For a long time, I struggled with loving myself. I would conceal my anxiety and self-imposed introvert tendencies with a fake smile and pleasant demeanor. There were things that I loved about myself but they always came with conditions… and what I was experiencing was nowhere near self-love.

No matter how I tried, I kept finding that I couldn’t just accept me for me.

There was always a lingering thought that to be deserving, I needed to be better, do more, stay focused, and be successful (in all areas of my life). Imagine that! To deserve my own love… I needed to earn it. It was an exhausting roller coaster.

It took me what felt like a lifetime to figure out how to just love myself. Not for what I achieved, how I felt, what I looked like, or what other people thought of me; just unconditional love. 

At some point, I figured that if self-love was a struggle for me… other women were probably having difficult too. So, I’ve decided to share what helped me discover true self-love and I hope these steps will help you to do the same!

step 1 – be open & intentional

The first thing that I had to do was to be open to truly loving myself. I had to be willing to face the truth about why I didn’t believe that I was worthy. This, in itself, is a process. It’s easy to think that you are ready to do something different, but when it’s inner work… it can be difficult.

I set my intention and declared to (myself and) the universe that I was open, available, and ready to see myself differently.

This was just the beginning.

action step

Stand in the mirror and look yourself in the eye. Then, say out loud and with authority that you are ready to love yourself fully and completely. Do this every day and watch what starts to happen in your life.

The thing about setting your intention is that it sets things in motion. Unknowingly, you will start to attract people, books, events and experiences that expedite your self-love journey.

self-care secrets and how to love on you banner - Tiffany Nicole Forever Blog

learning to love yourself shouldn't be a solo venture... you don't have to do it alone Click To Tweet

step 2 – learn what works

I began to seek out and try out different self-love techniques, exercises, and practices. I read books, listened to podcasts and listened to a lot of Super Soul Sunday. Along the way, I learned many different techniques, behaviors, and actions to take to help me grow closer to myself.

This included things like:

  • uncovering areas where I needed to forgive myself
  • taking the time to understand how I express and expect to receive love
  • identifying why I was so hard on myself
  • learning self-soothing techniques
  • writing love letters to myself
  • showing myself grace and compassion
  • learning how to meditate
  • being more introspective
  • channeling positivity
  • healing old wounds
  • giving myself permission to feel and not suppress my emotions
  • journaling to self-reflect and examine what caused me stress

I read (many) books. I researched classes, workshops, and conferences. And I learned a lot. But this was hard work. Deep work. The type of personal uncovering that we often sweep under the rug, pretend to forget, and walk away.

The type of personal uncovering that we often sweep under the rug, pretend to forget, and walk away. Click To Tweet

Some techniques I tried worked better than others and there was a lot of trial and error. I learned that while there is a TON of information out there… most of it is ineffective and a waste of time. But what I did discover is that along the way, you will find what works for you!

5 Secret Steps to Discovering How to Love Yourself

step 3 – implement self-love daily

As I began to identify what was actually working for me, I was intentional about implementing these actions daily. Each time I found myself being critical, cruel, or judgmental with myself, I put what I had learned into action. These moments became opportunities for me to practice loving myself more and better than I had before. Make no mistake about it, this took lots of practice and implementation. As with learning any new skill, knowledge without application is dead.

action step

Think of how you can put the things you learn into practice in your daily life? The answer is simple but will require you to do the work. When you start to criticize yourself, stop. Moments when you begin to put yourself down, remind yourself that you are a work in progress. Start making decisions that support the woman you want to become. And always give yourself grace and forgiveness… because you’re human. Above all else, the best thing that you can do is to start to recognize when these negative behaviors are happening.

i am enough - a blog post by Tiffany Nicole about self acceptance and owning your worth

step 4 – enjoy the self-love process

When you’ve struggled with it in the past, loving yourself unconditionally can be difficult. However, there are wins and benefits that you’ll discover along the way.

Benefits like…

  • not being so hard on yourself
  • taking better care of myself.
  • starting to understand and fully believe that you are enough
  • feeling full and satiated – not always looking for a distraction from your real life
  • improvement in your personal relationships because you’ll free yourself to be more authentic
  • the ability to navigate and support yourself during hard times and when feeling difficult emotions

So as you embark on this journey of self-reflection and discovery, don’t make it a science project. Allow yourself to enjoy the process. Get comfortable with you… and watch your heart fill with love, for YOU!