bookcover-315highThis is an excerpt from Chapter 5 Believe in Yourself of “Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live:  How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa published by Balboa Press. Click here to purchase your copy!


Love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things!

If I were to ask you if you loved your children, you would more than likely answer with a very rapid “Yes!” Don’t you find it funny that we can so unabashedly love an extension of ourselves but not love our own selves?

When we think of the love we have for our children, we know we love them because of how they make us feel. We would do anything for them, no matter what. We would give up anything for them. Make any sacrifice for them. We want the best for them and do whatever we can to make sure they have the best life possible. You know when they are sick or not feeling well because your “mother/father instincts” tell you so. You know them so well that you know what they need, what their moods mean, and when they are just plain tired or hungry.

Just for one minute, I would like you to be your own parent. Treat yourself as you would that child you love so much. What would you do first for you? What do you need right now?

If you find it hard to answer these questions and to know what to do for yourself, you are lacking self-love. We do not take care of that which we do not love.

If I were to tag one area where almost all of my clients have a similar missing link, it would be in the area of self-love. When I ask them to do a Bucket List of things they want in their lives, I get a list of things they want for their spouses, children, and friends. When I ask them to take some time during the day for themselves, even if it is just for five minutes, I get the guilt response of “I don’t have time” every single time. Funny how when our children need our time we find the time but when we need the time, there is no time. I ask all of my audiences to ask themselves this question: “If you treated your friends like you do yourself and if you said to your friends what you say to yourself, how many friends would you have?” I always get a gasp from the audience at this point. You know the answer.

I have wondered often about how we get to the point where we lose our love for ourselves. We are born with it. We are born with the Divine knowing that we are important, lovable and worthy. What happens? Where does it go?

Over our many years of living, we allow people, things, thoughts, and places to take our power. Every time we allow something into our thoughts that takes away a little piece of us and makes us think we are not important enough to have love in our life, our power has been taken. We know this has happened by how we feel. As soon as you have an interaction with someone or something and it makes you feel “bad,” you know you have lost your power. You could lose your power to a specific person, money, a job, an actual place, a thought pattern…you name it. Every time you allow your power to be taken, you lose a little bit of self-love. Balance is not letting anyone or anything love you more than you love yourself.

Self-love is THE most important thing you need in this life. In order to have self-esteem, which we will discuss later in detail, you need to love yourself first. You cannot hold yourself in esteem until you love yourself. The question becomes, once you lose it, how do you get it back?

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

As I Began To Love Myself…

Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you.  In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn’t have the time to sit around and talk about you.  What’s important to me is not others’ opinions of me, but what’s important to me is my opinion of myself.” ~C. Joy Bell


Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering

are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

Take the time to do one thing for yourself today.

Love yourself and do it for YOU,

(Thank you Elaine!)

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Click here to purchase your copy of “Choosing The Life You Were Born to Live:  How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa

My Mind Creates My World

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.” ~Judith Viorst

I travel quite a bit.  Most of my travels have to do with someplace I am going to speak but occasionally I get to do a trip here and there that is just for me.  Many of my friends watch my postings on Facebook gallivanting around the world and I always hear the same comment, “Where are you now?”  Or if I am at home when they call I hear, “Are you in the country?”  I will be the first to admit (and am extremely grateful for) that I have a very blessed life.  I am healthy, have a wonderful relationship with both of my girls, I own my own business which allows me flexibility in my schedule, I travel all over the world and every day I feel like I am blessed with yet another gift from God in whatever form it may show up; an unexpected check, a new hiking trail, a new friend, etc.

My life was not always this way though.  I used to suffer from chronic ulcerative colitis, have daily migraine headaches, was overweight and felt overall as if I was trapped in my life and had no choices.  I had “responsibility” you know.  Bills to pay, kids to raise, a job to go to (which I hated)…all things I HAD to do.  I am not sure exactly what happened…it may have been the severe colitis that finally got to me and being sick of feeling sick or just being plain tired of being tired.  One thing I do know that happened is the pain of staying where I was became greater than the fear of what was ahead; the unknown.  When we hit that point, we always do something differently.

I had to “unplug from the Matrix.”  Neo never showed up to tell me I was living in “the Matrix,” an illusion world, but I somehow felt in the pit of my stomach there was more to life than what I was seeing.  I unplugged by taking some time off; not only from work but from my life.  I stopped doing everything for everyone else and took some time for me.  I entered the equation of my life again.  All of my decisions up to that point in my life were based on what I thought other people thought I should do (that even sounds silly when I type it) instead of what I thought I should do.  I was not in the equation whatsoever when I made any decision in my life.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, had to do with me.

In short, here is what I realized; I came to find the power of the mind.  We all heard the word “discipline” growing up and most cringe when they hear it.  But controlling your mind…taking charge of your life…takes self-discipline.  I now have a “daily discipline” I follow and it is what starts my day every day.  It is what keeps me centered and what allows me to stay in a space of graciously receiving anything that life offers to me; love, pain and anything in between.  If your life is running you instead of you running your life, sit down, take a breath and listen to this next part.  Here is the formula:

And last but not least, try this small mantra everyday and believe it;

Be still, know all is good
Be still, know all is
Be still, know all
Be still, know
Be still

Living in the my own (and uniquely created) real world and loving it,

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at Find her at, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .