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How to Love Yourself (The Right Way!)

How To’s designed to get you unstuck and pull you into alignment with your highest self.

When I start working with a new client, I often ask them how they feel about themselves.

There’s a wide range of answers I receive; mostly it’s something along the lines of, “what do you mean?”

What I’m really asking is, “do you love yourself?”

The answer to this question helps me get on my client’s map so I can gauge what kind of pace they will need in our work together.

A higher degree of self love usually indicates that we can move at a faster pace and changes will stick,

whereas a lower degree of self love generally calls for a slower, more deliberate pace.

Why is that?

When we have self love and self compassion:

  • We are more confident
  • We are more likely to succeed in our goals
  • We are less stressed out and overwhelmed by life circumstances
  • We take better care of ourselves

That brings me to a crucial point.

Self love is not self care.

It’s so important to distinguish between the two, because although self love leads to self care, self care does not always lead to self love.

Sticking to a routine, going to bed earlier, trying a healthier diet, working out, getting a massage, etc. are all forms of self care.

And while all self care can be game changing in certain ways, it doesn’t necessarily change our view of ourselves or our relationship to ourselves.

In fact, self care habits are much less likely to stick if we don’t have the self love piece in place.

And self love isn’t actually about being madly in love with yourself or labeling yourself with a hundred positive attributes either.

So, what the heck IS it?!

The kind of self love that changes us from the inside out and gets us in alignment to receive the things we want starts with self acceptance,

and self acceptance happens when we drop judgment and exchange it for curiosity.

Curiosity is the opposite of judgment and they cannot exist at the same time.

An example could be catching myself impatiently snapping at my husband or my daughter.

A few years ago, when I did something like that, I would label myself as weak or stupid, a bad mom, a bad wife, a bad PERSON!

This backfired of course, and made me feel incredibly discouraged about my entire role in the world.

Not helpful.

When I first tried to enter into the self love arena, I swung all the way to the other side of the pendulum and would try to resist those judgments.

I’d tell myself, “This doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom! You’re a GREAT mom! It doesn’t mean you’re a bad wife! You’re a GREAT wife!”

That felt better than the alternative, and it was a start.

Since then, I’ve found a middle ground that’s even more impactful because it doesn’t require labels at all.

If I make a mistake or act unconsciously, I try to think, “Hmm. That’s interesting. I wonder why I responded like that.”

There’s ALWAYS a reason, and believing there’s a reason makes it that much easier to apologize for my behavior without making it mean that I’m bad.

To practice self love and let go of self judgment:

  • Check in with your body as many times a day as you possibly can. Do a quick body scan and notice any sensations you feel. You don’t have to label them as good or bad. Just notice them.
  • Take one conscious breath (or two or three) every time you think about it. Our breath is one of the most powerful tools we have to bring us into self acceptance. By taking a conscious breath, you’re acknowledging your body and your very existence.
  • Trade judgment and resistance for curiosity. Whatever emotions are present in you, accept them by gently asking, “what is this emotion trying to do for me?” This is based around the principle that all of our behaviors, impulses, and emotions have a positive intention for us.

Practicing all or any of the above will help to usher in self acceptance which is interchangeable with self love.

That means more confidence, more motivation, more peace, more patience, deeper relationships, better habits, and the list just goes on.

Self awareness and acceptance are at the helm of all of our self growth, so give them a try and give yourself a chance!

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