As Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about the topic of self-love.  Like most women, you probably expressed your love on Valentine’s Day to your children, possibly a romantic partner, friend, or family member.

When you were younger, you might have gotten a box of valentine's cards to fill out for classmates, hoping you would get one in return from someone you had a secret crush on.  As an adult, If you’re lucky, others express their love for you with a card or maybe some flowers.

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful yearly celebration that makes us slow down from our overly hectic lives and take the time to let each other know that we care.  For some, it’s often the only time they hear words of affirmation from a loved one, even if those words were written by Hallmark.

While I’m all for expressing more love in the world, I also want to empower you to become better at self-love.  Why?  Because it gives you all your power back.   

When you learn how to improve your self-love, February 14th is lovely, but it’s just a single cherry on top of a beautiful cake that’s been created over the previous 364 days of the year.  The truth is that self-love makes life easier, more enjoyable, and more fulfilling.

Self-love helps us make better choices – healthier choices.  It allows us to set boundaries and manage our time better.  Self-love makes it easier to stop people-pleasing and to go after goals.

Self-love helps us get our needs met and doesn’t make us feel bad when we mess up.  It improves our self-confidence and reduces our harmful behaviors.

Self-love helps us not to bring the unhelpful past into the present and to make better choices for the future.  It’s a skill that we get to develop on our own without anyone needing to know or offer any input unless we choose to include them.

Self-love makes it easier to take action, to take chances, and to take on new opportunities.  It makes it possible to write that book, ask for that raise, say no, and leave that job to go out on your own.

Self-love motivates us and helps to set a great example for our children.  It reduces self-sabotage and provides a safety net for and by ourselves.

As you can tell, I’ve only scratched at the surface of what self-love can do, but hopefully, you get the gist.  Self-love basically makes life more manageable, enjoyable, and fulfilling.

This week I’m going to discuss what creates self-love and how you can improve yours. 


What creates self-love


We hear the term “self-love” discussed all the time, but have you ever considered what it really means?  For this episode, I want you to think of self-love as this – it starts with your relationship with yourself.

So, the next obvious question is, what determines our relationship with ourselves?  Let’s start with what doesn’t determine our relationship with ourselves – it isn’t anything outside of us; it isn’t determined by our past, how much is in our bank account, what we see when we look in the mirror, or what we did in college.

Our relationship with ourselves is simply our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves.  It’s the things we think and say to and about ourselves, out loud and in our minds.

The truth is that all those things we think and say about ourselves have a compounding effect because what we think about ourselves will determine how we feel about ourselves.  Additionally, how we feel about ourselves determines how we show up in the world.  

How we feel about ourselves also determines how we interact with other people and how we set and achieve goals.  Our relationship with ourselves is truly the most important relationship we have because it affects every area of our lives, both professionally and personally.

When you have the type of relationship with yourself where you no longer look to the outside world to determine how to think about yourself, how you feel about yourself, or how you show up with yourself, you take your power back.  When you have a strong, loving relationship with yourself, you will experience a sense of freedom that nothing and no one else can give you.

When you focus on improving your relationship with yourself and improving your self-love, you also become aware of many more options and possibilities.  When your relationship with yourself is solid, you know that you have your own back no matter what.

You’re willing to challenge yourself and go after bigger dreams because you won’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t go as planned.  When you believe in yourself, you are willing to trade immediate gratification for long-term success.

Improving your relationship with yourself makes you much less dependent on the words and actions of others.  You no longer seek validation because you’re giving it to yourself.

Self-love is about not giving your power away to anything or anyone outside of you.  It’s about being your best friend and cheerleader.     

Self-love isn’t something that we’re naturally born with.  It develops over time, based on the thoughts we choose to think about ourselves; therefore, if we need to improve our self-love, thankfully, it’s 100% within our control.


How to improve self-love


If self-love is based on our relationship with ourselves, then how do we improve that relationship?  Well, it’s the same with any relationship; first, you need to want to make a change.

You have to have a compelling reason why this is important to you, and then you need to start implementing new behaviors with the four steps I’m going to share.  You need to nurture the relationship you have with yourself on purpose and practice getting good at that relationship.

The first step is to do a Thought Audit.  That entails writing down all your thoughts about yourself.  Get them all out of your brain and onto paper with curiosity, not judgment.

You need to be willing to take a look at the things you think about yourself from a judgment-free zone.  Give yourself some quiet time to do this exercise and fill up a whole page if you can.

Just like emptying the contents of a drawer or closet when you’re decluttering, you need to empty out your brain with your thoughts about yourself.  No matter what they are, write them down.

The second step is to look at each thought you’ve written down and ask yourself the question, “Is this a thought I want to keep?”  Here’s how I like to approach this question – is this thought about myself something I would say to a best friend or my child?

For example, would I say things like:

What is wrong with you?  You can’t get anything done right.

You know you’re really not good enough for that, right?

You look horrible.

You’re never going to figure this out.

You’re going to fail.

You’re a terrible mother (friend, daughter, wife).

Can you imagine saying any of these to someone you love?  Yet we say these, and worse, to ourselves all the time.

Another question you can ask in this step when you’re looking at each thought about yourself that you’ve written down is, “How does that thought make me feel?”  We rarely acknowledge how our thoughts make us feel and then wonder why we feel unhappy, insecure, frustrated, or unfulfilled.

The third step is to choose intentionally what you want to think and believe about yourself.  Of all the optional thoughts you could possibly think, what do you want to think and believe about yourself?

If you have difficulty with this, think about what you WOULD say to a best friend or your child.  For example:

Don’t worry; you’ve got this.

You’re perfect just the way you are.

You’re beautiful.

Give it a little time; you’ll figure it out.

So what if you fail; at least you’re willing to try.

You’re an amazing mother (friend, daughter, wife).

I love you.

From any of those intentional thoughts, consider how they would make you feel.  For me, they would make me feel supported, valuable, worthy, courageous, willing, and loved.

The fourth and final step is to make it a practice to be kind and loving toward yourself.  When the old thoughts start playing like a well-worn record, move the needle over to the chosen thoughts from step 3.

You have to become more aware of the thoughts you wrote down in step 1 and practice the thoughts from step 3.  You have to begin to create new neural pathways in your brain that change the narrative you tell about yourself.

When I went through this exercise, I realized that growing up, sarcasm was second nature, and being self-deprecating was easy.  We’re often taught not to be so full of ourselves, not to brag, and to be humble in order to be liked and accepted by other people.

On the one hand, it makes sense because, taken to the extreme, we can become narcissists.  But on the other hand, fortunately, that is rare, and I don’t believe that would become an issue for any of us learning to practice more self-love.

In fact, I think turning up the heat on self-love makes it easier for you to be more supportive, loving, and compassionate toward others.  When you increase your self-love, you have more love to give, and you’re not doing it from a place of lack or resentment.

Another reason why improving your self-love is so important is that self-love leads to self-confidence.  But here’s the difference between confidence and self-confidence – confidence is a belief that typically comes from having done something before; self-confidence is the belief in yourself without having any evidence.

Self-confidence leads to taking action without knowing whether you will succeed or not.  When you feel self-confident, you’re willing to do hard things.  

Self-confidence creates trust in yourself.  With self-confidence, you gain a sense of integrity in yourself.  

The truth is that when you combine self-love with self-confidence, you become unstoppable.  It won’t stop you from having trials and tribulations, but you will stand in your power.

Please don’t let this episode be one that you just listen to, and don’t do any of the steps I’ve outlined.  Give yourself as much love as you can, change the thoughts you think and believe about yourself, and go enjoy the hell out of being you.




While I’m all for expressing more love in the world, I also want to empower you to become better at self-love.  Why?  Because it gives you all your power back.

Self-love isn’t something that we’re naturally born with.  It develops over time, based on the thoughts we choose to think about ourselves; therefore, if we need to improve our self-love, thankfully, it’s 100% within our control.