What does self-love mean to you? We are willing to guess you have some crappy theories about what self-love is all about. Head Coach Laurie Gerber joined a Facebook Live with Nicole Dechow, who is a self-love expert and coach to debunk some of your most duh-mbass theories about self love.
Watch the video or read the transcript to uncover some new, better theories about how to love yourself in the most fulfilling ways possible!
Laurie: Hey everybody, welcome to our Facebook Live. I’m Laurie Gerber, Head Coach at Handel Group Life Coaching and this is the Debunking Your Duh-mbass Theories Series. Today we’re talking about self-love and self-care and all the dumbass theories we have about why we should be helping others before ourselves. And we have Nicole Dechow.
She’s in Germany and it’s almost the middle of the night for her. So thank you for accommodating our needs and coming in from Germany.
Nicole is a long time yogi. She is a yoga teacher trainer and runs Yoga and Soul in Germany. She also has a blog that helps people with their mindset. She’s kind of our people, you know, she’s the perfect person to talk about these topics from a spiritual perspective and a practical perspective. And she’s also one of those people that you’ve probably read about who really did walk away from a career to find herself. So that’s exciting. That was back about 10 years ago and she’s lived to tell the tale and she is still living much more of her dream life. So that’s a cool story. So Nicole, what do you want to share with people about that or what you’re doing now so they can just get to know you?
Nicole: First of all, thank you so much for having me!
The topic self-love is such a transformational topic for me because I think my journey is all about self-love and and it’s actually such an honor and such a blessing that today I can give back and share about my own journey and what helped me and I just hope that it helps others to understand how much they’re worth and that this life has so much to offer.
Laurie: Self-love is actually pretty basic, yet we all kind of suck at it.
Before we get into debunking the dumbass theories that we hear all the time, how did you get the courage to leave the life you were leading and change gears? I think you moved to India, right? How did you get the courage to do that?
Nicole: Basically I was in a job in marketing and PR, which was a good job and I was in a relationship and I think my life from the outside looked quite good. I think people thought I was happy, but I was not. I was not happy at all. I was sick, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. And I just knew I had to change something about my life right now! So I just took the leap, you know, I just went for it. I quit my job and I said I’m going to travel. I went to the States and I went to India and I stayed there.
I did a Kundalini yoga teacher training and I spent time finding out about meditation and it was a lot of healing for me. So I think I just jumped into it and I thought, “this is it.” And what helped me was the thought that I could always go back and do whatever I did before.
Today, I’m back in Germany, of course, but I live a completely whole life. Like it’s completely different from what it was before.
Laurie: Can I ask you a very personal question that I … as a coach, I’m curious about? How did you handle that financially? Because I think the biggest roadblock people have to quitting their jobs and going to travel around is financial. So if your story is unique, then maybe it won’t apply to other people. But I’d like to hear how you handled that financially? What do you recommend for other people?
Nicole: So this may sound a little bit weird, but I think I manifested it. I was sitting in a yoga workshop in Germany in May and left for my Kundalini yoga teacher training in India in November. I remember sitting in that workshop and thinking I don’t know how to make this my life because this will cost me so much money and I’m not sure if I can do that right now, even though I’m earning good, I spend it, you know, when you’re unhappy and you’re earning good, you’re spending your money.
But then by job asked for volunteers to leave their job for a payout and it was like everything came into place. I took the offer and I got a good amount of money that helped me to travel. I think that offer came to me because I manifested it.
Laurie: I see. Okay. That’s very good. You did very nice.
Nicole: But I didn’t know that it was all going to happen so soon. It just came to me and I was like, okay, I’ll take it.
Laurie: You were like, “I’ll take money to leave! That sounds perfect. Thank you. I have been meaning to leave anyway.” Good, sometimes it works out magically like that. Sometimes we get sick and that helps us be able to leave as well. In fact, I find that true. We have a lot of clients with autoimmune disorders and I find that often correlates with a lie. Right? Like you’re not living true to yourself. So sometimes the Powers that Be help in annoying ways and sometimes in very helpful ways and sometimes both.
Okay. Let’s now go into theories people have. Here’s one: If I take care of my own needs first, other people will think I’m selfish.
Nicole: That’s actually something that I have done my whole life, I think. It’s a belief that I got in my early childhood.. And I think a lot of people are going along with this belief. If I’m just taking care of my own needs then I’m selfish and no one will like me or love me or everybody will just think I’m not doing enough for others.
And I’ve found out for myself that actually the opposite is the case. When you’re really taking good care of yourself, you’re in a good space and have good energy and you bring value to other people’s lives and you inspire them to do the same and to take care of themselves.
And the opposite is that if you’re just always showing up for others but never for yourself, you come, in a way, with an empty cup and you’re like, “what can I give you?” And other people would say, “you know, thank you, but no. I don’t want anything from you.”
Laurie: Exactly. It’s like you’re giving but taking away at the same time. Very interesting. I was just talking to a client about this, the power of a good no. Like, “no, I can’t do that” or “no, I won’t do that” or “no, I don’t want to do that.” And how it’s really quite sexy. I was telling her, I actually think “no” is one of the sexiest words there is because there’s such self awareness to it and a personal responsibility to it. It really does make people respect you more and honor you more. And then they have to think about, well, am I respecting myself? Am I honoring myself? So it’s an amazing mirror for people.
Nicole: Absolutely. I totally agree with that. Like, “no” it’s a magical word. You know, when you say no to something, you always say yes to something else. And if you say no to some things that you don’t like, I think you always say yes to the things that you really want.
Laurie: Exactly. And you train people how to treat you.
Does it make me a bad person if I put my own needs first? Because I think that’s another bad theory people have, like good people always put other people first. How did you change that theory for yourself?
Nicole: So this was a theory that was so present in my life before. Especially when I was diagnosed with that disease, when I didn’t feel happy, and I had to look into where it came from. And I think it was a very, very limiting belief that I was carrying for a long time. I love that example that you have when you’re on a flight…where you put your air mask on before you put it on your kids. And 10 years ago, I was like, why? I don’t understand, I’m a good person…
Laurie: You’re dead in this story so…
Nicole: Yeah, you’re dead and you’re not of any help, you know? So I think the opposite is the case again. Like now, I see that when I take good care of myself, I can help more because I have the time. People love to be around people that take care of themselves. You can feel it. They aren’t there because I do things to please them, but because they can feel I’m okay with me, and I’m centered, and I’m in a good mood or in good energy.
Laurie: At HG, we call it Personal Integrity because you’re in integrity with yourself. If you believe in this much sleep, and this kind of food, and this kind of water intake, and this kind of exercise, and this kind of outdoor time, this kind of family time, you live true to that. You’re shining your light on everybody. Everybody goes, “what did you get a haircut? What do you eat? What’s going on over there? I want some of that. I want to be around some of that because it feels good.” So it’s really quite a good thing.
Another bad theory I want to debunk is, shouldn’t I be grateful for what I have and not ask for more? Have you heard this one?
Nicole: Yeah. So many times.
Laurie: It sounds so spiritual. It sounds so good.
Nicole: Yeah, to not ask for more, to be grateful with what you have. And of course I think you should be grateful. But I do believe in chasing your dreams and I think there’s always a reason why we have a dream and we can be grateful and at the same time ask for so much more. And you know, I see it like this, the more we have, the more we can give, the more we can share, the more we can do with that, you know? And instead of cutting ourselves off of all this and just saying, “I have this, I’m fine with that. I don’t need more.”
Laurie: I think that’s actually really the chicken talking. I don’t think that statement is actually real. I think it’s actually an excuse. Because if you really think about it, of course, if you’re a good person and you want to help the world, if you have more rest, and more time, and more money, and more success, and more fame or whatever, then you can do your job so much better.
Nicole: Yes, yes, yes. But I think it’s also something you learn in our childhood. I’m trying to do the opposite now with my son. I always try to tell him you can have everything that you want, but I’m trying to find a middle ground – like he doesn’t get every toy he asks for…
Laurie: You can have it if you manifest it, you can’t have it if I buy it for you.
Nicole: Yeah. The other day he said, “mama, you said I can be anything that I want when I grow up so I can be a YouTuber.”
Laurie: “Ha, yes, you can, if that’s really what you want.” We should encourage them to be YouTubers and then they’ll never want to do it.
Nicole: Right! And I think if it’s really his wish, inside, then of course, but…
Laurie: That’s just the thing. It’s ego versus heart. And that’s really what’s going on in this whole conversation is are you trying to look good to others and look good to God or whatever you think God is, or are you actually coming from the heart?
