I was leaving the post office this morning, and a gentleman I’ve never seen before stopped me by grabbing my sleeve and exclaimed: “You’re absolutely beautiful!” I paused, smiled, said “thank you” quietly and walked away.
He might have been some creepy guy looking for attention. But that got me thinking about self-love and other things. Keep on reading to discover 5 powerful steps to self-love that I use daily and that changed my life.
Self-love and others
We often are more willing to listen and be encouraged by a stranger than ourselves. By random comments on your FB posts or Instagram, strangers complimenting us or inspirational quotes that feel good. They make us feel good and worthy.
Meanwhile, your significant other can keep telling you that you’re beautiful, your co-workers will compliment you on your awesome management skills, and your mom will say that you’re the most precious girl on Earth…But if you don’t know it yourself, if you never convinced yourself otherwise, if you have too many wounds, and scars, and negative experiences…those words won’t matter much. You’ll be deaf to these words.😦They will not resonate with you, touch your soul, or make you smile and warm inside.
Self-love and your powers
💗 Luckily, it’s all in your hands – you’re the only person responsible for figuring this out. You can hire a life coach, you can read dozens of self-help books, you can look for help, and you can do your own research. You can create self-awareness and mindfulness bubble around you that promotes self-love. It depends on you – how much do you want it?
💗 How much do you want your inner beauty to beam through your skin so some strangers will want to get to know you and be in your presence?
💗 How much do you want to transform your thoughts and stop being so damn hard on yourself?
💗 When are you going to stop judging yourself, others, and when are you going to start sharing and absorbing the love?
💗 How much do you want your wildest dreams to come true, and how many more years are you going to wait for someone to fix this stuff for you?
It’s you. Strong, resilient, beautiful you who can change things in a matter of days.
You aren’t broken, “dark and twisted” on the inside, or a failure. We all have triggers, scars, bad memories, and lots of pain we went through. We are all humans, we let ourselves down, we have so much guilt, shame, and pride that’s still hurting us.
We’re in charge though – it’s the most wonderful thing – and it only takes a few steps to shut the door to “You in the past”, and open another one to “You now”.
Self-love isn’t overrated. It’s the first mechanism you need to learn to be kind, loyal and accepting towards your body and soul in order to treat others likewise.
5 powerful steps to self-love
Here are my favorite actionable steps to focus on when I’m low on self-love and find myself having more fear, judgment, guilt, and frustration with myself and others:
No matter how different we all are, we’re very similar. We’re complex, we have wounds, scars, a past, some terrifying memories. On the other hand, we have beautiful lives, amazing emotions, positive attachments, and lots of joy. Acknowledging the lack of something or abundance of something is a good reality check. If you find yourself full of negative thoughts, self-deprecating comments (I love sarcasm myself but it can be an indicator), frustrated, angry with others, unhappy, sad, feeling down – it’s time to acknowledge the lack of self-love. Do it without punishing yourself (“ahh, bad you-you don’t love yourself!” but rather observing like you would observe a busy street. I like to check in with myself weekly, and often daily: How am I feeling? Am I feeling loved (by myself)? Am I grateful, content, or other things happening? It takes a just a minute but brings mindfulness to your day.
If the answer to the first step is “Yes”, I allow myself to forgive myself for whatever is happening to me. Whether I’m impatient, unfocused, don’t like my thighs this morning, snap at my husband, get frustrated with my CRM or else… doesn’t matter. Forgive, forgive, forgive.
I allow myself to understand that this comes from hurt or fear and for me, it’s often the case. I allow myself to forgive myself (and others who hurt me in the past) over and over again. As a result, this has been so liberating and takes a bit of daily practice, but I can’t stress it enough: we’re so hard on ourselves that no matter what others do or say won’t matter. You can’t cultivate self-love based on other’s opinions, statements, actions or reactions. It comes from within. It comes with ease once you forgive yourself. There are many techniques on the internet you can look up and implement for forgiveness. I use a simple formula “I forgive ___ for ____ and release him/her/myself from this pain and fear.”
Your subconscious mind is incredible but your schedule often is too full to deal with the stuff under the surface.
Journal, meditate and remember. First of all, someone saying something terrible about your body when you were a teenager might leave deep scarring, and it needs work. You’ll heal if you open those can of worms from the past to realize most of them aren’t true for you. They will become meaningless, and you’ll become free.
Secondly, we’re very reactive in our daily routines, responses and we react in seconds instead of taking time to realize where the responses are coming from. I still freak out when my closet gets cluttered because my mom told me since I was 7 that my (future) husband will divorce me if I’m that messy. Luckily, my husband’s side of the closet is a bit messier than mine. LOL
Seriously, dive in. Open up those wounds to let them heal. Work through them otherwise you’ll be carrying that baggage forever.
Personally, I find gratitude is one of the best practices one can implement to create more self-love and return the love. It’s super easy too, and the more you practice it, the more you will enjoy it and see the results.
It is important to be grateful for the strong and lean body I have even on the days I feel “fluffy” and have injuries. Start a gratitude journal or “Happiness box” (Elizabeth Gilbert is a genius for coming up with that): put a note in the box every day with a sentence about something that made you happy that day. Mine is filling up, and it feels good.
Practice gratitude for things you don’t even like: If you got stuck in traffic, chances are you possibly avoided getting in that car accident that created traffic. If you forgot to buy something, chances are you didn’t really need it. If those pants don’t fit anymore – maybe they’re out of style! Put a positive and grateful spin on your tiny daily events, and see how you feel!
Like any exercise or training, this will bring more results over time. Because if you’re anything like me, there’ll be days and weeks when you skip practicing it. Then your self-loving skills will get a layer of dust. Good news? It’s like riding a bike. It comes back to you right away.
Willpower, healthy eating, meditating, creating a business, reaching your wildest goals all have something in common. Almost always take days, weeks, months and years to ripen and make you pleased with the result. If you still are feeling unloved, start from the top – step one, consistency, step 2, consistency, etc. You’re the only person whose love for YOU never changes. It’s up to you to start loving your body and accepting yourself while you’re pursuing your dream body, mind, and life.
Take a step forward, love. You’re absolutely beautiful.
Author: Anya Perry
Anya Perry battled boring diets, low energy, and declining health for over 10 years before she found what works. Now, she helps women achieve their dream state of health, fitness, and vitality… without the struggles, battles of miserable diets, and yo-yo results. She can’t live without coffee and challenges.