Love Yourself So You Can Be Your Best Self
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Learn more from Kamal Ravikant about how to love yourself fully. You’ll discover how loving yourself fully is the path to becoming your best self.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have some amazing experiences in my life so far. I’ve trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas, meditated with Tibetan monks in the Dalai Lama’s monastery, earned my US Army Infantry patch, walked 550 miles across Spain, lived in Paris, been the only non-black, non-woman member of the Black Women’s writers’ group, written several bestsellers, held the hands of dying patients, and worked with some of the best people in Silicon Valley.
But the most transformative experience has been the simple act of loving myself.
Hey welcome to today’s episode of the show today is going to be extremely valuable for you because we’re really talking about how you can love yourself more, what that actually looks like feels like sounds like what that actually is so it’s not just some intellectual concept but it’s actually something that you bring into your life and I have an amazing guest today, who has written a powerful book about this and he’s a very eloquent and well spoken author and poet and you might have even read his book is one of the most popular books on Amazon on the subject which is about how to love yourself and before we dive into that interview I wanted to address one thing which is sometimes we have resistance to the idea of loving ourselves and you might have that you might even hear me talk about loving yourself and maybe your response is like ooh I want that I want more of that I want to know how to do that and your response also might be oh that stuff might roll your eyes or think it’s silly or have some other way of dismissing it and if it’s happening for you I would encourage you to slow down and look at that why would you dismiss loving yourself being kinder to yourself more gentle or compassionate with yourself.
My experience the only reason people do that is because they’ve already experienced so much pain that they’re just hardening themselves or hardening their hearts and the idea of being open with themselves warm, loving, gentle it’s just too painful they don’t want to open up in that way so we just push it all away we push loving others away we push loving ourselves away but the only result of that in the long run is pain.
So wherever you are I encourage you to listen with your mind and open up your heart and actually take in what we talk about and see how to apply it and use it in your life so that you can love yourself because as the title in episode in his book says love yourself like your life depends on it because it does so without further ado lets dive into that interview and enjoy.
My guest experts today is someone I am very excited about having on the show His name is Kamal Ravikant and he is an author and a poet and many other things who’s had a wide range of fascinating experiences in his life many of which we’ll get into in this interview including working in Silicon Valley some of the brightest minds in the world there and you may have heard of him because he’s the bestselling author of the book love yourself like your life depends on it and he’s also the author of a new book that we’re going to interview as well called Rebirth which is about a pilgrimage across Spain and how a character grows in many ways one of which is through loving themselves so thank you so much for joining us on the show today Kamal.
Kamal: Oh I am honored to be here and it’s kind of funny to be called an expert which…[
Dr Aziz: Well you wrote a book on it so that there’s some good but it’s not a book because there’s also the teachings within it and it comes from your own experience so let’s actually start with that and some people might have read the book and some may not have but that’s really what I wanted to dive into in our conversation today is about loving ourselves and maybe we’ll start with a little bit about you were your journey what was happening what led you to even really make a study of this in your own life
Kamal: Yeah honestly it wasn’t a study it was a movement of desperation “so my back and sell canal examinations the first dot com boom” had been building companies there start-ups there and some that and you know very well some that blew up you know the classic entrepreneur game and also in this on the side I was writing you know writing is what I believe I was put here for and you know collecting rejection letters from agents and publishers or were over a decade but just becoming a better and better writer and then my last company that I built and I self funded the whole thing and I was doing really well it took money from friends and family and the thing blew it blew up and I lost you know I lost everything I was in debt I was incredibly sick I was depressed out of my mind and depressed is actually a minor way to put it and basically, I had to figure out something to save myself or like I was going to I was going to kill myself and so I made a vow to myself to get out of it and how I did that was about to love myself and I don’t know honestly where that concept of love yourself came from but that’s what came out and I’m a big believer in the power of personal commitment and I realized that since I made a vow I had to figure it out and I was really believe it and a lot of my apartment and so I just sort of working on myself trying to figure out how to love myself and what worked I went deeper where didn’t work I threw it away and within it’s a little over a month my life had changed and what was interesting was it wasn’t just my internal selves I mean it was actually my external life was changing too which kind of blew me away and so you know I would tell some friends about it and it would actually really help them and then eventually I wrote this little book and then when I say it’s a little on purpose because the way I write every word matters and I want to write the book that I wish someone had given me when I was down because I have no patience for you know like five hundred pages of theory neuroscience or whatever just tell me what works you know and some of them some thoughts on it that’s it and so I wrote a book and I put it out and it and the club itself like life depends on it and it took off and changed my life and so that’s part of the story.
