Learning self love is an important step on anyone’s personal development journey.
Because if you have a lack of self-love how do you expect to reach your full potential?
I know this is easier said than done. In a society that is constantly beating you down, it’s not easy to stay away from negative self-talk or low self-esteem. I’m not even going to get into the negative effects of social media because that’s a whole other can of worms.
It’s even harder to love yourself when you’re not sure what that means.
And I’m not here to tell you it’s going to be easy, loving oneself is a difficult task because it requires being comfortable with who you are and knowing your own worth as a person.
but don’t worry my friend, there are actionable steps to take to show yourself that you are worthy of love.
Self-love can be learned through small steps of self-care. You don’t need to overhaul your entire life. The point isn’t to change everything about yourself; it is about how to love yourself more fully.
Small changes like taking the time for self-care, practicing gratitude, and focusing on positive thoughts will help you become more confident in who you are and grow into loving yourself more each day.
I’m going to give you 19 ways you can work on learning self-love so you can live life to your full potential. The first step is to just start. Pick one way to show yourself some love and go from there.
What is Self Love?
Self Care is an active practice of care for yourself. On the other hand, self love is seeing our worth and loving who we are.
Self love requires that you aren’t always reaching out to someone else or some event outside of yourself to make you happy. True happiness comes from the unconditional love you have for yourself.
It means being content with yourself and knowing your own worth as a person.
To be in a state of self love, where you are actually able to say that you love yourself, is a wonderful place to be.
When someone loves themselves completely they are able to be comfortable in their own skin and the power of that self confidence will radiate from them and help them accomplish things they never thought possible.
Your self-love journey will always be evolving.
You can’t teach someone to be completely self-confident, that takes years of practice.
But you can get on the path of learning to love yourself more fully. And once you are there you will notice it is easier for your mind to focus on loving your true self more each day.
What does Self Love look like?
People who love themselves are able to put their needs first, they don’t feel the need to please everyone and put themselves last.
As a recovering people pleaser, I know how difficult this is firsthand. It’s something that I still struggle with. However, I’ve put in the work to stop people-pleasing, and believe me, it is really liberating.
It’s important to be selfish at times so you can discover who you truly are. If you’re just doing what everyone else is saying and just going with the flow, you won’t be able to discover what makes you tick.
Knowing your own worth as a person is one of the most important pieces in life.
Loving yourself means having self-respect and self-esteem. It means knowing that you are enough and no one else’s opinion matters except your own.
Learning Self Love
I can tell you right now that it doesn’t happen overnight.
Self love is a journey. It’s not something you can achieve quickly. It’s something that should be a daily practice.
You have to be willing to work at loving yourself each day and let go of the past where things didn’t work out, you messed up, or your relationship ended.
Instead of dwelling on the past, focus on all the good things in your everyday life. This could look like being truly present in your everyday life or romanticizing your life.
Become grateful for the things you do have, not the things you don’t.
Remember that everyone makes mistakes and has flaws.
You are no different! But your flaws make you who you are and that is okay! You can still love yourself while accepting where you came from and what happened in your life to get you where you are today.
So let’s dive into the 19 ways to learn yourself more fully.
1. Learn how to Enjoy Being Alone
Learning how to entertain yourself when no one else is around is so important. Sometimes, we want to constantly be on the go to avoid all the negative self talk in our head.
Being alone with your thoughts can be hard. You might think that you are unworthy or that you are not enough. However, if you learn how to work through these things without the distraction of everyone else, then it is easier to live in a state of self love and contentment. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be your own best friend.
You spend the most time with yourself, so it’s important to be able to amuse yourself when no one else is around and to be able to enjoy your own company.
Travelling is such a fulfilling experience. You learn so much about yourself when you aren’t in your normal routine and you’re experiencing a new environment or culture.
From my traveling experiences, I’ve learned so much about what I like and what I don’t. It has given me the opportunity to go outside my comfort zone. I haven’t personally traveled alone but I’ve heard that it is truly a liberating experience.
Travelling also gives you time to reflect. You’re not at work, taking care of everyone else, or just constantly on the go.
It allows you time to acknowledge what you are feeling and how you can learn from it.
Taking time out for yourself is important in order to grow as a person because growth comes through experiences.
3. Forgive Yourself
As Hannah Montana puts it, “Everybody makes mistakes; Everybody has those days.”
and it’s so true! You’re human, you’re going to make mistakes and that’s okay!
I know I have the tendency to put myself at a higher standard than I do with anyone else! Giving myself grace is something that I’ve worked really hard on doing.
We are our own worst critics after all, and it shouldn’t be this way!
