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How to Love Yourself: A beginner's guide

A photograph of a powerful, female boss. She's holding a bouquet of flowers with a wide smile and a happy face.

For a girl who prides herself on her capacity to love wholeheartedly I must confess my journey for self-love has been less than smooth. Even writing this blog I feel like a bit of an imposter as I can still be my own harshest critic and inner bully. But that said I have come a long way over my 37 years and without a shadow of a doubt the more I have turned my love inward the brighter, lighter and more delicious my life has become. Self-love is a journey not a destination and so I continue to travel towards it in my own bumbling way.

Interestingly, if we think about it, self-love should be the most natural and easy thing to do in the world. Why would we not praise and adore the body we have been given and the precious life we are living? But in reality, this is far from the truth as we spend our days bombarded with perfectionism and trying to live up to whatever is currently trending. We also battle whatever life scars we have acquired and believe me no one makes it out without a scratch, holding our faults and flaws like badges of honour and often forgetting that the only person we are hurting by not letting go is ourselves. The road to self-love is pathed with distractions, obstacles and challenges which is why I often hear my sister in the back of my head telling me, “ no one ever said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it.”

So I wanted to share just a few little insights and ways that I have found helpful when I get a little stuck and things start to feel a little heavy. Thankfully there is now an abundance of places you can find support and help on your journey but hopefully some of these will get you started.

Perfection is an illusion – Remember: what perfect looks like to one person can be completely different to another. You're beautiful inside and out no matter what you believe, have been told or are secretly telling yourself. True beauty isn’t flawless, and it can’t be captured in the perfect selfie.

Love your body - Loving your body means offering it nutritious, wholesome foods and giving it the water, exercise and rest it requires to remain healthy and happy. No number on a scale will ever equate to the amazing feeling you get when you start to work in harmony with your body. Listen to what it needs and trust your instincts. The mind and body are seamlessly connected but sometimes we must tune back into our body’s frequency.

Be kind – We all have a little voice in our head which is always first in line with a critical appraisal of our every move. Inherent to us all, this voice is like a muscle developed to help us grow and learn but over the years if untamed can get pretty brutal. As cheesy as it sounds you need to become your own best friend. It is fine to evaluate your actions and even better to learn from your mistakes but offer the feedback to yourself in a kind way. Remember you are doing your best and that there is no such thing as perfect.

Support is everywhere – When all else fails I have a wonderful, very tight network of people who I Iove and trust to turn to. They say a problem shared is a problem halved, well I look at it this way, if I am trying to battle with an area of self-love I reach out to my people and ask them. I offer them a version of me which is truly vulnerable and ask for trustworthy guidance. Often you will find that those who know you best are the best to remind you of how wonderful you are and just what a joy it is to be around you.

You are enough – My favourite mantra and the words I would emblazon across the world if I could. Realising that the love I feel for myself is enough to brighten any darkness, I become unstoppable. It is the most powerful lesson I have ever received and spent many years nurturing. Without question it is incredible to feel the love of others but trust me nothing compares to when you truly start to love yourself. When you realise no matter what, you are enough then you truly feel whole! And the great news is it isn’t rocket science, it is as simple as saying it to yourself repeatedly until you actually believing it. So if you take nothing else from these few insights remember this…

I am enough & I love myself!


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