3 Simple Ways to Cultivate More Self-Love

3 Simple Ways to Cultivate More Self-Love

I recently caught up with a close friend who, over a some wine and pasta, shared that she wasn’t where she “expected” to be at this point in her life. It’s all too-common cocktail fodder for millennial women and usually ends up veering into“I’m not enough” territory.

Like any good friend, I spent the next half hour reminding her of how amazing she is, easily rattling off a million reasons why she had no reason to doubt herself. But why is it so difficult for us to do this for ourselves?

Somehow I can’t seem to open Instagram without seeing a million posts about self-care tips, but what about self-love? While the two concepts are undoubtedly connected, they’re not necessarily the same thing. Self-care often refers to external actions – activities we do to rejuvenate and take care of ourselves. Self-LOVE is more about the internal work we do to embrace our true selves and trust our inner voice.

It should not be thought of as self-indulgent, but rather self-fulfilling. Cultivating self-love can lead to higher confidence and the ability to be a better friend and partner. Taking time to fill up your own cup, will give you a greater capacity to show up for others.

So while you might be tempted to write off self-love as a fluffy idea you don’t have time for, devoting yourself to introspection, personal growth and – yep, you guessed it – self-love, can give you a deeper sense of satisfaction and help you squash that pesky imposter syndrome.

Here are three simple ways to start cultivating more self-love:

Take Action

While sharing your feelings and emotions is vital to your mental health, it’s equally important to to do something about them. Fear can easily turn into a victim mentality, but pointing fingers and placing the blame elsewhere takes away your power to change. Try asking a friend to be your accountability partner and check in regularly to talk about the positive choices you’re making that reflect self-love. For example, if you tend to put off big decisions, agree on a verbal deadline with your accountability partner and ask him or her to hold you to it. Self-love is a practice and all practices take time to develop. Be patient with yourself and acknowledge that you don’t have to take every step alone.

Define Your Own Worth

If my last piece of advice was about getting out of your own way, this one is about getting OTHER people’s voices out of your head. Whether it’s societal norms, our families, friends, or colleagues – everyone always has an opinion. And they’re entitled to one. What’s most important is that you don’t let their opinions impact your decision making; rather, act based on what makes YOU happy. Love yourself enough to trust your inner voice and pursue your unique purpose. As easy as it is to forget, you are the only person who can define your own worthiness – no job, label, or other person can fulfill you, so stop looking outside of yourself and start looking within.

Fake it till you make it

Let’s face it: we all need reminders. Even the most diligent, type-A person can get off track from time to time and there’s no shame in it. We’re all human. But most of us spend our days prioritizing everything and everyone else, placing ourselves at the very bottom of list. When this cycle repeats itself over and over again, it is near impossible to make space for self-love. The next time you feel like you need a little boost, try using a positive affirmations. Write it on a sticky note and place it somewhere you can see it often. It doesn’t have to be cheesy or dramatic, it simply needs to make you feel good. A few of my personal favorites are:

  • I am a good person
  • I honor my commitments to myself
  • Who I am right now is enough and what I have is enough
  • I am worthy of giving and receiving love and kindness

There’s so much freedom to be found in acknowledging your humanity and loving yourself anyway.

However you choose to cultivate self-love, make it a priority. Once you embrace it, you will be surprised how easy it is to shift your mindset.

How do you cultivate self-love?