Are you wondering how to start a self-love journey? It isn’t all that surprising that self-love doesn’t come as easily as we would like it to! It can actually be really freaking hard sometimes! This guide is here to help you to love yourself more and overcome some of those frustrating roadblocks that get in the way!
But taking the first big step to start your own self-love journey is going to get you a whole lot closer to treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated!
But before we dive into the wild world of self-compassion and appreciation, let’s lay down the groundwork. Let’s start with the basics, like Self-Love 101.
What Is Self-Love?
Self-love is the practice of loving and respecting yourself and treating yourself with kindness.
Sounds simple, right? It is, but it also isn’t!
Self-love is a key ingredient for a healthy and happy life. By giving yourself love and compassion, you unlock the potential to live a truly fulfilling life, forge deep and meaningful connections, and make choices that light up your soul.
My Self-Love Journey
I’ve been on an epic self-love adventure since day one. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of discovery and growth, with exhilarating highs and some really super challenging lows.
Along the way, I’ve always had this burning desire to find inner contentment. My own self-love journey is a big reason why this blog exists! It was possibly a huge catalyst for following a career in psychology.
While it wasn’t always a big focus, finding that sort of contentment was always in the back of my mind.
But the real self-love journey for me kicked off when I was around 38.
Knowing that the big 40 was just around the corner was like a harsh reality! Could I really be ‘that old?’. When my parents were 40, they seemed ancient. Oh, how our reality changes!
I wanted to feel ‘fab at 40’ and that was when my self-love process hit a whole new level.
This for me meant reaching my best physical state – healthier than ever! Regular exercise, eating better, practising proper self-care and digging deep into my mental state to really know what lights my soul on fire.
And I can tell you, the whole process has been incredible! I did feel fab at 40. I was fitter than I had ever been. I even cut down drastically on sugar at 39. As a mega chocoholic, this is a thing I never thought I would be able to do.
All of it combined brought me to a much happier, healthier mental state – a more intentional life!
But have I finished my self-love journey? Heck no. It’s an ongoing process of loving ourselves and it’s a journey I plan to stay on for the rest of my life.
Eliminating Self-Love Blocks
The process of self-love is an ongoing journey that requires you to be mindful of how you think, feel, act, and care for yourself. Ultimately, self-love involves learning to appreciate yourself, including your body and your mind.
It’s also about embracing your flaws, setting boundaries, and listening to what your body and soul need. It’s a whole package deal, my friend.
But here’s the thing, loving yourself can be hard. Like trying to assemble IKEA furniture without the instructions hard.
Why? Well, blame it on society and the media. We’re bombarded with messages that we’re never good enough, never pretty enough, never [insert adjective] enough.
We’ve become experts at criticising ourselves.
When was the last time you gave yourself a compliment?
And when was the last time you criticized yourself?
Yeah, see my point?
But here’s the good news: starting your self-love journey is totally doable. You just need to take some action and also identify what might be getting in the way of loving yourself completely!
Here are some common self-love blocks that you may encounter:
Imagine having a little troll in your head, constantly whispering in your ear, saying things like, “You’re not good enough,” “You’re a failure,” or “You don’t deserve love.”
Ugh, talk about a party pooper!
But here’s the thing: that annoying voice is not your friend, and it’s definitely not telling you the truth.
Show that voice who’s boss. Challenge those negative thoughts and replace them with empowering affirmations or reframe them positively.
You have the power to rewrite that narrative in your head. Flip the script and let your inner cheerleader shine through. You are a rockstar, and don’t you dare let anyone, especially that troll, tell you otherwise.
Perfectionism is another self-love roadblock that can prevent you from loving yourself fully. It is the belief that you must be perfect to be worthy of love and acceptance.
Perfectionism can lead to unrealistic expectations, which can cause stress and anxiety.
To overcome perfectionism, you need to learn to accept yourself as you are. Embrace your flaws and imperfections, and focus on progress rather than perfection.
Remember that nobody is perfect, and that is okay. Done is also better than perfect!
Comparison is the thief of joy! It can make you feel inadequate and unworthy. It is the habit of comparing yourself to others and feeling like you do not measure up. Comparison can lead to feelings of jealousy, envy, and low self-esteem.
You might also refer to it as imposter syndrome.
This is definitely one that I feel often in my blogging journey. There are some complete and utter rockstars in the online space and I often feel like my introverted self will never quite compare. But, you know what, I’ve built some pretty amazing websites anyway – in my unique way!
To overcome comparison, you need to focus on your own journey and stop comparing yourself to others. Remember that everyone has their own unique path and that comparing yourself to others is unfair and unproductive.
You don’t know if you’re comparing your start to their middle. Or your worst day to their best day!
Instead, focus on your own progress and celebrate your achievements.
Fear of Failure
Fear of failure can prevent you from taking risks and pursuing your dreams.
It’s that nagging belief that failing is a catastrophe. But here’s the truth: it’s holding you back.
This fear leads to procrastination and inaction. To overcome it, reframe your mindset. See failure as a chance to grow and learn.
Every successful person has stumbled along the way. Embrace the lessons and the messy progress. Amazing things await beyond that fear!
