Embracing Self-Love and Acceptance

Description: In this thought-provoking episode, Steven Webb discusses the challenging yet crucial journey towards self-love and acceptance. He talks about the inner critic that we all carry and how our awareness of our flaws can make it hard to love ourselves. He touches on the fallacy of trying to be perfect and highlights how the key to self-love lies in accepting our human nature with all its imperfections. He shares personal anecdotes, insights on Buddhism’s “middle way,” and the transformative power of compassion for oneself. Steven also draws on his experiences as the Mayor of Truro and shares some refreshing and humanizing conversations.

Show Notes:

  • Steven discusses the internal struggle of accepting oneself, given our intimate knowledge of our flaws and negative thoughts [00:04:35].
  • He shares about his family background and the absence of explicit expressions of love [00:06:17].
  • Steven explains that self-love is about being less harsh on oneself and understanding that it’s okay to make mistakes [00:07:24].
  • He explores the misconception of self-love being narcissistic and how true self-love means being kind to ourselves [00:08:23].
  • Steven discusses his personal moments of self-love and times when he needs to remind himself of his worth [00:09:51].
  • He shares his idea of self-love as creating a safe space for oneself and having compassion [00:12:40].
  • Steven reflects on the human capacity for imperfection and shares conversations that underscore our shared humanity [00:14:48].

Quote of the Show: “Create the space in your heart for you to be perfectly who you are. Flaws and all, all the good stuff, all the bad stuff…That’s the beautiful human we are. I’ve yet to come across a human that’s not deeply flawed and deeply perfect in the same breath.” – Steven Webb

Call to Action: Support Steven’s podcast by making a donation at https://thankyousteven.com. Your contribution will help him continue to deliver insightful content and support the growth and promotion of the show.


Steven Webb [00:00:02]:

So do you have an inner critic that's constantly in your head having a go at you, like telling you and knocking you down and when you think about self-love that inner critics like well who are you to love yourself? That's a bit narcissistic, that's a bit overconfident isn't it? Do you have that voice inside of your head? Well on today's podcast I want to talk about that and I want to talk about how we embrace self-love and how we dismantle that inner critic and we have more of a life of freedom and maybe live a life of purpose. So that's today's podcast. Embracing self-love, dismantling the inner critic for a life of freedom and purpose. I'm Stephen Webb and this is Stillness in the Storms and it's a podcast that just helps you to see life a little bit differently to hopefully have a little bit more inner peace in life. Now then don't forget I've got a different podcast called Inner Peace Meditations where I will link to it in the show notes, but basically it's just meditations that will help you to have more inner peace and more joy and just more calmness in life. Don't we all want that in this busy crazy world at the moment? Just seems like there's no let up constantly. If it's not the if it's not the external world constantly barraging us with something, it's social media, it's work, it's something's going on, There's no let up. I long for the days when news was just half an hour in the evening and work was just so many hours a day and you had so much downtime.

Steven Webb [00:02:00]:

Whereas now there seems to be no let up anywhere. And that's not talking about the inner mind. So the external world doesn't let up. And the inner mind certainly doesn't let up. You know, you lie down at night for just 5 minutes to go to sleep, and then the inner mind starts. So yeah that's what we're talking about. So just before that I want to thank a couple of people that have treated me to a coffee. You are absolutely awesome.

Steven Webb [00:02:27]:

Let me just go over there a moment and have a look. And there has been a couple of anonymous people and Paulo and Alicia and Mia. Thank you very much guys. You are awesome. You guys helped me to host this podcast to get the podcast edited and to well get the equipment and things like that to up my game. You guys are absolutely awesome. And if anybody else would like to support this podcast, just head over to thankyousteven.com and you can support the podcast. If you don't have the spare money or anything like that to donate a coffee, you can always support the podcast just by leaving a review.

Steven Webb [00:03:05]:

That makes a huge difference as well. So thank you guys. You are awesome. But let's get straight on with today's podcast. Let's talk about self love. What does it mean? How can it make a huge difference in your life? And as always on my podcast, I'll share my story of how I learned to love myself and how I still find it difficult now sometimes to love myself. So let's get on with this. 1 of the biggest challenges I think in today's world is is our inability to love ourselves.

Steven Webb [00:03:38]:

It's almost like we've got to love everybody else and we've got to give our love out to everybody. We've got to have empathy, we've got to have caring, we've got to have compassion, you know, be kind, that whole mantra in the world. But when we turn it on ourselves, we're often judged as narcissistic or overconfident and things like that. But is it really that bad to love ourselves? You know, there is a real low confidence, there's too much overthinking. There's so many struggles now, we struggle with meditation, we struggle with the relentless inner critic. You know, stick your hand up, you know, I don't know what you're doing, you may be driving or something, you may not be able to. But stick your hand up, you might go on a public train or something, stick your hand up and everybody will wonder what you're doing. Anyway, just metaphorically stick your hand up if you've got that inner critic that if you try to love yourself it turns it all back on you.

Steven Webb [00:04:35]:

No look I'm trying to love myself I'm trying to have a little more acceptance for who I am and then it just goes yeah but look at you see what you did last week see what you like And here's why I think it's so difficult to love ourselves. It's because we have inside information, don't we? We know what we're really like, we know what we really think. You know, we know what's going on inside of our heads. Whereas it's easier to love somebody else, because you only see the highlights in their life. You know, you see social media and you see these other people, they're doing these wonderful things and all that. You know, it's easy to love somebody else sometimes, much easier than it is to love ourselves because we have all that inside information. I know what I'm thinking sometimes and my thoughts are not always that nice. You know, if I see somebody walk past me and I'm like, my mind, I'm trying not to do it now, but my mind might jump to something that's not that positive about that person.

Steven Webb [00:05:37]:

Because that's what it does. It thinks things up. The mind is designed to think scenarios up to protect you. It doesn't mean you're a nasty, horrible person, it just means your mind's doing what it does. But because that happens, it's so difficult to then look at it and go, well, do you know, I am a loving, caring person. Because it's really hard to push that aside, isn't it? And my personal experience, I didn't have a family that said, I love you. And I can't remember ever saying to my mum that I love you. You know, I'd never felt not loved for my mum, but we weren't a family that did that as children.

Steven Webb [00:06:17]:

I don't think I really had that other extreme that we had to be stiff upper lip and we have to be really strong and all that. I don't think I had that either on the other hand, but I certainly don't remember feeling like as if I could express my love for myself growing up. That makes any sense? So when embarking on a journey of self-love and acceptance of who I am, my critic just gets louder and louder. So it's really really difficult. And how do you do it? Do you sit down and practice self-love? Do you like stand in front of the mirror and go, oh, I love myself and I love my scars and things like that. You know, I don't really know. But the way I've learned to love myself is just by being less harsh on myself. You know, if a child came to me and they're talking about some of the things they did wrong, I'm like a little kind to them.

Steven Webb [00:07:24]:

I'm like, don't worry about it. It'll be fine. We all make mistakes. Let's look at it differently. But I don't do that with myself. When I make a mistake, I'm really, you shouldn't have done that. You know better, how dare you do that? And I think that's where self-love comes in. It's realizing that you don't have to be so hard on yourself, that you're human, you make mistakes.

Steven Webb [00:07:47]:

Things, it's not the end of the world when you make these mistakes and everybody does it. But we just don't see it, do we? We think we should be better, we think we should be perfect. And the reality is, we're more accepting of other people than we are ourselves. And that's really difficult. And that's where I am. Mainly. I just don't seem to accept myself knowing you as much as I can accept other people. I can almost accept when they make a mistake, but when I do it, how dare I do it? I should know better.

Steven Webb [00:08:23]:

And I think that's where we get mixed up between self-love in a way that... Should self-love be a narcissistic, oh I love myself and I'm awesome and I'm amazing? No, I don't believe that's self-love. I think that's an ideology that just isn't real. But I think the self-love just means be kind to ourselves, opening our heart to we are human, we have crazy thoughts, we have fluctuations in energy and feelings, you know, when we're really tired just, you know, okay, we're tired, embrace that, when we're really stressed, we're tired, embrace that, Instead of trying to think that we have to be this amazing, loving, awesome person that is just a gift to the world all the time. I just don't think that's realistic, I don't think that's possible. And I think this is what Buddhism mean by the middle way. It's have that balance between, on 1 hand there is times when I feel radiant inside and I feel like a massive empowerment of self-love normally when I'm listening to a good 80s 90s rock ballad and I'm feeling really good and the sun's out and we're traveling down the road. And I feel like this heart orgasm all over.

Steven Webb [00:09:51]:

It's like, ah, this feels really good. Easy to love myself then. But what about when I'm really struggling in a room with a few people that I just really don't get on with. And I'm being critical of them and myself in my head, and I'm feeling awkward. I leave that room and I immediately put myself down, say I've done a terrible job. That's when the little bit of self-love just, it's in that instance, what do I need? I need someone to put their arms around me and go, it's okay, Stevie. You're okay. Don't worry about it.

Steven Webb [00:10:27]:

It's fine. I'm here for you. And that's what I mean by self-love. That's what we need to do to ourselves. We need to somehow cuddle ourselves and go, do you know what? You're awesome, you're cool, don't worry, we all make mistakes, it's okay. And I think that's what a healthy self-love does. And it gives us the ability to make mistakes. It gives us the ability to try things and be confident in the world.

Steven Webb [00:10:55]:

To walk into that room and go, Hey, do you know what? I'm not the most amazing human in the world. And I haven't got the confidence and look at me I'm great but I'm here, I'm showing up, I'm doing my best and do you know what? I'm proud of who I am, I'm proud of where I am and I think that's the healthy self-love that we need to put ourselves on the back and that's what we need. You know, that's to me, I could give you 10 tips on how to have self-love but the main 1 is how would you love somebody that you have a real deep caring for? What would you do to them when they make mistakes, when they fall? You help them up. You're not critical of them. You don't have a go at them, do you? You hold your hand out. You give them a hug. You just help them in the best way possible. And that's what we need to do.

