Cultivating Self-Love: Where Do I Start?

If you’re reading this, you probably struggle with “self-love” or, more directly, low self-esteem.

Maybe you make negative judgments about yourself. Maybe you sabotage your successes with bad decisions. Maybe you need everyone to like you. Maybe you allow others to treat you like sh*t. There are many signs of low self-esteem.

I get it: This is something I have been all too familiar with in my life too.

Negative messages, however indirect, from family, friends, and society as a whole shame us into believing the worst lie of all: that we aren’t good enough just the way we already are.

The truth is: You ARE good enough just the way you already are.

Your brain has been wired to think otherwise, and it isn’t your fault.

You can rewire your brain to ditch the self-judgments and to remember what a stunning, unique, strong, talented person you are.

I chose Camel Pose, or Ustrasana, for this self-love collage. It is such a major heart chakra opener which means it opens you up to LOVE.
It’s one of my favorite asanas and feels so powerful yet so vulnerable. 
Digital collage by me (@CreepetteYoga on Instagram)

🤍 9 ways you can cultivate self-love starting today:

  1. Practice self-love when it comes to your basic needs. This one is so simple and yet so overlooked. Drink enough water, get enough sleep, choose cosmetics with clean ingredients, ditch unhealthy eating habits, move your body, etc. 
    You can even take some of these basic needs to the next level if you can spoil yourself (just a little bit). For example: Use a lux water bottle that makes you feel fancy. Or make your bed irresistible with high-quality sheets so that you will go to bed sooner instead of staying up too late playing video games… You get the idea.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are not them and they are not you! You are your own person with vastly different genes, experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” (Amen. 🙏) When you’re busy comparing, you are not present with all the greatness that you already are. You’ve come a long way in your life. Honor that. Honor yourself.
    Focus on yourself and your goals. When you do this, other people’s lives, bodies, clothes, or Instagram photos won’t even be on your radar: You’ll be way too busy doing all those things that make you feel so whole and undeniably you.
  3. Break up with toxic people. It doesn’t matter who it is or how long you’ve known them. Life’s too short to willingly be around people who bring you down or make you feel unworthy.
    And, contrary to popular belief, family is no exception. Remember that you have no obligation to willingly be around anyone, including family members, that disrespect you. 
    I’m sure you’ve heard that “Blood is thicker than water” quote. It’s actually a misquote of this: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”
    Meaning: The bonds you choose can be much stronger than the bonds you are given through birth.
    Choose your own family, one that brings you up and supports you. As others love you, it becomes easier to love yourself.
  4. Give yourself the grace to be human. It’s okay to fail and make mistakes! It means you’re trying. Be nice to yourself. I often remember this advice I read a long time ago: “Talk to yourself as if you would a best friend.” Relationships with others are vital, but the relationship with yourself is the most important one you will ever have. You should be your own best friend, your #1 fan, and your strongest support system. Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes and misgivings and love yourself anyway.
  5. Tap through self-hatred using the Emotional Frequency Technique, or EFT. Commonly known simply as “tapping,” this very simple ritual is on based on the meridian points in your body derived from ancient Chinese medicine. EFT tapping restores the balance to your energy when you feel or experience something negative. Hating yourself really throws the energy in your body off because it is a very low-vibration feeling. If you want to read more about EFT, go here. If you prefer videos and following along with someone, search “EFT for self-love” on YouTube. So many wonderful people teach this easy, effective tool to the masses and are making a huge impact. And the best part about EFT is that you can use it for any other issue or ailment you experience. If you’re skeptical, try it for yourself. It only takes a few minutes.
  6. Worry about only one person’s opinion: Your own. It doesn’t matter if it’s your partner, your dad, or your coworker. If you are being true to yourself and someone else doesn’t like it, remind yourself of this: “It is not my problem how anyone else feels about me or my decisions.” Live your life for you and you only. And when you live your truth, you will become a magnet for those who’ll support you.
  7. Notice whenever you think negative judgments about yourself or others. Self-awareness is key. Oftentimes we judge so passively and so frequently that we don’t even realize we are doing it. It’s vital to notice when our inner critic is disapproving and unaccepting. Only then can we switch out those negative thoughts for positive ones.
    Ask yourself: Where are these judgments actually coming from? (Hint: It’s never you.) Forgive yourself and replace that judgment with loving words about yourself, even if it feels like a lie. Tell yourself something like: “I am the coolest person I know!” 
  8. Express gratitude. For anything and everything. Gratitude is a high vibrational emotion. Practicing it focuses your mind and energy on the good and therefore attracts even more good things to you. And try to express gratitude for things you may take for granted, like health or easy access to clean water.
  9. Seek a licensed therapist to help you love and accept yourself the way you were always meant to. If you cannot afford therapy, know that there are clinics and mental health practitioners that offer services on a sliding scale based on income. Many people are unaware of sliding scale therapy. For more information about what it is, how it works, and where to find it, go here.

Rewiring your brain takes a lot of patience and hard work, but it’ll all be worth it. I promise you.

The world needs people to love and accept themselves for who they are now, in the present moment. I truly believe that if everyone really loved themselves, the world would be at peace.

Narcissists who conquer with money, force, and greed don’t actually love themselves. Deep down inside, they hate themselves. That’s how their hatred and fear for others was cultivated.

When you see the good in yourself, it becomes effortless to see the good in others.

Heal yourself. Heal the world.

With love & gratitude,

❤️ Do you have any self-love tips you want to share? Comment below!

Follow me on Instagram: @CreepetteYoga

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