How to Stop Binge Eating

Emotional or binge eating can be that pattern for so many people. Did you know that more than a quarter of North Americans suffer through this pattern on a daily basis? I say this so you know you are not alone. You are not the only one going through this cycle and there is a way to get off the ride and get on flat ground.

Relationship with Food

We are wired, from such a young age, to have a love affair with food. Food is so often used to show love, to be provided as a reward or treat. It is a part of our daily lives. And all of us, in some form, have a relationship with food.  If that relationship becomes abusive, it can be a daily struggle and can affect you mentally, physically or emotionally. This may be a new way to consider eating, as a relationship, but it is exactly that. Just like any other relationship it can be positive, negative, healthy or unhealthy.And just like any other relationship how we interact in this particular one has the ability to affect many other areas of our lives.

Have you thought about all of the areas that are affected by your current relationship with food. When your relationship is positive with food how do you respond? Is it different if you feel that the relationship with food isn’t going so well? How do you interact with other people or situations when you feel that it isn’t going so well?

Take time to consider all of these questions. Do you like your own answers?

At the end of the day the only thing that matters is what you think about yourself. Are you proud of yourself, are you being kind and loving to yourself first? Often when we take time to think about how we treat ourselves we are not being very kind or loving. In order to achieve the level of success, that I know you are looking to achieve to have that extraordinary life, treating yourself with love, respect and kindness first is essential. The first place to start is with how we take care of ourselves. Are you feeding your body in a way you would feed the person you love more than anyone else in the world?

Mindset Matters

When we think about our health we often think of what we are eating and how we are moving our bodies. What’s becoming even more important is the way we think about what we are eating and how we feel when moving our bodies.

Mindfulness relates to the way we consume our food. And the way we think about our food has a role in how we digest the food and the nutrients our body is able to intake. There is a significant difference between enjoying your food choices and feeling good about them compared to feeling terrible about your food choices and yourself for consuming them. For example, imagine if  you looked at certain types of food and felt guilty.This guilt may lead you to eat it as fast as possible and feel terrible for having eaten it which may make you eat more. This compared to eating the same food, taking time to enjoy it, putting down your fork between bites, and enjoying every aspect of the food.  There is a significant difference in how our body processes this food even though the food hasn’t changed the way we think about it changes everything. Our brain has a significant effect on our digestive system. It is all related. For instance when we eat in a state of stress or fear most people will report symptoms such as heartburn, cramping, gas, or digestive pains. During stress, the body automatically shifts into a flight or fight response. This is our body protecting us, and specifically our central nervous system. Its funny as the brain can’t decipher between real or imagined stress. We can create stress chemistry just by our thoughts. The consequences of stressful thinking are it deregulates our appetite causing us to eat more and increases cortisol and insulin which signal weight gain and fat storage. It causes digestive upset and leads to nutrient extraction which means even when we are eating something healthy our thoughts may be leading our body to not fully absorb the healthy nutrients.

Consider how you feel after you eat more than you intended, or when you eat without conscious awareness. Do you ever feel shame, regret, fear, disappointment, or frustration? How do you respond when you feel that way? Do you make different decisions than you would if you felt really great about yourself? Do you hold back in certain areas of your life? Are you kind and loving to yourself afterwards? Are you kind and loving to those around you?

Do you notice that emotional eating is a way for you to deal with life, the good, the bad, and the ugly? Do you notice you eat when you are trying to avoid feeling, thinking or just a way to procrastinate? Have you noticed that it is affecting your life in a way that no longer makes you feel good? Take time to write down your thoughts, think about each of the questions and respond honestly with yourself. Come back to them in a couple of days and evaluate whether you are being completely authentic with yourself.

