I Love You
Hi, I’m Gemma. You might not know me yet but I want you to know this…I love you. I really do. I freakin’ LOVE you! And I see a light inside you that deserves to shine as brightly as the sun.
I want you to love you too.
I want you to love yourself so fiercely that nothing and no one can ever convince you that you are anything less than glorious.
This sounds great but, as you may know, it’s not that easy sometimes.
I know, because I didn’t love ME for a very long time. In fact, I flat out hated most things about myself and I couldn’t imagine anyone else liking me, let alone LOVING me. This, my friend, affected a lot of things in my life, as I’m sure you can imagine.
I pushed great people away and let in a lot of toxic people thinking that was what I deserved. I isolated myself from so many events that could have been wonderful memories full of joy. I made decisions that were not healthy and didn’t make myself a priority in any situation.
Does this sound familiar?
I’ve been working with women in the health and wellness space for almost 25 years and many of them also struggled with self-love. It’s contagious. We’ve been a bunch of women walking around hating on ourselves and spreading it everywhere. Eeew! Doesn’t that sound horrible?
If this resonates with you and you’re ready to evolve out of self-loathing and into self-love then keep on reading my friend.
If you don’t quite love yourself right now, that’s ok. That’s why I’m here and that is why I’m writing this blog.
It’s time to cure yourself of this self-loathing and catch the ‘self-love bug’ (and spread that shit everywhere like a plague).
This evolution won’t happen overnight, and that’s ok. All the best stuff takes time. I’m going to give you the first 5 steps in this journey here and invite you to stay connected with me on the blog, on social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube), and on my email list so you can keep leveling up with me and get on that train to ‘I LOVE ME’ town.
In the meantime, I’m here to tell you that I am going to love you enough for the both of us for now, and we are going to do some serious work in the coming months’ girlfriend. And I mean, real, soul-searching, life-changing, thought-shifting work. And one day, really soon, you will love yourself so much that you won’t need me to love you for the both of us anymore. You’ll love yourself enough all by yourself.
Sound good to you?
Let’s get to WERK!!!
The First FIVE Steps to Contagious Self Love
1.) Fake It Til Ya Make It
Every morning after you wake up and every night before bed you are going to go to a mirror, look your reflection in the eyes, and it must be in the eyes, you can’t stare at your nose or forehead, and say “I love you.”
If you feel a bit silly at first, it’s ok. Do it anyway.
If you don’t believe the words you are saying at first, it’s ok. Do it anyway.
Do this every morning and every night until you mean it, and I mean truly, thoroughly, and deeply mean it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes for you to reach this stage. Enjoy the process and do the work.
Do you have kids? Have them do this too, but do yours on your own in peace, do it again with your kids. Help them to let go of the self-loathing you have suffered with and help them love themselves fiercely.
2.) Positive Self Talk
The way you talk to yourself and about yourself, inside your head and out loud, has a massive impact on the way you feel about yourself, and how other people around you feel. It’s time to quit talking smack about yourself.
When you make a mistake do you say, “You’re such an idiot.”? When you can’t remember something do you think, “Come on Dummy get it together.”? When you look in the mirror do you tell yourself, “You’re so fat.”?
This is a really bad habit that so many women struggle with. It’s time to reprogram this bad habit and turn it into a good habit that can catapult you to self-love faster than anything else. That ‘good habit’ is positive self-talk.
If you make a mistake, ignore it. We all make mistakes. We all forget things. We all have body parts we wish looked better. We’re human. Let these go for a while. You’ve been focusing on them for far too long. Give it a rest and try something new.
Start tooting your own horn. When you remember something you were trying to recall say to yourself, “nice work lady.” If you do a good job at something, making dinner, a project at work, a craft you’ve been working on, etc say out loud, “Great job girl! You’re amazing.” When you look in the mirror, find something you like and compliment yourself, “You’ve got gorgeous eyes!” or “Your booty is looking nice mama.”
It’s time to let go of the thoughts that you are conceited, self-absorbed, or boastful for giving yourself praise. These simply aren’t true, and these ideas have helped us to be in the self-loathing state we find ourselves in. NO MORE!! Toot that horn of yours my friend.
