for your past mistakes, the people you’ve hurt or disappointed. None of us escape making these mistakes in life and that’s all they are, mistakes. I like to believe that each of us does the best that we can in each moment of life. To be human, is not too be perfect, it’s too learn about who we are and how we can love and be loved. That is the true spiritual definition of life.

Learning to love yourself starts with forgiveness, something we all need to do. Once you forgive yourself, start by taking time each day to be thankful and grateful for the simply joys in your life. Commit each day to doing something nice for yourself and then for someone else. Giving to yourself is not a selfish act, it’s an acknowledgment that you care about and love who you are. When there’s no reason to smile and you’re smiling anyway, then you’ll know you’re in love.

Remember this quote, "the more you love yourself, the more you can love others, the more you love others, the more the world loves you in return."

We started this article with a quest to explore two scenarios, the second being what we can refer to as our life plans and expectations. So, when is the last time that your life worked out as you planned and expected it to? And if a segment of your life worked as you had hoped it would, did you feel the way you thought you’d feel when it did? Were you more happy, more secure, absolutely content with your decision? And if you were, did those feelings last forever or did they begin to fade away over time?

I don’t know many people whose life has turned out exactly as they planned and are completely content with the outcome. There are people whose lives follow the path that they planned because they box themselves into a very structured life style. But I would ask you, is that living, is that what we came here for, is that our purpose? Heaven forbid we step outside of the box, take a risk, do want we want to do with our lives versus what our parents want us to do.

Don’t get me wrong, planning is good, actually it’s essential, provided we do so being aware of the vast landscape of life and how little control we often have over the outcomes. But there lies the rub. By not venturing out, by not exploring and discovering life we protect ourselves from not finding out how little control we really do have. By walking the straight and narrow path that we’ve set for our life, we can be more assured of the outcome and results. We can confirm and reinforce that "we were right and therefore we are happy."

For instance, I’ve learned the reality of the fine line between life and death when I lost my younger brother at the age of thirty two to cancer and my wife who suddenly passed at the age of forty five to a rare illness. No one saw either event coming, no one planned for those horrific events to occur, they just appeared, a part of the grand canvas called life. Once you understand life and that we didn’t create the Universe, you then understand that we don’t get to call all the shots, if any. Only then do you allow yourself to step into a world of acceptance.

The reality is you do have a choice; a choice to embrace and accept life or run away from it. Imagine the possibilities that would exist in our lives if we chose to accept life and rather than run from it, run toward it. The reason why we run away from life is simply fear of the unknown. The fear of finding out who we really are or that what we’ve believed in all our lives is not true. Basically, we’re running from exploring the truth.

Once you begin to realize how big the world is and how vast our potential is for experiencing life, only then will you begin to live it. What if we loved, trusted and believed in ourselves enough to embrace life? What if we discovered the courage to take the journey that life has planned for us versus our own plan?

So, what can we do in life to not give up on ourselves? Well, we can start by beginning to understand the reason for life and why we are here. We’re not here to get rich, be ultra successful or attain a certain hierarchy in society; we’re here to discover who we are and what is our life’s purpose while we are here. We’re here to discover who we we’re meant to be and do what we we’re meant to do. We’re here to love and be loved unconditionally.

When you discover the courage to step into the unknown and explore the potential that life can be, the unlimited possibilities that it has to offer, you will begin to walk a path of joy. When you discontinue doubting yourself, you will stop struggling with life.

Release your grip on trying to control what you can’t and instead focus your energy on living the life you were meant to live. Trust, have faith and believe in who your soul says you are. Your life will change and the world will thank you.



Author's Bio: 

Larry Agresto is a Life & Business Coach and the founder of Peak Performance Coaching. He is also a writer, author and speaker. His work and writings focus on “breakthrough changes” in life and business. His Coaching is about empowering people to realize their true potential, enabling them to live a life of success and happiness.

In your work with Larry, you’ll learn to leave behind the self-limiting beliefs of your past experiences that are holding you back. In doing so, you will begin to experience a world of unlimited possibilities in your life and business.

He has written several e-books; “The Principles of Success, The Journey, What’s Stopping You, The Bulls Eye Business Plan and The 21 Day Breakthrough.” His latest e-book is entitled “The Power of Magical Thinking.”

Larry spent 25 years in Corporate America, the last 13 in senior management. He transitioned into a Life & Business Coach after he lost his wife and suddenly became a single parent in May of 1995. He has a BA from Bentley College in Business/Government and an AA in Psychology/Education.

Think Magic

Larry Agresto
Life & Business Coach
Peak Performance Coaching
(978) 649-1020