Creating a Healthy Relationship

If you don’t like your relationship with food it’s time to make some changes. The first place to start is by being aware of your current patterns. It is incredibly difficult to change something that you are not aware of in the first place.  Do notice when you tend to emotionally eat? Is it more frequently during the weekend? Is it Wednesdays at 5pm? We are all different and yet we are all very similar. It’s helpful to notice when you typically overconsume. Do you walk in the door and head to the fridge, do you sit on the couch and feel the need to eat?. Once you notice when you tend to want to have a little more than normal, notice if it is a specific type of food you want to consume. Does food provide you with an emotional blanket in any form. Do you have a sense of love, comfort, joy, security or even nostalgia when you consume it? This is where a journal or a tracking system is helpful, not so that you can judge yourself but more so you can see what your tendencies are. Once you start to have a concept around your current choices start to consider what you would like your relationship with food to look like. Maybe you would like a loving, balanced relationship where you don’t think about it all the time. Where food doesn’t consume your thoughts. Where when you are with it you are happy and fulfilled.  Think about how you would like your relationship with food to exist. Write it all out so you can give yourself more clarity on what you would like to move towards. Where are your current gaps?

Internal or External event

Once you have tracked your patterns you can notice start to notice what lead up to your response to eating. Often emotional eating can be brought on by an internal or external trigger. An internal trigger may be a feeling of joy, sadness, and loss, it may be your way of allowing yourself to feel loved. Often our internal triggers can be set off by our external triggers. For example, imagine you had a hard day at work, you were dismissed, or treating poorly, disregarded or your idea wasn’t approved. You may internalize your emotions and instead of allowing yourself to process the events of the day you choose to eat. Or another example, you have a lot of work to do, or cleaning or you are avoiding dealing with something in your life so instead of thinking about it you eat. Sound familiar? Once you notice what you were triggered by or what you are trying to avoid take time to deal with that particular thing. You may need to process the day, write it down in your journal, you may need to talk to someone about it, you may need to go for a walk or do some type of exercise. Or you may just want to sit and do nothing for a bit and let go of whatever you may have the urge to suppress or stuff.  It is okay to sit down and do nothing, or watch tv and just enjoy it. Or you may need to create a strategy to ensure you get everything done that you need to so you don’t feel guilty for not doing it which may lead to eating which makes you feel worse.

How are you getting your needs met

We all have 6 human needs which we are trying to get met, all of the time. The first four are physical needs which we seek out in various forms: love, certainty, significance, uncertainty. How do you get those needs met? We all get these needs met in both positive and negative or destructive ways. How do you get your need for love met? How about the other ones? Do any of these needs get met by eating? Do you get love by eating? Initially, you may think ‘uh of course not, that would be ridiculous” but think about it. I did. I sought solace in food, it was my comfort when I was younger. If life was difficult food was there, I would hunker down with a delicious cup of hot chocolate with extra chocolate chips, because have you ever tasted them in hot chocolate? I would sit and watch Wheel of Fortune and the world would be all right. We are not judging remember! How about certainty, did you ever get your need for certainty met with food? What about uncertainty or variety as another way to consider it? Significance? Once you realize how you are getting your needs met it’s important to consider whether you are achieving this through positive or negative ways. If your behavior is positive such as you get your need for certainty met through daily exercise that may be a behavior you are happy to keep. If you are getting certainty met by overeating you may want to consider alternative ways to get this need met. How else could you have your need for certainty met? How about love, significance, or uncertainty. Start to make a list of all the ways these needs could be met in healthy ways. Pick one need that seems easy for you to work on and start there, build a new habit and when you are ready, work on the next.

We all have patterns that we repeat on a daily basis, some of our behaviors are positive and some are negative or destructive. Only you can decide whether you want to continue with the patterns or whether they served you at one point in your life but they are no longer of value to you. When you are ready get clear on what you want to change and take action. You got this, you are not alone, we are always here for you!

What is Mental Toughness?

It’s the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and American gymnast Kerri Strug takes one of her final vaults in an attempt to win gold for her home country. She runs and she leaps, while a nervous crowd watches in silence. They’re holding back cheers but are on the verge of unleashing as soon as she lands jump.

