The journey of self love is not an easy one. Firstly, let me make it very clear that self love is NOT a destination (the same as confidence, awareness and all those other beautiful things). Self-love is a practice and a choice that you get to make every single day. Sadly, you aren't just going to wake up one day and suddenly, miraculously love yourself. It takes work and it takes choosing yourself, everyday, over and over again.
Also, I think it's important to point out that this journey isn't going to be linear. There will be ups and downs and days where you feel like you're back at square one. Sometimes you'll have a bad day and sometimes you won't love yourself at all. But that's OK because you're not expected to be head over heels in love with yourself everyday. Self-love isn't about being obsessed with yourself, or being vain or thinking you're better than anyone else.
Self-love is about accepting every part of yourself, exactly as you are right now. It's about honouring where you are on your journey and being OK with it.
I don't love myself all the time. I don't love my body all the time. I don't love my actions all the time. But since strengthening my self-awareness muscle I am becoming more in tune with when I am feeling like that and am able to make a conscious decision to shift it to something more positive. If I have a day where I'm having a bit of a self-love crisis (usually around my period, if ya feel me), then I make a conscious effort to do things that bring me back to a state of love. Not necessarily back to loving myself straight away, but I encourage myself into a vibration of love and positive, feminine energy. Sometimes this looks like a walk in nature and sometimes it looks like dancing to my girl power playlist in the kitchen (which by the way you should all make your own of, with all your fave boss babe tunes that really get you going). I find physically moving my body, gets me out of my head and into my body, which always really helps me shift back to loving energy.
I don't expect any of you to go from picking yourself apart every single second of the day, to self-love overnight. It's just not realistic. So if you feel in a dark place at the moment, and you hold a lot of resentment towards yourself, your body or your habits, know that you can choose to shift that at any point. It all starts with a decision. A decision to change, and grow and to be the best expression of yourself.
'But how do I actually start Georgia?', I hear you say.
It all starts with your self-awareness. What are the voices in your head saying to you? Are they being nasty? Are they telling you you're not good enough? Are they constantly putting you down? I want you to really become aware of what they are saying because awareness is the first step to change. You can't change your thoughts if you don't know what they're saying. But just a reminder: if you are able to sit in silence and hear those nasty little voices in your mind, then that proves they are not coming from you. That inner critic usually comes from something someone else has said to us in our lifetime and sadly it's just stuck in our subconscious and formed into a limiting belief, that is now affecting our ability to love ourselves. So if your thoughts are filled with critical, belittling and resentful thoughts, then here's what I want you to do. Sit with yourself and your thoughts. Notice the thoughts but don't absorb them. Instead I want you to write them down - when our thoughts are out on paper some kind of cathartic magic happens where we suddenly feel lighter and more able to process. Once you have done this exercise, and are more able to separate your true self and the voices in your head, can you go one day without hating yourself and your body? Can you go one day without calling yourself names and putting yourself down?
Once you've mastered that (and it may take a while, and lots of practice and going backwards and forwards), then move onto accepting yourself. You might not like yourself or your body just yet, but can you try to accept yourself, as you are? Accept your perceived 'flaws' and the things that make you wonderfully imperfect. Rather than feeling disgust every time you look at your cellulite or stretch marks, can you instead accept they are a very normal part of being a woman? Rather than tugging at your skin wishing it wasn't there, can you instead accept that this body has carried you through life so far? You don't need to like them yet, just accept they are part of you.
Once you feel you can accept yourself, move onto treating yourself as you would a friend. Anytime you relapse back to saying something negative to yourself `9in your head or out loud), ask yourself, would I say this to a friend? Would I treat someone I cared about this way? Usually the answer is no. If that is the case then I want you to apologise to yourself, just as you would a friend if you said something upsetting to them. That's step 3.
STEP 4 Once you've got a grasp on that, then I want you to start being kinder to yourself. Can you say one nice thing to yourself today? Can you compliment yourself or write down something you're good at? A genuine compliment. Maybe you love your hair or you have an awesome sense of humour. Maybe you're super tech savvy or really intelligent. What are your amazing qualities that you like? Are you a loyal friend? A supportive sister? A badass boss? Write it all down and read it daily to remind yourself how freaking awesome you are.
Once you develop this kindness and compassion towards yourself, that sets the foundation to start liking yourself. You can't begin to love something if you don't even like it. So once we begin to actually like ourselves, we can move from there to love. From liking yourself to loving yourself, the jump isn't so big. So work on actually liking yourself first. And the rest will come in time with practice.
I hope you start to see yourself like the rest of the world does and I hope you keep choosing yourself over and over again.