Note: The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Self-love is often the light at the end of the tunnel that everyone is looking for. Many of us practice self-love in our lives in small ways, such as making healthy choices for ourselves at work, advocating for ourselves in relationships, or even just going for a walk sometimes.
When it comes to being motivated by yourself and learning to use your self-love and inspiration to do better in life, many people come to a halt. We’ve come up with a guide on how you can learn to find the motivation to meet your goals simply by practicing self-love techniques. Here are a few.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments, Even if No One Else Does
Humans are social creatures. Overall, more than 3 billion people worldwide use social media to connect, and it has become very commonplace for us to compare ourselves to others that we see online. We’ve also learned to care immensely about what other people think of our appearance, outfits, ideas, opinions, and tone.
We’ve become so policed by other people and the voice in our head saying we’re not good enough that it’s hard to feel accomplished anymore without getting a certain number of likes or comments on our posts or having someone validate the hard work we’ve done.
Being able to validate and celebrate your accomplishments when no one else is doing so is one of the most difficult things to do. However, it’s essential in growing motivation and learning to trust yourself.
Here are some ideas for rewards you can give yourself when no one else is watching or cares:
- Buy yourself your favorite treat
- Watch your favorite movie and have a relaxing night in with popcorn
- Go out to your favorite restaurant alone and have a delicious (and cheaper) meal without someone there
- Make yourself a certificate and hang it up with a fancy frame
- Wake up early and plan your dream date with yourself
- Throw a “self-party” at home and do everything you were hoping that your friends would do for you if you had a surprise party
- Give yourself a self-retreat in an Airbnb and hotel for a weekend without anyone else. Spend time thinking about your goals and journaling
Provide Small Rewards for Small Victories
Similar to the previous section, you also want to award yourself for small victories. However, you want to save the big rewards for things that are huge accomplishments, to motivate yourself to work harder for those more difficult tasks.
Examples of small rewards for small victories include:
- Eat a sugar-free fruit snack each time you get 25% of your homework done for a university
- Give yourself a 5–10-minute break playing your favorite phone game in between work tasks
- Listen to one of your favorite songs each time you do something you’re proud of
- Plan a fun walk at the end of your workday, or another small activity
- Get a coffee for yourself after a difficult task
Practice Self-Love Exercises to Increase Positive Feelings
Self-love isn’t just about rewarding yourself for hard work. You should also practice self-love exercises in your day-to-day life to increase the amount of positivity and kindness you’re experiencing each day. It’s important to rewire your brain to realize that validation from other people is not the only thing that makes you feel loved or important.
Here are a couple of self-love exercises to try!
With affirmations, you want to either write or say out loud several self-love statements, even if you don’t believe them yet. Writing them and sealing them with wax in an envelope is another cool way to manifest the change in your self-esteem.
Here are some examples:
- I am wealthy.
- I am worthy of love.
- I am kind.
- I deserve good things.
- I know my worth, even if others don’t.
- I know my truth, even if other people deny it.
- I am smart.
- I am honest.
- I am doing my best, and I am proud of myself for it.
There are tons of affirmations out there. Choose some that most closely align with what you’d like to believe about yourself or what you hear others saying about you that you agree with.
For those that love to write, journaling is a good way to talk to yourself about things. You can even write letters to those in your life that you’d never send, like an ex or someone who hurt you. Journaling is also a great way to get your thoughts in order when setting goals.
See a Therapist
If you truly struggle with self-love every day, sometimes a therapist can help. Simple therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy is beneficial in allowing you to talk through your feelings. If your feelings of self-hatred or struggling come from a deeper place of childhood trauma, you may consider trauma therapy.
These days, therapy is available online and in-person, so you can choose the option you’re most comfortable with overall.
Try Your Best, Every Day
In the end, the best you can do to increase your motivation is to do your best. You don’t need to push yourself to meet some invisible standard or the standard of someone else. Your own standards are just fine.
When it comes to measuring success and motivation, you don’t want to put a limit or number on it. Simply knowing that you woke up and did your best each day is going to help you put more trust in yourself in the future and not make you feel bad if you don’t meet a standard that was set.
Remember to continue to challenge the standards you may have been told growing up or from other people in your life. If they don’t fit in with your integrity and morals, perhaps they are not something you should be listening to.
The best part about self-love is learning that you get to set your own set of morals and principles and values and that you can set boundaries with other people if something doesn’t feel right. Being able to commit to yourself and learn to lean on yourself for everything you need can help you be a better partner, a kinder friend, and also a more motivated worker.
We’ve gone over some of the ways you can learn self-love to become more motivated. Utilize techniques like motivation, journaling, manifestation practices, and more to learn more about yourself and feel comfortable making the leaps to get where you want to go.
If you want to learn more about motivation, check out this helpful advice column here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/motivation/.