Learning to be the love of your own life and why it's so important

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm a massive advocate for self-love; I talk about it a lot on my blog, on my social channels but also in real life, and to myself. 

Learning to be the love of your own life and why it's so important

My self-love journey

As I grew into my twenties, all I wanted to be able to do was say 'I love myself' and 'I am enough' because growing up, as I was bullied and went through a series of mental health problems, I didn't have that ability. I constantly didn't feel enough for anyone, I wasn't happy with who I was or my appearance, and looking back on that now is so sad, it actually breaks my heart.

My self-love journey wasn't something that happened overnight, it took years of breakdowns, crying episodes, doubt, hating myself, and lots of different life lessons to get to the point I am now. When I look back at my 16-year-old self, I don't even recognise who I am and I just want to give her the biggest hug ever and reassure her, that she's amazing, beautiful, and unique - and that she shouldn't have to change anything to make everyone else like her.

Learning to love me isn't exactly something I was taught to do growing up. The media representation telling women to be skinny, blonde, and beautiful was toxic and if you weren't that, then you weren't 'perfect', and it had a detrimental effect on my mental health. And let's not forget the obsession with having a 'thigh gap' - that was so awful, plastered all over Tumblr. It goes beyond the media and even people around me enforcing the idea 'skinny is beautiful', 'wearing makeup makes you pretty', 'you're not womanly without big boobs' or 'curves' - and after a while, these comments and thoughts were internalised to a point that I believed them. And, believed I wasn't good enough.

When I was sixteen, I was incredibly skinny, but I thought I was fat, plain and simple as I was short and didn't have super long legs. I also didn't have big boobs or a big bum which again is something plastered all across television, social media, and having the look of a 'perfect body.' I became fixated on this fact and because I didn't look that way, I didn't think anyone would be interested in me, I didn't feel pretty enough. And with the pressing thoughts of my anxiety and depression, made me feel even more worthless, and I hated who I was - looks and personality.

I can't really remember what the changing point of this was for me as it was now eight years ago that I felt at my lowest of who I was. Over the years I went through bouts of this same low but it wasn't as intense, and I didn't have the pressure of school on my shoulders, weighing me down too.

But in those lows, there were also great moments of highs, and the confidence in myself and learning to love who I was, slowly grew. I began enjoying dressing up and taking photos, I felt comfortable walking outside with no makeup on, I surrounded myself with confident and fun friends who boosted me up. And, by surrounding myself with positive people in a happy environment, slowly but surely, good things about myself began to stick. I finally, was on the way to loving myself and thinking I am good enough - and could do anything I put my mind to.

My biggest level of growth in self-love happened in the past year. Before then, in my early twenties, I grew to a point that I liked myself and began feeling confident in lots of different ways with who I was but I was nowhere near where I am now. At the end of 2019, I experienced a breakup and at first, it was awful and nothing I'd experienced before. However, when I looked back and realised how toxic that relationship was and I began to heal, that's when I really focused on self-love even more. 2020 gave me the free time to educate and focus on my healing, overcome traumas I had experienced and focused on the bigger and better things, and aim towards my goals. I re-fell in love with who I was, got into fitness, and fell in love with the idea of nourishing my body, I re-fell in love with my core friendships and spent time on me, working on what I wanted.

This healthier environment helped make everything a lot clearer and I was finally me; being happy, healthy, and free in my own body. I still have down days and hard moments, but overall, I've fully accepted who I am and I'm happy with that - and I've realised I'm the love of my own life. I can do things on my own, I don't need anybody else and I'm okay with that. And, it's important for you to know that too.

