How Does Self Love and Self Bullying Affect Brain Chemistry and Confidence?
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Last February I wrote about how much I love my clients, my work and how love factors into the process of transforming clients into confident people. As a Confident Life Coach and practitioner of Hypnotherapy, I am constantly reminded of the importance of self-love, and what I like to call mindset and mechanics. To be a confident person, performer, athlete, parent or professional, you have to have the right skills, tools, knowledge, muscle memory, practice, but none of this will work if you don't have a mindset that works for you, not against you. Part of a confident mindset involves learning about self-love.
We are so conditioned to focus on our deficits, our mistakes, rather than on acknowledging our attributes and accomplishments. It seems no matter how stellar our accomplishments, all we can see is our mistakes and all we can hear is our own self-criticism, swiftly, and literally beating any outside critics to the punch, as we berate, belittle and beat ourselves up with self-criticism and doubt.
Although this is pretty typical behavior, it doesn't work. It doesn't move anyone forward to improvement or mastery. When I see or hear my clients begin this inner tirade, I stop and ask them," would you treat your friend the way you are treating yourself?" No matter how many times I pose this question, it’s always amazing to me to see them stop in their tracks, and think for a second. They never thought of it that way. They usually issue an emphatic "No," to which I reply "then why are you treating yourself that way?" This question also tends to stop people in their tracks for a few seconds, eventually followed by a bewildered answer of "I don't know." There ARE reasons we do this, many of which are biological or physiological, but that's a subject for another day. The important thing is to stop and notice when you are practicing self-bullying. Learning to self-love instead of self-bully is a crucial part of learning to perform with confidence, not because it makes you feel better, although it does, but because self-bullying DOES NOT WORK.
It causes stress levels to rise, and floods your brain with stress hormones, which shuts your cognitive function down. We all know what that feels like, when we are stressed, and we can't think straight? Our mind goes blank. This is caused by stress hormones, brought on by our self-bullying thoughts. However, when we treat ourselves with encouragement, and get in the habit consciously choose rational, supportive, encouraging self-loving thoughts, we stimulate serotonin in the brain, which helps your brain function at full capacity. In other words, we can choose our brain chemistry, and therefore how well our brain functions, by choosing our OWN thoughts!
I hope you will take time to notice when you have a self-bullying thought and consciously change to to a self-loving thought. If you get into this habit, you will find it much easier to achieve your learning goals, and become more confident in all aspects of your life.