If you’re being honest with yourself, how many times a day do you actually practice self-love?
And, I’m not talking about getting a mani-pedi or running a bubble-bath.
What I’m referring to is routinely feeling a deep, warm, genuine love for yourself and everything you represent.
Like, I’m talkin’ bout each body part, personality trait, and weird thing you do on a daily basis.
To be honest, self-love isn’t something that comes naturally.
With the number of external factors telling us we’re not good enough, self-love is something we have to work for.
And, while it is a process we must commit to, it’s actually very simple.
In this article, I’m going to give you practical, actionable advice you can use to start forming a more loving relationship with yourself.
Which means, I’m not going to tell you to hang quotes on the wall, make vision boards, or wink at yourself anytime you walk past a mirror.
While there’s nothing wrong with these things, they really just skip over the most crucial steps of the process.
We need to dig deep inside your mind to figure out what got you feeling negatively about yourself in the first place.
Then, we can focus on creating room for you to unconditionally love yourself and everything you are.
Something important to note is that self-love isn’t a frivolous process that only makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.
It’s a necessary prerequisite to becoming the highest-level version of yourself.
Which means it’s a crucial part of achieving any goal you set.
Let’s get something overwhelmingly clear right off the bat…
There should be no shame associated with experiencing negative feelings about oneself.
If you have them, that’s perfectly natural.
It implies nothing negative about you or your worth.
So, now that we’re leaving the drama out of the equation, we can start understanding why self-loathing actually occurs.
Most self-loathing stems from our inability to meet our expectations of ourselves.
Whether it’s with fitness, healthy eating, weight loss, or achieving success at work.
When we fall short, we make that mean something negative about ourselves.
Which creates a downward spiral of us never achieving what we want in life since we’re wrapped up in us “not being capable.”
Seeing as life is bedazzled with setbacks and failures, it’s no wonder we experience self-loathing on a regular basis!
When we can learn to stop making failure mean something negative about ourselves, we can learn to not experience self-loathing as a byproduct.
Here’s the truth that many won’t tell you.
You can’t punish your way to becoming better.
Reaching your goals long-term only occurs through understanding, compassion, and self-love.
The problem is, this is in sharp contrast to what many of us are taught growing up.
The terms “that just won’t cut it” or “rub some dirt in it” might sound familiar to some of you.
This method of thinking will diminish your progress, as it’s inherently negative and destructive thinking.
You’ll need to learn to self-love your way to the finish line in order to ultimately be successful.
It’s also important to note that self-loathing can be extremely sneaky.
While some will experience thoughts such as, “I’m not good enough” “Nobody likes me” or “I’ll never achieve what I want”…
…others will have more neutral thoughts such as, ”I’m okay. But nothing special.”
The latter is equally as debilitating. Which is an all too little-known fact.
This goes to show that most of us have some types of debilitating thoughts about ourselves and our abilities.
Oftentimes these more neutral thoughts just aren’t visible to you on a daily basis.
Having these debilitating thoughts comes from a lack of brain management.
Leaving your brain unsupervised is like driving with your eyes closed.
It will leave you powerless when it comes to your thoughts (and results) in life.
In order to feels the way you want to about yourself, you need to pay attention to the thoughts you’re actually thinking.
Listen…as much as I’d love to just tell you “Be your best self!” or “You are enough!”, those statements alone won’t get you results.
You need to do the work to create the self-love you desire.
It’s the only way. And it works.
Implement these practices below to incorporate self-love into your life long-term:
In order to truly transition into self-love, you’re going to have to embrace the living sh*t out of failure.
Like, for real.
We’re constantly trying to make our failures mean something negative about us.
When really failure is just an integral part of life.
Anyone successful in life has learned to fail really, really well.
It’s the only way we grow and learn the lessons.
If it wasn’t for failures or setbacks, we’d be stagnant and never experience change.
As a way to keep my relationship with failure positive, I keep a monthly log of them at all times.
Not as a way to highlight my downfalls, but as badges of honor that I’m genuinely proud of!
By the end of each month I look back at all the failures I wrote down.
This way I can keep track of all the lessons I learned, all the setbacks I overcame, and how much farther I’ve gotten in my journey to my higher self.
Which greatly increases my ability to experience self-love.
I highly recommend doing this.
When you reshape your relationship with failure, you create space for the self-love you deserve.
Remember when I said you can’t punish your way to results?
So, instead, you want to focus on having compassionate and self-serving thoughts that will still work to push you through the discomfort necessary to reach your goals.
For example, you would instead say something like, “I know I’ll complete my tasks today because I have trust in my abilities to follow through.”
See the difference?
You don’t have to be hard on yourself to commit to completing a task.
Now, this isn’t to say that you should feel comfortable when reaching for your goals.
And it doesn’t mean you won’t have setbacks or failures.
It just means you reframe the thoughts you have when you’re trying to push past your limitations.
So, you’ll need to stop having “tough-love” thoughts that are rooted in self-punishment.
This will only contribute more to your self-loathing.
Think in terms of positivity and possibility to attract that self-love thinking you want.
Compassion, understanding, and self-love lead to some pretty amazing results.
As previously mentioned, not managing your brain is like driving in the dark.
To have control over your results, you’re going to need to crank on those high-beams.
Which means you’re going to have to do some simple, journaling practices daily.
Before you start making up crazy excuses as to why you can’t prioritize this, just hear me out.
It’s so simple and beyond worth it.
The key is to journal your thoughts every day so you can focus on creating the feelings you want about yourself.
To do this, you’ll first want to keep in mind this simple self-coaching model:
From this model, we can understand that our thoughts about ourselves directly lead to how we feel.
So, you’ll want to start exploring daily the thoughts you are thinking about yourself that are causing you to feel negatively.
I find it helps to first explore what you feel like before you attempt to complete a task of importance.
For example, let’s say you’re about to engage in public speaking which you currently hate — since you’ve likely convinced yourself you suck at it.
Using the model as an example, here’s what is likely occurring:
So, if we started from the feeling we got of self-doubt, we could do some digging to figure out the thought that caused that feeling.
Here’s how we can use the model in a way that serves us:
Understand the difference here?
This process requires practice.
Make it a daily practice to observe your feelings about yourself.
Then, trace those feelings back to the thoughts that cause them.
This way you can start creating thoughts that serve you!
I hope this article shed light as to how you can incorporate more self-love into your life.
It’s insanely easy to engage in self-loathing if we’re not paying attention to our thoughts.
Taking the time daily to keep yourself in check is beyond worth it.
To summarize the concepts you’ve learned here, this is what you can do daily to create a loving relationship with yourself:
Trust me, making these small practices a habit is so worth it.
I incorporate them into my morning routine every single day.
And, I’ll leave you with one last question to ask yourself…
…”If you had the choice daily, what would you choose to believe about yourself?”
Turns out, you have that power to make that choice every damn day.
So, get to work reinventing your relationship with yourself stat.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified eating psychology coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.