She runs. She jumps. She flies into the air, off the hurdle and thwack! She lands in a seated position, not gracefully on her feet as was expected, and hoped for.

Strug injures her ankle.

This did not go the way everyone wanted it to go. That includes Strug, who in one moment see years of dreams and late nights training dashed.

The crowd thinks it’s over. Strug knows it’s not. Moments after the injury, she vaults again on a broken ankle. It’s a mind blowing spectacle.

And she wins……………..GOLD!

Krug is the definition of “mental toughness“. It’s a term used commonly by sport psychologists and more recently in the context of business.

In the world of sport it’s defined as a “developed psychological edge that helps athletes deal with the demands, pressures and distractions of their sport”. Basically, mental toughness really is the prerequisite if you want to be one of the few that make it to the National or International level.

In the context of business, it’s much the same. You want to win in business? You want to climb the ranks in your company or field? Then, becoming someone who owns this quality we call “mental toughness” is critical. No wait, it’s key.

But what does “developed psychological edge” really mean? And how do you get it.

What does the term “mental toughness” really mean?

Mental toughness is trained like any other skill. It’s a practice of learning how to ‘one up’ the biological barriers and mechanisms – like fear and the negative habits that don’t serve you. What most people don’t consider is that your body reacts to your environment faster than your conscious mind can catch up. This is why we don’t always behave the way we’d like to (ever laid on the couch and watched tv when you knew you should have been working out at the gym?)

When you learn mental toughness skills, you train your brain to take back control. This gives you the ability to move past any emotions barrier that stop you.

So, in the context of business…

If you’ve ever had a moment where you were afraid to speak in front of a large group or to walk into a meeting or make a cold call, and instead of doing what you wanted in that moment you avoided the situation altogether or flubbed up, that’s where mental toughness skills come into play. When you learn how to think objectively – separating your emotions from your reality – and to communicate with influence, you become a master of your environments at all times.

Leaders and teams that train in mental toughness skills work together with more ease, efficiency, innovation, and joy, and they increase their aptitude for success is all areas. Here’s why…

6 Pillars of Mental Toughness Training – What mental toughness training gets you…


Stay relaxed and non-defensive and maintain humor even in the face of upset or challenge. If you fail in your core objective look for new ways to achieve the results, not just the tried and true. Be creative and imaginative. Look at problems from a new perspective. Innovate. Sometimes impending failure demands new thinking to a difficult problem.


At all times remain engaged when a challenge arises. Do not lose focus and be ready to adapt. Watch for, and react to, challenges and threats. Seek to define new trends and react accordingly. Prepare for all possible scenarios and have a backup plan; And have a backup plan for your backup plan.When the scenario changes suddenly, be willing to innovate in the moment. Stay nimble, aware and focused so that nothing throws you off your game.


All champions, especially in business, demonstrate the ability to counteract any force thrown at them. Exert and resist with equal or greater force when under pressure. Use that power to keep going even when the odds seem against you. Develop an ability and endurance to keep going even when it looks like you may lose. Sometimes the victory is not apparent, but can be had in the last moments of a deal, the fiscal quarter, or the last moments of a business challenge. Bringing all your force and effort can snatch a last minute victory from the jaws of defeat.


Do the right thing for your team and the integrity of the company. Suppress the impulse to take shortcuts.Do not undermine others in an unsportsmanlike manner, simply to come out on top.Play by the rules as the rules are written, knowing you won through perseverance and effort and creativity and strength, and not because of some technicality. This will make your victories all that much sweeter.


Develop a hardiness so you can endure the bad times, difficult matches and ugly moments. Stay optimistic when dealing with adversity and be ready to adapt when the environment changes for the better or the worse. Resolve to embrace challenges even if they are grueling. Figure how to do more with less. Rally when in a deficit position. Jump on opportunities. Love the game even when the deal, the day, or the fiscal quarter, doesn’t seem to love you. These six markers of mental toughness are important to remember in business, entrepreneurialism and/or your work. They are important skills for all business champions to possess, regardless of industry, role, or experience. They serve interns equally as they do the C-suite. And apply to the smallest business owner to the largest corporate performer.


