A 7-step (and then some) guide to mastering self-love by our BFF, business partner, and incredibly inspiring human being, Reanne Derkson. Take it away, Ree!
January always feels like the right time for new beginnings, fresh starts, re-commitments, and renewing memberships. Every year, around this time, I sit down with my little notebook and my Micron 03 black ink pen, and I write down all of my goals and intentions and dreams for the week, month and year ahead of me.
But what about the things I haven’t quite finished from last years “goal-setting” sesh. What about the book I still have yet to finish? What about last year’s journey — the destination of which I still have (definitely) not arrived at yet.
Someone get this girl an internal GPS. Or a map. Or better walking shoes.
Here’s the thing I’ve recently learned, though: No matter how practical your walking shoes, some journeys take longer than others. Some journeys are infinite, and some journeys can’t be arrived at — there simply is no finish line. So even though a year has passed, and even though you thought you would be “there” by now, it’s 100% okay to still be finding your way.
I was supposed to have finished littlefoolbook by now. (98,000 words later, I’m still working on it.)
I was supposed to be five pounds lighter. (I might be, though today I just don’t feel it.)
And no longer craving wine on weekdays. (I really don’t know what version of me envisioned that.)
And have my pizza addiction in check. (It’s been 2 days, 4 hours and 37 seconds since my last slice.)
I was supposed to be head over heels in love with myself by now. (Everything always comes back to love.)
Self-love is the foundation for it all. When I’m doing a good job of it — taking care of myself, being gentle with myself, loving myself — My writing is in flow, and I don’t care what the number on the scale says, and pizza loses its efficacy over me.
It sounds so easy. self-love. But if the last 3 years have taught me anything, it’s that self-love is one of those goals where there simply is no finish line. Self-love is an infinite journey.
A 7-Step (And Then Some) Guide to Mastering self-love
1. Self-care is Always (Always) The First Step.
There simply is no self-love without self-care.
We’re so conditioned to give love to those around us that we often forget to take care of ourselves.
Avoid the inevitable burnout by taking care of number one — that’s you. What do you need to do to feel the way you want to feel, every single day?
This can seem like a daunting question at first. But knowing the answers allows you to plan for love.
2. This book helps. (I’m literally reading it now.)
Okay. Not like, right now. Because I’m not that talented, but I started it a few nights ago and love the fact that it’s interactive. Written simply, it boils down big ideas about self-love into simple concepts.
3. Set (or adjust) your priorities.
Refer to Step 1. How do you want to feel every single day? What do you need to do to feel that way?
Adjust your priorities accordingly.
4. Change your mentality.
Whenever I’m feeling down and out, my boyfriend forces me to tell him “whatsup.”
“I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“My eyelashes aren’t long enough.”
Are some of my common complaints. To which he usually responds with:
“You’re writing a book. You’ve never written a book before. Of course you don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re doing a damn good job of figuring it out as you go.”
“You’re not broke. You are your own boss, running your own business and you have a roof over your head (Thanks, Hayl!) and food in the fridge, and really stylish clothes to wear for someone who claims to be broke.”
“Your eyelashes are exactly long enough for exactly your eyes, but if you really want them to be longer, lucky for you, you have a BFF who can make all your dreams come true.”
The point is when you put your complaint down, flip it and reverse it (Yes, that was fully a GIRLS via Missy Elliot reference), you can actively change your mentality from negative to positive.
You don’t even need a S.O. to do it for you. (Though it can help hearing it from someone else’s perspective — go ahead, lay it on your bestie.)
5. Remember that comparison is the thief of all joy.
And joy is like, a super crucial ingredient in the self-love recipe book.
(I think i just got my next book idea — the self-love recipe book — comment below if you’d read it.)
Back to what I was saying:
Quit comparing yourself to strangers on the internet.
Quit comparing your accomplishments to your BFF’s.
Quit comparing your downward dog to the chick next to you’s.
Quit comparing your journey to anyone else’s in the entire world. Your journey is just that — yours. It’s time to take joy in it.
6. Be gentle with yourself.
Always, always, always be gentle with yourself. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to catch your inner mean girl talking shit about you. You’re totally going to cave and order the pizza on a non “cheat” day. You’re going to forget to put yourself first.
It’s all okay. Allow me to remind you: this whole self-love thing, it’s an infinite journey and detours are 100% bound to happen. Be gentle with yourself when they do.
7. Know your worth.
I struggle with this one more than I care to admit.
I attach my worth to inanimate objects. I attach my worth to my creative output. I attach my worth to my resume and professional accomplishments. I attach my worth to the size of my jeans and the number of “likes” I get on an Instagram photo. I attach my worth to things that have nothing to do with my worth.
Like I said, I’m working on it.
But here’s the truth: My self-worth cannot be negotiated. My self-worth is not dependent on any variables or factors. My self-worth comes solely from within me.
Knowing your worth can save your life.
So back to that thing I was saying about some journey's being infinite. Self-love is one of those journeys.
You're ready to be the main source of love in your life.
You're sick and tired of questioning your own self-worth.
You want to be the happiest person you know.
You're exhausted from constantly putting other people (and their priorities) ahead of your own.
You're seeking self-love and self-acceptance.
You're ready to say "no" to guilt.
You're craving comfort in your own skin.
Then, you might want to click the button below. Like, immediately.
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For more of Ree's writing (did we mention she's writing a BOOK!??), and true (LOL-worthy) stories about growing up girl in a culture where beauty reigns supreme visit littlefoolbook.com.
**This post is part of our month-long Self-Love series. If you're just catching up:
1. Self-Love Wins
2. Where Do YOU Fit Into Your Day? An Important Self-Care Reminder.
3. R.I.P. To the F*&k I Almost Gave - The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*$k.
4. We interrupt this self-love series with a fresh dose of anxiety because… you got anxiety? GIRL, me too.
5. “Am I Depressed??? IDK? Help!” Read this if you’re currently thinking SAME.
6. 16 Ways to feel better, immediately.
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