I used to think there was no way I could ever really love myself. In fact I envied those who did.
I had become so drenched in my own depression and self-destruction that it was a battle to even get out of bed in the morning, let alone love myself – what a ridiculous idea.
Yet here I am, a few short years on, after navigating the most destructive relationship with myself, my body, food and self harm. After suicide attempts, losing a loved one to suicide, family upheaval, trauma and countless days and weeks in and out of hospitals and struggling to get out of bed, I am here.
I’m Lauren, and I’m a Transformation & Wellness coach. Why? Because I changed my whole life around by working with a coach and uncovering the courage to explore my internal world. Now it is my whole hearted passion to do the same for others, with others.
Here I’ll share with you 6 powerful invitations to lure yourself away from self-hate and into self-love.
I say invitations because these are the things that really invited me onto the path to self-love. Have a read, take on what feels right for you and leave what doesn’t.
In life we all have our own set of limiting beliefs and baggage that swirls around our mind constantly. These can often be to the tune of “I can’t because…”, “I’m not good enough…” or “I’m not worthy…” or whatever yours is for you. We’ve likely carried these beliefs from a young age and that’s OK. However it’s time to realise that we are not these thoughts or beliefs. They are a layer but not who we are. So it’s time to let it go. It’s time to let go of the old beliefs and mindsets that hold you back.
How to let it go: When it comes to listening to your beliefs, stories and thoughts, begin to practice sitting in the seat of the observer. This means acknowledging all of your thoughts, but knowing that you are not your thoughts. From here you can decide which ones serve you and which ones are limiting you. The latter are those that you want to let go of. This way while they can pop up, they won’t have control over you.
Trust me, it is possible. It’s done wonders to help me overcome self-loathing or self-destructive thoughts (and hence behaviours). You hear the voice still, but not as often or as loud and you know the difference between them and your truth when you do.
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I speak about values quite a lot, but it is (in my opinion) so important to know what you really value in the world.
How to discover your values: There are many different ways you can do this, my favourite and go to is Dr John DeMartini’s value determination quiz as it is so easy to use and really helps you focus in on what your values are.
Put simply, our values are a hierarchy of things that matter to us in our lives. The power in knowing this for you (and knowing they do change over time) is you can see how what you do is actually either serving you or not serving you and begin to shift your own behaviours accordingly.By understanding your values you begin to explore what matters to you in the world and even why you’re sabotaging or doing whatever it is you are. By knowing what you value you also begin to see the brilliance in what you’re doing.
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I know we hear about gratitude a lot, but I am not talking about the gratitude lists people suggest (which all have a place). I’m talking about also having gratitude for the situations in your life or the parts of you that you dislike. I am referring to seeing the good in the bad and the bad in the good; and being truly grateful that you are who and how you are, and grateful that your life has happened how it has.
How to feel grateful: Gratitude lists are great. But instead of just chasing after positivity, embrace both the good and the bad, the good in the bad and the bad in the good. Acknowledge that both need to exist, and both totally serve you in their own ways
Note: This is where I recommend seeking support, as this can be confronting for some, so please know there is always support to help you navigate.
By being truly grateful for who you are and the parts of you that you dislike, you begin to experience true self love…loving both the good and the bad
It’s really important that you hear me when I say: Navigating your journey from self hate to self love isn’t about simply focusing on the positives. The wellness industry has stepped into such a ‘positive’ warp and it can be quite dangerous.
You see the thing is, in life we cannot have a good without a bad, light without dark, positive without negative, the yin without the yang. We live in a dualistic universe. So by chasing only the positive in our lives (even if it feels as though this is what we should be doing if we are feeling depressed etc) we are actually going to continue to attract more negative. And often this is where the high fluctuation of emotions comes in. Because as I just reminded you, we cannot have one without the other.
See also 9 Tools & Resources To Inspire Your Gratitude Practice
You know all of those people you admire? The ones you look up to and think you are nothing like them? I have a secret for you, you can only see traits in them that are a reflection of you. You cannot recognise greatness in someone else without seeing it in you.
How to own your inspiring traits: So you know those people that you put on a pedestal? The ones you admire? Where are you the same as them? Where are you just as talented? Where are you just as inspiring? Where are you just as strong? Get a pen and paper. Answer these questions and review it each day.
Once you own your traits that you also see in others, you begin to unlock a whole new level of potential.
See also 10 Quotes To Inspire Your Self-Love Practice (Part 2)
Here’s the tricky bit. We think we need confidence to love ourselves, somehow they go hand in hand. We can’t love what we are confident in. But the thing with confidence is, courage comes first. We cannot be confident without first being brave. You need to be courageous enough to take the first tiny baby step forward in navigating your relationship with yourself. Have the courage to look INward. With courage comes confidence, and you also increase your level of self worth because you are showing yourself, you are worthy.
How to unlock your courage: List exactly what it is that you’re afraid of. Those things, reasons and thoughts that stop you from doing what you dream. Then, consider the worst case scenario and how this would actually benefit you. The thing with fear, is it only comes up when we perceive that there are more negatives than positives in store for us. If we can see the worst case scenario, and then see how that worst case scenario would actually benefit us in some way, suddenly the fear no longer matters and we have the courage to move forward.
By doing the things you’re afraid to do, even if fear pops up, you begin to realise how courageous you are and begin to feel more confident. You didn’t wake up one day feeling confident to drive a car without first taking the step to learn. It begins with that first step, no matter how small it is.
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And finally, support. I cannot recommend this enough. Whilst you can totally navigate this journey yourself, there is so much power in having someone to walk it with you. You already know within you what you need, but why do it alone when you can have someone hold you through it?
How to secure yourself some support: Support may come in the form of a close friend or family member, a coach, someone your GP recommends (or all 3!). The most important thing is that you reach out to these people and open the conversation – please do this. You’ll be surprised how willing your loves ones and professionals are to hold your hand along the journey to self-love.
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There you have it – these were the 6 most transformative invites that lured me into self-love, from what was quite frankly, a pretty deep and dark place of self-hate.
Remember: In the beginning, consider these simply an invitation, a suggestion, a conversation topic that you can explore privately or with others.
I continue to support women navigating their journey to self-love in my work as a coach. If you’d like to know more about my programs, I invite you to message me or book in your complimentary discovery call. This call will help you decide whether they (and I) am a good fit for you.
If you’re not up for a program of sorts but would love to connect with me, follow me on Facebook or Instagram, and join my mailing list (via sign-up box in site footer). My most juicy advice and thought streams are shared in these places.
Now it’s your turn – Via the comment section below, share the most powerful invites, tactics and tools that help you lure yourself away from self-hate & into self-love. I’d love to hear them!
P.S. Who do you love and care about most in your life? Share this article with them now. Why? Because we all have bad days at some point, any this article could really help them – now or at a later date.
As a coach, author and curiosity chaser, Lauren works to hold a sacred and powerful space for women, where they can unlock and embrace their intrinsic, full potential. If you desire to create positive change in your life (be it big or small) Lauren is your ultimate side-kick.
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