Compete, compete, compete.
I lived in fear of other men most of my life. Not the type of fear that meant I locked myself away and couldn’t look them in the eye, but the type of fear that kept me in competition.
I’d compete with women, sports, business, my body, money, you name it … and the best part is, I’d compete in silence. No words of competition were ever spoken, although I knew in their head the other men were all doing the same. We constantly played the comparison game, in fact, more to the point, the comparison game was playing us. No one had any control of it, although each man liked to think that he was the one in the driving seat.
Although I tired to fight it, I lived in fear.
I feared taking my eye off the prize in case I fell behind the pack.
It was tiring, exhausting and boring.
I felt unfulfilled and trapped.
When would this end?
Would it ever end?
How do I get out?
The truth is that underneath all of this I was still the scared little boy I was at 5 years old. The same little boy who wanted to be seen, to be heard and to be loved. That’s all I wanted … love and connection.
But I didn’t know how to give it to myself so how was I ever going to get it from anyone else?
Nothing was ever good enough for me. If someone gave me a compliment I’d shake it off or play it down. If I won an award I’d still feel like I could have done more. I’d sabotage my relationships with constant cheating because I established my self-worth on being able to pull women.
My lack of self-love was running my entire life … it was literally killing me … causing me to be driven by pain and fear, instead of pleasure and fulfillment. One day I decided that I couldn’t continue like this. I had to take control of my life because it had gotten out of control.
Here are some of the steps that I took to start loving myself…
First, I asked those closest to me an important question.
What is it like to be in a relationship with me?
I asked my partner, my sister and my father.
I listened to the answers. I sat with the responses and I reflected on the prices people were paying to have me in their life and it hurt. I felt their pain. I felt their desire to have me in their life in the way that they knew I could show up.
Second, I taught myself how to receive.
I started simple. When someone paid me a compliment I listened to what they were saying and I felt it. I responded with ‘thank you, I fully receive that’. The more I did this the more I actually felt it and the more I naturally started to smile with it.
This became a daily practice and step by step I applied it to everything – the sun on my skin, the food I ate, the miracle of my body, time with my partner. Everything shifted from me doing something, to me receiving something. My glass was always being filled versus always being emptied.
To support myself in the commitment of receiving, I set an alarm to go off on my phone every three hours and it read:
‘Am I fully receiving right now?’
When that went off, I took one minute to check in with myself and to look for the evidence of how I was fully receiving in that moment.
Third I started to own my ‘No’ and in owning my ‘No’ I owned my ‘Yes’.
I only said ‘Yes’ to things that felt exciting, things that felt like they fully served me, and I started to outsource or eliminate those things in my life that didn’t excite me but also had to get done.
Remember, every time you say yes to something you say no to something else, so make sure that your ‘Yes’ is worth it.
And finally, I started to see myself for the man that I truly am.
Every time I would walk past my reflection I would check myself out. I’d smile, wink, laugh … whatever I felt like doing. I essentially started to date myself, to flirt with myself, to get my own attention and it was great fun!
How has this impacted my life?
Words seem inadequate at conveying the feeling of absolute bliss. My life is now a total act of self love. I am constantly doing things that I love to do, things that feel exciting and that I’m actually experiencing. I have fun with myself. I love myself and my relationships and my health and business have all exploded as a result.
I invite you to incorporate those four exercises into your daily life.
Play with them.
Have fun with them.
Let me know how it goes.
Much Love, Tim
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