10 Steps For Practicing Self Love


steps for practicing self love

“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” – Wilfred Peterson

I used to think self love meant being the prettiest I can be, displaying a façade of perfection to the world on social media, and denying any of my hidden fears and doubts.

How wrong I was.

Self love begins and ends internally. It cannot be contingent on how others feel about us, what they think about us, or what they say about us. Validation from others is addictive; we can become unhealthily reliant on it. Remember that self-love can only be cultivated internally. Here’s how.

10 Steps For Practicing Self Love

1. To Have Self-Esteem, Start By Doing Esteemable Things.

This may sound simple, but it is only when we bring a level of awareness to the discrepancies in our values and actions that we truly become mindful of how unbalanced these two can be. I can mean well but actively gossip. I can believe in honesty but lie to my peers.

If my insides and my outsides are not aligned, I cannot and will not feel good about myself. This is called cognitive dissonance.

Related: The Art Of Self Love

2. Acknowledge All Parts Of Yourself.

Even—and especially—the parts you want to hide. Shed light on them: your emotions, your fears, your body, your voice. Everything that makes you you. A book that may help you take this step is Braving the Wilderness, by Brene Brown.

3. Affirmations.

I used to think this was corny and weird, but in the last year or so, I’ve been writing down “I am” statements: I am beautiful, I am competent, I am passionate, I am enough, and so on.

When I change my internal narrative, I change the way I view myself. I’ll find what I’m looking for. This means that if I am seeking evidence that I’m not good enough, I’ll find it. On the other hand, if I am looking for evidence that I am worthy of love and belonging, I will find that, too.

Self Love
Self Love

4. Speak Your Truth.

We can slide into the habit of deflecting from our truth on a regular basis. Did you actually like that movie? Have you really heard of that band? If you’re upset or angry, are you able to articulate how you feel and tell another person?

Try to deconstruct whatever is blocking you from speaking your truth (fear, people-pleasing, etc).

5. Daily Inventories.

While this is one of the 12 steps, I have noticed that those of us in recovery seldom do it correctly. We are not solely meant to acknowledge or write down where we were resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid, but also identify what we did well and what we packed into the stream of life that day.

The 10th step instructs us not to be martyrs, but we often focus on where we fell short instead of also including our victories. So before you go to sleep at night, make a mental or physical inventory of your strengths and wins for that day, as well as the things you’d like to improve.

Related: Osho on the Concept of Love and Self Love – some of his deepest Teachings

6. Connect With Those Who Feed Your Soul.

Do your friends accept you for who you are, but also challenge you to continue growing? Are you able to satiate your innate, human need for connection with the people in your life? Or are you like the actor on stage, wearing different masks and costumes throughout the day?

7. Cultivate Gratitude.

A yoga teacher once told me, “Happiness does not lead to gratitude. Gratitude leads to happiness.” This is also true of internal happiness and self love. What are you grateful for about yourself today?

8. Practice Compassion And Forgiveness.

Yes, it’s important to practice this with others. But can you also practice it internally? You are human. You will fall short. You will make mistakes.

But more importantly, what is the story you tell yourself about your mistakes? Can you cultivate non-judgmental awareness inwardly, and forgive yourself (while also staying accountable) on a daily, even moment to moment basis?

Self Love

9. Learn To Laugh At Yourself.

Going along the lines of self-compassion, try to incorporate humor into your internal narrative. Instead of, “Why can’t I do anything right?” or “I hate my body,” I invite you to laugh at your humanness.

Almost all of us are striving for this unrealistic goal of perfection. The fact of the matter is that we connect through our imperfections—our humanity.

Related: 9 Steps That’ll Help You Love Yourself Better

10. Be Of Service.

Every time we step outside of ourselves and into the arena of helping another, in any capacity, we tell ourselves that we have something to offer—that we are enough, and that we can make a difference.

Be mindful not to slip into caretaking and trying to save others; we can only control our own actions and reactions. But we can show up, be a light, instill hope, and be helpful. And in doing that, we set ourselves free.

These are 10 simple steps, but as humans beings, we have a tendency to complicate the hell out of them. I encourage you to talk about these steps in therapy, allow others to help you deconstruct whatever is blocking you from self love, and try to connect with people who bring you closer to your ideal, rather than those who keep you living in cognitive dissonance.

And, as always, remember: You are worthy. You are enough. You are whole.

