The art of self-love isn’t something that you have or don’t have, it’s a skill that you practice and develop.
Spoiler alert, I don’t love myself or my body everyday. Most days, I don’t wake up with the confidence and self-assurance of Shakira (even though my hips don’t lie) instead I slip into old habits and view myself negatively.
And you probably won’t love yourself everyday either (sorry), so if that’s what you’re aiming for, maybe it’s time to re-think that.
Whilst being body positive or only thinking positively is a great idea, the key to loving yourself is self-acceptance.
It is hard to be your own cheerleader in life. It also feels quite alien as we don’t want to be narcissistic or self-centred people (I hope). But we also need some self-love in order to be happy, healthy and thrive.
So if you aren’t in a positive headspace right now and don’t feel as though you love yourself, that’s ok. Take comfort in the fact that there is always time to learn the art of self-love.
A great example of some improvement on my part at the art of self-love is my view on holiday photos.
I used to look at photos of myself on holiday and loathe them. It would ruin my whole evening or afternoon, even if that was spent on a beach in the sun. Everything would be tainted as I saw a photo of myself that I didn’t like.
Perhaps my cellulite was on show or I thought I looked fat or ugly; I would find any imperfection I could and I wouldn’t be able to let them go. Once you reinforce those negative thoughts it becomes harder to break the habit, so on the next holiday the same thing would happen. It’s no way to live, constantly beating yourself up about imperfections.
I know rationally I have a healthy, able body and while I have fat, I am not fat. There’s a difference.
A photo I posted recently on Instagram made the explore page and reached over 110,000 people, which is mad for many reasons. But what was even crazier is that I didn’t particularly like that photo as I thought it was unflattering.
It accentuated my curves and made me look slightly bigger than I think I am. But I posted the photo anyway as I know that I struggle to objectively view my body. I naturally view myself negatively from years of reinforcing those beliefs when I was younger.
The point is that I have flaws, but I am not only my flaws. I’m just human.
I’m not subhuman or superhuman, I’m me.
And can only master the art of self-love when we begin to accept and embrace every part of who we are.
I post photos that I’m unsure how I feel about online as at the end of the day there won’t ever be a perfect photo and I may not be happy with any of them if I continue in that mindset.
Those holidays photos that I used to loathe, I look back on fondly as I loved the adventures with my friends and family. I just didn’t love myself at that point in time. But it tainted those beautiful moments and I don’t want to live like that anymore, which is why I decided to change that.
The more you do that – challenge old, negative views about yourself – the more you accept who you are and gain confidence and love for what you are, rather than what you’re not.
It’s good to be conscious of practical things that help you change your negative thoughts and habits such as viewing old photos that you didn’t like or maybe loved but for the wrong reasons, with fresh eyes.
You can sign up to my mailing list below to receive a free little e-resource to prompt you to challenge your thoughts, eradicate the ones that hold you back and replace them with loving ones:
Have you mastered the art of self-love?