With Valentine's Day just behind us, it’s time to talk about all things self-love.
These past couple of months have not been easy, if I’m being honest.
I really felt the need to start loving myself more and found some new, unexpected ways to practice self-love along the way.
In this article, I’m going to talk about self-love, whether you’re loving yourself (or not) right now, and how you can bring more self love into your life and business.
We’re going to dive straight into the 10 different kinds of self-love and how you can practice them in different areas of your life.
1. Self-love is self-discipline
First of all, self-love is self-discipline. Saying no to yourself today, in order to say yes to your future self is a form of self-love.
Now what do I mean by that? For example: choosing to wake up early and workout, even though you really want to stay in bed, because that self discipline is going to help you become a better you.
In this period of my life, I really want to create a better version of myself. But I realized that while I had been creating a better version of myself in business, it really was time for me to create a better version of myself in my private life as well. Especially my health had to become a priority again.
Yeah, I could choose to eat the potato chips. But I could also choose to eat vegetables. It might not have been what I wanted at that moment, but it was what my body really needed. And it wasn't just what my body needed at that moment. It was my future self needed.
Self-discipline helps you become the person you want to be in the future.
2. Self-love is saying no
Self-love requires you to say yes to yourself. And that means you will often have to say no to others.
I was recently in a bar, actually with my team, and we were having a Happy Hour that turned into a happy evening. My team works extremely hard and it’s so important to connect as a team, so we got together.
It was really fun. We were laughing. We were telling stories. And just having a great time!
But then a client who happened to be in the same bar walked up to our table. She's a very kind woman, and her friends had just gone out for a smoke. And she asked us: Can I come and sit with you?
Old me would have been like yeah, sure. But it was a really special moment for us – we were celebrating a launch. So I said: if you don't mind, I'd rather not because we're just with the team right now and we're celebrating just amongst us. And she was like, okay, and then there was this super awkward silence at the table.
I thought: sh*t, was that really rude of me? And my team members were all like: No, that was actually really powerful. Most people would be afraid to say that.
A year ago, even six months ago, I never would have done that.
What I found really works for this is the Marie Kondo method to get rid of mess. She throws anything out, unless it sparks joy. So make ‘no’ your default. And ask yourself: when is something a f*ck yes for you?
Because things need to be a f*ck yes. If you're dating someone, if you are planning things into your calendar, if you're meeting up with friends, it needs to be a f*ck yes.
3. Self-love is self-respect
Self-love is also self-respect. And that means that you shouldn't allow yourself to get treated like sh*t.
You might have a boss or someone you work with who treats you badly. You might be in a relationship where you’re not being treated as an equal, or you're not being valued or respected.
If you want to be respected by others, you have to respect yourself first. And that means you have to set boundaries: in terms of saying no, saying yes to yourself, saying yes to the workouts, saying yes to going for a walk, saying yes to the no screen time moments.
4. Self-love is abundance
Self-love is all about abundance. Loving yourself fully requires an abundance mindset – if you approach things out of scarcity, you’ll stay in the same place in life.
Your relationship isn’t in a good place but you stay together out of fear that you won't find someone else better suited to you. Staying in a relationship because you fear that’s the best out there for you means you're acting from a place of scarcity.
When you act out of fear and scarcity, you're basically telling yourself: I don't love myself enough to believe I deserve better.
I know situations like getting out of a relationship are really, really difficult. Believe me. But remember, you're saying yes to your future self, and to future abundance. Even if you don’t see it right now.
It's the same with quitting your job. Quitting your job and stepping into the unknown of running your own business is scary. But you can't not do it out of fear that your business will not succeed.
You’ve got to do it – out of love for yourself – and believe you can make it happen.
5. Self-love is orgasms
Next on my list: self-love is orgasms – lots of them.
Sex is great. But for years and years, I didn't have orgasms. That’s a little bit uncomfortable to share, but I want you to know that your sexual needs and desires are nothing to be ashamed of.
You might have been in a relationship where your partner feels uneasy about you masturbating. Or you might feel ashamed about masturbating. Or you might even feel weird about wanting to have sex with someone, or like craving sex.
Whether you are in a relationship or not, if you want to be in a space where someone else can really love you, you've got to love yourself too. And that also means sexually. So give yourself the freedom to explore yourself more and to go and get yourself some orgasms.
6. Self-love is physical power
Physical power can also bring you greater self-love.
I started weightlifting when I was 18 years old, living in Italy. I had a lot of time back then, so it was easy to get started and I worked out about three times a week. I started weightlifting and for the first time in my life, I became really, really strong.
I consider myself very strong mentally. But that wasn’t always the case. I was bullied a lot as a kid, so I didn't really feel particularly strong at that time in my life. I was also really sick for a long time, so my body didn't feel strong.
When I started strength training and I learned how to turn my body into something powerful, it did wonders for me. To this day, when I feel less mentally stable, working on making my body stronger brings me a lot of mental strength.
Mental and physical strength go hand in hand. Working out and increasing your physical power can keep you in a better mental state – allowing self-love to flourish.
7. Self-love is asking for help
Asking for help is another version of self-love. You can’t solve every problem in your life and shouldn’t expect yourself to.
If you need help, that's okay. Go and find it. There will always be someone out there who can help you. You are not alone.
When I first started looking for help, I reached out to three therapists and didn't get a single reply. Then I met up with someone else who wasn't a great fit. But after that, I found Sarah – my coach and now friend to this day – and she has helped me change my life.
But asking for help can also mean simply telling your friends what you need from them.
I haven’t been doing great recently, and initially, I had the feeling that my friends didn’t really realize that. I assumed that the reason they didn't realize it was that (especially online) I generally portray a very strong version of myself. Obviously, I need to show up for my personal brand. I continue to share Instagram Stories when privately, life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
So I just told them directly that I wasn’t doing that well and that I might need some help from them with certain things. And that I’d need a big hug next time I see them.
The moment I asked it a huge weight dropped off my shoulders. And they were all there for me.
Asking for what you need is so powerful because it means that you know what you need. It really shows self-love to say to your friends, “Hey, this is what I need. Can you give it to me?”.
8. Self-love is radical responsibility
To truly love yourself, you have to take radical responsibility.
Don’t hold on to any hope that other people will fix your life or your business. Or that they will meet your expectations when you haven't communicated them properly to them.
I know I go too far sometimes and expect too little of people. But taking radical responsibility is really important to how you feel about yourself and others.
What radical responsibility means to me is that I am 100% responsible for my own happiness. Someone else cannot make me happy and I should not hold on to hope that someone else is going to fix things for me.
It's really easy to get in this victim mindset, where you feel like you can't do something and no one is helping you out. No one else is responsible for your happiness, for your health, for your life. So you’ve got to take 100% ownership of that. That's one of my core beliefs in my life.
9. Self-love is self-care
Self-love is also self-care – and that doesn’t just mean using health or beauty products.
For starters, can we just all agree you've got to stop scrolling on Instagram?
Self-care also means shutting out the noise and distractions. I know it is really f*cking difficult to be alone with your feelings. I know it might be really difficult to be alone with your brain, especially if you're an over-thinker. But it’s so important to face your emotions and your thoughts head-on.
I know I need to be alone more at times when being alone scares the sh*t out of me. Sometimes I have that after really busy recording days. I'm highly sensitive so I can get a bit overstimulated being surrounded by people all day. But when everyone leaves, it feels like there’s a huge gaping hole. All of a sudden, I'm tired and left alone with my thoughts. There are worries in the back of my mind that I haven't dealt with, because I didn't have time during the day, and I know that I need to take time to move through them.
But what a lot of people do instead is: distract themselves through more Netflix, more scrolling, more messaging, more phone calls, more games, more distraction.
You need to shut out the noise sometimes and allow yourself to have deep personal moments.
10. Self-love is investing in yourself
Last but not least, self-love is also about growth and investing in yourself.
Often we don't invest in ourselves because we feel like we need to make the most out of what we have already first. For example, not investing in a business coaching program because you paid for another course a few months back that you still haven’t finished. Or not buying a book, because you want to finish the books that you still have lying around first.
But you should spend money on yourself, as long as it’s on things that really matter to you and that will really help you grow. Instead of just spending money on things society values, it means spending money on whatever you value most.
It’s your money, your time, and your energy – you get to choose how you spend it. But whatever you do, always choose growth and self-love.
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