Woman giving herself a kiss in the mirror
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It’s a bit cliché, and for some, a throwback to the 60s. Yet, if you want a loving relationship, you’ll need to learn what loving yourself means. You’ll actually have to do it, in every moment, as much as humanly possible.

Think you can’t? Well, you’re here for a reason. You clicked on this link because some part of you wants to believe you can; you’re just at a loss as to how. Meaning what actual steps you can take, what will finally, once and for all, have you closer to the relationship of your dreams.

Of course, you can love yourself, it’s just you need a little reminder as to what it feels like, and that’s why I’m here.

This how-to isn’t about being able to love. Rather, it’s the ability to know how to make yourself happy, above all else. No matter what. In any circumstance. Plus, when you love yourself, your life changes. People treat you differently because you treat yourself differently. Your relationships magically transform. Frustrating things, ideas, people, and situations that you’ve fought with your entire life, disappear.

Can I guarantee this? No. I can’t guarantee the sun will shine tomorrow, though, either – I just know it will. The same goes for loving yourself – I know it will change you, and for the better.

Give yourself (about) an hour of uninterrupted privacy to work through this step-by-step, and perhaps grab a piece of paper and a pen as well to jot down any thoughts. Some drinking water might come in handy, too.

Ready? Let’s begin.

If You Can’t Love Yourself Now, When?

A woman massaging her temples
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Remember how I shared in the first slide of this series that you needed about an hour of uninterrupted private time? Make sure you’ve got it before reading on. Hole yourself up in your room, a car, or a park – it doesn’t matter. Turn off your phone. Remove any and all distractions you can. It’s just an hour.

Now, close your eyes, and say to yourself in your head, “[fill in your first name], I love you.”

So, I’m doing this right with you. “Bonny, I love you.”

Okay, now say it again. And again. Wait, why aren’t you doing this?

It sounds silly? Okay. Try it anyway. Is it too airy-fairy? Sure, I get it. Just try it. Scared you can’t love yourself? This I also understand all too well. I just did this exercise with a dear friend yesterday, and she was more willing to say horrible things about herself than she was able to close her eyes and just say, “I love you,” using her own name. She was more willing to hurt herself than love herself.

You see where I’m going here, don’t you? We’re able to love others freely, openly, no matter what. Yet when we have to put the spotlight on ourselves, we avoid it at all costs. I know as I did it for years myself. We all do. It’s normal. It’s also stopping you from finding the relationship you’re seeking.

When you love yourself, it’s easy to find a romantic relationship. In fact, when you love yourself, amazing potential partners will, literally, find you. They’ll stop you on the street, get introduced by a friend, show up at that work event you had to go to, sit next to you on the bus.

When you love yourself as you are, you’re like a magnet. No matter what you look like, your age, sexuality, gender, or income.

Ready for the next step? Think you’ve got this? Great. Let’s continue.

What Beliefs Do You Have About Love?

A woman journaling on a deck
Photo Credit: mage Source RF/Attia-Fotografie [Getty Images].

Close your eyes and say to yourself, “[fill in your name], I love you.” 

Hey, Bonny, didn’t we just do this? Yes, we did. Or, we talked about it. But did you really, truly, DO it? Likely not. So let’s do it this time for real.

Close your eyes and say to yourself, “[fill in your name], I love you.” Wait about ten seconds. See what happens. Say it again. If you hear something like, “but I don’t have a job,” or, “I need to lose 10 pounds,” write those things down.

Write down any reason, anything, that you believe stops you from loving yourself. Give it a few minutes, and keep on telling yourself you love yourself until you run out of reasons why you can’t. 

Now, take a deep breath. The hard part is almost over! You’re doing great. Take a drink of water if you need it, run to the bathroom, take a 5-minute fresh air break, whatever your body needs — and then let’s move on.

Clearing Old Beliefs That No Longer Serve You

Remember that list of reasons why you can’t love yourself? Grab it now. Glance through it, and without judgement, pick one. It doesn’t really matter which one. I’ll use “I intimidate men” as my example.

This “reason” as to why you can’t lie to yourself is actually a belief. Somewhere, somehow, you chose this belief because it helped you feel safe. We’re now going to find a better feeling belief to release the old one.

Think of when you first felt the belief you chose. Again, zero judgement, and no need to relive anything. It’s likely pretty innocuous and illogical. In my case, when I think of “I intimidate men,” I think of a time when I babysat a younger boy, and he had a lot of aggression. While the specifics aren’t important, I do remember needing to be “bigger” and “more aggressive” so he didn’t hurt me. I couldn’t do it physically, so I did intellectually. I decided I had to intimidate with my brain in order to control situations where I didn’t feel safe.