If my friend made the same mistake I did, I would tell them that it wasn’t a big deal or that it’s okay. However, when I make the same mistake, it’s not okay.
You should give yourself the same grace you would your friends and family because you are just as worthy of an apology as they are! Remember that everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect!
Grow from those mistakes though and say “next time, I won’t do this again!”
4. Get out of your comfort zone
The only way to grow is by leaving your comfort zone. You will never experience anything truly new, exhilarating, or different if you stay in the same routine every day!
Do something that scares you and pushes you out of your comfort zone. The first time you do it, it is going to be SO scary but it is going to get easier the more you do it.
You don’t have to do something huge to get outside your comfort zone just try ordering something new or unknown at a restaurant, or going to a happy hour you never have been to before.
Getting out of your comfort zone is going to give your confidence levels a huge boost!
The more confident you are, the more you’re going to love yourself.
Writing in a gratitude journal or just getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper is SO important for self-love.
It’s so important to be able to express yourself in a non-judgemental way without anyone else reading it.
Sometimes, being able to get all your emotions out onto paper is the only way you are going to learn how to cope with them or to give yourself closure when something has happened that has hurt you.
As far as a gratitude journal, if you are focused on all the good things in your life, your mind is going to focus on that.
Have you ever noticed when you buy a new car, you start seeing that same car on the road A LOT more?
That’s because your brain is now looking for it! It’s not like everyone ran out and bought that car the same day you did. You just weren’t focused on it so you didn’t notice it.
The same thing happens when you practice gratitude. You’ll begin to notice all the good things in your daily life.
6. Shadow Work
Our shadow is a part of us that we aren’t proud of. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves or that we wish we could change.
It is important to acknowledge our shadows and to learn why they exist in order to be able to grow from them.
We can avoid a lot of pain and heartache if we are willing to face our issues head-on and deal with them!
Check out my post on shadow work prompts if you need some inspiration on where to get started!
7. Set Boundaries
Going back to the idea of people-pleasing, setting boundaries is so important for your self-love journey.
You only have ONE life and you should be living it for YOU!
When you constantly please others or put your own needs aside, you are leading yourself on the path to resentment.
Start setting boundaries by saying no to things that don’t serve you or you don’t want to do. Remind yourself that everything you are saying no to is freeing up time to do things that actually serve you!
8. List out your Accomplishments
This may sound a little conceited but it’s not! It is important that you celebrate your wins! It will silence your inner critic if you’re able to see all the amazing things you’ve done!
So start a list of all your wins today.
Your accomplishments don’t have to be big! Even things as simple as making it through the day without breaking down in tears are important because those little wins give you confidence and push you forward.
Start with accomplishments from this week but try to work your way back to the beginning of time if you can. The more you are able to celebrate all that you’ve done for yourself, the better your self-love will be!
9. Create a Vision Board
By creating a vision board of your dream life, you can see all the good things that the future holds for you!
You can start with pictures and then fill in the details as you go.
Focusing on your vision board will help you push past all those roadblocks that keep popping up and remind yourself of why it’s important for you to love yourself!
Meditation is a great way for you to learn how to become an observer of your thoughts.
You can’t always control what pops into your head, but you can train yourself to let negative thoughts go and come back with a better perspective.
By being able to step outside of yourself and observe what’s going on in your brain, you can also see things from a third-person point of view.
11. Create a self care routine
Self-care is how you show yourself self-love. What brings you joy? Make time in your day to do things that are good for YOU.
Whether it’s taking a bath, writing in your journal, or working out, show yourself that you deserve to be pampered! Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive! There are many free self-care activities that you can indulge in. I have 52 free self care ideas for you if you need some help.
The important thing is that you enjoy it. I recommend practicing self-care every day!
12. Trust your Instincts
Trusting your gut and following what is in your heart is so important for self love. It shows that you believe in yourself and trust that you know what is best for you.
If you feel like it’s time to make a change but your brain is telling you no, listen to what your heart has to say. You can’t go wrong by following yourself!
Every time you go with your instincts, you are building confidence in yourself which will lead to higher self-esteem and self-love!
13. Surround Yourself with Positive People
We are the byproduct of our surroundings. However, you have the ability to cultivate a truly amazing environment.
If you are spending the majority of your time with people that bring you down and drain your energy, you aren’t going to feel good about yourself.
If you find that you are constantly surrounded by negative people.. whether it’s friends or even family members- it’s time to reevaluate who you choose to spend the majority of your time with! Try to spend time with individuals that will bring value to your life. It’s really important to take a long hard look at your social circle and decide if it adds value to your life.
Whether that is someone who makes you laugh the whole time, someone who encourages you to pursue your dreams, someone who calls you out on your bullsh!t, or someone who will listen to you when you need to vent it is important to surround yourself with a healthy relationship that isn’t going to bring you down. It’s going to take hard work but it’s important to cultivate the best relationships possible for yourself.
14. Take Care of Yourself
Things like getting enough sleep, nourishing our bodies by eating healthy food, and exercising are ways to encourage self love.
Your physical health has a direct impact on your mental health. When you aren’t caring for yourself, it’s easy to spiral down into the dark pit of despair!
Being able to take care of yourself will allow you to feel happier and more confident in who you are at all times.
So prioritize these things and you’ll start feeling better about yourself! I know you know that you feel better after a good night’s rest!
15. Emotions: Feeling all the Feels
It’s important to be in tune with your emotions. You aren’t going to be happy all the time. As humans, we feel a lot of emotions.
If you don’t feel anything at all that’s a problem!
Embracing your emotions and dealing with them in a healthy way is so important for your mental health. We need to stop telling ourselves that being vulnerable is a bad thing and to suck it up and put a smile on our faces.
If you don’t know how to deal with anger or sadness, it going to be hard to live life to your full potential. If you’re bottling up negative feelings, it’s going to come out eventually (um, hello shadow!).
So feel those emotions! Trust me, it is going to change your life.
16. Body Confidence
We live in a society where we grow up thinking we need to be skinnier or have a bigger butt, the list goes on and on. But as humans, we aren’t meant to look the same.
We all have our own unique characteristics and it’s so important to love your body.
Your body is amazing. It does so many things for you on a daily basis, it deserves your love and respect! You literally wouldn’t be able to do anything without your body. Your body is you!
I know how hard it is to love yourself, my body image is one of my biggest struggles.
The best way to improve your sense of self worth is to practice positive affirmations about your body in front of the mirror every single day.
If you’re struggling with loving your whole self, focus on things you love about yourself! At the end of the day, your body is so much more than how it looks.
17. Accept your unique quirks
No one is quite like you and that’s an amazing thing! Only you can be you.
So embrace your weirdness… quirks and all!
Society has taught us to conform to a certain standard of beauty and the same with characteristics. We have been made to believe that being “weird” is not socially acceptable or that people will judge us for it. This is why we try our best to disguise our true selves from the rest of the world.
But who are you trying to impress?
Because let me tell you, no one is going to live your life except for you! So be the best version of yourself and stop hiding because society told you to.
You can be whoever and whatever you want in this world and it’s so important to embrace that and love yourself for it.
18. Kick Perfectionism to the Curb!
Perfect is subjective so what is perfect in my mind, isn’t going to be perfect in yours.
So what’s the point?
There’s no use in constantly trying to be perfect when it is literally impossible. As a human being, you are going to make mistakes, that’s just the way it works!
So stop beating yourself up for making a mistake or not doing something you set out to do. Instead of being hard on yourself, try learning from it. After all failing is just the first attempt in learning.
Being hard on yourself will get you nowhere, so love yourself enough to acknowledge your mistakes and try again!
19. Not Everyone is going to like you
I know this is a hard pill to swallow but it’s true. You just aren’t going to be some people’s cup of tea and that’s okay!
Speaking of tea, I LOVE tea. I drink it every day. However, some people hate tea. They can’t stand it. So I don’t expect them to like me either!
Accept that you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and vice versa. Some people will love you, some won’t. And that’s okay because at the end of the day it is their opinion and they are entitled to it no matter what!
You can try to be everyone’s cup of tea but you won’t succeed. Some people will hate on you for no reason which is why it is so important to learn how to love yourself.
It may not come easy but it is possible to learn self love. This post has explored what the term “self love” means and given you some steps that can help you become a more confident, loving person with higher self worth.
The practice of self-love needs to be done on a daily basis. In order to practice self-love on a consistent basis, try remembering all of your positive qualities in addition to those things about yourself that aren’t perfect or idealized by society’s standards.
If you’re having a hard time loving yourself and none of these ways are working, get someone else involved! Find friends who will support your journey or an accountability partner.
A therapist or coach could really benefit you on your journey as well.
I think it’s important to focus on one thing at a time. This isn’t a race after all so you don’t want to put too much on your plate.
Let me know in the comments below what you’ve done on your self-love journey? What has worked or what hasn’t?
If you’re just starting your self-love journey, what are you going to do first?
Until next time,
Other Posts on Self Love
- The difference between self care and self love (and why both are important)
- 61 Simple Self Care Sunday ideas to Recharge
- 9 of the best self-care subscriptions boxes tailored to your needs and preferences