Keep your game face on and play hard. This is a rollover from performance psychology in sports, but it applies to business equally. Don’t let your competitors know you are suffering or struggling. Take the attacks and offensives with grace, and defend and counter attack with a fierce determination. Be humble and gracious when you lose a battle. Be humble and gracious when you win. Support your colleagues, your reports, and your superiors, and fill in as needed, especially when they stumble or fall. It is difficult to win when teams are fighting among themselves. Be cohesive and indivisible.

Want to know more about mental toughness training and what it can do for your company? Email me and I’ll send you some free training materials so you can experience mental toughness firsthand and see how applying these skills make a massive difference. Email is [email protected]

More info at:


How to make friends as an adult

Remember when you were a kid and you could walk up to someone and ask if they wanted to play and that’s it. From that point on, you were friends for life. Have you ever tried that as an adult? How to make friends as an adult often involves more strategy. There are a few more things to consider besides whether or not your potential friend likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And sometimes, making friends as an adult is tough.

Add to this the transitions we go through as we age. We go from being singled to married, then we might have children, and perhaps divorce. Different jobs. Different houses. Different countries for some. In each one of those situations the group of friends you have around you may or may not be able to relate. And sometimes you might find yourself struggling, wishing you had another adult like you around to connect with. If you’ve been challenges with how to make friends as an adult this article contains tangible tips you can take immediately to increase your social circle.

Why having great friends is critical

Having a core group of friends around you is essential to your survival and your fulfillment levels in life. It’s been scientifically proven (from multiple studies) that having positive friendships is linked to more joy and, it extends your longevity.

It’s important to consider the types of people you bring into your life. You need people who understand you, who you have fun with, who remind you of what is great about life or help you let go of what is not. You also need friends who challenge you, who will help you grow. It’s critical to have friends that help you consider a different way of thinking about the circumstances you find yourself in.

We all need different people at different times and we need to be those friends for other people too. This might be the perfect moment for you to take stock of the friendships you have in your life? Do you have people around that you have fun with or that make you think or that challenge you?

How to make friends as an adult – The process of friend hunting

Have you considered what is most important in a social circle at this moment in your life? It may seem an odd thing to think about but it’s important to consider. Proximity equals power and who you spend your time will either have you excel, feel fulfilled and get closer to achieving your dreams or stagnate.

Making friends as an adult can be a little bit like looking for a new job. I say this not just because it can be time consuming and we may have to push ourselves out of our comfort zones but also because most of us no longer want just a job. We want to work for an organization that values us, treats us well, has a positive environment, shares similar interests and core values. You might feel the same for the friends that you surround yourself with.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. We are greatly influenced by people around us. Our friends have the ability to affect our thinking, our self esteem, our decisions. They can either be positive, supportive influences who help us to be more successful in our life. Or, they can be a negative influence that holds us back from seeking or achieving our true potential.

If you are reading this you’re likely looking to surround yourself with extraordinary people. You’re looking for people who will help you be more, do more and achieve more in your life. 

So just as if you were searching for your dream job, take a moment now to consider: What’s most important to you right now? Are you looking to have more fun in life? Are you looking for others who are business minded? Do you want friends who are more active? How much time are you willing to invest? Do you want an occasional friend? Maybe they don’t need to live in the same country or city as you.

Take the time to think through the type of friends you are looking for. Write it down the qualities and criteria. This will help give you clarity.

Strategize and prep

When you look for a job, naturally you’ll narrow down the industry and the type of company you want to work for as you begin applying and preparing for interviews. You’ll want to do the same with the people you meet. Consider where you should go to meet the types of people you want to be friends with. Then go there and connect with people. It’s okay to secretly “prospect” in your mind. It’s kind of like the interview process during the job hunt.

