Self-Love: 16 Strategies to Live a Life Uncommon (Part II)
You wear guilt like shackles on your feet…like a halo in reverse.
~ Halo by Depeche Mode ~
Do you have your Self-Love sword ready? Because it’s time for Part II of our Self-Love strategy series. We are continuing our mission to saying YES to feeding our mind, body, and soul with the love and compassion that we deserve, so that we can live a Life Uncommon.
Last week, in Part I, we plunged deep into the practice of Self-Love: the art of caring for yourself so that you have the energy and mind-set to pursue a life on your own terms, and so that you can effectively care for the people around you. In Part I, 8 beautiful bloggers shared their most powerful Self-Love strategies. This week, in Part II, 8 more gorgeous bloggers continue to help you to build your Self-Love strategy list. All 16 strategies are designed to help you to support your journey toward a life full of joy and success.
You are at the center of this most important practice because no one else but you knows exactly what you need to replenish, nourish, and reactivate your inner fire.
In Part I of this Self-Love series, we spoke about living a Life Uncommon: defined as a life that is built upon your own unique aspirations, passions, dreams, desires, and values. But, in order to create a Life Uncommon, you need a way to build a strong foundation. Because the journey to a Life Uncommon isn’t easy: it requires courage, self-reliance, patience, and fortitude. Luckily, by being your own BFF, and practicing the art of Self-Love, you have the capability to build that strong foundation, which will support your journey toward your desired life.
But, let’s talk about the biggest hurdle that will block your path to Self-Love and a Life Uncommon: it’s your best pal, Guilt.
It’s all well and good to know what Self-Love is, but unless you practice it, you will never reap the benefits. And, let’s be honest, it’s really difficult to take the time necessary to show yourself Self-Love because if you do, most of the time, your inner mean girl or certain friends and family will question your motives, and they will push you into the pool of guilt.
There are so many lives unlived because of both fear and guilt. We wear these emotions as shackles, and remain chained to the expectation of others, and to the loud voice of our inner critic. So many of us live a life defined by what others want us to think, feel, and do. And, we get stuck in the belief that we are not worthy or talented enough to carve out a life according to our own vision — we easily live someone else’s vision, instead.
But, what if there was a way out? What if there was a way to start practicing Self-Love, without guilt, so that you felt strong enough to step a toe in the direction of your true life’s desires?
I say, face guilt head on. But, face it with love and compassion: never anger.
Personally, I like to address the cause of my guilt with gentleness. If my inner critic is giving me the gears, or if someone in my life is projecting their fear of change and their expectations of an ideal life upon me, I try to address these two sources of guilt in the same manner — with love and compassion. Without anger, I tell both sources of guilt that they don’t have to worry about me. My life is wonderful, and I’m moving in the right direction. I thank them for their concern, but I try not to let guilt wrap its arms around me — we have to be the captain of my own ship, after all. No one else but you has the capacity to create a life according to your own vision.
Unshackling yourself from guilt can be the most powerful act of Self-Love you will ever do. And, it will put you on the path toward kicking some serious ass in life. Self-Love is certainly a key to attaining the happiness that all of us are seeking.
Here are 8 more Self-Love strategies for your toolbox. Pick a favorite strategy this week, and give it a go. And, leave a comment below: what does the practice of Self-Love look like in your life?
8 Strategies to Cultivate Fierce Self-Love (Part II)
Chivon John of ChivonJohn.com
Self-Love is a choice that we make daily to honor our needs and choose to see and embrace the light within us. Marianne Williamson’s powerful declaration from A Return to Love reminds us that ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” My self-love practice is to acknowledge your light by creating a Manifesto that lists 10 reasons why you are awesome! On your list, proudly declare what makes you special. What are things that you do well? What are your strengths? How do you make people feel? If you struggle with this exercise, don’t worry. Reach out to friends and loved ones, and ask them why you are amazing. Use this strategy to quiet your self-doubt, and to recognize that because you are here, you matter. Proudly embrace how amazing you are!
