Embarking on a self-love mission is a long, unpredictable, yet beautiful journey.
There will be bad days where self-doubt and comparison will creep in, but there will also be great days where we are lifted by small victories and joyful moments. When we practice self-love everyday, we are setting ourselves up for a happier and more fulfilled life.
Similar to most, I grew up dissatisfied with myself. When I first moved to Canada, I didn’t speak a word of English. It was hard communicating at school and befriending classmates. Then, high school came along and under the influence of mean girls, I beat myself up for the way I look. And just we were about to graduate, social media came along and I got stuck in the comparison trap where the grass always seemed to be greener elsewhere.
As you can imagine, it has been two steps forward, one step back type of journey.
It wasn’t until I read my first “self-help” book that I came to a realization that I exhibited self-sabotaging behaviour in my everyday life. Suddenly, it felt like every single word in the book was a call-to-action to wake up.
Looking back, I realize how much I have grown. As I began to embark on my self-love journey to explore who I am and what I want for myself in life, I knew I had to get familiar with feeling uncomfortable and trusting the process. That was, and still is, the toughest part of the journey. But the most important lessons I have learned so far that I want to share is that:
Self-love isn’t about change.
Self-love is about acceptance. Changing the way we look by putting more makeup on, or changing our opinion because that’s what everyone is saying is NOT self-love. It’s in fact the opposite. To me, self-love is accepting who we are in all aspects of our lives, which means sometimes we have to go against the flow and what society wants. It’s about embracing the imperfections, the flaws, and the insecurities that we have about ourselves and channeling them to be our secret weapons.
It wasn’t until a few years back where I started to realize that no matter how many people I date, how much weight I lose, how many parties I get invited to, or how many goals I check off … none of that determines my worth or who I am.
Because, no matter how hard we can try, we cannot rely on something, or someone else, for our own happiness and worth. The answer won’t be there.
To be worthy is to be accepting who we are and the choices we make. Our self-worth is rooted to our ability to love and respect ourselves, fully and deeply, without caring what other people might think.
Before doing anything else, you ought to love yourself first and foremost. Here are four simple ways you can practice self-love everyday so you can grow into the best version of yourself.
Be Your Own BFF
Take a moment to think about your best friend and your friendship with her. What do you do if she is in need of a confidence boost? How do you support her if she is having a bad day? What are some qualities that you admire about her?
What you say to yourself matters. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself like you would like a friend. Believe in your capabilities and encourage yourself to take risks. If it’s something you won’t say to a friend, you shouldn’t be saying to yourself. It’s as simple as that!
Action: Positive affirmations are the way to go. Give yourself a pep talk from time to time. Choose three affirmations to say aloud throughout the day to give you the confidence and positivity that you need. You got this!
Visualize The Life You Want
Listen up because this is YOUR life. You are the only one that will be living through every choice that is being made.
So, decide what you want and say no to everything that doesn’t serve that purpose. It’s never too late to start so don’t go thinking you have to wait till next January until “the new year” begins. Start to take note of books you want to read and people you want to meet, careers that intrigue you and places that you want to go. What type of house do you want to live in? What’s something new you want to try this year? How do you want to feel?
Action: Create your vision board for this year. If you want some tips on creating a dream board that works, check out this post by our friend, Elisabetta!
Set Limits and Boundaries
Part of the self-love journey is to understand how your mind and body work both emotionally and physically. What makes you tick? What can’t you stand? What drains your energy?
Setting healthy boundaries in your life is important for your well-being. Ultimately, you are your most valuable investment. If you have time to say yes and commit to other people, you have to do the same for yourself. Allow yourself to rest and recharge at least once a week so that you can properly serve
Boundaries represent how much you value and respect yourself. When we establish boundaries that work for us, we teach others how to treat us.
Action: Start by making a list of “rules” to follow in order for you to work and serve better. Don’t forget to add the intention behind it! For example: I will not check my work emails over the weekend because I choose to be present with my family and strive to achieve work-life balance. When I don’t respond to emails over the weekend, I am setting boundaries between my boss and I that I will not work over the weekend and she shouldn’t be emailing me for a response.
Accept What You Cannot Control
Control is something that is hard to give up and it’s easy to beat yourself up for everything that goes wrong.
If you don’t go blaming for a storm to happen, you shouldn’t be blaming yourself for the way someone yelled at you. That speaks more about the person than about yourself.
You can control how to prepare for a storm, just like you can control how you choose to respond back.
When you let go and realize that the only thing you have control over are your actions and your attitude, you will begin to feel a lot more at peace. You don’t have time to feel guilty or frustrated all the time at what’s happening around you and others choose to behave. You are only responsible for yourself.
Action: The next time you begin to feel anxious or worried, reframe your perspective by taking a step back. Evaluate what the challenge at hand is and ask yourself, “can I control this?”.
Seeing people succeed while doing what they love fires her up like no other. Aside from being the co-founder of DiscoverHER Project, Jess is a meeting planner by day and a wedding planner by night. Jess is passionate about giving girls and women around the world the same tools she used to get to where she is today. She believes in wearing her heart on her sleeve, doing everything out of a place of love, and empowering people around her to do the same. When she isn’t in front of a screen, she’s most often found eating tacos, wandering around a book store, or off exploring the world.