As I begin to write this article on how to start loving yourself, I have a lot of doubts going on in my head.
It’s really tough to give advice about something you haven’t completely mastered yourself. Self-love is a never-ending journey. But the wonderful thing about life and growth is that if you put in the effort, you’re guaranteed to become a better version of yourself every day. Do the opposite and you will remain stagnant.
I honestly don’t know what this article is going to entail. I didn’t plan this out like my normal posts. I’m simply just spewing my thoughts, what’s on my mind in the hopes that you will be able to get something out of it. So let’s get into it.
My journey: how it began
I hate that this is what I had to title this section because it sounds super corny and like I’m some self-help guru. Spoiler alert: I’m not. But it is my “journey” or my “story” or whatever so here we go.
I was able to recognize my need for self-improvement and self-love at a moderately young age, around ~15 years old. It was brought on by a string of “young love” heartache, which although I am grateful for, I frankly laugh at now. But when you’re young and you put your heart out there for someone else to have, you take very seriously! Anyways, I had a couple of breakups when I was a teenager that ripped me to shreds at the time (honey, you got a big storm coming) and where did I go to help ease my pain? Where any other teenager growing up in the 2000s would go, the internet!!
So I started googling CONSTANTLY how to heal myself. It sounds ridiculous but I always found comfort in finding other people’s relatable stories about heartache. I would scour Reddit and Yahoo Answers for advice and the one thing I noticed was that a lot of people made points about how important self-love is. So then, it began.
By “it began” I mean I turned my need for self-love into a mountain of arrogant cockiness. I pretended like I was the shit, hoping that other people would think I was the shit and in return, they would validate me resulting in my “self-love” to grow and maximize to it’s fullest potential.
Fun fact: this is not how it works. If you need to learn one thing, it’s that self-love comes from within and cannot be formed based on others’ opinions of you. Although it seems obvious, a lot of people don’t understand this.
It wasn’t until I realized how unbelievably toxic this was that I started on my actual self-love journey.
It begins within
Self-love, to me, started internally. Legit inside my brain. I had to start learning how to talk to myself with love and support. I had to identify when I was sabotaging myself in my head and knock that shit off. Although I have gotten a lot better over the years I won’t lie, I’m still guilty of this. A lot of the times I’ll make silly mistakes and I’ll begin to tell myself how stupid I am. But every day I’m working on eliminating those thoughts and finding better ways to speak with myself.
For example, I make a mistake, and previously I would tell myself “You’re such a dumbass why would you do that?” But I try to replace that abusive language with reason. For example, “You made a mistake and you didn’t know it was going to be a mistake. What have you learned from it?”
Stop talking shit about yourself, to yourself. It’s so much easier said than done, I know. But when you treat yourself poorly, you also allow others to treat you the same way. Be kinder to yourself.
Treat yourself like a friend
If you wouldn’t treat your friends the same way you treat yourself, then something’s wrong. This has particularly been a big struggle of mine as I tend to put others on a pedestal. If you do the same, trust me, I get it. You want to make everyone happy and you always put other people’s feelings before yours. But a part of starting to love yourself is recognizing when you need to put yourself first. And this starts with treating yourself as you’d treat the people you love.
Remember that the only person you have at the end of the day is you.
Nobody has your back like you do
Someone said this to me years ago. It really got me thinking about how I should be my biggest fan, my biggest supporter, and the only person that I should ever truly rely on. Whenever I have an issue with someone where they betray my trust or they screw me over, I always try to remember this. Nobody has my back like I have my back. And the same goes for you, random internet person reading this. No one has your back like you do.
This is why self-love is so important because if you’re unable to support yourself and help yourself get back up when you’re down, then who will? Sure, you may have a good external support system, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your relationship with yourself. Maybe I’m just bitter, but you really can’t count on people for shit.
Moral of the story, be your biggest fan because there are no bunk beds in graves. Please remember that.
Do things for yourself
This has been the most impactful thing I’ve done throughout my self-love journey. I’d like to think I’m a fairly independent person, especially after living in New York City where you can’t rely on anyone to help you with anything (read more about that here). So I found that doing things by myself, for myself, was the best way to grow a deeper relationship with…you guessed it…myself.
I encourage you to be bold and do the same. Keep in mind, “bold” means different things to different people. Some may think that means taking a trip to Europe by themselves and some may think it’s simply going to the movies alone. Whatever it is, challenge yourself and take it as an opportunity to spend some time with yourself.
Also, if you’re financially able to, TREAT YOURSELF! Buy yourself some flowers or the new top you’ve been eyeballing. Buy a new book for yourself. Purchase that makeup palette you want. Just treat yourself.
One last thing. Don’t forget to spend some time with yourself in the bedroom. This, I think, is one of the most important ways you will learn to love yourself. Learn what you like, learn what makes you feel good, learn how your body works. I’ll most likely touch on this further in a future article (sign up for my newsletter here), so keep an eye out for that.
Let’s Wrap It Up
I started writing this article as an outlet when I was having a pretty rough day. And honestly, just writing this made me feel a lot better. It’s proven to me the massive steps I’ve taken throughout my life to become closer to myself.
This blog also plays a huge role in my self-love journey as it’s become something that I do by myself, for myself in order to talk about the things I love and enjoy. So I thank you for taking time out of your day to read this and support me.
One last thing. Wherever you are in your self-love journey, remember that it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.