Our Top 5 Tips to Self-Love & Empowerment

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Since I can remember people have been talking to me about “loving myself and loving my body” … but yet I still struggled with disordered eating when I was 18, I still compared myself to others and hated my body, I still spent hours at the gym trying to “fix” body parts that I hated…

It’s so easy for someone to say “just love yourself” or “stop comparing”, but when pressed for specific ways on HOW to do this … they draw blanks.

So instead of telling you to “just” do this or that, I thought it might first be best to define what self-love is, and explain why it’s important.

In my view, to love yourself does not mean that you never second-guess yourself … that there is never a moment when you feel a bit “blah” or down on yourself. Self-love doesn’t mean you live in this state of constant bliss where everything you see, touch & feel turns to gold. It just simply means you back yourself … and forgive yourself for being human.

These feelings are normal … and even the most confident of us will experience jealousy or negative feelings in one form or another. The important question to ask here is “Do these feelings then control your actions?”. For example, if you find yourself feeling jealous … do you go out and buy a new outfit or get your hair done to make yourself feel better? Or if you’re feeling not so happy with how your body is looking do you go and join some 6-week “solve all your problems” program to change it?

This is how understanding the concept of self-love can change the way you think about your actions … and then ultimately change the actions themselves.

Read below our Top 5 tips to Self-Love & Empowerment:

1.     Call yourself out and questioning your thought process.

Think of “backing yourself” just like you would back your best friend if she was getting bullied. Or like you would back a teammate if they messed-up a play in sport. You would have their back no matter what. We aren’t perfect, and we make mistakes … be forgiving of yourself the same way you would be of others.

2.     Remember - You’re all you’ve got.

Nobody is going to jump into your mind mid-criticism and start defending yourself (from yourself!)… YOU need to do that. If you catch yourself being critical or second-guessing a decision think of what you would say if you heard a close friend talking about themselves that way. Now be that friend to Yourself. Backing yourself doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re never wrong… it just means you believe in yourself enough to make the best decisions you can with the information you have, and then roll with the punches from there.

3.     Don’t be afraid to say “THANK YOU”.

If someone gives you a compliment, don’t feel like you need to play yourself down (or build them up!) to make them feel more secure. OWN THAT SHIT! Take compliments with grace and trust that if someone is saying it … they mean it!

4.     Let yourself feel... and move on.  

If you’re feeling down-in-the-dumps… Let yourself feel whatever you need to feel. Feeling sad is just part of being a human sometimes, and it’s normal. What isn’t normal is beating ourselves up over our feelings and letting them control our actions. Acknowledge the feelings,  sure – they are real, but are they valid? When in doubt, refer back to point 1 … and then subsequently point 2 J

5.     Always choose Love

So you don’t feel particularly confident in your body at the moment … instead of Googling “How to lose weight fast” why not find a gym or activity that you would genuinely ENJOY being a part of, that allows you to celebrate your body and learn how to properly nourish it. The difference between these two scenarios is that one is a choice from “fear” and the other is a choice from “love”. Always choose love.

The truth is, this journey is not a straight line. We have good days … great days even! … and then not-so-good days. The all-time best strategy that I find has worked for me in my life to keep my mindset as positive as possible is to choose environments that build me up and help me to focus on the positive things! Does you gym constantly remind you of how “not perfect” or “not summer ready” your body is? Do you always find yourself in conversations where people are picking apart their body and shaming things they hate? The solution there is pretty simple.. Find a new Gym, surround yourself with people who will lift you UP! These things are all within your control, and coming from personal experience, though minor in the short-term … can have major life-changing results.

I’ll leave you with this … remember that self-love is something we learn. We have to teach our mind how to think and handle certain situations. If you’re in the bad habit of constantly criticising yourself and shaming your body … the first step is to become aware of this habit, to acknowledge it exists and it’s toxic, and then to take action and put systems in place to create new, more positive mental habits. It starts with you!

You got this, Girl x

Melanie Corlett