Self-love is something I’m pretty sure you have seen, heard, read about. That is because it really is a significant thing in one’s life, that once you experience it, you just want to preach about it from the rooftops and let everyone know about this goodness feeling that exists, and dare I say makes one feel whole.
If you are someone that is full of self-doubt, feels like they are not good enough or not entirely confident in themselves, odds are, your self love bar is pretty low. I personally am someone who in general is in a very good head space, however from time to time, I do find myself in a slump and when that happens, it is one of the worst feelings ever.
Regardless what state you are in your self love journey, it is definitely something that needs conscious and deliberate effort for growth. You deliberately have to grow out of negative self-talk and into positive self-talk. Self-talk is just an example, I’m just pointing out how every action has to be deliberate and conscious and even if you are pretty good in regards to self-love. You still need to be conscious negativity around you or even in your head in order to fall back into a negative space.
Self-love is a journey, not a destination
The journey is filled with ups and downs and in life it is usually said to not give up the good fight. Well this is a good fight. Stick to it and you see how every aspect of your life just begins to look up.
I decided to make a list of actual practical things that helps improve self-love. The list goes in an order of importance. 1. being something you would do if your self love bar is really love and you just feel completely down, and 10. being things you do when you do acknowledge you have that self-love, but still needs nourishing. You need to feed it to grow.
1. Writing down things
Now I’m not talking about affirmations, I’m sure you’ve heard about how everyone on a self-love journey has affirmations. We are not there yet. I’m talking about writing things down when you are feeling lowest of your low, and nothing seems to be working out right. And you know when you are at your low when all you can think about is every negative thing about yourself, both true and untrue.
You absolutely feel like you are in a dark hole falling and nobody else can save you. I need you to catch yourself in that moment and stop yourself. Get up, get yourself a pe and paper. Star thinking back to the beginning of the week or just the day and write down, word for word, everything that went well that day. And that begins with you waking up, then the list goes on.
Now what this does is that it gives you a more visual tangible reason to not feel like everything in your life has gone to shits. Something probably happened to make you feel terrible that day and your brain has just made it a point to help you focus on that one thing just so you can acknowledge your mistake.
Now that you have a whole list of several things that have gone right today, you will realize that the fraction is 20 to 1. That 1 should not have weighed as much as it did in your head. But now that you can see it was just one thing out of everything else that happened today you have a different perspective of things.
A lot of the time we tend to take little things for granted, probably because we have access to it on a daily. That does not mean it is not special, and if you think its not that much of a big deal, then imagine yourself without that thing. Writing things down help you shift your perspective.
It so easy to tell people you need to change your perspective. But speaking for the other person, ‘how do I change my perspective?’. This is a good way to go about it. At the end of writing your list you should feel grateful about everything good, and do not beat yourself up over not acknowledging it in the first place.
2. How to get your personalized affirmations
There’s that affirmation you’ve been hearing about everywhere. Affirmations actually do work and are helpful. It would be a lot more effective when they are personalized to cater to you and your needs. We all have different things we say to ourselves to make ourselves feel bad.
Affirmations reprogram your brain to stop all that negative talk. And even though yes there is a staple of things you could find online to say about yourself which are positive, it may not necessarily speak to you.
How to find your own affirmation? Get you a pencil and book or paper, make sure it is a pencil and not a pen. Write down everything negative about yourself that you think about. Everything, the ugly and the ugly! Make sure to skip two line as you are making this list.
When you are done writing them down all the ugly. Get your pen and write down the opposite in the line you skipped. Write the opposite of all the negatives you used to think about yourself, because all that is going to change now.
Then you clean off everything you wrote in pencil. It is ugly and does not belong anywhere, not on a piece of paper and definitely not in your head.
Now you have yourself a personalized affirmation. This list of yours discards all the untrue thoughts you’ve had about yourself. By having a list that is truly catered to you, it helps tackle the root of the problem. And once you change that narrative in your head, baybeeee
You need to get ready, because even you are not ready for the new you. You say these things out loud on a regular, that way even your subconscious cannot think otherwise.
3. Accepting compliments
Its very easy to refuse a compliment if you do not feel like you deserve it, or describes you in anyway. But a compliment is coming from how other people see you, and if others see all these good things about you, then what exactly are you looking at, that you don’t see it?
But the thing here is, when someone gives you a compliment, accept it wholeheartedly. Even if at the very beginning you accept it in a awkward unconvincing way, just keep saying thank you and accepting those compliments until your brain is entirely convinced.
Do not give excuses for whatever you are given a compliment for, don’t reject it, just take it in. eventually you will get to that point where you are not just saying thank you to say thank you, but your mind would also be cheering you on because yuup they’ve got that right.
4. Celebrate yourself
It is not just enough to accept compliments, but you yourself need to acknowledge your own achievements and give yourself a pat on the back, because you deserve it. Do not play down your achievements. No matter how little it may seem to you. Does not matter how many people have achieved that one thing.
You are a totally different person, who achieved this completely new thing, so you better celebrate it like it means something, because it does. I always use this example, if you feel like its not worth celebrating, then imagine not achieving that thing, whatever it is.
This makes you realize you are glad you completed that task or project, because you could have not done it. But you did, so celebrate that win. It motivates you to do more, and it also gives you a sense of deserving. You feel like you are worth being celebrated and acknowledge that your achievements mean something.
5. Taking care of yourself
This is important because you do not need to wait for a mile stone or an accomplishment in order to give yourself a treat. You need to do leisure things, that you personally enjoy on a regular. And when we talk self-care, it could be taking care of your skin or your health or body.
All those things that you may already think are secondary, probably because you don’t see the importance of it. I know it is not saving the world. But you are deserving of every little bit of love and care. People may try to put you out to be vain for this one, but keep it going and you will literally feel the love within you.
They think it’s vain because they think it’s extra, and that’s probably because they think it is secondary in their lives as well. Self-care is not secondary, it is primary, you need to be your best self in order to be able to give the best version of you to the world. Do not ever feel guilty for pampering yourself, you deserve every bit of it. Make this a habit and you will literally feel the change in weeks.
6. Get yourself out of negative situations
I used the word situation, because it could be the overall environment or maybe a friend or partner that is negative towards you. People that are negative are most likely sad in their lives and will just rub off on you, the longer you are around them.
Sometimes your friends can be going through a phase of sadness, of course be there for them and try to get them out of their own negativity, but if it is a lot to handle and they are starting to drag you down with them. You just back off and be a friend from a distance. You are no good to nobody if you are also in a negative headspace. So, save yourself and still be a friend from a distance.
Sometimes your friends are just Debbie downers. You let them know, this behavior is not cool and this is what it makes me feel like. If they cared, trust me they will make a change, but if no effort is put towards making a change, at least now you know they don’t care. And why should you have to tolerate negative behavior from people who do not even care about you.
Same goes for a partner, no excuses, if that person genuinely loves you, they would not want you to feel bad about yourself and would do everything in their power to not make you feel bad about yourself. You shouldn’t feel bad cutting off people like these from your life, just remember they never loved you to begin with and you are too awesome to just be tolerated.
Go where you are celebrated not tolerated. – unkown
Never make someone a priority, when all you are to them is an option. – Maya Angelou
7. Know your body and accept it all
You need to really know your body and accepted it. I feel like it so easy to compare yourself to people, but the thing is, after that comparison, what was your result? I know for sure, you are different from the next person, but then what? Who passed this little examination of yours in your head? You or the next person?
I ask these questions because when you think about it, we literally have no basis on why a certain body feature is better than another. Just because you are different from someone else does not mean they are better. Let me rephrase that, just because the other person is different from you….
Did you catch that? we honestly don’t know who the odd one out is. Are they different or are you different?
I know its easy to feel like you are different simply because of what is prevalent in the media. This is why everybody is screaming about representation. It is not that all that you see in the media is all that there is. It is just all that is being represented and there are millions of people that do not look like those in media.
They are probably out there in the world thinking something must be wrong with them too, which is not true. They are just not being represented. And until that changes, you need to remind yourself that just because you are different, or they are different, does not mean that one is better than the other.
That is just what it is, different. Men and women are different, but one is not better than the other, just different. After grasping this point though you will really see how stupid comparing yourself to others is. It literally gets you nowhere.
So really know yourself and embrace yourself, because that is your strength. Love every inch of you, because why not.
8. Your self love should not be dependent on anything
This is the last and crucial point. As you are building yourself love and trying to improve your mental health, try not to attach it to anything. It is very easy to attach your self love to your beauty or your success or recognition from people, yeah do not fall into that trap. Having yourself love dependent on something means you can literally lose it at any time. You are way too awesome to have something else determine just how valuable you are in life.
You need to have a level of self love where if you are stripped away with all that you have, you will still be able to lift your head high because you acknowledge your worth. Life is going to hit you, and bump you in all sorts of directions, you do not all of a sudden become worthless just because you have lost certain traits in you.
It is like this really old example of $100 bill, after being thrown in the mud and stepped on, the value never decreases. Despite the fact that is crumpled and covered in mud, it does not matter. It never stopped being a $100 bill. Same as you, just because you’ve been through things, life has a lot of ups and downs, but it is not capable of erasing your worth.
Yeah you have a little bit of scratches and bumps here and there, but guess what? You are still as valuable and worthy as you were when you had all that you had.
I will just end this here, it got a lot longer than I thought. I just really enjoy this topic and love helping people however I can. I also recorded a video on this same topic. Of course I go into a little more detail there as I explain these points well, you can check it out here.
What are some of the self-love habits you have adapted for yourself that really helps you?
Share some of your gems, so it may help other people and myself. We are all on this journey together.