Samantha from our Self-love and Personal Growth Community asked me a wonderful question, “Where I start?” I love that she asked this question. If you would like to learn how to love yourself then you’re in the right place.'Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself.'Click To Tweet
What is self-love?
Self-love is a “love of self” or regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.
All the advice I provide is from my own personal experiences.
Ever since I was young, I have been told to speak a certain way and act a certain way that wasn’t authentic to me. I was groomed to be the caregiver at a very young age because my mother was a single mom and I had to take care of my younger sibling.
I became the co-dependent, insecure, people-pleasing, good-girl, who cared for everyone better than she cared for herself.
Ultimately, that led to me live a life that wasn’t what I truly wanted to live which then led me into a deep depression.
If you’re interested in learning how I healed depression read these articles below:
- 6 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GET THROUGH THE DARK DAYS OF DEPRESSION
- 5 SIGNS YOU NEED TO SEEK SUPPORT WHEN DEPRESSED
- 10 SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR WHEN YOU FEEL SAD
- FINDING HAPPINESS AFTER DEPRESSION
- THERAPY WASN’T THE ONLY THING THAT GOT ME THROUGH THE DARK DAYS OF DEPRESSION
I had to figure out who I was and what I really wanted in this life. I had to start to love myself and fill in those spaces within me that I wanted others to fill. I believe self-love should be the very first thing we’re taught at a very young age instead of how to accommodate others.
So now, I am going to take you through each step that I took to begin to love myself.
Self-aware means conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
We must be honest about who we are and how we show up in the world. What are our personality traits, goals, desires and attitudes towards life and other people?
I do believe that this is an on-going practice because as we embark on this personal growth and self-love journey we will continue to evolve and change. Therefore, we must continue to be present in the present moment.
Click here for 30 thought-provoking questions to help you become more self-aware.
2. Accept myself for ALL that I am
It’s easier to accept your strengths vs your weakness. It is easier to accept your greatest attributes that you or others like about you vs what you or others don’t like about you. On a spiritual level and the practical level, we must heal and not judge the parts that aren’t so “good” or “positive” about ourselves.
I did a tremendous amount of “shadow work” that people don’t feel comfortable facing. Things about myself and my past that brought up feelings like sadness, shame, guilt, insecurity, and jealousy. We avoid, lie, and hide those dark parts of ourselves.
What is shadow work?
Don’t be afraid to dive deep and begin the healing process.
3. Stop caring what others think
The main reason you need validation outside of yourself because you don’t believe, trust, or love yourself. I know this and understand where you are right at this moment because this was me.
We usually try to find validation within our group of friends, relatives, or our spouse. Others of us try to find it in complete strangers. We sit and hang on people’s thoughts and perspectives of who they think we are.
To break this mode one must make it a daily practice to trust oneself and making decisions authentically.'When you care what people think of you-you are giving them your power, your energy, and control over you.'Click To Tweet
4. Figure out what I stand for'When you don't stand for something, you fall for anything.'Click To Tweet
Your beliefs are made up of your thoughts and emotions. Your reality is a reflection of your beliefs. We often take on the beliefs of those who are close to us, society, or perhaps religion. Those who live with a purpose have a strong knowing and belief system.
People are quick to push their belief’s onto others. That is just another person trying to condition another. My own personal beliefs could be different from you and others.
So instead, I challenge you to think about what it is you believe to be true for you.
What do you believe?
What is that line that no one can cross? When is enough, enough?
It is best to develop these boundaries early in the relationship, but it is never too late to create them in an existing relationship. You deserve to be treated with respect if that is what is valuable to you. Being liked and accepted will only get you so far. However, being respected will get you further.
You can’t control what people say or how they act, but you can control your reactions towards them. You can also limit the amount of access they have to you. Setting boundaries are extremely healthy and it shouldn’t be looked at as a defense mechanism.
It is stressful to continue to stay firm when it comes to the boundaries you set with someone who continues to try to push them. However, I believe that short-term stress far out weighs the long-term stress of someone constantly walking over you. Eventually, they will stop or give up pushing you because you stood firm communicates that you can’t be pushed around.
5. Heal and let go of mindset and behaviors that don’t serve me
We can’t avoid suffering whether it is physical, mental, or emotional. So how do we heal from past trauma? How do we move forward although it hurts? How do we stop being triggered by the subconscious memories stored from the past that keep bubbling up to the surface?
The healing process can take hours, months or even years. I believe it is up to the person. There is no time length on your healing process. Some wounds cut deeper than others. Be patient with yourself and be kind.'Heal yourself first, the rest will come later.'Click To Tweet
6. Manage my emotions
I believe in balance. I don’t believe every situation in the world we live in doesn’t always call for positivity. People will test you, push your buttons, disrespect you, and try to bring harm upon you and your family. It doesn’t happen every day, but it does happen. We are all at different places in our journey.
I believe that our reaction to a situation is key. When we stop and process what is actually happening in the present moment we can then decide how we want to react. Hopefully, you react from a place of maturity and fairness.
When we take a moment to ask ourselves questions about why we feel the way we feel at the moment and how do we want the outcome to be. We ultimately react in a more balanced manner instead of lashing out.
Doing your best to remain grounded and balanced to your best ability will result in a situation being handled instead of getting out of hand.
A realistic perspective of the present moment is key.'Don't be a slave to your emotions'Click To Tweet
I’ve been saying it and I am going to continue to say it until I am blue in the face. We MUST speak to ourselves with love and compassion. That little voice in your head that tells you, you can’t do, you can’t be, you are something horrible – is wrong.
When you start to hear that voice in your head don’t be afraid to challenge it. You can challenge that voice by telling yourself that you are loved, you are capable, you can do, and you are beautiful and smart.
We must, on a daily basis, challenge our fears. We must not allow fear or fear of failure stop us from taking the first step towards a better you or a better life.
Don’t allow negative self-talk or doubts keep you from moving further. Don’t allow anyone around you put you down or tell you-you can’t accomplish your goal.
Easier said than done, but it is possible. I recommend that you encourage yourself to conquer your fears. Place yourself around others who will encourage you (friends, family, support groups).
8. Create healthy habits
The thing is, when we first engage in a new task, our brains are working hard – processing tons of new information as we find our way. But, as soon as we understand how a task works, the behavior starts becoming automatic and the mental activity required to do the task decreases. There are a million things that we do every day without thinking.
It shows what role habits play in our life. There are days in which we don’t feel like taking action, but if we are successful in forming healthy habits, they can keep us going, even when we are unmotivated. Prepare yourself (knowledge and understanding help us be confident in what we say and do), set small goals and celebrate those small wins.
What areas in your life are your habits holding you back from being successful? What are those habits?
9. Handling relationships
When we stay the course of something that doesn’t work for us or we hold onto things that we need to let go of we fall into a depression or we become overwhelmed by stress. When we stay in relationships and marriages that are toxic or not aligned with our soul we become overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed. Even holding onto memories of a past relationship can keep you in a low vibrational state.
We must be very self-aware in order to make decisions that support our high-self. That means we must adopt the mindset to careless about the judgments of others. Most of us care so much about the opinions and judgments of others that we will stay stuck.
My guy Gary Vee says no one’s opinion will ever be more important than his own (not even his wife and children) because they lack context. I wholeheartedly agree.
Someone’s judgment is a reflection of their own world, not yours.