By Shanna Mota
Ahhhh love… what is it and where do we find it? We have been conditioned to believe that we must find love outside of ourselves. But the truth is, you are love and love is within you.
That warm fuzzy feeling that you call love can be cultivated from within. Try this: Close your eyes and smile. Think of your positive attributes – the things you love about yourself, the things that bring you joy and the things that make you YOU. If this is hard for you, that’s okay! The process of learning to truly love yourself can take time, so be patient with yourself. You have so many beautiful attributes so dig in and cultivate a sense of appreciation and love without judgement. This is about loving all of you! Even your imperfections, which make you unique and special.
Here’s the hard truth: You have to truly learn to love yourself before anyone else can fully love you. Practice loving yourself… be kind to yourself and show yourself the utmost respect. Once you find that the love you crave starts within, this truth will radiate into the world, infecting everyone that you meet. And the best part, you will begin to feel and receive their love in return.
Below are 5 tips to help cultivate self-love from within. Each morning, choose an affirmation and focus on it. Close your eyes and repeat it over and over throughout your day. The idea is to say it enough times that you begin to believe it! Take those positive thoughts and go out into the world with a renewed sense of self love and self confidence, sharing your love with others in the process.
1. CELEBRATE YOUR UNIQUENESS
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When we are younger, we try to be like everyone else. We follow the latest trends, try to look like whatever pop-star is famous at the time. We try to “fit-in.” We follow society’s life prescription: graduate from high school; go to college and receive a bachelor’s degree; go to grad school and get a master’s degree; get married; buy a house; have a kid.
While there is nothing wrong with following the crowd at times, I want to challenge you to live outside the box, even if just for a little while. Let your own unique light shine through in everything that you do. Be yourself, love yourself and don’t worry what anyone else thinks of you. If you feel the music, dance. If you like the song, sing. Let it all out and bask in your own unique light. It’s a beautiful place to be.
For the first 25 years of my life, I would say that a part of me held back in fear of rejection from society. However, in the last 4-5 years, I have learned to love myself, love my uniqueness and it has drastically changed my life. I am me and a I am no longer afraid to be different and I wish the same for you.
Affirmation: “I LET MY OWN UNIQUE SELF SHINE THROUGH EVERYTHING I DO.”
2. LOVE YOUR BODY
“There’s nothing more dangerous than a lack of self love. So put your hand on your heart and feel the love now.”
We have unfortunately been programmed to want a perfect body – one void of pimples, dimples, cellulite and any sign of aging – you know, like they look on TV! Well my friends – what you see on TV and the magazines is NOT reality. Reality is what you look at in the mirror everyday – and you have to learn to love it, all of it!
You were born an original and you should celebrate your unique characteristics. Instead of saying, “No one is perfect, therefore I have flaws like everyone else,” say, “I am perfectly me. And I am beautiful.” Nobody else looks exactly like you – how cool is that?! It’s the one thing that is 100% yours, so rock it!
This goes for both women and men. I do think women have a bit more pressure on them to look a certain way, but men also have these insecurities around body image. You’re human so acknowledge these feelings if you have them and practice learning to accept yourself just as you are, letting those feeling of inadequacy go.
Take a few minutes today standing naked in front of the mirror and admire your physical form. Tell yourself you are beautiful, sexy, handsome, gorgeous and really believe it! And if you just can’t seem to believe it, repeat it until you do… because you are!
Affirmation: “I LOVE MY BODY AND MY BODY LOVES ME BACK”
3. RESPECT YOURSELF
“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything or anyone that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”
You must respect yourself by taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Focus on making healthier food choices, de-cluttering and de-stressing your life and moving your body on a regular basis.
You also must respect yourself by sticking up for yourself and not letting other people take advantage of you. This unfortunately took me a LONG time to master, but I am now at a point in my life where I respect myself and how I should be treated. If you know you are being treated poorly, being taken advantage of, or being wronged, try to find your voice and stand up for yourself.
In order to respect yourself, you must first love and value yourself. And by respecting yourself, you encourage others to do the same. So try to work on viewing yourself as you wish others to view you. Do you believe you are a beautiful, confident being? Because if you do, then the world will see you as such.
Learn to tell the difference between how you are being treated and how you deserve to be treated. You are worthy of love and respect. Know that.
Affirmation: “I RESPECT MYSELF PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY”
4. REPLACE FEAR WITH LOVE
“Replace fear-based thinking with loved-based thinking. Every time you’re making a choice, ask yourself if it’s going to cultivate the experience of unity and love or the experience of separation and stress.” – Deepak Chopra
Fear – it’s what keeps most of us from realizing our dreams and living the life we always imagined. It’s what keeps us stuck – afraid to live, afraid to love, afraid to change.
Love – it’s what keeps us motivated, keeps us smiling and laughing. It’s what helps us find our passion and what makes us feel good. It makes others feel good too.
If we can learn to replace all of our fears with love – our world, our lives and our future will be bigger, shine brighter and will be more rewarding. Replace any negative feeling or thoughts with love and you will experience a life of pure bliss.
Anger, fear, resentment, jealousy, guilt, regret, pain – replace it all with love. By doing this you will avoid arguments, enhance relationships, take chances, follow your passion and find peace. Love begins within you.
Affirmation: “I REPLACE FEAR WITH LOVE”
5. BE AUTHENTIC IN ALL THAT YOU DO
“Authenticity is freedom from the illusion of fear and alignment to the reality of love.”
Authenticity is a big one. Being authentic can be defined as being: real, genuine, faithful, true, reliable, dependable and trustworthy.
The first step to authenticity is to be yourself and find your truth. In order to do this, you must first practice self love on a daily basis. Love you, love the REAL you and honor that, BE that.
Have you ever found yourself holding yourself back in front of a group of people? Perhaps you have a different opinion in a conversation, or you want to bring something up, but you don’t in fear of being different or in fear of being judged. This could even apply to the way you dress yourself. Do you let your unique, authentic style shine through, or do you dress to conform?
We should strive to be authentic in all that we do in life. Be yourself, speak your truth, respect your beliefs, respect your opinions and don’t let the fear of others’ judgment keep you from being the real you.
Affirmation: “I AM AUTHENTIC. I AM ME”
If you practice these self-loving affirmations on a daily basis and learn to truly love yourself, you will see your life radically change. I encourage you to adopt a daily self-love routine and remind yourself that, without a doubt, you are love. And you deserve love.
About the Author
Shanna Mota is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Yoga Teacher and the founder of Live Love Detox. She works on healing the body from the inside out. Most people do not realize how amazing their bodies are designed to feel and it is her goal to help you experience this using nutrition and yoga as the foundation.
Shanna focuses on group detox programs, educating her clients on how to nourish their bodies with nutrient dense foods, meal preparation techniques, simple healthy recipes and positive mindset exercises, for a full mind and body cleanse.
She is excited to contribute her expertise and knowledge to the Fitlife movement and inspire healthy change to the community.
For more health tips, recipes and information, connect with Shanna: