Self-love is something that all people deal with throughout their lives. Some periods less, others more.
When a young baby is born, it is in a natural connection with itself.
He is in unconditional love towards himself and the world. This is a natural and self-evident state in which all human beings should live throughout life.
The child learns non-love of self from the world around him. The programmes of modern society do not support the attainment, healing or maintenance of self-love. We are taught that it is not okay to express our needs, to choose ourselves, to stand out, because then you are an egoist in the eyes of others, and you have no regard for others.
Society strongly shapes a person to be useful to the system. People forget their own personal well-being and learn not to love themselves. Ironic as it is, it is all to be accepted and approved, otherwise he will be ostracised, made to look false, put down for who he really is or wants to be. This, in turn, creates fears, insecurities, a kind of concept/illusion of self that is not really real.
Specifically, what are the moments when self-love really disappears?
Self-love is lost when we constantly break the promises we make to ourselves.
Little promises like: tomorrow I’ll go to the gym, from the new year I’ll start eating healthily, etc. These promises are not only conscious promises, but also subconscious or unconscious promises. If I break my promises all the time, my self-confidence and self-esteem will be shattered. Add to this the expectations, demands and societal standards and criteria of other people and it is quite likely that a person will not be able to withstand such a race for long, as this way of living is not healthy and right for anyone from the start. It leads a person into conflict with himself from the start – a betrayal of himself.
By constantly betraying oneself, the subconscious and the body feel: ‘I can’t count on myself.’. I can’t trust myself, I can’t believe in myself, I can’t be sure of myself. I can’t do anything. I can’t believe myself, I can’t trust myself, I can’t believe myself, I can’t do anything. Conflict with myself. From there, it is very easy to fall victim to self-criticism, which undermines one’s vitality and becomes one’s own greatest obstacle.
Let me give you some examples of self-reflection. Saying yes, although I would like to say no, is a betrayal of oneself. Or, for example, by doing something that I don’t really want to do at all, that is, by not expressing my needs or inner truth in a genuine and honest way, I am betraying myself.
That’s where the beliefs that ‘I’m not enough, not important, not worthy’ come from, because it’s safe that way. To believe otherwise would be to experience the immense pain of being excluded.
5 practical exercises to restore or strengthen self-love
Exercise 1 – What does self-love mean to you?
Define for yourself in writing what self-love means to YOU. Nothing else matters but your relationship with yourself, because the outside world always reflects back to us how I treat myself. It is through your relationship with yourself that you create your external world and your experience of life. When you define self-love for yourself, you create new connections for your brain. Your brain doesn’t even know what the word means at the moment, so how can it start to act on it?
How do I behave lovingly with the woman or man I want to grow up to be?
What are the places in my life or the situations where I don’t behave in a loving way?
How can I begin to cultivate self-love in myself in these situations? What should I change or do differently? E.g. change my attitude, express myself clearly, etc.
Exercise 2 – When do I come into conflict with myself? What are the moments in my daily life when I betray myself?
For 7 days, consciously observe all the moments when you go into conflict with yourself. Note down in detail when you didn’t set your boundaries, didn’t assert yourself, didn’t express yourself honestly, etc.
This exercise is very important to build a connection in your brain and to become aware of those places in your life where you are not behaving in a loving way towards yourself. What are those moments in life where you betray yourself? Think about why you have lost self-love through life (note down all the events, reasons and promises you made to yourself that did not come true).
Exercise 3 – What are my needs in life?
Because we are used to putting the needs of others first, it is initially very difficult to be aware of our needs at all. Train yourself to be aware of your needs first. Then you can express them in a balanced way to others.
Make a note of needs by area (relationships, health, self-development, career, etc.) You can also do this in everyday situations. When a difficult situation arises, ask yourself and respond in writing: What do I need most in this situation?
Exercise 4 – What kind of woman/man or personality do I want to grow up to be?
If we want to create change within ourselves, we need to know what we are replacing harmful patterns and programmes with. We are going to teach our brains and bodies new ways of living, and to do this we need to create a clear vision of what we want to grow into. This will provide motivation and create new connections for the brain to act towards. The psyche loves clarity.
This exercise is a good anchor in complex situations. Ask yourself: How would the woman/man I want to grow into behave now?
By asking this question, you are giving yourself a new psychological input and teaching yourself to act differently in challenges.
Real change and breakthroughs can only be created in the midst of a challenging situation.
Exercise 5 – asserting yourself and expressing your boundaries
For this one, write down all the moments when you feel that your boundary came up and you would like to assert yourself. Self-assertion does not have to come through arrogant or overbearing behaviour, but can also be expressed in a loving, calm and understanding way. Start by expressing your boundaries to yourself first, and then your body will gradually express boundaries to others.