Steven Webb [00:11:54]:

That's what I mean by self love. And I think the more you do that, the more the critical mind and the negative thoughts that come and go will be, okay, there's a critical thought, I can embrace it. There's a negative thought, well that's just, you can't turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts. I've done lots of podcasts about that, it's impossible. There's no thinking positive all the time, it doesn't exist. You know, negative thoughts are not negative thoughts, they're there to protect you, so really they're positive thoughts. But if they're there all the time, we miss the positive thoughts. So you can head back to our podcast in my podcast library to help you with that.

Steven Webb [00:12:40]:

I think it's 1 about a train metathor, which is really brilliant about turning the negative thoughts into more positive thinking patterns. But the main thing is go easy on yourself, learn to just have a little, I don't know, compassion for yourself. That's a good way of doing it, Compassion for yourself. What does that look like? And when you do have this compassion, you create this safe space for yourself to play and be a little more adventurous with yourself. When you have this, you know, how do you love someone entirely? You give them the space to be themselves. So, if you were to give yourself self-love, ultimate self-love, what would that look like? You're giving yourself the space in order to be yourself without being very critical. You accept yourself for who you are so that's what self-love is. It's not about telling the world you're amazing, It's not about blowing your own trumpet and saying to the world, look how awesome I am and look how much I can love myself and look how much better looking I am than anybody else.

Steven Webb [00:13:56]:

That's not self-love. That's arrogance and that's the confidence and narcissism that only comes with a fall a few days later, if not hours. It's about acceptance, creating that space. So there's the technique I would say is Create the space in your heart for you to be perfectly who you are. Flaws and all, you know, all the good stuff, all the bad stuff. Put it all in there into a safe container. Jumble it all up and realize that's the beautiful beautiful mesh you are, that's the beautiful joy you are, that's the beautiful human we are. I've yet to come across a human that's not deeply flawed and deeply perfect in the same breath.

Steven Webb [00:14:48]:

You know, we're all trying our best. We're all doing what we can. We see others and we see them in a way that they're doing amazing and they're winning out and they're doing this incredible things in life and they're never making a mistake. They're making loads of mistakes all the time. They haven't got the confidence. You know, they're wondering whether or not they should show up or they had a crisis earlier that day that they didn't want to go or they wanted to cancel these events or things like that, you know, it doesn't matter what it is in your life, but we feel like we want to run from things all the time. Or maybe I'm just projecting maybe, maybe many people have got the confidence out there that they're not worried about any of those things. But anybody genuine that I know worries about these things.

Steven Webb [00:15:41]:

I've yet to come across anybody that isn't genuine, that when I look up and go, do you know what, I was really worried about this, And they went, Oh my God, so was I. And it's so nice to have that refreshing conversation. When I look up and I've been to many, many events in the past 2 years, because I was the mayor of Truro for the last 2 years and I haven't been now for the last 2 weeks because I've done my 2 years and the amount of events I went to and I didn't know all these dignitaries and all that and I would be there talking to a dignitary, somebody that I'd never met before and I'll look up and say I have no idea what that food is there. I've never seen food like that before. I wouldn't even know how to eat it, let alone what it tastes like. And they look up and go, oh, me too, that's why I haven't eaten anything. And it's just like refreshing, you look up and go, well, you know, but aren't you hungry? No, we went McDonald's on the way over here. And I'm like, and I can't say who this person is, because they're quite, you know, why would say in the hierarchy of dignitaries, they're quite high up.

Steven Webb [00:16:51]:

But it was so refreshing. I was like, oh, I can be human around you. So every event I went to, I made a beeline for them. I'd be like, how are you doing? And they'd go, Oh, I've had such a dreadful day. It hasn't been this, we don't want to be here. It's like, oh, wow, you're human and I love you for it. And I think they embraced the fact that life isn't equipped for us all to be, feel perfectly safe and perfectly well. But if we can be ourselves in that space, that's love, the ability to be ourselves.

Steven Webb [00:17:26]:

So embracing self-love is giving ourselves the permission to be ourselves and completely accepting it. That's pretty awesome, right? It's so simple yet profound. How many of you genuinely give yourselves absolute permission to be exactly who you want to be. With a deep breath, that's my podcast this week and I hope it helps. If it does help, look, leave a review. That'd be awesome. That's 1 way you can help me loads. If you want to download the 5 simple practices for inner peace, you can do that by going to thankyousteven.com.

Steven Webb [00:18:09]:

If you want to help me with equipment, editing and hosting of this podcast, so I can grow it and promotion of it, you can treat me to a coffee. I love you, you're awesome. Love yourself by accepting who you are. Flaws, joys, the perfect of who you are and everything. Take care. Bye.