A few acts of self-love that will transform your life

self-love

Acts of Self-Love That Will Transform Your Life

We all have our weaknesses.

I, for one, can be a complete control-freak. Usually, there’s only one way things can go, and that’s MY way. Even I find myself annoying at times. If something doesn’t go as planned, I’ll beat myself up for it, for days. I’m still learning how to let go of that need to control everything and there are some valuable lessons I’ve learned along the way.

I’ve noticed that it’s easy for me to criticize or blame myself- I was doing it without even realizing it. Being kind, loving and understanding didn’t come as easy. Why? Because for a lot of us, it’s a habit. We put ourselves down, without even thinking about it, most of the time.

DITCH YOUR DESIRE TO BE PERFECT

Perfectionism can feel like a trap. When you’re a perfectionist, you feel that strong need to be in control of your emotions. At some point, you stop acknowledging your accomplishments because there’s always that voice in your head that says “well… you could’ve done a better job“. It’s just like having that all-or-nothing attitude, where unless you get 100%, you get nothing. It’s you, spending more time worrying about failing than you do focusing on what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.” ~ Mary Ann Evans
An important part of making that shift is focusing on the good and positive things. Look at the things you’ve overcome, the things you’ve accomplished. Is there are a way you could use the strength or knowledge you already have to get you where you want to be? You need to learn how to let go of that need to control everything, slowly. Take it step by step. I started doing this by putting myself in situations I knew I wouldn’t be able to control entirely. Basically, my worst nightmare. The thing is, once you do that, and let go of that need to be perfect all the time, you actually kind of get to enjoy yourself. It’s just like learning to surrender. To surrender means not being afraid to look silly, to make mistakes, to change or be imperfect. It’s realizing that as much as you can try to control every aspect of your life, you can’t.

There is nothing wrong with a constant need to do better- to grow, try new things, to learn and wanting to become a better person. But as you grow and learn, remember to stop once in a while and tell yourself that you’ve done a good job so far. Look at how far you’ve come, don’t be too hard on yourself.

SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

These are very important, in any kind of relationship; whether it be professional or personal. A lot of us are taught, from the young age, to put others first. We then grow up and often get lost in serving everyone, but ourselves. Setting up healthy boundaries has changed a lot for me- especially the way I make friends. I wouldn’t call myself a people-pleaser exactly, BUT I love helping others. I love solving problems, coming up with solutions and if I am in a position to help someone in need, I’ll try to go out of my way to make them happy. I never saw anything wrong with the fact that I was usually the one listening, but didn’t do much talking myself. I didn’t see anything wrong with the fact that over the years a lot of people around me got so used to me just “being there” ready to help, that I rarely ever heard “thank you”. My mom would always tell me that you don’t do good or nice things for people because you expect something in return, you do those things because you want to. Yes, that is true. At some point, though, I got lost and no longer knew where others’ lives ended and mine began.

I did this A LOT up until I hit my mid-twenties. Saying “no” was just so damn hard for me. I would answer work-related calls during weekends and spend hours on the phone. I’d say “yes” to things I didn’t feel like doing, meet with people I didn’t feel like meeting, I’d do a favor after favor. There was a point where I couldn’t really focus on what I wanted because I was so worried about everyone else. Then, I just kind of decided to be a little selfish. Well…. no. Selfish isn’t the right word, although it’s funny that it’s the first one that came to my mind when writing this. I decided that I’m going to start setting up some boundaries. I started being careful about giving away my energy to others- and it was honestly life-changing.

I don’t “bring” work home anymore. If I had a particularly tough day at work, I do some deep breathing exercises while sitting in my car in the driveway, before I get in the house and I leave my “work feels” behind. Some of my friendships died off… BUT a lot of them grew even stronger. Setting up healthy boundaries is one of the most important acts of self-love. It’s sort of like drawing a line at a point where you become uncomfortable. You set boundaries, because you deserve it, and to be clear, no, it’s not selfish. Think of it this way: when you give yourself the opportunity to be the best version of yourself, you can then take that love and wisdom and spread it around the people you love. If, instead, you spend your life sacrificing yourself, ignoring your own needs, plans and dreams, you might never give yourself a chance to get to that point.

Also, see:

+ 50 Ways to Practice Self-Care
+ 7 Life-Changing Morning Rituals
+ It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

self-love

BE GOOD TO YOURSELF

Be good to your body, mind, and soul. Watch the way you talk to yourself, be gentle. A lot of the feelings we have toward ourselves, are reflections of our past relationships. If someone close to you offends you enough times or is too hard on you, you eventually start to believe what they say. I grew up in a very strict household where I constantly heard that I wasn’t good enough, or wasn’t working hard enough or that so and so did better in school than me, I should try harder. No one ever taught me how to be good to myself.

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
So, at times when I feel inadequate, or at times when I have a particularly tough day and feel like giving up on everything, I like to imagine myself as that little girl I once was. What would I tell her? Would I say “You’re tired, you should just give up” which is what I used to tell myself all the time, or, would I tell her “You’re strong. You’re doing amazing. Take a break if you need to, but don’t give up. Keep going.”

Be mindful of your self-talk. Pay attention to what you tell yourself because even if you think you don’t, you are listening. We don’t always pay attention to the way we talk to ourselves, but it’s important to stay mindful. If you notice yourself being self-critical, try to remember that beating yourself up for making a mistake will only make you feel worse. Don’t let self-criticism weigh you down. Accept those feelings and thoughts for what they are, and let them go. Self-love isn’t just about liking yourself. It’s not just about being comfortable in your own skin. it’s also about appreciating yourself, it’s about you stopping once in a while and telling yourself “you know what, you’re doing a good fucking job!“.

self-love

I sometimes think that self-love or self-care is something that I stress about too much here on the blog. I then remind myself of how I used to treat myself; as a teenager, as a young adult.  I’d torture myself with thinking why someone treated me the way they did, or why things happened the way they did. I hear my friends and the way they talk about their failures while very rarely mentioning their victories. I see my friend’s ten-year-old and hear her say that she wishes she had blue eyes or that she’s the fattest girl in her class and it breaks my heart.

Loving yourself isn’t selfish.

It’s not about conceit. It’s not about thinking you’re better than someone else. It is, however, a lot more than just “accepting” yourself.


What do you love about yourself? I know that I already asked you this on my Instagram, but I REALLY want to make you think about this one! :)

Self-love | Self-care | wellness | self-growth | self-improvement | forgiveness | lifestyle blog | girl-talk | how to love yourself
  • Christine C.

    so many feels after reading this post. I’ve recently realized recently that I had sort of forgot about making myself happy and instead was constantly putting others happiness in front of mine. I’ve tried to make changes, set boundaries and I’ve lost friendships. It’s not easy, but I think it’s so important. Again, I loved this post!

    • It’s so important to do that. I grew up thinking that doing nice things for yourself or putting yourself first is selfish, but the older I get the more I understand how important it is to care for yourself and value your time and boundaries. Thank you so much Christine! x

  • Love these types of posts! Very inspiring! Love it. Great work. :)

    Brooke | http://beautydecorandmore.com

  • Very inspiring post! It is so important to make yourself happy too….it’s something I forget sometimes

  • Ana

    You couldn’t have said it any better! Aiming for perfection neglects creativity. Loved this inspirational post!

    http://www.givemechic.com

  • It’s sooooo hard to not strive for perfection though when everywhere around you you see (seemingly) perfect people with (seemingly) perfect lives :-(

    • I know! I always try to remember to focus on watering my own grass, so I don’t notice that someone else’s is greener. x

  • I love about myself that I am funny , ambitious if I want something I will make it happen. I love about myself that I allow to love someone else and that someone else loves me back.
    http://mihabalan.com

  • I’d love to ditch the perfectionism, but it’s a really tough habit to break, especially when you know you can aways strive for more

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

    • As I said in the post, there’s nothing wrong with striving for more :) Once it becomes sort of obsession when you’re never happy with any of your accomplishments is where it became a problem for me. x

  • Being a perfectionist can ruin the best self-love routines. People say they are their worst judges but they will never understand an extent of it the perfectionists go through. I am not only my worst judge, I am also my worst enemy, I will never say yes to myself fully, because I will never truly trust myself. Sad but true. It’s like a never-ending battle, isn’t it?

    • YES. I feel exactly the same sometimes. I’m definitely better at it now, but I swear I used to drive myself crazy about always doing my best and putting myself down when I didn’t feel like I pushed myself hard enough. The other day I spent 2 hours trying to take ONE picture for a blog post. Every single time I uploaded i to my computer I hated it and wasted so much time going back and forth until I realized that I’m just wasting time and driving myself crazy lol. ;)

      • I know the feeling. If not for my boyfriend, I would never finish anything. I am still not sure how any photos make it to my blog or instagram. Probably because he gets tired and picks them for me, and tells me just not to look at them ever again ;)

        • Haha I ask my husband for opinion too, but it’s pointless because I always think I know better than him, anyway. ;)

  • I swear me and you are the same person! I can be a complete control freak too and I find myself feeling so irritable and unconfortable if things don’t work out how I imagine them. I’m also always being that friend who’s there for everyone but myself and it’s tiring! Thankyou for sharing this chick, it’s really helped x

    http://www.alwaysalice.co.uk

    • Haha this is the second time I hear this today after publishing this post ;) It’s nice to know that others can relate to what I go through sometimes! x

  • MoreMindfulYou

    Self-talk is such a big issue for me!

    moremindfulyou.blogspot.com

  • Leaving work things at work is something I need to work on, for sure. It’s hard because I’m a stewer… if something bothers me or makes me angry, I just let it consume me and throw off my whole mood. BUT (as a fellow HP fan I know you will understand this reference), the other day I was in an absolutely FOUL mood. I took my necklace off, deemed it as a horcrux, and mentally told myself that that’s the reason I was in a bad mood and that now that it’s off, I can be better. And it surprisingly worked lol That is how deep my geekiness goes!