Koko B of KokosKitchen.com
It’s my personal belief that self-love is one of the most powerful and valuable life lessons there is to be learned. To learn to love yourself isn’t always easy, but true self-love opens your life up to a world of opportunities and guidance from the universe. So many people, women especially, let their minds run wild with negative thoughts about themselves. It happens to me, too, although much less often now that I use simple strategies to reverse my pattern of thoughts. Whenever I catch myself thinking a negative self-thought, like: “I look terrible in these jeans.”, I simply state the opposite thought in my head, several times. For example, “I look and feel amazing today. I look and feel amazing today.” And so on. This strategy works well for any negative thoughts, and repeating this strategy whenever you catch yourself being a Debbie Downer can change your natural thought habits. Over time, you might start to think more positively, and that’s when life gets really exciting! Another idea is to start a “Self-Love Gratitude Jar”. Take a jar, decorate it, and make it look interesting and motivating to yourself. Every morning when you wake up, write something kind to yourself. Whether it be a compliment to your great sense of humour, or your compassion towards others, or even a note to your confident-self for pulling off that different hairstyle, yesterday. Bear the thought in mind all day, and own it! You’re you, and you’re great — one of a kind! At the end of one month, you can pull out all the self-love entries and read them. See how you feel. Are the positive thoughts becoming easier to think of each day? Or, do you believe in their truth more than you did before? I hope so! Lastly, something I really struggled with: learning to say no. You just can’t please everyone, and going out of your way for others all the time just isn’t right. There is always room to help others, and to do the best you can, but sacrificing your own well-being doesn’t help anyone. Know when to draw the line and say no. Love yourself!
Melissa Horne of MelissaHorne.com
My favourite self-love strategy is a process, rather than a quick fix: especially since I consider self-love to be synonymous with self-worth. So, when I hear that niggling voice of unworthiness come up to challenge me, I invoke courage and curiosity. Courage in refusing to believe the shallow stories swimming around, and then following that up with seeking out a situation where I can disprove the belief to myself. Curiosity comes when I ‘dive deeper within’, to find out if there is a hidden message in my dis-belief somewhere. Curiosity can often mean the difference between staying stuck and flowing through, because it creates a sense of space and playfulness, as if you’re going on a treasure hunt. If I can develop and grow from what’s going on, and then move on from it, I know I’ll be better off in the long run.
Amanda Moore of TheSavourySoul.com
First and foremost, I believe that in order to fully love yourself, you have to truly begin the journey of knowing who you are, what you stand for and what you value. From here, you can start to base your decisions around those things in your life that are most important to you. And, you will begin to feel like you are really aligning your life with the choices that support you. One tool I recommend is sitting down with pen and paper and writing down your 12 most non-negotiable values. This may take some time, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do it in one sitting. Come back to it as much as possible. If you don’t know what to write down, think about these areas of your life: relationships, career, physical activity, spirituality, and health (diet and nutrition fall into this category). Decide what you need from each of these areas to feel truly inspired, nourished and nurtured. Then, based on your list, figure out the steps that you need to take to open yourself up to more self-love and care.
Arianna Merritt of AriannasRandomThoughts.com
One of the best self-love strategies that I have incorporated into my life is what I call “Coffee, Talk, and a Walk.” The specific details of how you manifest this strategy aren’t important: just as long as the three components are there. It’s just a simple coffee break, to connect with someone or with yourself on a deeper level, and to be active. This doesn’t have to involve a walk; it can be any type of exercise, as long as you are moving your body. I firmly believe that a healthy body is important for a healthy mind. Also, a new environment may inspire you to see a new perspective. These are important aspects that I have incorporated into my daily life, which have made a world of difference! “Coffee, Talk, and a Walk.” Enjoy!
Sophie Crooks of CharmedHeartTao.com
To really love yourself you’ve got to get to know all aspects of yourself. Talk to your ego. Let her know that you forgive her for all the negative things she said, and that you’ll always remember the lessons she taught you. Talk to your inner child, let her know that everyone makes mistakes, that everyone has bad days, but that you’ll always love her. Talk to your 90 year old self. Let her reassure you that life is too short for worries or regrets: just embrace the present and enjoy life. Talk to yourself as though you are your own best friend. Cheer all your accomplishments, notice all the amazing things that make you unique. The child, the wise woman and the best friend all reside within you, waiting to be your support team as you discover your own gorgeous self.
Yasmine Khater of Transpiral.org
My favorite self-love strategy is giving myself space. Space helps me to clear my thoughts; it helps me forgive myself; it allows me to re-energize. I do this by doing 1-hour of movement a day by either cycling, running or swimming. I also have 3 other awesome tips that you can find at this link: http://youtu.be/ik5JVbBHvYg. One of the 3 tips will completely surprise you. Can anyone say Red!
Andrea Belarruti of OhHappyLife.com
For me, self-love is the first thing on my to do list. Everyday, I wake-up and do my morning routine: yoga, meditation, journaling and prayer. Sometimes, I only do one of those activities, and sometimes I do all of them. But I always take the time to connect to my soul right after I wake-up. I normally struggle with commitment and rules, and I think my morning routine is the only rule I have in my life. If I’m ill, and I can’t do much except for prayer, I do just that, even if I don’t feel like it. Having that kind of commitment to myself has changed me. I use those first moments of the day to remember my truth: that divinity is within me and within all of us. And, because of that, I’m worthy and deserving of all the good in this world.