How to be the love of your own life 

You may be wondering but how did you get to that point? The healing process wasn't easy, let me tell you.  I had to take a hard look at every single reason I was feeling that way, come to terms with it and then heal, and that involved a lot of breakdowns as you can imagine. However, here are my best tips on being the love of your own life and things that really helped me:

  •  Cutting out toxic energy - Who you surround yourself with can have a big impact on how you view yourself, whether it's friends or family. And, if they're not bringing love and positivity to the table and adding value to your life, cut them out or distance yourself from them.
  • Focusing on what you want out of life and your goals - Self-love and putting yourself first isn't selfish. It's important to help others and be there for them, but don't let that sway you away from your goals. Always have a focus of what you want and an action plan of how you're going to get there. You only have one of you, use your time wisely.
  • Spend time on your own/date yourself - I never used to do this as I was scared of what people would think but once I began, I enjoyed it, and it felt so liberating to be on my own, and do things on my own accord. Take yourself on a walk, to dinner, to the cinema, or to the beach; date yourself and live every moment for you.
  • Knowing your worth - We act differently when we truly know and love ourselves. I always say once you know your worth you can take on the world, and it's so true. Knowing your worth means not caring what others think, taking yourself out of toxic situations, and doing what's best for you.
  • Anything that doesn't bring you joy, throw away - Similar to how Marie Kondo does this with decluttering, you need to apply the same principle to your life. Whether it's friendships, a job, your routine, or your car, if it doesn't spark joy, remove it from your life. It'll make you a lot happier and you'll learn to find the things in your life that you love - including yourself.
  • Affirmations every day - Affirmations are a beautiful thing and a way to reassure yourself of all the wonderful things about yourself. Buy yourself some crystals and have a list of affirmations to say - and repeat them every morning to yourself.
  • Realising you don't have to be happy all the time - Being the love of your life, doesn't mean you're going to be on cloud nine all the time, that isn't realistic. Like when you're in a relationship, you will have arguments and bad days and it's the same when you're single, and how you view your own life. It's okay to feel down and have a pity party every now and then, that's normal and healthy - as long as you're able to pick yourself up again.
  • Compliment and treat yourself - The same way you compliment or treat your friends/partner, you need to do that with yourself. It could be buying a new outfit, complimenting your work, or simply buying a whole cake for yourself. You deserve to reap the rewards of your own life.
  • Express gratitude - Gratitude is key to living a more positive life but also links in the learning to be the love of your own life. When you learn to appreciate what's around you and everything about you, it can help reinforce the idea of how brilliant you really are, and fast forward your journey in self-love.
  • Be kind to yourself, always - Kindness is free and something that should be spread wherever you go. It's so important to be kind to people as you never know what they're going through, but it's also really important to apply that mindset to yourself - and treat yourself with the utmost kindness. Be your own biggest cheerleader, take care of yourself when you're having a bad day, and most importantly, reward yourself when you grow further in your life journey. Past you will be so proud of yourself.

Why this is so important 

You're the only person out of your entire life that'll be there for you from the moment you're born to the moment you die. As a society, we're always told we need a partner or a companion, but when it comes down to it, even if you have the best partner in the entire world or the best of friends, they can't always be there to pick you up and help you. The only person that will be there every minute of every day is you - and that's why it's so important to learn to be alone, to look after yourself, to be independent, and be your own hype girl.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What tips do you have in learning to love yourself?

Thank you for reading <3

92 comments

  1. Thanks for this blog post, 100% needed! I find it had to 'love myself' but i have improved over the years and ive found that cutting out toxic energy is the number 1 thing to do!

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    1. I'm so glad you're on a self-love journey!! xx

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  2. I love this post! I've been reading so much lately about self love and you are so right. I have lost so many friends over the years and some were toxic, some were not and I spent so long blaming myself but I've learnt that I need to discover who I am now, who I want to be and set my goals. I love your inspirational posts. :)

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    1. Thank you so much!! I love that and wish you all the best in finding you xx

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  3. I found living by myself really helped me learn to love myself! Something about spending loads of time on your own!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

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    1. Yes, I love that! I've found by being alone in lockdown, it has really helped me love my own time xx

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  4. This was another great post about self love that I truly needed! I started cutting off toxic friendship last year and focusing more on my goals, but still have loads to work on. I always find these posts very inspiring and I am so glad you're on this journey! Thanks for sharing Della x

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  5. Self-love is very important. I use affirmations everyday and I feel so much better ever since I started to love myself more. Great post!

    xoxo Olivia | https://www.oliviaandbeauty.com

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  6. Loved this post! I had a similar experience coming out of a toxic relationship a few years back and it really taught me to love myself

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  7. I love this! Learning to be your own love of your life is something I need to do! Cutting out the toxic relationships is so important x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  8. These are all such wise suggestions! The one thing I’ve really learned over this past year is recognizing what brings me joy and what doesn’t. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I love this post! Thank you for sharing these steps to self-love and acceptance- I've been on my own journey of late and I definitely agree with a lot of these tips, particularly spending time on yourself x

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  10. Thank you for sharing! It's something I'm not great at but trying to improve xx

    Violethollow.com

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  11. These are very good tips! Thanks for sharing, self love is one of the fundamental things! <3

    www.pimentamaisdoce.blogspot.com

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  12. What a lovely post! I'm so glad you've managed to grow into loving yourself. It's a battle I grapple with daily, it just takes repeated affirmations to try and grow more confident. Thanks for sharing this important message!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm glad you're growing to become more confident x

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  13. I needed this post today. I have been feeling so lonely in this lockdown when at the end of the day all I really need is myself (and dogs). Thank you for this.

    Helen
    Tea in the Tub

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    1. Aww thank you so much, I'm really glad it helped. Always here if you need someone to talk to xx

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  14. Yep i needed to see this! Some wonderful tips, I like making time for me, showing gratitude and being kind to myself, great post!

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  15. Very good points! Sometimes I don't think enough of us take enough care of ourselves.

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  16. Loved this post! Self love is super important and it's something I've been learning since I left high school. I been helping myself with spending time by myself and realizing it's ok not being happy all the time, I embrace any emotion I get. Great post ��!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so happy to hear you've been working on yourself xx

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  17. i love this post! growing out of my insecurities was definitely a huge milestone for me!

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  18. What a brilliant post hun! Self-love is one of the most important things we could all do. I have a similar journey in that during school I was short, skinny and had no boobs or bum and I was incredibly self-conscious due to the media putting out the wrong messages. Then I went to uni and I met a range of incredible people who really made me start my journey to self-love, and then I think for me it was when I was 21 that I truly began feeling more confident and loving myself more and limiting my make up, to the point now I don’t wear foundation (have not done for 2 years) xxx

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm so proud of you for learning to love yourself - and it's really refreshing to hear we've experienced similar journeys xx

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  19. This is a lovely blog post. A great time to suggest this as it is the start of a new year and you can work on your mindset. You have shared some great insight and suggestions. Thank you for sharing.
    Lauren

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  20. Thank you for sharing this! I am still on my own journey to self love -some days are ok, some days aren't so good. My relationship with my body is deep rooted and it's hard to turn back 28 years of self loathing.

    Rosie

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    1. I can completely understand that! It takes time and it is a process, you've got this xx

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  21. I love this post so much! Can't thank you enough for posting it. I agree with all your points xx

    lenne | lennezulkiflly.com

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  22. I absolutely love this post, Della. So many wonderful takeaways here. I'm sorry you felt the way you did when you were younger but, trite as it sounds, you're proof positive that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You are beautiful, inside and out. Thank you for writing this post xx

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    1. Thank you so much lovely, that means a lot! xxx

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  23. Sorry you went through that. I spent most of my life feeling like I wasn't good enough too so I can totally relate. I'm glad you're in a better place now. Surrounding yourself with the right people is so important. Thanks for bringing attention to this topic.

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  24. Self love and loving your life are key for happy life. I like all of your tips. Thank you for sharing.

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  25. I love this post. This is something I am definitely trying more to work on, my anxiety during all these lockdowns have been so up and down its crazy but I've been reading the book 'Stop Thinking Start Living' by Richard Carlson and I have found such an improvement. Self love is definitely the number one priority, my mum always remind how can you love others and expect love in return if you can't love yourself firstly. Thank you for sharing this post xx

    www.nadinealex.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much! I'll check out the book, it sounds brilliant xx

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  26. Such important things to remember! I especially love how you mentioned that not being happy all the time is also okay. I tend to forget this sometimes.

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  27. Thank you for this wonderful post. Your tip about not having to be happy all the time particularly stood out to me. Life does not have to be perfect to enjoy it. We don't have to be perfect to love ourselves.

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  28. What a great post! This is so important to learn to love yourself early on for sure. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Could not agree with you more! I wish I had learnt this when I was younger but definitely take all this on now -- it's so important. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. These are wonderful tips! Knowing your worth is important. Thank you for inspiring post!
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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  31. WONDERFUL! Love yourself is always important than anything! I had learnt to love myself more since last year lol pandemic brought some positively for me :') thank you for writing such a brilliant post x

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you're learning to love yourself xx

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  32. This post its brilliant! It is exactly what I needed to read today. I woke up today, on my son's 13th birthday, feeling the lowest I have for years.

    Looking back through old pictures from his previous birthdays made me feel so miserable. I am not the person I once was and I long for that person. The person who was confident in her own skin. The last 3 years, since losing my Mum, I have lost my way. I am not in love with myself anymore, in fact I don't like anything about myself right now.

    I really do relate to this and feel inspired to find the old me again, Thank you x

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    1. That comment gave me all the emotions. I'm sorry you feel that way and I hope you can get back to being fabulous you and feeling that way too. Thank you so much, I'm really glad it inspired you xx

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  33. It's amazing what cutting out the toxic people from your life can do isn't it!

    Katy | www.katystephenson.com

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  34. I loved this post!
    I am all about being intentional about the way you love yourself. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important and you mentioned so many great tips.
    Knowing your worth and not settling are lessons I wish I knew earlier!

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  35. These are such wonderful tips after a very relatable story. My favorite is date yourself, this was a big step for me on my journey to self love. The next one was being able to look directly in the mirror without feeling hurt, sad or uncomfortable.

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    1. Thank you so much! I relate to the second point so much xx

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  36. This is such a journey in life. We all have to go through it and learn to love ourselves along the way.

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  37. Thanks for sharing, these are great tips to have :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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  38. I couldn't agree with this more! I highly agree that spending time with yourself is one of the best ways to learn to love yourself more. I've always been really big on doing so x

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  39. What an amazing post! Self love can be so difficult, but it makes such a huge difference and it's definitely something we all should be doing. It's amazing what focusing on yourself can do xx

    Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/

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  40. Cutting out toxic energy is so important, and unfortunatelly some of us learn that the hard way. Thank you for this amazing post :)

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  41. Wow, this is the content I love to read about ! Thank you so much for sharing, it was very inspirational :)

    xo, Shannen

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  42. I'm glad it is getting better for you! Self-love is definitely important and hard to achieve in these hard times. It is a requisite to love other people.

    Lindifique

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  43. Many years ago, I worked for a very long time on self-love and awareness. I think this is very important!

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  44. Thanks for these tips, Della. Spending time by yourself is probably one of the hardest items on this list, because social distancing has taught me that I can't do without the company of close friends for long periods. I crave human interactions beyond my household, and many can probably relate to that! Still, I can see the value of being comfortable in solitude, and it is something I ought to be better at, too. Thanks for sharing, Della! :)

    Ming Qian | Undergrad Blogger

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  45. This is such a helpful post. Sharing your story will help so many people to realise that they aren't alone. Learning to love yourself is such a long process but it so worthwhile when you finally get there.

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  46. This is something what I need to read in this moment. Thank you for sharing this helpful post.

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  47. I loved this read! Thank you so much for sharing! I feel a lot of people need to read this!

    Amber | the Unpredicted Page | https://theunpredictedpage.com

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  48. I appreciate your courage to share your own experience. I had a similar experience myself and never opened up about it to anyone. Just focused on empowering myself through books and that's how I imposed myself to society the way I am, not the way "I'm supposed to be".

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  49. great tips:Spend time on your own/date yourself and Realising you don't have to be happy all the time. You are a good girl.
    13x6 frontal wig

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