Dr Aziz: Yeah, I love it and you said something in there that I think is extremely important you said I made a vow to love myself and then I and then I don’t I believe in the power of personal commitment that I think is perhaps one of the most important pieces of this puzzle is this
Kamal: It is the most important piece yeah. Yeah it really is.
Dr Aziz: To say more about that about how you see that is the most important piece
Kamal: Well it’s you know I would say you know before our we started we were talking about confidence, I would say it’s the shore’s hack I know the confidence which is if you start making commitments yourself to keep your word to yourself, you develop a level of competence in you that you can get externally and you get that confidence inside you, you walk differently you approach things differently you just know that whatever it is if it really is something you want you may commit itself and you’ll figure it out and you’ll do it and it changes everything, this basic concept of personal commitment changes everything in life, everything great whatever I can see great in my life has come from that.
Dr Aziz: Yeah and there’s so much that can come from that decision that moment that we’ve said this is what I’m going to do and I think that that vow is sounds like in your case came from immense pain and desperation actually desperation and I can only gather that it was there was a lack of that self-love and that time
Kamal: I think it was. Very significant dose of self hate would have been the honest assessment there was no self love there my friend
Dr Aziz: Yeah, the opposite right like not just ignoring but actively you know criticizing and I know that’s something that everyone listening can relate to a greater or lesser degree even if we’re not in the you know the pits of or the depths of despair there is this tendency to be more impatient dissatisfied critical judgmental of ourselves which is a lesser form of self hate and so that value that there’s that moment there’s that resolve like OK I’m going to do this. Then what did you find worked so I threw out the stuff that didn’t work so we probably don’t need to go through a whole lot of that what did you find was really helpful for you to follow through on that vow
Kamal: Well you know I started with the very simplest things I could there was no grand big plans no good theories I have you know a background in science so I know neuro-science so I thought about what whether with the way the brain works near plasticity and just on a whim of that and sort of like to start it look I was I was so weak at that time I couldn’t even like walk outside my apartment so I was kind of stuck there so I was just sort of working on my internal self which was if you’re looking back was such a gift rather than going externally and trying to find love for myself I had to find it inside and that’s what I did just I worked from my inside and you know from the very simple as actually just started to telling myself I’m making myself feel it on purpose to all these different things I tried to differ meditations that I came up with you know looking in the mirror did I mean literally I was like a mental patient locked up in my apartment just with this desperate thing up like I was and I love myself would die trying and to end up loving myself.
So like the book actually is encapsulated. Encapsulates all that in a very concise manner that I found it was very hard to explain and person part of the reason why I wrote the book was just to so I don’t have to explain it all that I mean right.
Dr Aziz: But fundamentally it all comes from personal commitment I think if I don’t believe in the part of personal commitment it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t made the vow and believe that the power of making a vow to yourself, I won’t have done it or I would have like given up after a day or two Yeah says you know there’s a thing about it’s not just making the commitment it’s keeping it and you know we fall through it was a like I was doing it every moment you know but like I would fall and I would get up and I would try again and try again that’s what a commitment is when it isn’t like one hundred percent all hundred percent it’s a matter of you know we’re human right we fall we fall short of me get up and continue going that’s what commitment.
Dr Aziz: Yes And there’s something about it orients you and reminds you where you’re headed because what I find is I will be working with clients and they’re struggling with a lot of self-criticism and the kind of want the technique right like what do I do to make it stop and as you experimented with there are dozens or thousands of different ways to do it and one of the ones that you teach in your book ends up being a very simple mantra right of saying I love myself and yet someone could hear that and whatever that’s like I do yeah and it could do nothing for you because that statement means nothing if you haven’t if you haven’t decided like hey I don’t want to treat myself like that anymore I want to love myself because then that statement brings you back to your personal commitment to your values
Kamal: Yeah I’m going to expand this book because I realize I didn’t put a lot of a personal commitment then and so belongs in there and I need to expand the book at that end because really when you have that personal commitment the rest becomes easy because you got to do it you got to try going to try you know you become like Edison you just try to- that’s what I was I was like Edison trying to come up with a light bulb you know I was just trying to get I didn’t care I just had to get that one time where I work
Dr Aziz: Yes so let’s see here when someone hears that so I guess to sum up so for the core of this is you must make a deep personal commitment to loving yourself.
