Who do you see when you look in the mirror?

Do you see you or someone who needs to be better?

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For as long as I can remember I’ve been on this big journey with self-acceptance.

I’ve looked for my best self in so many places.

  • I took classes to find her.
  • I read squillions of books to be able to release her.
  • I took qualifications to prove that I was on the path to becoming my best self.
  • I climbed corporate ladders to discover her but when I got to where I thought I needed to get to, she wasn’t there.
  • I even created my own self-employed ladder and climbed it.

I learnt a lot of information but I couldn’t always apply the learning. What more did I need to do?

Perhaps placing and advert to the universe saying, “DESPERATELY SEEKING VANESSA’S BEST SELF! ” was the answer.

Of course to you it might seem obvious that the relationship to myself was the root of the problem. I had a blind spot that came from the misguided story the little girl in me had created. She believed that if she achieved and became good enough, she would be loved and be happy.

What Robert Holden and Louise Hay have shown me ....

I’d had Louise Hay’s Heal Your Life book on my shelf for years. Earlier this year I bought Robert Holden and Louise Hay’s book “Life Loves You.”

With it I received some recordings from Robert’s Shift Happens show and there was something about his lightness, incredible wit and humility that just landed.

I decided to really give the mirror exercise a go. I thought, “If a bloke can do it, what’s wrong with me giving it a go?”

I started to notice this funny conversation in my head as I looked in the mirror and told myself “Life Loves You,” and then graduated to, “I love you.”

I kept noticing my flaws. I would get distracted by my teeth and remind myself I really shouldn’t have sucked my thumb. I would notice how much grey hair I now had. I’d go back to the statement “I love you.”

Something funny happened. I got a sense of humour over the whole thing. There was I telling myself I loved myself and then this other part of me was saying, “Ooh hang on a second, you can love yourself when you’ve got a flat stomach or got rid of that grey.”

It was a beautiful metaphor for my work and life. Delaying satisfaction. Creating hurdles around happiness. Jumping to someone else’s version of success.

Who was I seeing in the mirror?

I was seeing the future perfected version of me and then criticising myself for not being her.

It all starts with self acceptance and love

This isn’t some fluffy nebulous concept of hearts and flowers. It’s real and gritty work.

I’ve spent the last 18 months doing deep inner work, facing myself and exploring defensive behaviours to heal them. In truth I’ve spent a lifetime on that journey but the shift is when you’re left with no other place to go.

You’ve taken the classes, understood it intellectually, pushed, strived and brow beaten yourself. There you are, in the mirror seeing that the person you can’t be with as they are, is you! No cream, pill, surgery or outside in glory will shift that. The issue is how you refuse to see your magnificence.

If you are delaying happiness, self acceptance and self love for when you're perfect ...

I recommend Life Loves You as a great read and completing the exercises.

Explore how your desire to be enough and avoid failing has you convince yourself that if you can just get everything perfect, then all will be well. It's a sticky honey trap. Beware!

You are innately worthy. You are the author of the story of not being enough. Take charge and embrace your inner brilliance. Be the author of a new story ...I looked in the mirror and loved who I saw.

Vanessa Anstee

Life Coach

I'm inspired by who you can be without apology and I want to help you let your real self shine. I've been a life coach for 10 years. I've always been a seeker trying to discover a way of being in life that feels soulful, authentic and aligned to what my heart wants not what my head thinks I should have, be or do. I spent 20+ year career in HR, OD, talent management and executive coaching. My kids were my biggest wake up. I saw the way I was working wasn't working anymore. I couldn't keep pushing myself harder. I had to accept I couldn't attain this perfected version of myself that I had strived most of my life to achieve. I had to find love not from accolades and other people's acceptance but from deep inside me. That's when I learnt to connect to my heart, heal my childhood wounds and fears of never being enough and set light to my passion in a completely new way. I want one thing for my clients. Be real. Be themselves, fall madly in love with that person and honour their soul's calling.