Do you want to start a self love journey? The topic of self-love can be challenging for most people as we know how to love other people and care for them but nobody talks or teaches us about how to love ourselves and why it is so important to do so.
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You might have tried many times before to love yourself but it could not work out as you may not be working towards some important areas of your life and when you try to finally accept and love yourself you rather get frustrated and stop trying completely.
The truth is there won’t be any day when you wake up one day and suddenly start loving yourself and start a fresh life.
You have to make that happen. It can take weeks, months, or even years but it is possible to love yourself even if you do not realize it yet.
All you need in the first place is Patience.
People would define self-love in many different ways but for me, this is what self-love is all about-
What Is Self-Love?
If I had to define self-love, I would in a few sentences) It is making the choices that are right for you.
2) It is providing a safe environment for yourself.
3) It is leaving an environment that is not healthy for you.
4) It is caring for yourself like you would care for someone else.
5) It is trusting yourself and fulfilling your promises.
6) It is not settling for less.
7) It is not comparing yourself to others.
8) It is accepting yourself as a whole person and the fact that you don’t need anyone to complete yourself.
Why Is Self Love Challenging?
One of the most common reasons that hold most people back from loving themselves is their past and childhood experiences.
In your childhood, you may have people around you who made you realize that it is “normal” to feel unloved and it is okay to not love yourself as sometimes loving yourself is also associated with being “self-centered” and “selfish”.
Growing up, we also find it challenging to love ourselves and even if you absolutely love people around you, you can’t love yourself because this myth is still in your mind and you never thought to question it. Ever.
When we hear from others that self-love is important, we are like “Oh yeah, that’s not for me”. But this is not true.
Self love Journey- How to start loving yourself?
As we have already discussed above why it is so important that you fall in love with yourself too, let’s talk about how to start your self-love journey and start loving yourself.
Learn to thank your body
We thank people all the time but what was the last time you took the time to thank your body? This is one of the most important yet most challenging parts of self-love.
As most of us are stuck at society’s standard of what beauty looks like but your negative thoughts about yourself are far from reality. We all have different body types and expecting yourself to look a certain way is neither healthy nor realistic expectation.
We all are uniquely beautiful in our own way and the self love journey is all about stopping putting yourself in a box and being who you are authentic.
PS– It’s important to look after yourself, make healthy choices, move your body, and eat fresh and healthy. This is how you will be able to fall in love with your body and appreciate it even more.
Comparison will make the journey harder
When there’s competition, there has to be comparison.
The society we are living in is competitive. It wants us to be better than others. There’s nothing wrong with wanting better though.
First, your parents compare your grades with other kids then you compare your job, car, and house to others. Growing up we all have been told that we must follow a certain path in order to be successful in life.
Without questioning ourselves and knowing our talent we follow that path and because many people are not meant for what they are doing (all thanks to the pressures of society), they compare themselves to others who are better than them. Mostly because we are not happy with what we are doing.
In this environment, self-love will feel like a chore and you will have to make a lot of effort to love yourself. Sometimes these situations can also make you frustrated and you find it hard to accept and love yourself.
You spend almost half a third of your lifetime working so choose something that you enjoy doing and are good at. This will make your self love journey a lot easier and your life meaningful.
Deep down we all have a purpose and passion. Some people recognize this early in life while others take their time. Ultimately we must know ourselves in order to live our life the way we want.
I believe journal prompts are a great way that help you know a lot of things such as your strengths and weaknesses. There are tons of self-discovery prompts you can use to know yourself.
For example- If you are struggling in your professional life. It gets super hard for you to focus on yourself and your needs. This is a great way to use these journal prompts so you can not only get to know yourself better but maybe it can lead to something that you absolutely love doing and are passionate about. Sometimes all we need is a little hint.
- Related- 50 Journal prompts for self-growth.
- Develop your money mindset with these journal prompts.
- 6 Morning journal prompts to have a productive and successful day.
- 71 personal growth questions to ask yourself.
If Journaling sounds new to you, check this post on how to start journaling for beginners.
Forgive yourself and release shame
We all make mistakes- Big and small. Yes both, big and small. When you make mistakes it brings guilt and shame therefore you restrict yourself from taking actions or even worse- Stop doing things altogether.
But in order to finally love yourself you need to first forgive yourself for your mistakes. Now if you’re thinking Disha, it’s easier for you to say but it’s not that easy. I hear you. I agree that it’s easier said than done.
Let’s say you made a big mistake in the past that still bothers you sometimes and that is also stopping you from moving forward in life and going out of your comfort zone.
When I made a big mistake in the past. It was in my head for a long time, especially when I would go to bed at night. Slowly with thoughts like “it’s okay to make mistakes” and “a mistake doesn’t define who I really am” I accepted the fact that I can actually forgive myself.
And it wouldn’t be a lie if I said that I no longer get bothered by my past mistakes. I know that I have come so far and there’s no shame in making mistakes.
Take time for yourself
The self-love journey will take time. You cannot expect and should not expect yourself to figure out ways to love yourself in just a couple of days if not overnight. It is your journey and you need to allow yourself to take your time.
it’s important to take your time for several reasons
Building a strong Foundation- you first need a strong foundation of self that can help you in the challenges you will face moving forward
Uncovering deep-rooted beliefs- it’s a process that will take time and patience to work through.
Avoiding burnout– make sure you are giving yourself ample time to process and heal.
Sustaining long-term changes– Self love journey is not a one-time event but a lifelong journey and taking your time to build habits that are healthy and more sustainable will help you.
Rewrite your story
Believe it or not, you have the power within you to rewrite your story.
The story you play to yourself in your head all the time is powerful enough as it determines the perspective you see to yourself.
You may have a ton of moments that you want to forget about. You can still rewrite your story- the way you want.
Reflect– Think about all the key moments of your life. Whether it is associated with any experience, college/school, work, or any relationships that made you what you are today. Don’t forget to pay attention to the struggles and challenges you have overcome in the past.
The best way to reflect is to imagine what your best version would do in such a situation. Close your eyes and imagine the worst ever experience you had. Now think what your best version would think of this situation? Would it worry about it? Would she feel sad for you or would you be proud of yourself for how you overcame it and now how far you have finally come.
Embrace Your New Story– I assume that by now you must have gained some clarity on how to rewrite your story. The next step would be to stay conscious about this in your daily life. You will have to remind yourself of this story to yourself every single day.
PS– This story is YOUR motivation that you no longer have to find outside as it is already within you.
Create boundaries not with others but with yourself too
I have said many times that you must learn how to say no to others when you are not completely involved in something others want you to but creating boundaries with yourself is as important.
Self-respect is equal to self-love.
If you are in your 20s, I hope you found some ways to start your self love journey and if you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, I also hope that you learned something as well as I believe it’s never too late to start.