Kamal: Whatever matters to you at that moment love yourself came out for me and I honestly because it was I was so desperate think it was because I went with the most basic fundamental thing that I internally felt could change everything
Dr Aziz: Yeah
Kamal: And loving yourself really does I mean what else can you know not liking yourself not thinking you’re enough you know I was I was watching this interview Dave asked me yesterday as I laugh and he said people should stop saying I am enough you know you’re amazing start thinking I’m more than enough…
Dr Aziz: Yeah
Kamal: That’s right- that’s awesome yeah
Dr Aziz: Yeah and not the bass line right like… Yeah…Yes, so with this personal commitment I feel like the objections, kind of challenge people have with this in clients and I’ve talked to and you know me that- well I’m going to I’m going to love myself when I’m no longer feeling anxious or when I no longer do something awkward or you know whatever – when I’m that amazing person that I want to be then I love myself and in the meantime I don’t I don’t believe it I don’t buy it I don’t deserve it you know there’s all this kind of you know closing down on ourselves until we are this person, what do you- what are your what is your experience with that what have you how do we open that up and really invite in unconditional self-love
Kamal: I honestly understand where they’re coming from because I used to feel that way but here’s the thing, It’s like- It’s not even fake it till you make it well it’s not going to- look our whole lives if we’re stuck in or has we like these monkey minds running around- we’re not just going to wake up all of a sudden all of a stroke and everything’s changed in our head and you don’t want to struggle it’s a different kind of change right it’s like you’ve got to work on it because we have these patterns in our head this consistent patterns that are negative self talk the only way we can change it is to work in consistent positive self talk and you do it consistently you know that’s also neuroscience you know neurons says fire together wire together where you have no answer been found together for how long you’ve been around since you were like three years old and you know started like discovering a sense of self that you didn’t like or you will put down or whatever you know we carry stuff from childhood that so deep in grain that that this go all this talk that we don’t realize we do it for ourselves and so the only way around it is just talk creating more powerful pathways in the brain which is like creating that positive self talk to make yourself feel it and you know so it’s not a matter of. OK once I have and one I am in shape I love myself once and this you know the irony is once you sell loving yourself you start doing things for yourself they’re better for you and you know if you’re not you’re good at least recognize it then you’re doing it by choice.
When you yourself you actually get to those places that’s the irony far easier than if you get to the place and if you get to the place you want to love yourself so trust me you will just start looking for something external else that you think when I get that I will love myself you know that but I get this job OK and then I’ll be when I get that car when I get out whatever it’s the external results of that because there’s always a higher rung of the ladder always someone doing better than you.
Dr Aziz: Yeah so that love is not going to be a by product of achieving that external thing it’s just going to us
Kamal: No in fact you know I can say that from one hundred percent chance look at what I will create so I can balance out of a very successful incredibly smart people and so I’ve seen people go from nothing to massive success where they have nothing to hundreds of millions of dollars the next day right after a year and a half a billion a company and doesn’t mean they woke up and they were just letting themselves are their lives you know after I said a lot of it a thing eventually after a few months the euphoria fades and you’re back to you
Dr Aziz: Yeah
Kamal: You still got- you know and so you always I think fundamentally we always have to work on ourselves and I don’t think that’s a bad thing I think that’s actually a really good thing because I mean I was improving you know for for me loving myself it’s not just like I had it and it’s always there like this levels you know it’s like in anything in life it’s growth it’s deeper levels that you learn and it’s a beautiful think is life like life is growth it’s not then if you live if you’re not going your die.
Dr Aziz: Yeah so let’s take this into a few specific scenarios if we could see how you might guide us to more self love to loving ourselves more so one example might be let’s say. I’m feeling anxious in a scenario and it could be before you know someone listening might be before starting a conversation or before giving a presentation I actually have I do three live events each year and what I find is about two weeks before the event I start to feel more and more anxiety.
Kamal: Yeah of course-of course
Dr Aziz: So there it is whatever the source whatever the perceived external reasons there’s fear or anxiety or tension that starts to mount- what might you- if you were in that situation what might you do to meet that and provide ourselves with yourself for the love.
Kamal: Well look one thing we understand is fear is wired for fear is normal I feel like look I do public speaking and I’m terrified every time I go on stage that petrified is the word actually but I’ve seen it seem to do very well people seem to like my talks so the key is you know one is all recognizing actually rebirth the new book is a lot about that it’s fundamentally about facing your fears and one thing is it’s a story told to you know to wire to basically a better way to learn about fear facing our fears and but in a very practical way but realizing this is a fear- fear is not going to go away you know we don’t just wake up here let me see your fears are gone you recognize that the first step is recognizing there’s a story and you know tell rebirth about that and it’s a first step is recognizing when you reckon all of this is fear that’s all its fear- Hello fear you know like hello fear old friend whatever like you are and then when you recognize you realize fear is not you, it’s just fear you is just this person that’s going to go on stage and still do this and so what I normally do is I just like I get centre, once I recognizable here and it comes up man that and I get centred and you know by doing my love myself practice very simply and then I go on stage and I do what I do and you know it’s like I think one of the things, unfortunate things that I think we see in societies we think of people who are doing stuff are not afraid you kidding me Everyone’s afraid everyone’s like a duck paddling you know looking calm of the surface and just power drastically under the surface that’s a good that’s humans of and it’s like Mila’s living the Instagram life you know they’re in their beds sitting on the toilet crying and eating a planet in the alley you know but that’s not the Florida coast you know so it was so like my God man it’s like can’t look at other people’s as grab the things they’re living the life and look at me you know it’s like you have no idea the more that they’re always posting what the awesome life is that more should you know like.