3.) The Rubber Band Project
Number 2 is a tough one, I won’t lie. You might have been trash-talking yourself for decades so it could be a challenging habit to break, but not impossible. If you feel that it will be a difficult one for you then we’re going to amp it up a little to help you get on that positive self-talk bandwagon.
Have you heard of operant conditioning? In psychology, this is a way to change behavior by applying a reward or a punishment following that behavior. If you want to keep a behavior, you reward the subject when they do it. If you want to prevent a behavior you punish when it is performed. (google B.F Skinner, American Psychologist, if you’d like to learn more on this.)
Negative self-talk is a behavior we are trying to prevent, and so, we are going to do an operant conditioning experiment to help you condition yourself away from this habit. Here’s how…
Get a rubber band, or a ponytail holder, that will fit around your wrist. Nothing too tight that it leaves a mark, and nothing too loose it will fall off.
Each time you think, or say, something negative about, or to, yourself, I want you to gently snap the band against your skin. Note that I said gently. You are not going to leave a mark. You’re just going to snap it enough to get your brain to think, “Hey! I didn’t like that.”
In time, each time your brain is about to trash talk you, it will associate that behavior with the band snap and NOT do it. This is conditioning.
Want to earn extra credit?
After each time you snap that band, when you catch yourself thinking or saying bad things about yourself, you’re going to then say 3 good things about yourself.
This is where you can also apply #1 and ‘Fake It Til Ya Make It’. If you don’t feel that you have three positive things to say about yourself (yet) you are going to fake it and say three things anyway. “I am kind. I am a great friend. I am trustworthy.” “I am brave. I am a survivor. I am honest.” “I have strong legs. I am very knowledgeable about my job. I am a good cook.”
In this way, we are conditioning you out of that undesired behavior (the negative self-talk) and then replacing it with positivity, self-loving thoughts immediately following the undesired behavior.
It might sound a bit nutty, but this is a very powerful tool to help you towards reaching your goals of self-love.
4.) Rub You The Right Way
Now I’m singing that Johnny Gill song in my head, Lol. If ya don’t know, google it.
I want you to get some great body lotion. I’m talking about the kind that is not full of toxic crap. Get the kind that is paraben-free, scent-free, dye-free, etc. If you would like a list of the quality lotion with clean ingredients you can find it at Think Dirty, Shop Clean.
After every shower or bath, you are going to get all nice and moisturized, but you’re going to do so much more than rub lotion on your skin. As you rub lotion onto your legs I want you to send them love. I want you to thank them for carrying you through your life, for being strong, for being there. As you rub lotion on your tummy I want you to send it love, thank it for being your core, for holding you together, for carrying your children. As you rub lotion on every body part you’re going to ignore anything you don’t like about it, the things you want to change, and, instead, you are going to honor it for all the things that it IS.
You can do this aloud or privately inside your head.
Be aware of any self-deprecating thoughts that might try to sneak in. Push them out and stay focused on the assignment.
5.) The Gift of Grace
There is no timeline here. You are not expected to achieve self-love by a certain date or in a set amount of time. it doesn’t matter how long this takes you, what matters is that you do the work and keep trying to get there.
There will be days when you crush these challenges, and there will also be days when you completely suck at them. Guess what? These are both completely normal. No one is perfect.
You must give yourself grace, be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to be human.
There is no rush for this journey you are undertaking. The process is beautiful, enjoy it. Savor every second of this because it’s the moment’s that you will remember. It’s the moment’s that will transform you. They are the pieces that, when added together, will lead you to immense self-love. So, enjoy them.
This will take as long as it takes and not a day sooner.
Loving yourself unconditionally is the most important step in any goal you might have. If you want to lose weight, if you want to get fit, if you want to improve your health, if you want a promotion at work, if you want to start your own business, if you want to get your degree… You must begin by loving yourself so much that you can easily make your goals and dreams a priority.
Until you do, reaching your goals will be more difficult, maybe even impossible.
Remember, self-loathing is just a bad habit, and habits can be undone and reprogrammed. Applying the five principles above is how you get started.
Share this blog post with all the women in your life. Let’s start a self-love revolution. Plus, having a friend by your side can help you tremendously as you can hold each other accountable and call each other out when you slip.
If you have thoughts, questions, or comments you can leave them below or message me on email or social media. The links are below.