Learning to love yourself more is one of the greatest undertakings in your healing and growth journey, regardless of what you’re working through right now.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde
When you love yourself, you can live your purpose more fully and have a far greater impact on the world because you’re not playing small, hiding out, or getting stalled out from stories and fears. You’re also more likely to accept yourself for exactly who you are, even if you’re different from everyone else, which allows you to contribute your unique gifts that you’ve likely otherwise tucked aside.
Loving yourself more can be a difficult thing to do, but it’s worth it!
Here are seven steps that you can take to start loving yourself more:
1. Spend time with people who love and support you.
If you don’t have anyone like this in your life, you have the power to change that. You can find friends and communities filled with different types of people who want to get to know the real and unique you. And when you find people who accept you for who you are, it’s a lot easier to love and accept yourself because you’re experiencing the truth that you’re lovable and wonderful.
Start by looking for people who share your interests and values or live a similar lifestyle. If you’re unsure where to start, try joining a club or organization related to something you’re passionate about. Meetup and Eventbrite are great websites for finding groups and activities or events to join. But you may also consider signing up for a class, program, or even a recreational sports team!
Once you find a group of people that make you feel at home, spend more time with them. Attend their events and get involved in their activities. Set coffee dates and gather everyone together for dinner. Make an effort to build the connection and create more opportunities for people to get to know you by being open and honest in every situation and setting. The right people will love all your quirks, and they’ll jump at the chance to support you, no matter how messy life may get. They’ll be there for you when things are tough, and they’ll celebrate your successes, big and small. I met my very best friends—humans who love me for exactly who I am—in a business networking group, at meetup events, and even once on a calorie-counting website back when I was focused on getting in shape! So don’t give up. Keep looking for your right people. They’re out there waiting for you.
2. Do things that make you happy.
The things that make us happy and fulfilled are different for everyone, but there are some commonalities that we can all look at if we want to cultivate true happiness and joy. One way to identify what makes you happy is by looking at your past and remembering the times when you felt most alive. What were you doing? Who were you with? What did you love about that moment?
Another way to figure out what makes you happy is by taking time for yourself to explore new hobbies or interests. Follow your whims, dabble in your delights, and give yourself space to play and explore. Trying new things can help open up a whole world of possibilities and make finding what brings joy into your life easier. And the more joyful you feel, the higher your vibration and frequency.
The higher our vibration and frequency, the easier it is to live a life that feels fully aligned with who we’re here to be. And the more aligned we are, the more in love with ourselves and our lives we become.
Doing what makes us happy also clearly communicates that we’re worthy of joy and fulfillment to our subconscious mind. We’re not just talking about it, trying to convince ourselves that we deserve good, loving, supporting, joyful experiences in life; we’re actively going out and creating it right this moment.
3. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and failures.
It’s so important to forgive ourselves for past mistakes. If we don’t, they’ll continue to haunt us and hold us back from living our purpose and being the person we’re here to be. Everyone makes mistakes! Even the people we look up to that we believe “have it all together.” I’ve personally made some pretty epic mistakes in my life, relationships, business, and finances over the years. The thing about failures and mistakes is that they’re inevitable to some degree, and they always give us more opportunities for growth and healing. They teach us if we let them.
If you’re struggling to forgive yourself, know that you’re not alone.
Here are some tips that may help:
- Hire a coach and do deeper process work. This can help you work through your stuck feelings and past traumas and figure out how to forgive yourself.
- Write down what happened and how it made you feel. Once the feelings are outside of you, get clear about what you’ve learned from this and what you can do differently going forward. Focus on the lessons and let go of the rest!
- Think about how forgiving yourself will benefit you. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and guilt. And when we’re free from those things, we can create more beautiful and aligned successes in our lives.
- Reach out to someone who loves and supports you. Talking to them about what happened can help you start to forgive yourself. Sometimes we just need to shine a light on the places we feel shame to break free.
- Practice self-compassion and give yourself grace. Be gentle and understanding with yourself. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. Think about how you’d talk to a friend who messed up and give yourself that same grace.
Forgiving yourself can take time, so be patient with yourself and get support. Forgiveness is a big aspect of the process work we do in my coaching work.
4. Accept your flaws and imperfections.
We all have flaws and imperfections; they’re what make us unique and special. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t accepting of our flaws and imperfections. We focus on what we don’t like about ourselves instead of appreciating our beauty. You can’t love yourself if you’re hating (or strongly disliking) parts of who you are. This doesn’t mean you can’t desire changes, growth, and healing; it just means you’re also accepting and loving yourself for who you are and where you’re at now.
The truth is, our “flaws” and “imperfections” are often some of our greatest gifts. They’re usually aspects of ourselves that support our unique purpose in life, but we tuck them away, deny them, and make them bad and wrong, essentially causing them to become shadow aspects. Our “shadow” is made up of these denied parts of ourselves. Really, we need to accept, love, and integrate them to become our most fully expressed and purposeful self.
So how can you accept your flaws and imperfections?
- Make a list of things you don’t like about yourself. For each one, ask yourself why you don’t like it. Oftentimes, there’s a story or belief attached to it that’s not true. When you question the story or belief, it begins to dissipate and lose its power over you.
- Write down things people have told you that were “flaws” or “imperfections.” Again, question the stories and beliefs behind them. Are they true? Or is it just someone else’s projection, values, and beliefs?
- Think about times when your “flaws” or “imperfections” have actually positively served you or were accepted and loved by the right people.
- Focus on things you do like about yourself. Make a list of all the things you love about yourself, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
- Spend time with people who accept and love you unconditionally, flaws and all. These people will help you see yourself in a more loving and accepting light.
The more you can own all parts of yourself, the more you can love yourself. And when you love yourself, it’s so much easier to accept your imperfections because they’re just a part of who you are—a beautiful, unique, extraordinary human being with so much to offer the world. So accept yourself, flaws and all, and watch your life transform in ways you never thought possible.
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” – Amy Bloom
5. Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs.
When you take care of yourself, you’re actively raising your self-worth in vital ways. You’re communicating to your subconscious and the people around you very clearly that you deserve the best. And when you have high self-worth, you naturally take better care of yourself because you believe that you deserve it and you love yourself enough to do it.
If you had your dream car or house, wouldn’t you take care of it? Wouldn’t you get regular oil changes and maintenance? Wouldn’t you try hard to make sure it continues looking and functioning the way you want? Of course, you would! You’d do everything in your power to take care of those things because they have value to you. They’re worth that investment of time and energy.
The same is true for taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs. When you take care of yourself, you’re telling yourself that you are worth taking care of because you love yourself, your life, your work, and your relationships. You’re worth the effort it takes to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and take breaks when you need them. You’re worth investing in support, learning, growth, and healing because your visions are valuable and your needs and desires matter!
You’re also worth the effort to deal with your emotions healthily and productively. That means accepting your feelings—all of them, even the unpleasant ones. It means not numbing out with food, alcohol, or other substances when life gets tough. And it means seeking professional support when necessary.
Taking care of yourself is an essential part of loving yourself. And when you do this work, everything in your life gets infinitely better, including your physical health, mental health, and relationships. So don’t be afraid to take care of yourself. You’ll thank yourself for it.
Here are some steps you can take to elevate your physical, mental, and emotional self-care practices:
- Make time for yourself every day, even if it’s just a handful of minutes before the kids wake up. Use that time to do something that makes you feel good, whether it’s reading a book, taking a bath, or going for a walk.
- Set boundaries with the people in your life. That means saying no when you need to and not being afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- Take care of your body as though your happiness depends on it because it does! Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Take supplements, drink enough water, and watch your stress levels.
- Be mindful of your thoughts and emotions. Notice the core wound stories, limiting beliefs, and anything else keeping you small.
Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish—it’s self-love. And when you love yourself, everything in your life gets better and better.
6. Trust yourself and have your own back.
Trust your intuition. It will never lead you astray. Your heart knows what’s best for you, even if your mind doesn’t want to believe it. Trusting your intuition means having faith in yourself and knowing that you’re capable and deserving of good things, even when others doubt you. That requires a lot of trust, belief, and faith in yourself, and requires you to love yourself enough to honor your truth.
Having your own back means being your own biggest supporter. It means you’re always working towards becoming the best version of yourself—for yourself, and no one else. This doesn’t mean that you don’t care about other people. It just means that their opinion of you isn’t as important as your opinion of yourself.
Loving yourself enough to trust your intuition and have your own back is one of the best things you can do. It’s how you become your own best friend. And when you’re your own best friend, everything in your life gets better. So trust yourself, believe in yourself, and most importantly, love yourself—always.
7. Invest in your personal growth.
It’s so important to invest in your personal growth and healing. When you do, it leads to higher self-worth and self-love. By investing in yourself, you’re saying that you’re worth the time and effort. You’re worthy of love and respect. When you invest in your personal growth and healing, it allows you to live your purpose with more ease and joy. It becomes more natural to show up as your best self when you love yourself unconditionally and you continually pour more and more into becoming who you’re here to be.
So today, I encourage you to invest in yourself. Invest in your personal growth and healing journey. You are worth it, and you deserve it.
Here are some ideas:
- Read books that help you heal, grow, and become more of yourself. May I suggest two of my newest books: Threading the Storyline: Uncover the Purpose of Your Path or Cultivate Confidence: Live Life Fully Expressed!
- Hire a coach, mentor, or guide to help you clear any past traumas, limiting beliefs, and deep-rooted blocks to loving and accepting yourself. I’m taking on new clients right now, you can book a consultation here.
- Listen to podcasts with inspiring stories of growth, healing, and living your purpose. That’s exactly what we talk about on Tales from the Journey!
Loving yourself is a journey that requires commitment and effort, but it’s so unbelievably worth it!
“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay
When you love yourself, you open up the possibility to live your purpose and make a positive impact on the world. So if you’re ready to love yourself, use these steps as a guide. And remember, be patient with yourself and know that self-love is a journey.
Just take it one step at a time!