My four steps towards self-love

Beyond Dieting

Love the Pounds Away!!!

I am sure if someone asked you if you loved yourself you would say yes.  You might say, I am quite smart, caring and interesting.  I know I always thought I loved myself until I suffered a bout of depression and would lie in bed tormenting myself with negative thoughts like “I am stupid”, “I am useless”, “I can’t do anything right”.  Later after lots of self-reflection and therapy I concluded that such self-criticism was not a sign of self-love.

 So, what does “self-love” feel like?  It’s a difficult concept and takes time to fully understand it.  I know for myself it’s a continuous monitoring of the critical inner voice and learning to love the hurt abandoned part of myself.  In time my mindset began to shift, and I truly began to feel the tingling of self-love.  It takes practice and lots of inner examination of beliefs and thought processes.  The results are worth waiting for like anything we wish to change whether its to lose weight, change career or get fit, practice and perseverance are the key to success. Then one day like learning to drive a car it becomes automatic and loving thoughts automatically replace the old negative self-berating ones.

Here are my 4 steps for you to consider:

  1. Become aware of your inner voice.

This is important because we have a continuous inner dialogue which often we are not aware of.  Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself. Are you constantly berating yourself? 

So, the first step is to become conscious of your inner voice. Pay attention to what it’s saying.

Notice what you tend to tell yourself most often. What do you say when you do something amazing, and what when you fail.

  1. Take control of your inner voice and be gentle to yourself.

The things you hear in your head now have been there your whole life. You might have not paid attention to them before – in which case you might be shocked to hear some of things you say to yourself.

Situations which may trigger your negative inner voice:

  • Looking at yourself in the mirror.
  • Being told off by someone.
  • When you put weight on.
  • When someone is mean to you.

Please don’t berate yourself anymore the fact is you have probably been feeding yourself with these messages for years and its now habitual and probably strongly held beliefs.  Be kind and gentle with yourself.

You can change them with a step by step approach.

Now that you are aware of your inner voice, next time you catch yourself criticising yourself or another take a deep breath and say STOP OR CANCEL whichever works better for you.  This little trick really works as it sends a signal to your subconscious to change what you thought. Then after saying STOP OR CANCEL say something loving and positive to yourself.   After continuous practice you will really feel a lot more positive and loving towards yourself.

  1. Treat yourself like a child

My clients sometimes ask how they should talk to themselves.  I perfectly understand this question after all if your negative voice is harsh and critical we don’t want that same voice talking kindly.

I recommend you change your inner voice and imagine yourself as a child.  This allows you to tune into your inner child and to look without judgement. See that little child in you as a vulnerable creature that needs your love.  We all have an inner child in us and often that critical voice is the hurt child.  Amazingly once you see yourself as a child any harshness melts away. It really is simple, you can do it!!

You know the needs of the child that were never met when we were young are carried into our adult lives.  We may suppress them and push them away and deny their existence, but they are there deep in the recesses of the subconscious causing us to react in negative ways towards ourselves and others.

Nurturing your inner child allows you to fill the needs that were not met in those early years.


  1. Love yourself emotionally and physically

This is the best part of the process, I love it!!

Think of all the people that you love. Your parents, siblings, your lover a best friend.  Do you give them gifts?  Do you like to treat them?  Do you spend quality time with them?  Would you speak to your loved ones the way you speak to yourself? I am sure you wouldn’t.  Yet we often give ourselves the hardest time.

Now its time to give yourself a bit of love.


*  Learn how to meditate.

*  Listen to beautiful uplifting music.

*  Feed your body nourishing food.

*  Feel gratitude…. Even write a Gratitude List.

*  Forgive yourself and others.

*  Walk in nature.

Louise Hay in her book “You Can Heal Your Life” recommended we look in the mirror daily and affirm out loud “I Love You”.  If you have never done that before I urge you to try it you will be amazed how different you feel indeed the results can be profound.

Love yourself, love your body..

To Your Success


Denise Richards
Beyond Dieting