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Born and raised in the NYC area, Peter attended college and law school in Upstate New York. After law school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an entertainment attorney. Today he the author of, Be Bigger Than You Think You Are, is a speaker and teacher, as well as an award-winning, internationally published, fine art, portrait and commercial photographer.
Here are three ways we can increase our self-love and self-care to help us get unstuck and have the life we want:
Tip #1 - "Move from being your own worst enemy - to your own best friend."
Turns out self-recrimination is one of the biggest obstacles to us moving forward in life. Self-recrimination creates fear and fear = resistance. All the little ways we get down on ourselves pile up over time. Then one day we realize we're stuck. But we have no idea how we got there, or more importantly, how to get out. To overcome this, rehearse your loving self-talk. Most of us have habitual negative things we say to ourselves when we mess something up: "You're so stupid!" "What's wrong with you!" etc. To be our own best friends, we want to say loving, positive things to ourselves. But those are really hard to think up on the spot. So the first challenge is to develop a list - in advance - of five (5) positive things you can say to yourself when you'd normally beat yourself up. Then set an alarm or appointment on your phone at least three times each day and in the alarm's or event's description write your positive self-talk: "It's OK to make mistakes every now and then," "Messing something up doesn't make me an unworthy person," "Everytime I do something wrong I'm learning what doesn't work - which actually is a good thing'," "I love that I have the courage to try new things!" "I'm willing to see myself with loving eyes when I act imperfectly," and so on. Rehearse saying these things to yourself when the reminder goes off so your new, loving self-talk is top of mind when the stuff is hitting the fan!
Tip #2 - "Self-confidence = a trusting relationship with ourselves."
In addition to rehearsing our positive self-talk, we want to find ways to build trust with ourselves. For instance, lot of us abandon ourselves when we receive negative feedback from others. A boss criticizes our work and we feel bad. But the reason we feel bad is because we secretly believe that our boss is right about us being wrong, not good enough, etc. We can increase our self-confidence by practicing being kind to ourselves in the face of negative feedback. A great way to do this is to role play. Find a trustworthy friend and explain what you're doing. Then have them criticize you for something. Start out small - have them say something like, "I can't believe you're wearing that blouse with that skirt!" Then practice responding to their negativity with something positive and self-affirming: "It seems like you and I have different tastes when it comes to clothes. I appreciate your feedback but I actually quite like this combination - it reflects my own unique sense of style!" And so on. (You can then switch roles so your friend gets to practice being able to trust him/herself.) The more we practice standing up for ourselves, the more we can trust ourselves. And the more we trust ourselves, the greater our self-confidence will be.
Tip #3 "Loving ourselves when we least like who we're being"
It's easy to love ourselves when we're doing or being all the stuff we think we're supposed to. It's much more difficult to be nice to ourselves when we're slacking off or make a mistake. Compile a list of all the stuff that your supposed to be doing that you're not: "Cardio workout three times a week," "Updating your LinkedIn/Match.com/Twitter profile," "Organizing your kitchen cabinets," "Stick to my spending plan," etc. Now go thru your list one by one and affirm that you still love yourself despite messing something up: "I haven't worked out in two weeks - and I still love myself," "My closet is a mess - and I'm a good person." "I spent too much on Amy's shower gift - and I can forgive myself and do better next time." Loving ourselves when we least like who we're being means forgiving ourselves when we're less than perfect. It means seeing the best in ourselves when we want to see the worst. Increasing our Self-Love Quotient (SLQ) becomes the fuel to overcome our limitations and get back on track with our goals and desires.
Peter Alessandria is a professional photographer and former Entertainment Attorney based in the New York City area. He recently published his first self-help book entitled, “Be Bigger Than You Think You Are!® Overcoming Our Self-Imposed Limits to Have the Life We Want.” In it, he talks about how he overcame his paralyzing fear of criticism and rejection and eventually went on to win more than 70 Awards for his photography. His pictures have been featured on the National Geographic website, the Huffington Post, “LIVE with Kelly,” NBC-TV NY, Fox TV NY, The Weather Channel and more. He’s also an Official Photographer for Fireworks by Grucci® and has travelled the world photographing their performances. Peter presents “Bigger Than You Think You Are!”® workshops and classes, and is available for one-on-one coaching and business consulting. Learn more at www.bebiggertoday.com