If you are a curious person, there is nothing better than an entire hour of time dedicated to asking as many questions as you want. If you hate this phase then you need to prepare for it. Do your research and have a game plan so you can make the best possible first impressions with people when you’re out socially.

This may be completely out of your comfort zone but the more often you try to put yourself out there the more competent you will become. The more comfortable and competent you are doing it the more confident you will be in continuing to do it. The first time is always the hardest.

If this is a major struggle for you, picture what your life will be like if you don’t bother trying. Will you feel better or worse about yourself? Amplify your current situation into the future. What does it look like? Will you be lonely if you don’t make a change? Step up, push yourself, and remind yourself of what life will look like without interesting relationships when you feel uncomfortable.

First round, second round…maybe more?

When you know the type of friend you want to find, it’s time to get into action. Let’s use an example of wanting to surround yourself with friends who are more physically fit.

You may choose to look up “meetup groups” in your area, searching specifically on the activity you enjoy most. This is an easy way to find a large group of people doing something you like. You may choose to join a sports team, or maybe you want to volunteer with a big event in your community. Maybe you have a neighbor who is fit that you can connect with? Search out the group, event or situation. It should be something that you are comfortable with and committed to attending.

What tends to be the most challenging part of making new friends is the initial connect. When you arrive at the event or find yourself in a new social situation, remind yourself of your intentions.  Make an effort to meet each person, be genuinely interested in his or her current pursuits, come prepared with general questions in case you can’t think of anything to say. Be curious and open to each person. You may meet one or two people that you really connect with. See if they are open to hanging out again whether it is another similar event or something different.

Just like an interview when you meet them the second and 3rd time they may not be as good a fit as they seemed the first time. It’s important to give the relationship some time and energy.Just like interviews the first couple times may not work out.

Recently, I moved to a new city I went to skiing meet ups, wine nights, running events, I volunteered, it took me quite a while to find genuine friends I really enjoyed being around. Persistence and patience with the process is important. Keep putting yourself out there you might be surprised where and when you meet a great friend along the way.

Proximity is power – Taking it to the next level

Now if you are like Kay and I, you don’t want any old friend you want a friend who is going to elevate your game. Both of us were eager to meet a tribe of people who were similar to us in our interests to pursue our dreams. Which meant in order to meet people who were like us we had to put ourselves in a position where we ourselves were leveling up.

We put ourselves out there, taking as many courses as we could, programs, events. You name it, both of us have been there!  So initiative and find events, online courses, webinars anything that is interesting to you. Go to events, network, connect with people. Get on to facebook pages and see whose thought process really aligns with your own. Follow up with people when you say you will, show up as your true and authentic self. When you are completely genuine in your approach, you reach out with kindness and sincerity you will meet people who are also the same.

Making new friends can take time, persistence and patience. Finding the right group of people to surround yourself with is well worth the time invested.

I hate my life – Here’s what to do when you’ve been thinking this way

Have you been thinking “I hate my life” right now? Take a moment to first breathe and know that you’re not alone. 100% of people will have this thought at least once in their life. That doesn’t mean that feeling this way doesn’t suck. This is especially true when that thought seems to stick around for a long time. You’re in the right place. If you’ve been thinking “I hate my life”, here’s how to free yourself when you feel this way…


The first question to ask yourself is: Do you hate all aspects of your life? Or, is it just one aspect or a few? It’s important you first pinpoint what you hate. Do you hate your body? Do you hate your job? Or, do you hate the environment where you live? Is there anything you do love and want to salvage and keep? Or, do you feel like your life needs a complete overhaul?

If you’re having I hate my life thoughts the first thing to do is GET SPECIFIC on what exactly it is about your life that you hate. Noticing that you hate your life, and specifically what exactly you hate about it, is the first step to making serious, lasting changes. It can feel terrible to notice that you hate one or more aspects of your life. Still, the good news is that this is the first step to turning things around for the better. All change starts with the realization that change needs to happen. When you have “I hate my life” thoughts, it’s a sign you need to listen to you and make some serious changes. The sooner you make changes the sooner you’ll feel better. This doesn’t mean doing anything drastic. Sometimes taking very simple actions can improve the quality of your life almost immediately.

