“Being happy starts with loving yourself.”
“Manifesting with the law of attraction starts with loving yourself.”
How often have you heard this, without much elaboration on where exactly to start?
Self-love is a hot button topic lately, isn’t it?
I’m sure we’ve all heard about its importance. However, I feel like it’s often talked about like another expectation to add to our “should list”, like we can just flip a switch and magically undo years of negative self-talk and entrenched low self-worth patterning.
In reality, self-love is an ongoing journey with different layers and levels. There are many complex facets, like building in positive habits, patience, forgiveness, learning to trust yourself, and learning to communicate with yourself effectively.
By the end of this blog post, you will have 5 practical positive habits to get started on your self-love journey. These are easy to install no matter what’s going on and even if you just take one habit from this post and practice it, you’re going to notice incredible shifts in how you feel and perceive yourself.
So, take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart and prepare to give yourself the gift of self-love.
HEY, WATCH IT!
This post is the short form of the training I shared on my YouTube channel. Get the full story in the video below.
Habit #1: Create a Self Love List
The first positive self love habit is to create a list of things you love about yourself so you can remind yourself daily what an awesome badass you are.
These can be things like:
I love my eyes
I love my creativity
I am so proud of how well I make scones
I love my sense of humor
I love my smile
I love my resilience
Write down everything you can think of – even if it’s just two or three things to start with. When you’re done, put it somewhere you can see it daily. This could be above your desk, on your bathroom mirror, or beside your bed to read every morning when you wake up.
What you focus on is what you get to the exclusion of everything else. The more you show yourself evidence of self love, the more those feelings of self love expand.
If you struggle with this step, it’s okay. Crowdsource a list of your most magical qualities from your friends and family, the people who know and love you best.
Habit #2: Install Healthy Boundaries For Yourself
Create parameters for living that feel good to you and allow you to keep your cup full. For example, one of my parameters is that Sunday afternoons are exclusively for chillaxing.
I do my best to keep my calendar free from 1 pm Sunday so that I can do life admin, prepare for my week, and spend time pampering myself. Another parameter I set is not responding to emails after 6 pm.
Now, this is not a suggestion for your list, per se, because we all have different priorities. As always, the focus here is to prioritize feeling good.
The most helpful way to discover where you may need to set self boundaries is with this simple exercise. Write out all the times you feel contrast in your life i.e. when something doesn’t feel good before, during, or after the activity.
Why do I say before, during OR after? Sometimes we don't feel like something beforehand, like exercising, but when it's done, we're glad. Sometimes something that feels good in the moment feels terrible afterward.
Thinking about how you feel before, during and AFTER an activity sifts out fear or self-sabotage from something that does feel yucky because it’s misaligned. If after you’ve done the thing it still feels out of alignment, it’s contrast. Write it down.
Here are some prompts for clarity.
What are some things you always resent doing?
Where do you feel like a boundary has been crossed?
What conversations do you have that make you feel squirmy?
Where do you feel like you’re wasting time, energy or money?
Now that you have your list, use it as a guidepost to create some positive parameters. For example, you might have a personal parameter that you don’t impulse buy items over $50, or that you don’t participate in gossip.
Go gently here. Start with implementing one parameter a month so that it feels easy and sustainable to stick to. Each month, you can gradually introduce each new parameter you wrote down.
Habit #3: Go on a comparison detox
Step three is to go on a complete comparison detox. I talk about this in more detail in my recent post, How to be Happy.
Comparison and weighing yourself up against other people is a recipe for disaster. It stems from learned patterning in childhood, when we were stacked up against our peers. This is exacerbated by the current social media climate and it can do a number on our self-esteem.
We are each on a personal journey. It does little good to compare your journey to someone else’s.
The easiest way to break the habit is to go on a comparison detox. For the next two weeks, unfollow everyone on social media that you compare yourself to in a negative light.
You can always refollow those people again after two weeks – if you want to. However, you likely won't. Your confidence will improve out of sight.
Habit #4: Schedule in “ME” Time
Scheduling in time for yourself sounds trite but is vital for strengthening your self love muscle by getting into the habit of making yourself a priority. It elevates your feelings of self worth over time.
As mentioned earlier, I book out from 1 pm Sunday purely for myself. I use this time to plan my week, go for a beach walk, take a bath, watch a Disney movie, and pamper myself.
By the time I get out of the bath, I feel like a goddess and ready for the week.
Your self care time can look completely different, depending on what feels good to you. You might take yourself on a solo cinema date, read your favorite book, do some arts and crafts or bake yourself cookies and watch movies at home.
The point is to spend that chunk of time entirely on yourself, doing what YOU want to do, rather than “shoulding” all over yourself. If you’re stuck for activities to include, check out my list of 57 Ideas for Your Self Care Sunday.
Habit #5: Keep a gratitude journal
The fifth self love habit is to keep a physical gratitude journal. I know this sounds as trite as self care Sunday, but if you do one thing from this post, I hope it’s this.
Listing what you feel appreciation for every morning makes life brighter, happier and more positive. I would go so far as to say that gratitude is the ultimate superfood for your body, mind and spirit.
Here’s how I do it.
Every morning I take out a designated notebook and a special pen and write all the things I appreciate. Sometimes, I write three things. Other times, I fill up an entire page. It depends on the day. But I do insist on a minimum of three things per day.
Here’s why this exercise is so transformative.
(a) It shifts your focus to positive things about yourself and your life that maybe you weren’t paying much attention to in the past.
(b) It primes your day for a positive vibration and momentum for attracting your desires.
Abraham-Hicks calls this “getting out ahead” of your vibration. When you go to sleep, your point of attraction (i.e. a culmination of your thoughts, emotions and beliefs) gets reset back to 0. During the day, you build momentum in one direction or another.
All kinds of crazy shiznit happens throughout the day. So, you want to “get out ahead of” the day by getting the ball rolling in the direction you want to go. Starting the day off by focusing on all the wonderful blessings in your life is the most powerful way to do that.
(c) Journaling each morning builds self discipline.
Here’s why that is so powerful when it comes to self esteem and self worth. Have you ever had a friend who always flakes on you, never keeps their promises or does what they say they’re going to do? It makes it tricky to trust them, right?
Well, the same can be said for your internal dialogue. Every time you break a promise to yourself, it erodes self trust which in time can eat away at your self esteem.
By building self discipline, you increase the likelihood of following through on things you say you'll do, which boosts self trust, which in turn boosts self discipline.
(d) When you’re done, you’ve created an amazing gift for yourself.
When you finish the notebook, you have a beautiful book of blessings you can read at any time to remind yourself of how wonderful you are and how full of miracles your life is.
Like any relationship, love is as love does. The best way to grow, nurture and maintain it is to implement small habits that help you see yourself as a priority and the badass goddess you are.
If you want to supercharge these tips, I’ve made something especially for you: a FREE relaxing affirmation audio, filled with affirmations for increasing your self love, boosting your confidence, and elevating your self worth. It’s in the Library waiting for you – all you have to do is subscribe to the mailing list to download it by filling out the form below.
Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below: what is one habit from this list you are going to start practicing?
THE EDIT/shop the story
BOUNDARIES by Henry Cloud RADICAL SELF LOVE by Gala Darling THE SELF LOVE JOURNAL by Leslie Marchand THE 2020 GOAL SETTING PLANNER FOR BADASS UNICORNS by Rhiannon Day
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