It’s remarkable that self-love is such an ongoing struggle for many people. Perhaps love is the struggle, no matter how it appears. It’s easy to love the people and things that seem to meet our desires in the moment. My favorite athlete scores! I’m in love. My husband brought me flowers! I’m in love. My daughter got straight A’s! I’m in love. I got a promotion! I love MEEEE!


But what about when your player misses an easy shot, your partner isn’t paying attention, your child is less than perfect, and so are you. Is the love still there?


Last month I interviewed theater actress and TikTok influencer, Mona Swain about the topic of self-love. At only twenty-one, she wisely talked about the journey from not knowing who you are to discovering self. I was so proud of her in that moment. The realization that we are not born with self-knowledge is radical!


So, what can you do to generate a healthy sense of self-worth and self-esteem during these long, hot summer months? In my book 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness, I wrote about the four pillars of self-love:


  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Authenticity
  3. Confidence
  4. Healthy Boundaries


Self-awareness is learning and knowing yourself. What are your dominant personality traits? How have your past experiences affected you? Do you have unresolved anger or trauma? What do you enjoy doing most? What are you most talented at? Taking time to learn about yourself is the first step to practicing self-love and self-care.


Authenticity combines this awareness with self-acceptance. Now that you are learning who you are, you are learning to accept yourself as you are. This doesn’t mean you won’t continue to grow and change. Life is about growth, and you will change whether you want to or not. (Imagine a seedling demanding to stay the same.) However, you can love yourself even if you are not perfect. You can love your journey. You can love your effort. When you are authentic, you can comfortably show up as your imperfect self without pretending to be someone you’re not. You don’t have to pretend to be some imaginary and aspirational version of yourself. You can simply be YOU. This doesn’t mean that you are inappropriate in public or in your relationships. You have respect for other people while also having respect for the wholeness of yourself.


Confidence is when authenticity manifests itself in your physical presence: your voice, your body language, your energy. While it would seem confidence would arise naturally from authenticity, there are coaching techniques that can be used to accelerate it. Yes, confidence can be learned.

Try this technique: Make a steeple with your hands with all five fingertips resting against the fingertips of the opposite hand. Now close your eyes and think of a time when you felt on top of the world. Maybe it was your wedding day, your college graduation, or right after giving a big presentation or speech. Hold that memory while holding your hand position for about 30 seconds. Repeat that practice twice a day. The next time you feel your confidence waning, make a steeple with your hands. Your subconscious mind will access the feeling you had during that practiced memory and boost your self-confidence and ability to perform under stress.


Healthy Boundaries are one of the gifts of self-love. You are no longer being pulled in a hundred directions by the whims of family and friends. You can say, “Yes, please!” and, “No, thank you,” with equal respect and enthusiasm. This doesn’t mean you don’t do difficult things like work hard, take care of family, or clean up your messes. It means that you assess situations and obligations holding yourself in at least as high a regard as anyone else. You are not a martyr. When you make sacrifices for others, you do it with an open and loving heart, not a resentful mind.


What if you’re not sure if you love yourself? Here are five signs your self-love journey needs some work:


  1. You’re often angry or resentful with people for hurting you, “making” you do things, “making” you feel bad, or not taking “no” for an answer.
  2. You are often sad, feeling like you aren’t worthy of love and attention.
  3. You spend time feeling jealous of other people’s physical traits, personal characteristics, or accomplishments instead of honoring your own personal journey.
  4. You find your internal voice is often negative, perhaps saying things like, “There you go again,” or “When will I ever learn?” It could even be name-calling, using words like “stupid,” or “idiot” to describe yourself.
  5. You have a hard time allowing yourself time for rest or recreation. You feel like you should always be working or serving others in some way.


If any of those five signs resonated with you, I encourage you to take the time to get to know and love yourself better. God is love. Nature is love. The Universe is love. And, it all begins with you. You are love.


I wish you passion, purpose, and the realization of your fullest potential!


P.S. The photo is from Garidy Sanders from Unsplash. If you are looking to step up your self-love journey this summer, I encourage you take advantage of one of my many summer offerings: my 1-on-1 Summer Coaching Special, Transforming Anger 5-Hour Online Course, or Mind-Blowing Happiness Circle live monthly webinar. Click the button below to learn more.

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