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Love Yourself to the Best Version of Yourself



            Why do we wait to be proud of ourselves? Think about it.  We wait until we graduate from high school or college before we tell ourselves we are proud. We wait until we make the game-winning shot or win to competition before we look at ourselves with pride, joy, and fulfillment. We wait until we pass the class to get the grade that we aimed for before we are proud of ourselves. Why do we wait to think of ourselves as great until we do something great?


            Now I know what you might be thinking to yourself, “Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?” Shouldn’t we wait till we do something of great achievement to know that we have been worthy of a pat on the back?


            I believe that this is one way to look at life, but through my years of aiming high, I came to realize how empty it all is.


            There was a basketball player who, when around the age of 10 or 11, did not score a basket all summer long and was devastated. He cried to his father sharing with him his frustration and the father said something that this kid was never going to forget. He said, “Listen, whether you score 0 or you score 60, I am going to love you no matter what.” And what happened to this kid? He went on to become one of the greatest basketball players Kobe Bryant.


            But why? How did this fuel him? Think about it this way, Kobe did not have to work for the approval of his father, he got to work from the approval of his father. It was no longer about winning or scoring, but rather about becoming the best version of himself that he could be.


            This is the equivalent of someone coming into their freshman year of high school and hearing the words from a parent, “No matter what happens, I want you to know that I am proud of you.” That freshman gets to work and live anxiety-free.


            But what happens if you don’t have someone in your life who can do this for you? It might be weird to go to someone and say, “Can you be proud of me no matter what?” Might be a little weird. But be my guest and try it out. Let me know how it goes.


            But if that method is not for you, then you can do what I did. One of the things that I did was I told myself I would offer it to myself. I will say those words to myself. I am going to tell myself how proud I am of myself before I even do anything. I am going to tell Samson, “No matter what happens I am proud of you.”


            No matter what grade you get. No matter how the game goes. No matter if you mess up once or a hundred times. I am proud of you for showing up.


            What this does is it destroys the number one thing that will get in the way of greatness. Shame and Anxiety. Anxiety comes because of the fear of messing up, and shame comes right after the mess up-to beat you down some more. You can either be filled up with shame and anxiety, or you can be filled up with self-love.


            This is so important to know starting because you need to know what you are fueled by. Who are you trying to make proud? Who are you trying to prove wrong? If that is what is fueling you, you are bound to make many mistakes on this road. But if you are fueled by knowing you are loved and knowing that no matter what happens, just like Kobe Bryant, there is nothing that can stop you from working for greatness, because you know you already have it.


            Even when it comes to wanting to make an impact in Tulsa Oklahoma. The reason I can say it with confidence is because I told myself, “No matter what happens I am proud.” And so since I am already proud of myself, might as well make an impact in Tulsa. And by the way that is what Kobe said after his dad said those words. Kobe said, “Okay, that gives me all the confidence in the world to fail. I have the security there. But, to hell with that, I’m scoring 60!”

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