A fair enough question I hear you ask:
How do you transition from lack of self-belief into self-love?
There are so many tips and tools being advertised that it can bamboozle even the sturdiest of minds. Do I do yoga, meditation, swim in the sea, practice mindfulness, go to therapy?
Here are some realisations and reminders that can help us lean toward self-love.
1. Remember that everyone is born with self-love. Fears and self-limiting beliefs are learned. So when in doubt, say to yourself: I am born with love for myself and that is the ultimate truth!
2. Disconnection comes from a busy mind, a hurriedness that is escalated by technology and ego. So remember to pause for one moment. Stop and ask yourself: What is the hurry? Instead of asking what is so wrong, ask yourself, what is right, right here and now? There is no one judging, only the self-critic. Just doing this once a day can bring us back to the present moment.
3. Life is happening when we are busy thinking about what to do next. Again, pause and allow serendipity, intuition, and flow to thrive and lead. It is often in the pauses and silences where the answers lie, or it will be revealed that there was never a problem in the first place. The drama in the head is just drama and we have the power to create a different story.
4. Remember that all humans are the same, with similar basic needs. So if you look at someone with envy and jealousy, know that you can do it too! Be inspired. The only difference is that whatever it is that you want to do has never been done by you! Let your uniqueness shine and believe in that.
5. Good self-talk is the essence of self-love. Everything we say to ourselves is affirming a belief in our heads, whether it is true or not. Thoughts turn into action and action turns into habit. We must consciously take note of what we are telling ourselves, because oftentimes it can be automatic negative thinking. We can change the tune and make the self-talk positive. The power of words has a huge impact on the way we walk in the world. Speak with a gentle firmness to cement the language of freedom.
6. We can often deprive ourselves of receiving love from others when we lack self-confidence. Try to say yes more to compassion from others. Accepting help and kindness, inhaling their good energy, will help you see that you are worthy of love.
7. But remember not to rely on external acceptance and assure yourself that you are worthy of love from within, first and foremost. Don’t overthink compliments or remarks you receive, whether it is on an emotional or physical basis. I’ve spent way too much time internalising people’s comments—now I just smile, accept, and use them to reinforce my own self-belief.
8. Remember your motivation for leaning into self-love. You will shine brighter when physically treating your body as a temple and tool to fulfill life. And your mental clarity will expand. You are less likely to feel lonely and afraid when practising self-love. By loving ourselves, we are creating space for us to love others, and all sentient beings.
9. Ground yourself in nature. Self-love brings about a capacity to reconnect back to nature, which is difficult to do if stuck in a self-doubt shadow. By remembering that we all connected through our ancestors and land, the ego will lessen and we move toward compassion, and an innate willingness to share. It is hard to hate the self when in sharing mode and oneness.
10. Our own mortality can push us toward self-compassion, remembering that no one gets out alive. Thinking in terms of the natural life cycle and how we all go back into the earth—nourishing the soil can actually be reassuring. Why are we in competition with each other at all?
11. You can use your eulogy as a motivation. I don’t want written on my gravestone, She didn’t really like herself that much. I want, She loved life, lived, and laughed lots and left good vibes wherever she wandered!
12. Follow your own advice. We have a natural ability to comfort and reassure others and shower them with good advice, kind words, and hugs. It is time to use that innate wisdom for yourself. For what use are you to anyone if you don’t look after yourself? They say, put the oxygen mask on yourself first before the child for good reason; so you can stay alive to help another one stay alive too. Hug yourself, especially today!
13. Listen, listen, listen. If you can’t listen to your heart, listen to your body. Sit still for a moment and hear what your body is telling you. Do you need rest or play? Do you need to sit on a swing, or nap on a hammock, or watch a movie, or dance like no one or everyone is watching, or shout, or sit quietly under a tree, or ring a friend, or nourish, or go find a stream? Go do whatever that initial gut feeling is telling you.
14. Fear is not always a bad thing, so don’t use it to deepen self-hatred. If you are feeling nervous, it might mean that you need to do whatever it is that is making you nervous. Use it as a guide to listen to your body and your needs to continue your journey. When I am nervous, I know that I need to trust and lean into the fear, feel it all, let it pass, and come out the other side, regardless of the outcome. This strengthens self-awareness and development.
15. No one has taken your journey before. No one! There are no right or wrong answers. Tread forward with love and fear and all those juicy emotions—just be you. Trust in those emotions rather than using them as a stick to beat yourself with. If there is a stick, use it to play a different song like, I am enough, I am me, I am free, so just be—or whatever mantra you have for yourself.
16. Lastly, when you’ve got fire in your belly and love in your heart, what could possibly go wrong? As a poet and writer, words are so important to me. If you are being cruel to yourself, go explore, get curious, delve deeper. No one is born with self-hate. This is a habit, conditioning, a result of negative self-talk, or perhaps a sign of disconnect. It’s an outcry for love and acceptance. Get curious about why you are feeling like that, and then go out into the world. See how others heal. You never know what might happen. You might discover yourself, your passions, and your love along the way.
There is no wrong turn, there’s only one step after the other.
Doing and thinking the same bad thoughts day after day and expecting self-love to come knocking on the door is not the answer. Neither is self-pity.
Challenge yourself. To get a different result, you might have to walk through some murky waters to reach more clarity. That is part of the process of life, the eclectic, exciting experience. Go experience, and be patient yet persistent. Go explore, smile, and reap the rewards of choosing self-love!