Today, I want to chat a little bit about my top tips for self love 🤍
These are essential aspects of self-care that have contributed towards totally transforming my mindset and altering my negative fixed belief system over the years.
[Important disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. I’m just sharing my experiences and shedding some light on things I’ve learned throughout my own journey, in the hopes they might be of value to someone else. The changes I’ve seen in my own life have been profound but there are always new challenges and opportunities for growth. Enjoy!]
Let me give you a little bit of backstory.
When I was younger, in my teens and early twenties, my mental health was a real shitshow. I was severely depressed, anxious, filled with self-hatred and self-doubt, and used lots of dangerous, destructive coping mechanisms to survive.
As a result, I spent several years bouncing from counsellor to psychologist to hypnotherapist to GP for help. Unfortunately, I’d just end up having the same draining, rehashed conversation over and over again and getting absolutely nowhere.
All I wanted was for somebody else to just magically fix everything for me. For a professional with authority to say “do this one simple thing, and you’ll be golden forever”.
Of course, nobody could actually do that. And it fuelled my fixed, stubborn belief that therapy was useless, doctors were useless, and nobody could help me.
Self-hate was my safe space.
Jumping several years and lots of self development later to the present day, lots of my past issues are much more obvious to me now.
Part of the reason why my attempts at therapy consistently failed was that I did not recognize my own agency.
I wholeheartedly believed that I had zero control over my life, my future, my thoughts etc. My paradigm was very narrow (my upbringing definitely played a large part in that). I believed I was destined to get a job I hated and waste my life being unhappy, unfulfilled and unappreciated. I truly believed that I was worthless and had no value to anyone.
Not only that, I thought that my perceived failures defined me – that I was, on a molecular level, useless. Bear in mind, I was eighteen at this point, and I genuinely believed my life was over.
The realization some years down the line that our outer worlds are a reflection of our thoughts and minds was a profound revelation for me. Recognizing that I do have control over my life, my thoughts and my self-image completely changed the game. Next, I just had to learn how to master and exercise that control.
I wouldn’t call myself a master yet, but there are things I consciously and carefully work at every day. So, here are my top tips for self love and transforming your mindset and challenging your beliefs:
The way you speak to yourself through your internal dialogue is the backbone of your self-belief system. If you repeatedly tell yourself that you’re shit, or that you’re worthless/stupid/etc., then you’re going to believe it like it’s the word of God.
The voice that is constantly criticizing you, belittling you and holding you back is coming from an unwell place. It’s a habit born out of the desire for safety and comfort, even if that safety and comfort is total misery.
It’s a response to times when we’ve had to emotionally bunker down to keep safe. This narrative you’ve created for yourself with this voice is safe because it keeps you small and hidden.
In order to transform your mindset and show up for yourself, you need to re-program that voice.
It’s something that takes a lot of practice and repetition. For me, whenever I have a thought-response that tells me something like “you can’t do this, you’re not smart enough”, I just respond to that thought with “hey, hey – it’s okay, we can definitely give it a go, and if it doesn’t work out we will still be just fine”.
I know that might sound a bit weird, but it has revolutionized the way I think and approach new things that push me out of my comfort zone.
Challenging those domineering and self-deprecating thoughts with care and compassion is the underpinning of all our self-care strategies. It means knowing that even if things don’t go as hoped, it will be okay because you’ll always be there for yourself – showing up with compassion and not descending into a destructive negative thought spiral.
Changing your fundamental self-belief system means altering your internal dialogue, and so negative, destructive thoughts are much less likely to have meaningful power and authority over you.
Protecting your energy means being selective about the sorts of influences you allow in your life. This can include people, social media, news channels and entertainment.
This isn’t to say you should completely cut yourself off and go live in a cave or something, but it does mean being conscious of what’s affecting your mood and behaviour, and not giving your attention to things or people that drain/upset/anger you.
With people, it means setting and enforcing clear boundaries about your wants, needs and expectations. It means explicating what is acceptable and what is not, and emphasizing that if they continue to overstep your boundaries, you will take action such as cutting off contact. For example, when a friend is trying to goad you into drinking/partying when you’ve expressed a desire to stop. Or if a family member is constantly nit-picking your appearance or your life choices.
Taking steps to protect your energy and happiness is a profound act of self-care. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have. Therefore, prioritizing your own needs and setting clear boundaries is only ever going to empower you and re-enforce the integral belief that you are worthy and deserving of happiness.
Something major I did for myself recently was making the decision to go sober. I had known for a while beforehand that stopping drinking was essential for protecting my energy and giving myself the space to grow. However, it took an embarrassingly long time to do it because of the false hope and fantasy of escape that alcohol promises. I talk about that a little more here and list some of the things that help me keep going!
I know this one isn’t easy. I spent a very long time in mental and emotional stasis because I was too afraid of potential failure and humiliation to try new things.
This was largely because I had already decided that I was shit at everything, could never be confident or successful and there was no point in even trying. I had such fixed beliefs about myself and my abilities that I was ready to settle for the bare minimum of existence.
Over time, I’ve learned how to challenge and change my beliefs. I’ve gained a new perspective and the tools to build myself a kinder mind and a better life.
Support is essential for self-growth, whether that’s a therapist or psychologist, a life coach, or family and friends. In the early stages, having somebody else there to guide you or to confide in is a huge source of strength.
When it comes to acquiring self-care strategies, online resources, coaches on social media, self-help books, TED talks, documentaries etc. are all incredibly valuable sources of information and tips for self love. There are ways to learn and grow without dropping hundreds on a therapist, although if you’re in a position to do so – go for it.
One of the first things I had to do in order to step out of my comfort zone and grow was let myself be vulnerable. After trauma in my teenage years, I shut down completely and the only way my feelings ever came out was through destructive habits and coping mechanisms.
Recovery meant being open and honest. It was incredibly uncomfortable – but that’s the point. I wasn’t used to it. Sometimes it still feels a bit alien and dangerous because keeping everything bottled up was so ingrained into my DNA.
But I’m getting better and working at it everyday.
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone when it comes to things like work and careers, personal projects, and friends and social occasions is going to vital for growth once you’ve shifted your mindset and acquired the self-care strategies to manage both the expected and unexpected.
So, I’ve gifted to you my best tips for self love to help you transform your mindset and challenge fixed, negative beliefs. It’s an ongoing inner journey and there will always be opportunities for further growth.
I’ve by no means reached ultimate enlightenment in terms of self-love, but I am miles away from where I started.
I hope you found this valuable and my words resonated with you in some way. I’ll be back later this week with a new post about how to manifest using the Law of Attraction ✨
Hi cherubs, I’m Pip ✨
Matcha and solar-powered eclectic witch from the north coast of Wales.
Welcome to my digital living room, pour yourself some tea and get comfy. This space is all about spiritual wellbeing, self care & lifestyle for magically-inclined misfits ☕🌙✨