Self-love is a big topic and something that I'm going to be talking a lot about on this blog. It's also really close to my heart because for years I didn't love myself or treat myself with respect - I had this warped belief that I didn't think I was worthy enough.
I had a hard time getting my head around the concept of self love because I thought that loving myself meant exercising and eating good food - yes it is absolutely about these things but then there is also the part about nourishing your mind with positive thoughts, being kind to yourself and not putting yourself down all the time with the constant belief that you're not good enough.
Fact is that if you don't love yourself, then how can you expect anyone else to love and accept you exactly the way you are?
Let me tell you right now YOU are worthy of love, every person is worthy of love, but nourishing your body alone is not enough – you need to also nourish your mind and soul because this is what makes you whole. If any of these are lacking then chances are that it will be harming your success and limiting your ability to create the life you have always dreamed about.
I want to share with you three incredibly powerful acts of self-love that, with daily practice, will transform your life.
1. Stop terrorising yourself with your thoughts + putting yourself down.
Start paying attention to the thoughts that go through your mind, are they positive and encouraging or are you terrorising yourself with negativity? Our minds are extremely powerful and when give in to negative thoughts we're essentially letting them run the show where they can end up taking centre stage and we start believing these thoughts to be true.
This is hard work and it takes a lot of practice to shift this mindset, but the first step is to become aware of your thoughts.
Start with this - next time you hear yourself putting yourself down, pull yourself up and cut it short and instead turn your thoughts into loving and kind ones. For example, if you hear yourself say "oh, I'm so crap at this, I'm never going to be any good"; say to yourself instead "I am learning a new skill and I honour myself to have the patience and space to learn and enjoy the process".
2. Don't compare yourself with others.
It is really easy to get caught up with what everyone else is doing and feeling like you need to constantly keep the pace, but remember that everyone is on their own journey unique to them.
Who cares if all of your friends are getting married, climbing the corporate ladder or taking out mortgages? Just because it is the right time for them, it doesn't mean it is the right time for you. We are on this earth for a very long time; life it is a journey and the more you begin to trust that things will happen for you at the right time, the more you can enjoy the path you are on.
The feeling of constantly needing to keep up with others is exhausting and will only leave you with feelings of inadequacy.
Celebrate how wonderful it is being you; surrender to the thought that you are exactly where you need to be right now.
3. Quit trying to be perfect. Embrace being perfectly imperfect.
Perfect doesn't exist. We are all perfectly imperfect in our own way and embracing this and learning to love ourselves despite these imperfections is the best gift we can give ourselves.
Because I am a 'people-pleaser' one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is that not everyone is going to like me, share my point of view or see things in the same light as I do - and you know what? That's ok! Never apologise for being yourself or feeling the way you do. We each have our own weird idiosyncrasies that make us wonderfully unique and special - you are free to be YOU, quirks and all.
I can't begin to tell you how liberating it is to feel comfortable in your own skin and not like you have to walk on eggshells all the time, trying to make other people happy.
Thing is, when you are happy and at peace with yourself you will suddenly begin to attract the right kind of people into your life.
Start embracing this you will suddenly find yourself surrounded by people who will lift you up, inspire you and help you grow.
These practices are challenging and will feel very unnatural in the beginning but I promise that once you get into the swing of it, things will be begin to flow more naturally.
Remember to be kind and gentle to yourself and slowly watch as the magic unfolds.
Have you had your own challenges with self-love? Any advice you want to share?
Image via Breakfast at Yurman's