Everything starts with the relationship you have with yourself-how you talk, look at, present, and feel about yourself.

From birth until about age 8 or 9 is the most important self-development time in your life is from your birth to about the age of 8 or 9, because it is when you forming beliefs from the messages and modeling from of other people. These experiences are what create your subconscious mind and acts as the foundation of your beliefs. The subconscious mind makes up 88% while your conscious mind, the thoughts you can hear in your head, make up only 12%.

Energetically as well as verbally, through the modeling of your parents, siblings, and other adults that might have lived with you or raised you, the subconscious was formed. Those people made a great impact on your life and their energy was embedded within your cells. Some of the stuff you may come up against on your self-love journey won’t even be yours.

A few years ago, at a holiday celebration, there was some conflict that happened at my dinner table between the guests. hours later, after not being able to sleep, I acknowledged how uncomfortable I was still feeling, and decided to reach out to the therapist I was working with to sort it out.  She said, “It sounds like insecurity.” I completely identified with that, but I didn’t know where it came from.

When I shared it with my husband, he was also perplexed. Insecurity didn’t sound like me because I grew up with very supportive parents who still are my biggest cheerleaders. But I knew the diagnosis was correct, I just didn’t know why or how.

Forty- eight hours later on a vacation with my mother in Jamaica, I noticed the emotions and feelings that was she experiencing, being in a new country, and it was that of insecurity. When she gets nervous, she talks a lot or has very anxious energy. And as I watched her, I secretly started to cry.

I didn’t tell her I was crying, not because I felt shame, guilt or sadness, it was because now I could now see clearly that the insecurity I had been experiencing was hers, not mine.

That energy and way of being was modeled for me, my whole life, and was embedded in me energetically.  Think of it as a frequency, tone, or vibration.  When you are around a lower frequency, like fear or sadness, it can influence how you are feeling. On the flip side, being around happy, vibrant, positive people can also lift your mood and inspire you.

Now that I understood where it came from, I could use therapeutic tools to heal it.  Without the awareness or identification, the patterns keep repeating. If I’m having an experience or a conflict with somebody, and if let’s say that conflict keeps repeating itself in my life, I get to choose whether I think that’s a random act or if I actually created an opportunity for awareness and healing.

When you dive into self-love practices and look at healing some of these wounds that have been perpetuating in your life, you actually will transform the outcome. Your experience, relationships, feelings, and your body will shift-I promise you.

The journey of self-love takes introspection. It takes care and the same amount of attention you would give a child or someone that you love, because if you can’t love and respect yourself, why would you expect someone else to? If you can’t stop and give yourself care, love yourself, and ask for what you need, why would somebody swoop in and do it for you?

Doesn’t it feel better and stronger to say, “I like myself. I have the amount of self-respect to acknowledge that I’m a good person and I want to take care of myself”? Isn’t that what you want to teach your children? Otherwise, you teach (and model) that in order to feel love, other people have to jump through hoops for you. This is called co-dependence and this is an addiction that will perpetuate depression and anxiety.

What we’re all searching for is love-it’s the end goal, right? Don’t you just want to experience and feel happiness and love? If you just dive down underneath all the reasons why you want all the things you want—money, cars, a relationship, a family, a better body—keep going deeper and deeper, what’s at the bottom? What is it you really want? You want to feel love and happiness.

What is 100% true is that you can choose to feel that right now. It just has to be a shift of your mindset and your interpretation of what’s going on. If we always look outside of ourselves to feel love, then it’s going to be fleeting, conditional, and based on somebody else’s behavior, or our “interpretation” of someone else’s behavior. You can’t expect other people to change so that you feel good.

I promise that when you can love yourself, you will manifest health and healing that can last, because it’s coming from a strong foundation.

The healing doesn’t have to be hard, long, drawn out, and include several years of therapy. I will be providing tools and resources here, in my podcast shows and in The Invisible Fitness Academy so be sure to check out JJFlizanes.com to see what is best to support your journey.

Are you willing to love yourself? Are you willing to also allow yourself to forgive yourself and to heal that? Isn’t feeling good and having happiness and love what you really want?

JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist and the host of several podcast shows including Fit 2 Love and Spirit, Purpose & Energy. She is the Director of Invisible Fitness, an Amazon best-selling author of Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life, and author of Knack Absolute Abs: Routines for a Fit and Firm Core. She was named Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles for 2007 by Elite Traveler Magazine. JJ has been featured in many national magazines, including Shape, Fitness, Muscle and Fitness HERS, Elegant Bride, and Women’s Health as well as appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox 11, the CW and KTLA. Her newest book, The Invisible Fitness Formula: 5 Secrets to Release Weight and End Body Shame debuted at #2 on the Amazon Best Seller List for Women’s Health and #2 as a Hot New Release on May 18th 2017.