How Self-Love Can Transform Your Life + 50 Ways To Practice More Self-Love

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.

It’s easy for me to criticize or blame myself; sometimes, I do it without even realizing it. I’m sure many of you can relate.

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 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.

ways to practice selflove

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
+20 Things to Start Doing for Yourself


BE GOOD TO YOURSELF

Be good to your body, mind, and soul- these are some of the best ways to practice self-love. 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
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 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!“.

ways to practice self-love

Self-love, self-care are things I stress a lot here on the blog. I do it, because I remember 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.

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. 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.


#love #selflove #selfcare #wellness #selfgrwoth #lifestyle #selfloveideas #girltalk Ways to practice self-love.
 
  • This is such a lovely and positive post, just what I needed on this Saturday afternoon!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

  • Thank you for sharing this beautiful reminder of the importance of self-love. Number 34 is something that I identify that I should start paying more attention to. Worrying about things that are out of my control really is a waste of time. There are so many positive and improving this I could be focusing on instead :)
    Hope you have a beautiful day <3
    xx
    http://mariannelle.com

  • I really like the paragraph about being the best version of yourself to be able to spread more love to others. Such a refreshing way to look at it.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

  • This advice is crucial!

    Hannah | Wild At Heart

  • This list is PERFECT! Absolutely love it, I need to print it out and have it stuck to my wall!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • Stop trying to be perfect. That should be my mantra. I suffer from perfectionism, but i am working on it, and i have gotten better.

    http://www.yourbeautypantry.com

  • I love this list. And I love this article. I started reading ‘The gift of imperfection’ recently, exactly because of the reasons you mention above. We all need to stop striving for perfection and embrace our bad qualities as well as our good qualities.

  • Sometimes I feel like I am finally ‘fine’ and past my perfectionism – and then it strikes again. It is like addiction, I swear, never to be forgotten fully. I guess we just need to stay strong <3

  • Lisa Autumn

    You are the queen of lifetstyle posts!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • The Sunday Mode

    Oh my god, yes! I really find myself annoying at times as well, honestly brava to my friends and family for not exiling me by now.

    Perfectionism is the bane of my existence. Even though I don’t feel like a perfectionist anymore it’s like those thought patterns are still engrained in my mind somewhere- you know? I can relate so much to what you were saying about how it stops making you acknowledge your accomplishments as well.

    These kinds of posts are my favourite to read because they always make me feel better about myself :)

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  • Natalie Redman

    Love this! What a great motivational post.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Christine C.

    I’ve always been a total people pleaser and I never knew when to say no. I would never say no, even if I didn’t want to do something. To make others happy, I’d just do it, even if it made me miserable. One day I just stopped. I couldn’t do it anymore. I guilted myself about it for a while, I lost friends, but I’m so much more happier than I was before. Now to work on my self-talk. I have always been so bad about putting myself down or thinking I wasnt good enough. It’s a hard thing to change,but I’m working on it and myself! Lovely post as always!

  • I love this. Thanks for sharing
    Wonder Cottage