Loving ourselves may feel indulgent, silly, or even downright selfish sometimes. And some of us might struggle with the concept of self-love because we don’t believe we are worthy, or deserving, or that we haven’t “earned” love yet.
Guys, it’s time to shift that mindset. Self-love is a topic I’m extremely passionate about. I know how destructive self-loathing can be, but I also know how impactful showing yourself love can be in terms of your overall happiness and contentment in this life.
For years, when I was younger, I suffered silently with an eating disorder. I was self-destructive in my eating habits, in the way I cared for my body (or lack of care), and in the way I viewed myself. I didn’t look in the mirror very often, and when I did, I didn’t like what I saw. And I made sure that I told myself that. I was always striving for a level of perfection that didn’t exist, and I would walk away feeling even more disappointed, lonely, sad, and disgusted with myself each and every time I didn’t achieve that level of perfection.
It affected my happiness, it affected my confidence, it affected my relationships with others, and it affected my overall health and well-being.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
I realized one day (and believe me, this took years of practice, and it’s still something I work on) that I couldn’t go on beating myself up emotionally for all the things I felt I was doing wrong. For the way I looked. For all of it.
So, instead, I started practicing grace. I started identifying areas of my life that I was good in. I started complimenting myself and showing myself little signs of love. And doing so has made all the difference.
What is self-love + how can it shift your mindset?
Self-love is more than just telling ourselves how great we are. It’s a mindset and a way of living. It’s in honoring this life that we’ve been blessed with and waking up every day with purpose. Self-love has also been linked to decreases in anxiety and depression, an increase in productivity, and it’s often what helps us set healthy boundaries in our work and relationships.
Here are just a few ways we can show ourselves love:
- Taking care of our mind and body
- Eating healthy
- Making time to de-stress
- Doing the things that bring us joy
We can also show ourselves love by monitoring what we allow to invade our thoughts and by how we spend our time. Everyone’s idea of self-love might look different, but at the end of the day, it’s about showing kindness to yourself and honoring what’s important to you.
I know that as a mom and a business owner, my hats are plenty. There is always something or someone who needs me, my attention, my brain power, my time, and my love and affection. But I stand firmly in the belief that I cannot take care of anyone else unless I am taking care of me first. Yep, you read that right. ME FIRST. Which means no matter how crazy life gets, my name will remain at the top of my list. And in doing so, I am able to know that no matter what life throws at me, I can handle it. I got this, and friends let me tell you—you do, too.
Top Self Love Mantras + Tips to Shift Your Mindset
Next time you find yourself struggling, when you’re feeling like you’re too much or not enough, here are some of my favorite quotes and mantras that will help give you that gentle nudge in the direction on the path to self-love.
Write them down, print them out, hang them on your mirror, and read them aloud to yourself. Because you, my friend, are worth it.
Tip + Mantra 1: Re-frame everything
You will find in this life that there will be times when you are too much for one person and not enough for another. But you know what both those instances have in common? They don’t matter. Hold true to your core values and stay authentic to yourself.
Don’t make yourself smaller to fit in someone else’s mold. Stand confidently and boldly and be proud of who you are and who you are becoming. Doing so is one of the most essential forms of love you can show yourself.
Tip + Mantra 2: Know what to hit the stop button on
Life lesson number 800 for Heidi. Yep, this one has hurt. It’s no secret that I’ve been divorced. Twice. And both times, I had to learn that my value as a woman, and even as a mother, was not tied up in another person. I have two amazing men that I call the fathers of my children. And luckily, two amazing friendships that I can still hold dear. I realize not everyone can walk away from a marriage and say the same thing, but the place where we are now is different from where we started, and learning how to love myself after my marriages ended wasn’t easy. But it was essential.
So I challenge you no matter your stage of life, no matter your relationship status, love yourself first. Always. Don’t put your value in someone else’s hands or opinions. Learn to love yourself before you love someone else. It will make all the difference, my friends. I promise.
Tip + Mantra 3: Boundaries are everything
Setting boundaries is one of the most important things you can do in your personal and professional life. When we set clear boundaries, not only are we setting clear expectations for others, but also for ourselves.
We’re putting hard limits on what we will allow to invade our life, our thoughts, and our time. Doing so is an essential way to protect our inner peace, and it helps us get comfortable with recognizing what we will and will not allow into our lives.
Speaking of boundaries, saying no can be difficult, but essential. It can also be freeing.
I challenge you to try two different things and let me warn you: They’re polar opposites.
- First, I want you to try saying YES to something you’ve never done before. Something that maybe excites you and scares you just a little, but something where you feel the reward outweighs the risk.
- Second, I want you to try saying NO to something that doesn’t serve you, without feeling guilty, and without allowing yourself to be talked back into it.
Once you can distinguish the difference between opportunities in your life that deserve a YES and those that don’t, you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders, and you will be fully in the driver’s seat of your own life.
Tip + Mantra 4: Embrace the ebb + flow of life
We can always set a plan for ourselves, but one of the most beautiful things about life is actually the things we never saw coming. Learn to embrace opportunity and to make lemonade from lemons. Enjoy every step of the journey and trust the process as you do. Speaking of such a shift, I also love this quote below:
“Life is amazing. Then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing awful ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”
Learning to control the things we CAN control can be a freeing feeling. It takes away undue stress, and it alleviates us from unnecessary worry. Life won’t be perfect. I think the last year has shown us that. But learning to focus on the things we CAN control can help.
When you learn to love yourself, you’re putting your needs and your well-being first. Self-love might look different from one person to the next, but I hope that no matter what your idea of self-love looks like, you find it and you apply it to your life every single day. What are some ways that you show yourself love? Drop them in a comment below, and let’s continue to spread this positive light!
Our 12 Month Transformation, Month One: Self-Love!
The Power of Being a Woman
My Top 5 Ways to Fall In LOVE With Your Body
Monday Motivation: Exercise Because You Love Your Body, Not Because You Hate It
Life Lessons Learned | Developing Integrity, Learning to Love Yourself, and Setting Boundaries