Here are a few fun failure examples for you:
- Steve Jobs was fired from his own company at one point.
- J K Rowling was rejected dozens of times before finally getting Harry Potter published
- Oprah Winfrey was publicly fired from her first job as a TV reporter
These stories are prime examples of how you can most definitely fail forward.
How To Start A Self-Love Journey
Identifying and working on eliminating those dreaded self-love blocks are the first steps in your self-love journey.
Once you have developed a better understanding of yourself and where those blocks might be coming from, you can then kick off with the stuff that makes you feel loved and worthy!
Here are some actions to add to your self-love journey:
Goal setting is such an important tool in our lives! Personal, professional, physical… there are goals for every little aspect of our life!
Set goals that lead you towards the life you want to be living. Intentional goals help you lead an intentional life!
Setting yourself a goal for this journey is important too. It will help keep you accountable and motivated! Use these monthly goal-setting tips to help you.
Take Care Of Your Body
Eating healthy and exercising regularly can help boost your self-esteem. When you feel good on the inside, you will start to feel better on the outside.
When you know you are actively working towards a healthier you, nourishing your body with good food, and moving your body every day, you’re going to have that flow-on effect.
Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good. Plenty of healthy foods also give you a positive mood boost.
And if one of your biggest self-love hurdles is body confidence, I can tell you from personal experience that while I still don’t love every part of my body, I sure do feel a heck of a lot better about it now that it is strong and fitter than it has been before!
Yeah, I’ve still got an annoying belly roll and I bloat horribly after I eat some foods, but this body is a strong body and it serves me well!
Care For Your Mind
A healthy body is key to feeling good, but a healthy mind is just as essential! After all, our emotional health plays a big part in our physical wellbeing.
Nourish your mind with things that bring your joy.
I love self-development and motivational podcasts and audiobooks to keep my mind inspired and excited. But journaling is equally useful for a healthy mind.
Take time to be open with your feelings and thoughts, reflect and dig deep with journal prompts to help you.
Try these 31 self-love journal prompts for a full month of guidance.
Do What Feels Good
Life is short. There is too much fun to be had to only spend our time focused on what we think we should be doing.
Spend time with people that make you feel good.
Find a hobby or activity that brings you true joy, like reading, painting, cooking, or pottery – anything that relaxes and engages your mind. Meditation can be a great tool to use too!
Being grateful for what we have in our lives, for what we have achieved and what we are capable of doing is a huge part of loving ourselves!
Take a few moments each day to practice gratitude and count your blessings, no matter how big or small.
You don’t have to be thankful for everything in your life but you can take the time to appreciate those little moments that bring you joy.
I like to write down three things I’m grateful for each day and my kids also have a daily gratitude journal to start the habit early.
Be Kind To Yourself
Kindness starts with you! You hear that saying a lot but have you ever thought that it also means being kind to yourself? Because it does!
Self-compassion is essential to this journey. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes, if things don’t go as planned or if your goals take a back seat for a while – we are only human!
Your self-love journey is all about taking the steps to build yourself up and nurture your own mind, body, and soul.
Self-kindness comes in many forms – practising daily self-care, treating ourselves to something special, positive self-talk & self-compassion.
Try New Things
When was the last time you felt really fired up about something? As in the good kind of fired up… not the cranky kind!
Trying new things can help you learn more about yourself and build confidence. It makes us more resilient and thus more capable of dealing with the curve balls that life throws our way.
Plus, you never know what hidden talents and interests you might have lurking in those unexplored areas!
Setting boundaries helps us to value ourselves and respect our own limits. Start by setting yourself small goals to practice this important skill.
Learning how to confidently say no will help in your self-love progress too!
While affirmations might not sound appealing to you, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that they can be effective in helping us to start believing in ourselves.
Pick an affirmation that resonates with you and practice saying it out loud every day until it starts to take shape in your life.
Or if that feels too woo for you, write a few favourite affirmations on post-it notes and put them in places that you will see them when you most need them.
Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You Up
Our environment can directly affect our mindset and attitude.
This means that if we are surrounded by people who drag us down, it is likely that our ability to love and appreciate ourselves will suffer.
We need to surround ourselves with positive energy from people who uplift us and ultimately believe in us. That could be friends or family members. But also consider the people you associate with at work.
While you can’t just ignore your toxic co-worker, you can minimise those interactions and make sure you’re using those boundaries to avoid letting them bring you down!
Have you ever felt more tense after watching a news report on tv? Or suddenly felt really down on your ability to maintain your home after seeing that Instagram mums with the perfect house and perfect life? Urgh!
Remove those triggers from your life.
Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel unworthy. Don’t read the glossy magazines with the perfect ‘air-brushed’ women. Don’t scroll Facebook with all the clickbait drama headlines.
Nah, spend your time consuming the stuff that feels good. Or better still, unplug entirely and be more present in your daily life rather than in what’s happening on your phone or tv.
So, there you have it! Starting a self-love journey is easier than you think!
Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all path to self-love. You have to find what works for you! So take your time, be kind to yourself, and enjoy the journey!