8 Habits To Achieving Total Self Love 

Hey bestie! Did you know that you’re very special? There is no other person in this world like you. You deserve to be loved not only by those around you but by the most important person in your life — YOU.

Practising self love can be challenging for many of us, especially in times when we face adversity. It’s not about being self-absorbed or narcissistic, it’s about getting in touch with ourselves, our wellbeing and our happiness.

We practice self love so we can push through our limiting beliefs and live a life that fills us with purpose and happiness.

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

It’s no secret that people have been comparing themselves to one another since the beginning of time – it’s human nature, right? However, I do believe the fast-paced digital world we live in, can sometimes make it a toxic environment for our mental health to fester in. I catch myself endlessly scrolling through Instagram feeling envious of the social influencers living their best life, pack-packing through Bali, wearing skimpy bikinis, showing off their tanned washboard stomach without a care in the world.  

“Why can’t that be my life?” I’d often think to myself. 

Over time, I’ve learnt to understand that Instagram is just one big highlight reel, where people only share the best parts of themselves online. Before, my thoughts would spiral into such a negative hole, leading me to feel demotivated and low, convinced that my own achievements count for nothing and that everyone is doing a better job at life than I am – resulting in me wanting to delete the app altogether! But I struggled because I do love being online and have seen so many benefits, especially for my own business, to boost visibility, promote my services and make a genuine connection with my audience. 

But even now, I still get that dreadful feeling of comparisonitis that creeps in from time to time, every time I see my competitors doing better than me online and it’s such a sh*tty feeling that can stop you in your tracks.

So what was my solution to overcoming comparisonitis? .. Remembering that there is only one of me and I am my own unique messenger in the world. For example, there are hundreds, if not thousands of logo and branding designers in the world – but there is only one me and that is my superpower. Additionally, I have recently discovered you can “mute” Instagram accounts, which has done wonders for my mental health – you’re welcome! 😉 

My advice is to take regular breaks from social media, unfollow triggering accounts, use Instagram to connect with friends and people that feel you with complete joy and just mute the rest (they’ll never know! 🤫). And most importantly, please remember that people buy from people, and customers will be drawn more to your personality and authentic charm, rather than your designer clothing and holiday pics. 

Let Go Of People’s Opinions

In that same vein, don’t worry about what society thinks or expects of you. You can’t make everyone happy, so this is a total waste of time and will only slow you down on your journey to being the best you. I wasted a lot of years worrying about the opinions of others when in reality those people didn’t mean anything to me. What’s that saying? .. “Those Who Mind Don’t Matter, and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind”

8 Habits To Achieving Total Self Love | Mental Health | Self Care

This is why for important decisions, I seek out a few opinions from select people I know, like and trust – and then forget the rest. Some people will impose their own opinions on you, based on their own beliefs. So what’s good for them may be terrible for you, or vice versa. Be who you want to be from your own perspective – we are all on our own journey. 

Also, I’m a natural over-thinker, and I found overthinking can lead you down a dark path of negative and repetitive thoughts, because you think you’re being judged – even when that’s not the case! I found over-thinking held me back considerably in the early stages of my business, constantly worried about what people would think of me, every time I tried to show up online. But would often resort to hiding behind my logo and staying small, resisting showing the real me behind my brand – which was damaging the growth of my business.

In reality, life is too short to worry about the opinions of others. You are never gonna please people 100% of the time, so f*ck it and just do it anyway!

Your Weight Doesn’t Define You 

Another reason I resisted the thought of showing myself online was my weight. As a plus-size, 20 stone girl, I conditioned my thoughts into believing that I wasn’t worthy of success or self love. Growing up, I had my fair share of hurtful comments from bullies at school, all related to my weight and I think I carried that trauma into my business and my love life. 

By hiding myself, I felt like I was protecting myself from potential trolls online – but this isn’t the playground anymore, I would try to remind myself and would often feel inspired by my business pals showing up online with their new gorgeous photos they had done for their website etc. I would say to myself, “Oh one day, when I lose the weight, I’ll treat myself to a branding photoshoot” .. but that day never came, because I was done with self-loathing and scrutinising every inch of my body, and decided it was finally time to reprogramme my mindset.

Who says you can’t be fat and successful? 

I think what sparked it was seeing Tess Holliday (the world’s first plus-size supermodel) on the front cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. I was blown away by her beauty and her size 24 curves, feeling so inspired and motivated by her success. I remember this article made some serious waves in the mainstream media and she got a lot of hate and backlash from people across the world – but did she care? F*ck no! She literally said “eff your beauty standards” and went on to smash it in the modelling world, challenging the norm and campaigning for people to stop body shaming. 

Shortly after that, I booked my first photoshoot for my business and I loved every minute of it because it was so empowering and freeing to just be me and my business has grown because of it. 

Learn To Say “NO”

Probably one of the hardest words to say – no one likes hearing that word, do they? It’s just two letters, and yet saying no can feel really hard — even complicated. For many of us, saying no doesn’t just feel awkward. It feels wrong, at least it did for me as a self-confessed people pleaser.

So, I would often blurt out, “Yes! Sure! Of course! Happy to!” But in reality, I felt the total opposite as I didn’t want to hurt their feelings when really the only feelings I was hurting were my own – I completely lacked boundaries for myself, and was beginning to feel like a doormat.

The good news is saying no is a skill you can sharpen. The more you say no, the more natural it’ll feel. It took me AGES to build up the courage to say “No” to clients, without having to sugar coat it in fluffy words to soften the blow – believe it or not, “No” is a complete sentence. I was worrying too much about what people thought of me, without giving a sh*t about myself or my mental bandwidth. 

By not saying “No” at the right times in my business, it was then manifesting in burnout and self-loathing. I recently learnt from a great business coach that by saying “no” to something that feels wrong, you are actually saying “yes” to the right opportunities – and that sentence really hit home in my brain.

Here are several ways to build the skill of saying no in different situations – even if it feels like you’re doing it from the ground up.

  • Will saying yes prevent me from focusing on something that’s more important?
  • Does this potential project, opportunity, or activity align with my values, beliefs, and goals?
  • What are my core values, beliefs, and current goals?
  • Will saying yes make me even more tired or burnt out?
  • Will saying yes be good for my mental health? Or will it worsen my symptoms?
  • In the past, when have I said yes and then ended up regretting it?

Allow Yourself To Make Mistakes

I remember at school, I was told again and again from a young age “nobody’s perfect, everyone makes mistakes.” But the older I got, the more pressure I felt to never fail. In fact, everywhere I look online there’s this notion to strive for perfectionism in every aspect of life, whether it be to be the perfect mum, perfect wife, perfect businesswoman – but all of that is total nonsense, as there is no such thing as perfect. In fact, isn’t this whole human experience built upon making mistakes, learning from them and improving ourselves on this journey we call life? 

Cut yourself some slack! Make mistakes so you can learn and grow from them. Embrace your past. You’re constantly changing and growing and evolving from who you once were into who you are today and even 10 years from now, you’ll be completely different – and that’s a good thing. I’d much rather live a life of regrets than what-ifs!

So, forget about that voice in your head that says you need to be perfect. Make mistakes — lots of them! The lessons you’ll gain are priceless, so please don’t let the fear of making a mistake hold you back from going after your dreams in life.

Selfcare Isn’t Selfish

I recently had an interesting conversation with a business bestie of mine, around the topic of self care. To give you a little context, my friend prioritises her self care above anything, as she knows she can’t run her business or life properly without it – and she is completely right. For the longest time, I was inspired by her 4 day work week and long strolls in the woodlands on her lunch break and bubble baths in the afternoon on a Monday!

However, I resisted the urge to implement this kind of routine in my life, for the fear of clients thinking I was lazy. My friend retorted “But you don’t think I’m lazy, do you?” .. “Absolutely not” I replied. But why was I projecting this limiting belief onto myself I wondered? I came from a hard-working family and strict schooling, where I had to work very hard to achieve the grades and things I have in life, so my theory behind my thoughts is I need to work my ass off if I want to be successful or achieve nice things – which again, is total bullsh*t!

Don’t get me wrong, having a strong work ethic is a good quality to have and I’m proud of it, but when it becomes an unhealthy cycle or working so much, you reach burnout – that’s when it becomes a problem. After all, life is for living, and we should work to live, not live to work! Which is why slowly, I’ve been creating space in my diary for just me and my self care time as it has made me happier, more productive and a better person for it.

Focusing on your emotional, mental, and spiritual stability doesn’t take away from others. There’s a difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself. Humans have a finite amount of resources with which to operate, so taking care of yourself isn’t selfish or lazy. Honestly, meeting our own needs makes us better equipped to meet the needs of others.

Find Joy In The Simple Things

Try to notice at least one beautiful, small thing around you every single day. Make note of it, and be grateful for it. Gratitude not only gives you perspective, but it’s also essential to help you find joy. 

We all have them; those small moments or things that often go unnoticed or unappreciated because we think they’re either insignificant or we take them for granted because we live in a culture that celebrates big accomplishments. But what if we made it a habit to embrace and celebrate the small things? Real life is happening all around us while we’re waiting for the big thing we hope is going to give us some sort of inner peace, contentment or joy. The truth is that often the things that matter most are the small ones.

Finding those little pockets of magic could be as simple as the smell of your morning coffee, seeing a little robin visit your garden, curled up on the sofa reading a good book or just having a phone call with a loved one. Try to make a conscious effort to appreciate the small stuff.

Be Kind To Yourself

The world is full of harsh words and critics – don’t add yours to the mix. Be kind to yourself, and don’t be mean to yourself. Reward yourself for all that you have accomplished, big and small. Don’t forget to celebrate yourself, and not just on your birthday!

The bottom line is we truly have this one life and life is short. Do you really want to spend even a few precious moments of that time worrying about what others think? To live a life where others tell you what you want? You are strong, you are enough, you are beautiful and you are here on this planet to make a positive difference. 

And just like Ru Paul says at the end of every episode of Drag Race… “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

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Developing habits to reach total self love is always going to be an ongoing process for me, and some days are harder than others, but I hope by writing about my own experiences will help some of you. To stop overwhelm creeping in, I would just focus on one habit you plan to focus on this week and slowly over time, add more. As your business bestie, you’ve got this and please feel free to message me, as I’d love to hear about your own experience with finding self love. 

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