Dr Aziz: I love you it’s the extreme imagery of I’m literally on the toilet crying while leaving the house not just on the couch it’s just extreme.
Kamal: I realize that look we all get afraid and different you know everyone gets afraid; it’s just different ways in different situations and so if they recognize that that’s human that’s normal you know I get that sometimes look I we were times before I grew up as a very shy kid and I was very shy. How would overcome that by throwing myself into situations by committing myself to doing things that make me face these things and over time then it just kind of like because once you do that you know you can handle all these not that I’m going to kill you and I still get to sometimes and I’m OK with that it’s OK i’m human Yeah I’m OK with it and if that’s what I feel in the moment I feel what I say but the question is am I still going to go through or not what you do or time as you go through with it you go through it and then eventually develop the confidence and you don’t feel that fear anymore like the fear I feel at public speaking now is very different to what I felt when I was first doing it and that’s like anything right and that’s where confidence comes to do it again and again and again until it’s now the fear is going to give a better talk I’m going to go still be present and not repeat what I spoke about before which is which is growth.
Dr Aziz: Yeah that’s now does actually my follow up question is to see how you notice it being different when you first were doing it versus now because you said that before you go on stage now there’s still this shot spike of fear
Kamal: Of course
Dr Aziz: So how is it different now than it was earlier
Kamal: It’s different in the sense that now I know I can do it before i didn’t even know I can do it, the first few times you know like I wasn’t even sure yeah like I wasn’t very- Now I know I can do it now I know that no matter what I can do it then the fear is how will I be good or how will I give to this particular audience what i feel i should you know what is the most I can give to them that’s different than any of the audience was spoken to so it’s a different kind of fear and that’s OK and that’s actually you know I recognize it and then that I go and do my thing, whatever that is
Dr Aziz: Yeah and that comes from- that represent love that idea of because I think there’s another layer of suffering we can have or if we feel afraid about something and I think the fear and maybe other emotions too we can respond to them we have conditioned ourselves or been conditioned over time to meet that fear with self hate or shame. There is something deeply wrong with me I must be cowardly blah blah blah even though we still might go do the thing which is the opposite of cowardice right it’s like we’re facing our fear even though we have it that’s courage but so what I love what you’re describing and you can hear it in your tone is like oh there it is OK I love myself now let’s go do it.
Kamal: There you are again you need again, you know what I meet again that’s all and you know what sometimes be given too and that’s OK you’re human you know it’s OK to recognise it like look this time I don’t feel like I just don’t want to deal with it and that’s OK yeah you know there’s no grand moment in life when you do it and boom you’re one life and the cherubs come and the angel are singing you know it’s life is Moment by moment right and sometimes you win sometimes you lose and you know those are very little words it’s a matter that’s why I think a personal commitment really helps when you say OK I’m going to commit that I’m going to go do this and you know you’re not going to hit one hundred percent even fifty sometimes fifty percent whatever at least you do it you know you do what you were doing it before.
Dr Aziz: That brings us to the end of the episode for today not the interview in the next- I don’t want to break it up because there’s so much because stuff in the next half of the interview we’re going to be covering some incredibly important topics on how to bring this into your life what gets in the way what stops you from loving yourself and how to do it even more but today we got to end with what we always end with
So we talk about something about personal commitment to deciding to be on your own side deciding to love yourself and how everything emerges from that figuring it out can we do it. How do I do it all comes later but there’s that core commitment according to Susan you’ve heard it in my experience we have to decide we have to say I’m going to do this I’m going to figure this out I have to do this so I encourage you for your action step to make that decision to be on your own side and then try it out this week between this interview and when you hear the next one the second half the interview next week and just notice how it goes is it easy is it hard is it something that just happens naturally for you or do you really have to work at it and just notice because you’re going to learn more and that decision to take it put it into action and make it a personal commitment is what’s going to set the stage for you truly mastering this area and ultimately loving yourself no matter what.
Thanks for joining me today; I look forward to joining you more.
Stay tune for next week interview because you’re not going to want to miss it.