And I believe dreams come from the heart, which is not in our control. That’s spiritual. That’s not you personally, that’s something that you’re being used for that’s coming through you. So to fight it is kind of crazy. Even if you try, it still keeps popping up.
Nicole: Yeah. You know, there’s a funny story that I can share. It’s one of my very old dating experiences. I remember I was dating a guy, he was nice and handsome and I remember we had a talk and he said, “I’m actually a very humble guy. I don’t ask for much, I’m grateful with what I have.” And I was like okay…
It kind of like, opened my eyes. You know? And it’s like I don’t ask for much but –
Laurie: He forgot what he was saying. It’s attractive to desire. To desire is attractive and that is a beautiful point that you make.
But I want to also talk about lineage for a minute. Because you mentioned what you’re teaching your kids and I would imagine, you tell me if this is true for you, but for most of us, we get these messages from our parents, from our culture, from our religion, from our environment and we just take it for granted. Like, it must be true.
And I want to really encourage people to just question for a moment, where you got your ideas about what’s good? What makes you a good person and do you agree with them? Because now is the time to establish your own Personal Integrity and make your own rules for what you think a good person is, which hopefully changes over the generations as we are faced with new challenges.
Nicole: Yeah, I absolutely agree. And then also asking the question, what does it take from you? How would your life be if you didn’t believe that? Then it’s like “Oh my God…it could be amazing!”
Laurie: Okay, Nicole, I want to talk about Inner.U for a minute because I’m obsessed with it. I always want to talk about it. It’s our digital program. You’re in it, you know about it. It covers our entire Handel Method. It’s the best. It’s Lauren Zander teaching the whole method, soup to nuts. It’s a free coaching session with a private coach. It’s Q&A calls with coaches, ongoing all the time. You can call in for the rest of your life. There are Masterclasses where you can be with a master coach over a period of time. You do it together with a group of people. There’s a buddy system. It should cost so much money. It doesn’t. It costs only $650 bucks for the rest of your life. That’s not even a monthly payment.
Nicole, you’re in. I’d love to hear what you love about it and what you want to share.
Nicole: Actually, it’s such a good program so you should definitely look it up and see if it’s something for you because it can really change something for you. I love the idea that you can go through it at your own pace because like I just said, this is my self-love time. I also love the promise tracker. That you always make a promise to yourself. That’s something that really, really helps because you don’t want to not keep a promise to yourself.
And then I don’t know exactly which module it is, but it’s something that really stuck with me and it changed so much for me…it was the one about the inner voices. It was such a game changer for me. I also love that you fill out all the homework online, no printer needed! That really works for me. It’s something I always look forward to. It’s taking time with myself, working on myself, and I love the whole method around it, it’s fun. I laugh a lot while listening to it. I laugh about myself.
Laurie: We are really trying to get people to laugh about themselves, it makes it so much easier to change. So, thank you for that review. That was a beautiful testimonial.
Nicole: The last thing I want to share is that I know the “self-love movement” is everywhere right now but I really feel that self-love goes so much deeper. It’s actually taking responsibility for your own life and it’s not just “eat the cake and love yourself.” You know? Sometimes it’s actually the opposite. It’s like taking the whole day to look at your bank accounts and get your finances on track. That’s self-love sometimes.
Laurie: Personal integrity is self-love. It’s the highest form.
Nicole: So I think if you’re listening and you really want to start to love yourself and to bring more value to your life, to start with taking responsibility for your life and looking at your beliefs and maybe looking at where you can love yourself better. And sometimes it’s making time for yourself, like self-love time. Schedule it!
Laurie: Totally. Schedule self-love time folks. Balancing your checkbook, exercising, meditating, cooking healthy food…self-love time. Lots of it. Thank you so much Nicole.
P.S. What’s your life like? Sucky? Sexy? Somewhere in between? Take the Current Reality Quiz! It’s a quick, easy, and fun (we swear) way to self-assess and get a better idea (or at least an honest one) on what areas of your life you need to work on.
Laurie Gerber is a Senior Coach and Co-President of Handel Group® Life Coaching. For over 15 years, Laurie has led international events and private coaching courses. She has appeared on MTV’s True Life, A&E’s The Marriage Test, Dr. Phil and TODAY.
Image courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez.