The First Step to Greater Self-Love

Self-love used to be a term that was off-putting to me because I thought that there were a lot of things that I would need to change about myself before I could love myself. (“Self-love is for skinny girls!” was my go-to thought.)

I also believed that self-love equated to being egotistical or vain.

Those beliefs held me back. Not just from loving myself, but from being kind to myself in any way.

I was on the bandwagon of “if I can just do x, y, z, then I will be happy…”

I call this the “if…then tar pit.”

‘Cause it’s sticky.

We go bopping from project to project, diet to diet, activity to activity … only to find ourselves unfulfilled at the end of the day.

We celebrate our perfectionism and our ability to do it all, but we beat ourselves up at the end of the day because it’s never enough. It’s never good enough. We’re never good enough.

I wish I could say that there was one hack that would flip the switch to allow you to start practicing self-love right away.

But that would just be another quick fix, wouldn’t it?

Shifting our mindset around self-love is a longer term process, and the first step is recognizing our inputs.

Just like you need to eat whole, nourishing foods to have a healthy body, we need to have positive, nourishing thoughts to have a healthy mind and self-image.

So, consider the inputs that you come into contact with throughout the day. Which of those things could you swap out for something more positive?

--Swap your morning cell-phone scan when you first wake up for a 10-minute prayer or meditation session.

--Swap the fitness models on your Instagram feed constantly telling you their tips for blasting belly fat for inspiring intellectuals or coaches.

--Swap the gangsta rap spouting talk about “side pieces” and “bitches stealing your money” for an uplifting podcast. (I am a total podcast junkie and have a million recs for this one.)

--Swap the bootcamp workout that makes you feel exhausted and in pain for a dance class or run or yoga class that makes you feel energized.

--Swap the complaining with your coworkers in the break room with compliments on someone’s outfit or presentation.

--Swap your on-the-go snacks of chips or cookies with something that was once alive (and apple or carrots or tropical fruit) because you will thrive on that energy too.

There are infinite ways to infuse more positivity into our lives, but we have to make the choice. We have to be conscious of our surroundings and inputs and choose to eliminate the things that make us feel heavy, that trigger our perfectionism, that make us feel like we are not good enough and exchange them for the things that make us feel excited and vibrant and energized.

That is the first step. And the one that will be the most important for making sure that change is lasting.

Because once you surround yourself with positive inputs, the negative things that happen in your day don’t feel so bad. The things that normally stress you out will be much easier to deal with. Other people’s ridiculous antics will make you laugh instead of wanting to slap them.

And once you experience that, you won’t want to go back. Because you feel like less of a failure at the end of the day. And your headspace will be much more clear to start focusing on cultivating some kindness for yourself.

If you want to take this self-love thing a step further, sign up for a free complimentary one-on-one consult to see if coaching would be right for you.

You can also join my private Facebook community Nourish + Shine, where right now we are shining a light on all things related to self-love, #goals, and scheduling.