What is the first step in loving yourself?
(even when you think it’s impossible)
(even when you think it’s impossible)
OK fair enough, if we’re going to discuss the first step towards something, it’s only fair that you want to know exactly what that something is.
“Self-love is taking action towards your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It’s about meeting yourself where you’re at and giving yourself what you need, even when you feel like sh*t.”
To bring some context to this self-love thing, I offer you some examples of loving yourself.
Loving yourself can be tangible, like attending an exercise class or seeing a nutritionist, but it can also be super intangible, such as not judging yourself when you seemingly fail at something.
Loving yourself could look like doing something active and energetic one day, and then resting and relaxing the next.
Loving yourself isn’t for the faint-hearted! It’s not just crystal-infused water bottles and Instagram pics of you meditating on a mountain top. Self-Love is messy, hard work, and requires strong powers of discernment.
On Monday it looks like slamming up a boundary and saying ‘no’ to the fast-food option, while on Tuesday it looks like screaming into a pillow and eating a chocolate muffin.
Doing too much and going too hard is when we take self-love and turn it into self-punishment or self-sabotage.
Discernment is knowing when to go hard with the active self-love and when to go home and give yourself a break from it all.
As we have discovered in the previous paragraph, loving yourself is about tending to your own well-being and giving yourself what you need.
Given that self-love, well-being, and needs, are all incredibly subjective i.e. individual to the person, it makes sense that the first step towards loving yourself is simply to know the subject in which you are referring to – yourself!
After all, how can you love yourself, if you don’t know who yourself is?
I know that you are probably disappointed with this answer. It’s likely not quite as profound, deep, or philosophical as you were expecting. But try to be open to that being a good, or even a great, thing. Hopefully, it means it’s easier to obtain!
Let’s look at boundaries for example. Boundaries are a great way to show yourself you mean business with this self-love thing. And just like with self-love in general, boundaries also show up in very subjective ways.
In order to know your own boundaries, and therefore where to assert them, you need to know what and where your boundaries even are. This requires discernment, which requires self-awareness, which requires, you guessed it, knowing yourself!
Getting to know yourself on a deeper level gives you a well of information about yourself, and the self-awareness that enables you to tend to your needs and desires while taking better care of yourself.
Do you know your core values and your limiting beliefs? Do you know your opinions, your likes and dislikes when there’s no one else to witness, shame or judge you?
Do you know your deepest fears and your biggest dreams? Do you know your ultimate wants, needs, and desires when you stop restricting yourself?
Do you know your triggers, little and large? Do you know the pain underneath the pain? The pain that is too terrifying to look at?
Do you know what drives you forward and what holds you back?
If you have answered ‘no’ to any of these questions then perhaps you need to do a little more digging. Perhaps there’s a bit more to know before you can truly fall into deep love with yourself.
How to love yourself and be confident in who you are all starts with knowing who you are. After all, you can’t love and accept something you don’t know anything about.
I now invite you to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Buy a journal, or open a new document on your laptop, solely dedicated to learning the ins and outs of you.
Use this journal as a place to write down all the lessons you have learnt about yourself in life so far, and add to it as you travel further down this path of inquiry.
I have created a set of journaling prompts to help you get started.
Your Journal Prompts:
What do you value most in life?
What limiting beliefs might be holding you back?
What do you find triggering?
What are your biggest dreams (when you remove all limitations)?
What are you most afraid of?
What have been your biggest heartbreaks in life?
Where do you find most joy?
Sharing is caring!
Once you have got clear on who you are, share your findings with us in the comments below! And if you have discovered anything super supportive on your journey, share it with us so we can learn from your wisdom.