Written By Hannah Rose   
Originally Appeared On PsychologyToday  
steps for practicing self love pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Up Next

From Sidelines To Spotlight: 5 Steps To Getting A Seat At The Table (Where You Belong)

Steps To Getting A Seat At The Table Where You Belong

Getting a seat at the table isn’t merely about occupying a chair, but about having a voice and influencing decisions. Follow these five steps to transition from a spectator to a key player, and not just get a seat at the table, but also make sure that your insights are heard and valued.

One of my favourite movies is the 1995 comedy Home for the Holidays. Claudia, played by Holly Hunter, heads to her childhood home for Thanksgiving with her dysfunctional family.

If you haven’t seen this flick, I highly recommend that you do. Especially if at one time or another, you’ve found yourself back at home, being treated like the child you once were, and maybe even sitting at the k

Up Next

How To Get Over Infatuation: 10 Tips For Gaining Emotional Balance In Relationships

How To Get Over Infatuation: Ten Tips To Gain Emotional Balance

Ever found yourself deeply infatuated with someone, experiencing an overwhelming rush of emotions that consumes your every thought? Infatuation can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be a double-edged sword that leaves us feeling vulnerable and emotionally imbalanced. Let’s explore how to get over infatuation.

How to Get Over Infatuation

Whether you’re infatuated with someone who is not available or struggling with infatuation while being married, it’s important to find ways to navigate these intense feelings and regain your emotional equilibrium. 

Up Next

Your Mental Health Matters: 5 Habits You Need To Let Go Of Right Now

mental health matters

Everyone talks about the importance of having good physical health, and a healthy and strong body. But what about mental health, or rather the importance of good mental health? Just like physical health, mental health matters equally. 

As caregiver to my mom and sister, both of whom were diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, I got good at pretending I was fine. From the outside looking in, I played the role of someone who had it all together.

On the rare occasion when somebody would ask me, “Are you okay?” or “What’s the matter?” my automatic responses would be “I’m fine” and “Nothing.” Few people ever bothered to

Up Next

Unpacking Parentification Trauma: The Burden of Growing Up Too Soon

What Is Parentification Trauma? Seven Types, Effects and Healing

The excitement of childhood is beautiful, when your biggest worry was whether your favorite cartoon was on TV. Some kids don’t have a childhood as carefree. Parentification trauma becomes a real issue when a child is thrust into the shoes of a grown-up.

The child takes on responsibilities beyond their years. It’s like playing a role in a movie you didn’t audition for. This is the reality for those who’ve experienced the issue – a lesser-known yet impactful challenge that shapes lives in unexpected ways.

What is Parentification Trauma?

It might be your question, though–what is parentification trauma? The trauma occurs when a child is placed in a role that reverses their expected position within the family dynamic.

Up Next

8 Ways To Stand Up To The Scapegoat Inside You

Healing the scapegoat inside you can be a long journey. But once you understand how it works & what you can do to deal with it, it gradually becomes easier.

Dealing with and healing the scapegoat inside you can be a long journey. But once you understand how scapegoating works and what you should do to deal with it, it gradually becomes easier.

Families who scapegoat use blame and criticism to deflect family problems onto individual members. In this way, scapegoaters avoid taking responsibility for dealing with their problems in general, and maintain the illusion that they are a normal, healthy family.

For example, mother drinks, but daughter is accused of being ‘bad’ and therefore blamed for mother’s stress related drinking.

Up Next

Good Things About Each Zodiac Sign To Make Their Day!

Good Things About Each Zodiac Sign: Twelve Signs Positive Traits

Do you feel people often get (mis)judged for their zodiac? It’s time to look at the good things about each zodiac sign and get to know their positive traits!

Yes, dear readers, we’re diving headfirst into the world of the zodiac signs. But fear not, for this isn’t your run-of-the-mill horoscope column.

Today, we celebrate the endearing and unique qualities that make each zodiac sign a fascinating creature worth knowing. So buckle up and prepare for an astrological adventure like no other!

Up Next

Embracing True Body Positivity Through Fat Acceptance: Loving Ourselves as We Are

What Is Fat Acceptance? Eight Differences From Body Positivity

In a world seemingly obsessed with Photoshop-perfect bodies and the relentless pursuit of a one-size-fits-all definition of beauty, do you not feel that fat acceptance stands as a bold movement of reform?

The movement strongly defies the societal norms and whispers a message of empowerment and self-love. It is vibrant, accepting, and has emerged as a non-apologetic wave.

What is Fat Acceptance?

The fat acceptance movement is a social and cultural movement that sought to challenge and dismantle the stigma, discrimination, and negative stereotypes associated with larger body sizes.