Paul Fishman wasn’t always the self love guru that he is today, in fact, for the first 25 years of Paul’s life he lived in fear. He did what others told him to do, pushed his own happiness aside to provide for others and was not fulfilled. At rock bottom Paul was 75 pounds overweight, in financial crisis and in an emotionally abusive relationship. When he embraced his true purpose and took hold of his own life his body released 20 pounds and he was led to his dream job almost overnight. Since this catalytic moment he has fought for his own happiness with all his will and has found his place as an advocate for all people who need support honoring and loving themselves. Paul’s training in fitness and nutrition gives him the ability to offer a holistic approach to his empowerment work. He prides himself in being able to foster and hold safe space for all living things. Paul calls San Diego home.

Here are takeaways from our conversation:


Paul recalls a time when he lived his life for others as a people-pleaser. He went from scared to experiencing life to living life to his fullest and find his authenticity in being his true self. As an advocate for ‘You Do You,’ his mission is to empower people to find their true selves through love and live their truth.

Ten years ago, Paul hit a wall. He didn’t recognize the person he saw in the mirror. He experienced an emotionally abusive relationship, put on weight, and found himself in a financial crisis. After he walked away from the relationship and began to choose himself over anyone else, good things began to happen.  

Paul found that he was constantly uncomfortable and yet comfortable in the discomfort. He describes that point in his life as being numb. He accepted his life for what it was- it didn’t feel good, or bad- it felt like nothing. Paul shared that a huge thing that holds people back is getting caught up in what other people are going to think of you. The fact is, no one cares as much about what you are doing- we just think they care as much as we do. We allow this limitation to hold us back and keep us in our discomfort.



The universe will throw the same lesson at your until your learn it. When Paul left the abusive relationship, he came out of the closet and felt this huge emotional weight was lifted off his shoulders. Up until that time, Paul describes how being overweight resulted from so many years of not loving himself. Once he found his voice and stepped into his truth, he shares that he lost 25 pounds, to which he has no idea how it happened! But Paul knows that his weight came off because he didn’t have to hide who he was or suppress his truth any longer.

He also found his dream job at the time. Although all the little pieces were lining up, he began dating men that reflected the same abusive qualities he found in past women he dated. He began to tune into the patterns of the types of relationships he was choosing and began to pay attention to the signs from the universe. He began to take the lessons from the universe that were delivered to this doorstep and used that to learn his past and create a new path that was aligned with his goals.


The hardest thing you can do is love yourself where you’re at right now, even if you’re not where you want to be yet. Paul shares an example of clients he works with that express goals of losing weight. If you want to lose weight but have an inner dialogue of hate towards your body and have a distorted relationship with food, that weight loss process will come from a place of shame, guilt, and other emotions that will not help you. Paul works with his clients to focus on the fundamental components of establishing a loving relationship with yourself first.

Paul reveals the emotional components under self-love include forgiveness, grace, and patience. Living with ‘Amazon Prime Syndrome’ as Paul describes has conditioned us to expect an outcome fairly quickly, which doesn’t work with many things in life, including self-love. Self-love work isn’t easy. It requires time, commitment, and dedication. It will not magically appear on day one; however, with continuous effort, you can get to a place where you truly own it and embrace it.


When you have a goal, is it for yourself or for external validation? Why are you establishing goals in the first place? Paul became a cycle instructor and got into fitness out of a fear that he wouldn’t be able to maintain his body if it wasn’t jos job. He worked in the fitness realm for a while and found that 99.9% of the people he worked with developed goals based on external validation- for example, to fit into a certain size to look good on Instagram. Paul had a light-bulb moment- self-love was completing missing from this equation. Self-love needs to be at the basis of every relationship you have. This notion allowed him to smoothly transition into the self-love space from the fitness world, and the rest is history.



To begin the work towards self-love you have to get uncomfortable first. First begin to notice your fear- what gets you scared? Notice the feelings that come up in your body around your triggers. For example- if you have social anxiety and you get a text from a friend to go out, how do you react? Do you notice your shoulders tense up and your heart rate increases? We can look at our bodies to find clues around what are the things that elicit the fear response. Another thing we may do is sacrificing important things, either consciously or unknowingly. If you’re saying no to the things you truly want to say yes to, and you’re saying yes to the things you know deep down inside don’t serve you is a sign that you are not doing what is in alignment for yourself. We have learned not to listen to ourselves because we tune out our inner voice.


The first step to stop people pleasing is to start asking for what you want. We can people please because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We want to be seen as a team player. We want to be liked. We can brush off disrespect from others due to an underlying fear of not being liked.

Paul shares this concept that rejection is protection. For example, if you want to ask your boss for a raise but you’re afraid, there are a few things that can help to prepare you prior to your meeting. One of the most helpful tools is journaling- putting pen to paper takes your thoughts out of your head and onto paper, which makes them a lot of less scary. Also, you now have this bigger picture of the fears that you need to tackle. We essentially have the same one-two fears that constantly live within us.

When you’re thinking about that meeting with your boss- instead of focusing on the fear, focus on the best thing that can happen. If your boss says yes to a raise, great! If your boss says no, you have planned that you can ask if you two can create a game plan moving forward for how you can get there. You are taking complete ownership of your destiny. Maybe this meeting was a sign for you that you’re at the right place, or to look for another job, or to follow a different path- the point is, don’t be afraid to go after the things you want. Look at the outcomes as a sign that you can use to help point you in the right direction.



FOMO is the fear of missing out, and JOMO is the joy of missing out. At the end of the day, it’s important to know we’re all human beings. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to living your life. Sometimes we refuse to learn the lesson. Once you learn a lesson, how can you apply the lesson? How can you actualize the lesson? We have fears and joys in life, but the best thing you can do is find peace with where you are in the present moment.

Paul shares an example of FOMO around Coachella. You can stream Coachella now, so you’re not missing out on the music. Do you have FOMO because you’re not at an event because everyone else is there, or because you really want to be there? Do you have FOMO because you truly want that experience, or because it looks cool on the gram? If you have FOMO of not being at Coachella for five years in a row, it’s time for you to go. Use your FOMO as a guide- don’t get mad at yourself for having FOMO. Instead, you can filter out the things that truly matter to you. Once you finally go, was it worth it? Life is a huge experiment, so give yourself permission to explore that.


Paul’s prescription for self-love: Every night write down three things for which you are grateful for.

Although gratitude may sound cliche, the question is- are you doing it? Gratitude forces you to deliberately focus on the positive things that may otherwise go unnoticed. Gratitude doesn’t have to be huge- it can be the smallest of things, like a pretty cloud passing by. The more and more you focus in on those beautiful things, the easier it gets and the better it gets.


Paul loves mantra and has a free mantra you can download to tape on your mirror when you sign up for his newsletter. Mantras are important because they give us permission to be present in our reality and create a reality that lifts us up. Important note- when you write and recite a mantra, say “I” instead of “you” because it gives you ownership of the mantra.


When Paulwakes up, he says his mantra then dives into his journaling. Paul spends the first 15 minutes of his day without checking his phone. Paul then grabs his phone and checks email/catches up on social media while he’s on the treadmill. If we have time to be on our emails, check social media, and spiral into negativity, then we also have time to move our bodies, journal, take care of our bodies. It sounds hard, but checking your email while you walk can be really simple.

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