I can easily see why I created this belief. The thing is, it wasn’t serving me. I was pushing wonderful men away out of fear. It wasn’t the same kind of fear — as an adult, it was the fear I wasn’t good enough, attractive enough, etc. — but the body doesn’t know the difference. Fear is fear. It was time to release this outdated belief.

So, how do you do that? You find a better feeling thought. Let’s try it. 

  • Original belief: I’m intimidating to men. 
  • New, better feeling thought: I’m a strong, intelligent woman.

Sure, this kind of feels better, but not really. At the time, I didn’t buy it. It has to feel better to me (or in your situation, it has to feel better to you). It’s still true, but men had said this to me in the past as if it were a bad thing. So, let’s keep on looking.

  • Original thought: I’m intimidating to men.
  • New, better feeling thought: I only intimidate men because I’m trying to keep myself safe.

Okay, this feels worse than the first one. It’s true, sure, but.. oh yuck. Yea, that’s not it. Let’s try again.

  • Original thought: I’m intimidating to men.
  • New, better feeling thought: The wrong kind of guy found me intimidating. When the right guy comes around, he’ll see my strength and intelligence as a positive. He’s not intimidated at all.

Oh yes. Yes! This is it. When I initially did this exercise, this was the story I told myself – my new belief – because it felt amazing. I instantly felt a huge weight lift off of me. I felt a bit tingly, had goosebumps, couldn’t stop smiling. When you do this exercise, wait for that feeling. Choose something from a different perspective that feels amazing. Because, you know, you get to do that. Only you get to choose your perception.

(Interesting side note: once I chose this new belief, a man who fit these criteria exactly came into my life—just saying).

So, now it’s your turn. Pick an old, outdated belief on your list, and find a better feeling thought you can truly adopt as your own. Once done, write the new belief down, and we’ll go to the next step. 

Find Proof That Your New Beliefs Are Actually True

Trust written in light
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Now that you’re armed with that better feeling thought, I want you to start looking for proof that it’s true. Your entire life, you’ve looked for proof of your other belief, as I did. So I looked for proof that I was intimidating for men, so of course, that’s what I found. It’s like my saying, “Don’t think about the purple elephant!” Of course, you just did.

Think of a situation in your life where your new belief was true.

In my case, when I thought about it for a few minutes, I found ample evidence of men appreciating my strength in positive ways. Within a day, I had random people telling me as much.

For the next 48 hours, I want you to find proof that your new belief is true for you—just gentle reminders, nothing serious or super heavy. Just look for it. 

Ready for our last step? Awesome!

What Comes Up Now With Loving Yourself?

A woman squinting and laughing
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“Close your eyes and say to yourself, “[fill in your name], I love you.” 

“Bonny, really now,” I can hear you saying. “You’ve asked me to do this three times.” Yep, I have. Let’s do it again.

Close your eyes and say to yourself, “[fill in your name], I love you.” 

Sit with it. See what comes up. Add any new beliefs to your list. Then, remind yourself of your new belief. In my case, I said, “Bonny, I love you.

Yes, I love you even if you were intimidating to men, although of course, you’re not. You were just filtering out the guys who weren’t strong enough to be a match. Kudos for loving yourself so much!”

Yes, this is the actual conversation I had with myself. It ended with tears streaming down my face and a feeling of bliss emanating from my heart and stomach area, as well as goosebumps up and down my arms and back. It felt amazing.

Wait, it felt like loving myself.

Next Steps in Loving Yourself

Still with me?

If you did the exercise, you should feel at least some relief. Some bliss. Some acceptance. If you really, truly took the time to work through it all, you’ll feel love. Lots of it. For yourself! It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Anytime in the future, you feel like you can’t love yourself, I urge you to go through your belief list and chop them down one by one. It gets progressively faster once you’ve done it a few times – depending on how big a belief is, I can usually get through one in about 15 minutes now.

If you don’t have an hour or even 15 minutes, though, just look in a mirror and tell yourself, “[fill in your name], I love you.” Say it until you start smiling. Now, whenever I see a mirror during my day, instead of fixing my hair or judging myself, I do this work. If a “yeah, but…” shows up, I make a mental note to process it later and love myself anyway.

This, you can do too. This, you can do right now. I’ll bet that many of you just read through this article (thank you!) yet didn’t take action. So, what are you waiting for? Why can’t you love yourself right now?

Need more support? Join me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter, or send me a note and tell me how I can best help you love yourself, find the love of your dreams, or achieve whatever your heart desires.

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