The Most Life-changing Experiment I Ever Did

The Most Life-changing Experiment I Ever Did
This simple question will help you truly love yourself.

Every year, I set a guiding principle to live by for the next twelve months.

Last year, I chose self-love.

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

Before my experiment, I would not have understood this quote. Today, I believe these are some of the truest words ever spoken.

But let’s rewind.

At the beginning of last year, I realized I had unhealthy behaviors and was in unhealthy relationships because I chased external validation and love.

  • I beat myself up for my mistakes
  • I coped with self-medication and social media
  • I didn’t express my needs because I thought they didn’t matter
  • I had low self-worth and compensated by working my ass off
  • I tolerated disrespect from others because I was afraid of losing them

Then, I saw a video by Teal Swan that suggested a simple experiment.

“For 365 days, ask yourself ‘what would someone who truly loves themselves do?’ and do that.”

It was a good start, but I didn’t stop there.

Over twelve months, I dove deep into the topic of self-love and what it means to love yourself unconditionally.

The results were mind-blowing – better relationships, faster business growth, and a deep feeling of inner peace.

While the journey wasn’t easy, it turned my life upside down in so many ways.

Just Ask Yourself The Question

It seems easy – “What would someone who truly loves themselves do?”

That person wouldn’t:

  • Stay up scrolling social media until the wee hours – they’d rather spend the time doing something that serves them
  • Beat themselves up for mistakes – they’d be compassionate and learn to do better next time
  • Stay with people who don’t respect and appreciate them – they’d have the courage to cut off these relationships and create better ones

Asking myself felt uncomfortable in the beginning, which was a true sign that I had starved myself of the love I needed.

In some situations, I didn’t even know what to do, so I did what Swan's video suggested:

“Just feel into it – do what feels good intuitively.”

See, the mind is very good at rationalizing things. The ego tells stories to keep you in old patterns because they feel safe. But your intuitive feeling?

It’s always right.

You know already that social media, self-loathing, and toxic people aren’t good for you.

You just have to act on it.

Asking this question is like a self-improvement sledgehammer – it hits hard and produces massive results.

There was no way out, no explaining, and no excuses when I asked it. I had to make a fundamental choice – love myself or not.

I chose – and my behaviors, thoughts, and relationships changed quickly.

But I knew I wasn’t done.

The Three Pillars Of True Self-Love

Like for most people, self-love was an airy-fairy concept in the beginning.

Asking myself the question made it more tangible, but I was still confused – what was self-love? How do you describe it? Grasp it? Explain it? Live by it?

I dug deep – books, videos, speeches, mentors, spiritual guides, Ayahuasca ceremonies, and the occasional talk with voodoo priests.

In the end, I came up with three tangible pillars I could live by.

Pillar #1: Self-appreciation

I’m a “push harder” kind of guy.

I’ve worked for 21 days without a break, hit the gym for 30, and achieved 300+ day meditation streaks.

I’ve built a business from scratch, stepped on stage in a bodybuilding competition, and lived on five continents.

Not bad for three decades on this planet – but one thing was missing.

I rarely appreciated myself for what I did.

I simply pushed harder because I felt like I was never enough.

When you don’t appreciate your efforts, you burn out. It’s like climbing a mountain and instead of enjoying the view, you run down the other side to tackle the next peak right away. You attach your self-worth to your achievements.

So I forced myself to slow down a little. Instead of just journaling about my mistakes, I also recorded the efforts I was proud of. I paused to take a deep breath and give myself a pat on the shoulder.

And it felt incredible.

It helped me realize how great I was – not in an arrogant, ego-driven way, but rather from a place of compassion and “you’ve done well.”

“Self-appreciation is the foundation of self-love.” – Amy Leigh Mercree

For the first time, I saw myself as worthy of praise.

For the first time, I gave myself the love I had chased for so long.

For the first time in ages, I appreciated all the hard work my body, mind, and spirit had put into my life.

Appreciate yourself – you’ve earned it.

Pillar #2: Self-respect

faded and worn photo of a man's face fading away

There’s nothing more important to me than respect.

I don’t mind if people don’t like me, women don’t love me, or my parents are disappointed – as long as they respect me.

It hurts when someone crosses that line. I removed friends and partners from my life because of it. Yet, I kept running into the same struggle of people disrespecting me.

They kept showing up late, lying, and taking me for granted.

I didn’t know why until I took a long, hard look at myself and realized they were merely a mirror of my inner world.

I made empty promises to myself – “I won’t stay up late/scroll social media/watch porn again.” I didn’t hold myself accountable. I lacked integrity and self-respect.

So I started with that – keeping promises, drawing boundaries, and holding myself to a higher standard.

It didn’t take long for the results to show on the outside, as well.

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.” – Confucius

I left the relationships where I wasn’t appreciated and started living life on my terms.

Was it scary to draw these boundaries and let go of clients, friends, and partners? Yes.

Was it worth it? Also yes, big time.

Respect yourself and life will start respecting you, too.

Pillar #3: Self-acceptance

This was the hardest part out of the three.


Because it forced me to dive deep into my shadow and everything I had buried in the dark.

We all have parts we don’t like about ourselves. Things we hide because we don’t want others to know about it. Stuff that we’re ashamed of.

But you cannot love yourself if you don’t accept yourself fully.

You will forever pretend to be someone else – a fake version of yourself.

Instead of acting like someone I wasn’t, I faced the truth.

It was tough in the beginning because I forced myself to look at all the parts I didn’t like. The mistakes I made, the trauma I carried, and the insecurities I had.

But step by step, I got better at facing the pain, sadness, and disappointment I had buried.

Step by step, I cleared out my basement.

And step by step, I learned to meet these parts of myself with love.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I stopped being dependent on others’ validation and stopped acting like someone I wasn’t. Instead, I embraced myself fully.

This helped me to finally attract the people who were a good match and to move my business forward in a direction I was truly aligned with.

At the end of the day, I could look at myself in the mirror and love the true me.

Your authentic self is where your true power lies – so shine light on the shadow.

These Were The Biggest Lessons I Learned

This experiment was one of the most powerful ones I ever did.

It took everything I could give – and I learned so much in return.

  • Self-love is the basis for everything.
    All you’ve been looking for – success, a home and loving family, feeling good about yourself, and being the best man you can – they start here.
  • You can only love others as you love yourself.
    This was the scariest insight I had. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others. If you love yourself conditionally, that’s how you will love others. The same is true the other way around.
  • Everything starts with you.
    There’s good and bad news about self-love. The bad news is, you’re the only one who can do it. The good news is, nobody can stop you from showing up for yourself. So start with you and everything else will follow.

I never thought this year would change me so much, but it did.

I’ve chased someone who was unavailable for two years – that will never happen again.

I’ve tolerated disrespect because I was afraid of losing people – that will never happen again.

I’ve pretended to be someone I wasn’t and denied my true self appreciation, respect, and acceptance – that will never happen again, either.

Life’s a lot better today. I’m at peace. I love myself – truly, authentically, as I am.

And you can get there, too.

Just ask yourself:

“What would someone who truly loves themselves do?”

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