Get specific. This is critical because it’s easy to let the hatred of one area of your life color all areas. For instance, if you hate your body, the negative thoughts around your body might be coloring how you experience your relationships. It’s important to separate your life into components. Get clear on what you love and what you hate before you do anything else.



After you pinpoint the area or areas you hate about your life ask yourself WHY. Why do you hate this area or areas?

Then, reflect on what you do want. Get specific on that too. Because once you have an idea about what you do want then you can ask yourself the most important question: What’s preventing me from having what I want? The reasons you come up with are really what’s stopping you. Those are the things to go to work on.  You can either go to work on solving your reasons or work on changing your mindset around that reason so the reason loses it’s value.Video Player

For instance, if you hate your body and the reason you don’t have what you want is that you hate exercise, then you know you need to find a way to enjoy exercise. Or, you need to work on shifting your beliefs around exercise. If your challenge is that your business isn’t successful, and what’s in the way is a lack of time, then you need to go to work on new ways to manage your time. Or, you need to optimize your businesses processes in a new way.

Either way, whenever you’re thinking “I hate my life” there are only two variables in the way of you being able to say “I love my life”: 1) You’re missing a piece of KNOWLEDGE and you don’t know what to do or, 2) You haven’t taken the right ACTION. So ask yourself, what’s missing? Do you not know what to do? Or do you need to come up with a new strategy (new actions) to get you what you want?


The simplest way to start to improve your life and gain momentum is to do something new. Take a new action. Try a new technique, a new approach. Go learn something new about the area you’re struggling with. This will help you to start thinking differently and seeing things differently. If you hate your body and you know you need to eat better or exercise more, a place to start might be to explore new forms of fitness or different foods. Take at least one simple and new action. This will help you start to gain traction in the area or areas of life that you hate right now.

everyday happiness solved

Here’s the other challenge most people are met with…you think you need to feel like doing something to do it. This is a big misconception and it stops you from getting what you want. You don’t need to feel like taking an action that’s good for you to take that action. Think about it, have you ever been woken up by your alarm clock and not wanted to get out of bed but you put your feet on the floor and stood up anyway?  You don’t need to feel like taking action to take the action. This is a concept to commit to memory. Sometimes an action is good for you and your life but doesn’t necessarily feel that way. You don’t need to be motivated to take action, you can take action regardless.


Most people have been conditioned to use means of external gratification to solve problems. This can be a problem as it can cause you more long term pain than pleasure. For instance, you’re unsatisfied with your relationship but instead of dealing with your feelings or talking it out you turn to food. Or to destress after a day at a job you don’t love, you tune out of life by throwing yourself into tv and drinking half a bottle of wine. Sometimes you need to eat that piece of cake or drink some wine or watch a show but sometimes you start to use external forces as crutches. All things are good in moderation but they can also develop into bad habits.  For instance, if you turn to food when you’re stressed you might incur long term health issues.

If you feel yourself getting out of balance and looking outward for external fixes to your life challenges it’s a clue you need to start taking some new actions. It’s a clue you are feeling unsatisfied. You need to take a new action and you also may need to develop some new and more positive habits to replace the ones that aren’t good for you. What habits are not serving you in the long-term? How could you replace them with better habits?


What makes you feel happy now is the future you’re heading into. Think about it. If you’re heading on a trip to Jamaica for two weeks and you’re leaving tomorrow, today you’ll feel pretty excited. If you’re looking ahead to your future and seeing more of what you hate now, you will feel terrible about your life. You’ll gain immediate power when you decide what you want to achieve in the near future. Then, take at least one simple action to move towards that future.


If you are saying to yourself “I hate my life” or “I love my life” the question is…who is the “I” in that statement? It’s you. You are the only person that can ultimately decide what you want in life and what you are willing to do to get it. It’s up to you. No one can live your life for you. The power to have what you want rests on your shoulders. And it’s 100% possible. You can have your dream life. You can turn the tables from hating your life to loving it quickly but you have to decide you want to and commit to it. Commit to your happiness. You can do that by following the guidance in this article. Here’s a recap:

  1. Pinpoint the area or areas you’re dissatisfied with and GET SPECIFIC on what it is you hate
  2. Consider what you DO WANT and WHY you want it
  3. Ask yourself what’s preventing you from getting it
  4. Learn or take new actions to forward what you do want. Start with one simple action. Incremental progress is key

So, you got this. Your dream life is not as far as it may seem. It’s time to start loving your life. Soon your “I hate my life” thoughts will be a distant memory.


How to Love Yourself

I used to wonder if it would ever be possible for me to love myself. In my early twenties I saw this as a place I would never be able to get to. Now, I chuckle as I am reminded of that time. This idea, this struggle of not being able to love myself, I remember it vividly though it’s inconceivable to me now. I’ve done a ton of work on my relationship with myself. A decades worth. It’s ongoing, in fact. And in this post I’ll share some nuggets I’ve learned for anyone who is struggling with how to love yourself.

How to love yourself

How to love yourself 

Loving yourself is not some place to get to, you can flip that switch today. At this very moment. That might tick you off and some of you reading this might want to kick me for saying this (but I’ll tell you how below): Loving yourself is a decision.

It’s a decision you alone can make. It’s a decision you don’t just make once but constantly. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.

This is really hard idea to understand, especially when you’re struggling with how to love yourself. So how do you flip the switch?

The first step to a better relationship with you…

Well, first you have to accept the struggle you’re in. Stop asking yourself “why can’t I love myself?” and stop getting caught up in the WHY of it all. Just accept that at this moment, right now, you don’t love yourself.

It’s easy for you to get caught up in trying to figure out why you don’t love yourself and how to get there. But this thinking will only lead you in circles and keep you stuck. So first stop asking why. It’s time to start asking yourself new questions. And commit this to memory: The quality of the questions you ask yourself is equal to the quality of the life you live.

If you ask yourself questions like “why can’t I love myself?” you’ll search for answers. The reason you come up with will only validate the struggle. It will stop you from changing the way you think and feel and how you treat yourself in future. So notice the why questions that you’re asking yourself that are negative and don’t work. Now, fill that space with a new question, like….

How can I learn to love myself?

How can I be kind to myself today?

What can I do – one simple action today – to change the way I feel about myself?

What qualities do I love and appreciate about myself?

These are better questions and they’ll help you to shift how you feel. And remember, you have to be willing to let the love in. Start small. Think of one quality you love about yourself and let that be your focus.

When you internally ask why questions, most of the time you’ll stay caught up in the past. That’ll never serve you to move forward. The why doesn’t matter. The what’s next does.

The only one who suffers from not loving yourself is you. And this negativity will permeate into all areas of your life and all the choices you make. You’ll choose partners that aren’t good for you or don’t treat you well. Your career will reflect the worth you give yourself and that will expand into the areas of finance and your lifestyle. It’s all connected.

Accept the way you feel and give yourself a moment to feel it

When you’re in a space of struggling and wondering how to love yourself. The best thing to do is stop everything and go be by yourself somewhere. Get quiet. Feel how you feel. Give yourself five or ten minutes to feel the negative emotions you have for yourself. If you’re mad about something you did in the past, allow yourself to feel the anger you have for yourself. If you hate you’re body, allow yourself a few moment to feel really sad, frustrated about your body.

Emotions are like the knots of tension you can get in your physical body. When you put pressure on a muscle from physically working it, the build up of lactic acid will cause an uncomfortable knot to occur. To release the knot you have to put pressure on it. You have to push into the knot for the tension to release. It’s the same with emotions. Feel them. Don’t suppress or avoid them, you have to feel them and then they dissolve. Your negative thoughts will literally weaken and dissolve.

So, right now, if you’re reading this and you’re feeling negatively towards yourself, take a moment to close your eyes. Take yourself back to a moment that triggers your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. It’s surprisingly a very calming and therapeutic experience to go through.

Fill the space with something positive, something new

After you feel and release the emotional tension, think of one thing you’re grateful for. Something simple. It could be your heart, a tree outside, the home you live in, or a person you love. Feel how grateful you are.

Then, when you’re feeling positive, think of one wonderful trait about yourself or a great thing you’ve accomplished in your life. Follow this with scheduling one nice thing you could do for yourself today. One small action that would help you to feel good about yourself.

Make this a ritual

Loving yourself involves training. If you’ve spent years having negative thoughts about yourself, it’s going to take a while for your relationship with you to change. So anytime you feel mad, sad, frustrated, angry at yourself or about yourself, stop and allow yourself to feel your negative emotions. Follow this with a thought of gratitude and recognize something great about yourself. Then, take one action that day to love yourself. Consider this your new regular – perhaps daily – ritual.

Any mindset shift requires emotional leverage

Even though you want to change, you’ll continue to be and think negatively about yourself until you get the impacts it’s causing on your life and behavior. If you really want to make a shift, if you really want to start loving yourself more, you need to really get what you’ve been missing out on by allowing yourself to think this way about yourself.

The best way to do this, is to take some time to write out a list of the all the impacts of you thinking this way. What are the impacts on you and your life? If you don’t love yourself, what are the impacts on other people? What are the impacts in your relationships? What are the global impacts? Seriously, what are the impacts on the world.

Whether you believe that there are impacts on the world at large, there are. Every person on this planet has a gift to give. Are you contributing your gifts? Are you making a difference? Are you leaving this world better than the one you came into?

Hating yourself is like a doubled-edged sword. Whatever you think internally expresses itself externally. If you don’t love yourself it’ll be all over your life and the results you can produce.

You really want to get this. Getting the impacts will help you realize that you have to put in the effort to change. When you get the impacts the choice to love yourself becomes easy and critical.

What to do when you really can’t think anything positive about yourself

Find someone to hold you bigger than you hold yourself. Find someone to love you. Find someone to treat you well. A sibling. A friend. A parent. A relative. A colleague. A coach. A therapist. Find someone who will hold you to your greatness. Find someone to love and acknowledge you and who will tell you your great.

Then, it’s your job to listen.

And it’ll probably take you a long time to let the love in. But just keep trying.

I know this from experience. In my early twenties, I am grateful to have had a mentor that took me under his wing. He said to me: “you’re a beautiful gift to the world”. Every time he said it, it felt ridiculous to me. It felt wrong. I didn’t believe it. But the more he told this too me, the more I start to let this idea come into my own head.

Overtime, things shifted and I started to care more for myself. Eat better. Sleep enough. Have a bit more fun. Eat nutritious foods (like soursop). I started to treat myself kindly. I started to see how my negative chatter didn’t work. We all need other people to see us bigger than we see ourselves. Sometimes we need it more.

So find someone to hold you big until you can hold yourself.

One thing you can do today to start loving yourself more today…

Set a timer on your mobile device or computer. When it goes off acknowledge one great thing about yourself. Pat yourself on the back daily for something good you’ve done or a trait you love about yourself. Remind yourself to do this, until it becomes natural.

And don’t forget…loving yourself is a double edged sword. Put the love in and it’ll flow out. Your life will expand from simply loving yourself a little more each day.

How to Love Yourself

What is Mental Toughness?

It’s the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and American gymnast Kerri Strug takes one of her final vaults in an attempt to win gold for her home country. She runs and she leaps, while a nervous crowd watches in silence. They’re holding back cheers but are on the verge of unleashing as soon as she lands …

How to Love Yourself

I used to wonder if it would ever be possible for me to love myself. In my early twenties I saw this as a place I would never be able to get to. Now, I chuckle as I am reminded of that time. This idea, this struggle of not being able to love myself, I …