    But I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I LOVE these posts. And I love that you do them so often because it’s a constant reminder to actually monitor myself a little better. I take deep breaths when I’m feeling stressed, I’m definitely much more aware of how I’m breathing. I know when to get up and walk away and take a mental break and just be. So the more of these posts the merrier! <3

    And I said it on Insta, but my favorite part of me is the fact that I've finally let go of the need to care about what people think of me. I'm SO much more comfortable in my own skin and I have no qualms about being who I am, no matter what. There are still things I need to work on but they're smaller things than what I was dealing with before.

    Katie | http://www.overthemoony.com

    • You’re just as much of a dumbledork as I am! ;) I love what you did there with the necklace and I totally believe that it worked. It’s just like washing off that negative energy- something that I do after dealing with people who have negative energy is that I just sort start shaking it off. Literally. I’ll shake my hands and bring my arms up and down. My husband always makes fun of me for that but hey, it works! :)

      I’m so happy to know that you love these posts Katie! It always makes me happy to see your comments!

      That is an amazing quality to have!! When I was younger I was paranoid about getting older, but not giving a fuck is seriously one of the best part of aging haha ;)

  • peonies passionfruit

    It’s so important to remember to nurture ourselves first and on a regular basis so that we are better positioned to serve and help others. Lovely and inspiring post, thanks.
    Eme
    http://www.peoniesandpassionfruit.com

  • saranya

    Grateful informative! We’ve it share this particular post was very used interactive.Many more thank to you share is useful post!!!

  • Debbie Santiago-Keough

    Brilliant…just brilliant. Nothing wrong with giving of yourself but you need to replenish that giving spirit otherwise you are empty. I love to surround myself with people that are just as giving as myself so that I am on “full” and able to help others in need. Self love is something that most times we learn a little later in life and after taking a beating but hey, once you learn it, like you said, it changes everything. Great article!

    • Thank you so much Debbie! It’s definitely something we learn a little later in life, but better later than never as it really is life-changing especially if you’ve been putting yourself down for years and years.

  • Love this post. I think being good to yourself is so important, knowing what works best for you and listening to your body and mind is a good place to start and then it all falls into place. I love how I’ve changed over the years and have become happier in who I am and looking forward to who I’ll be in another couple of years. Learning from the past and taking care of myself and my life.

    Natasha | The Night is Wild

    • Learning from the past is so important, that’s very true! So happy that you found yourself on your journey and look forward to seeing where else it’ll take you. I’m sure that there are many amazing years awaiting you!

  • ThePartyParrotBlog

    Paula, what a wonderful post. I can relate to almost everything you have described above. It is like you are my twin or something haha. Thanks for sharing!

    Naya xx

  • Zara

    I love my determined and feisty spirit. Not everyone loves it, some people don’t like my passion for things and think I am too feisty but it is what drives me to do the things I love and speak up for the things I believe in. great post, we should all love ourselves a little more. It is difficult though, in a world which tells us we should achieve more, be prettier, do better.

    • Zara, I love that! Never stop being you or doing the things you want. You don’t need anyone’s approval. :)

  • Natalie Redman

    ‘Loving yourself isn’t selfish’ is just the perfect statement! We should take more care in ourselves.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Suzi

    I wore blue contact lenses for 10 years because my eyes are a weird green/grey blend. I would literally go back in time and knock that packet out of my hand if I could. Fab post, can’t wait to read more.

  • Nancy Thompson

    Paula, I have never commented or written to a blogger, however I felt compelled to let you know how wonderful I think your blog is. You write from your heart. You are never preachy. You have found a way or a voice to share information on a wide variety of very interesting topics in an encouraging and inviting way. Thank you and all the best for a very happy 2017.

    • Nancy, thank you SO much! So glad to know that you like my work, it means the world to me, thank you so much for your kind comment! Wishing you all the best in 2017 and sending my love!

  • I can’t even explain how long it took me to realize that “loving myself isn’t selfish” as you stated at the end of this post. I swear I spent years thinking that taking time for me was a waste and that nobody else was going to benefit from this. Thank you so much for bringing more visibility to how important self-love is! You’re the best Paula :)

    • It’s heartbreaking that it takes us years to finally understand it, but it feels SO amazing, once we do. So happy you liked this post, Taylor, thank you!!