Developing self-love is a process of speaking and acting according to your values, belief, and feelings.

Self-acceptance is a critical component of self-love. Instead of negative self-talk, you are your friend, whispering words of encouragement. Most of the time, how we are treated as children impacts how well we can love ourselves as adults, too. It’s harder to love yourself if you’ve been neglected, criticized, or even abused. Fortunately, we can fix this. According to Daphne Kingma, you may love yourself by speaking up, acting out, clearing, and setting.

Speak Out

The first thing to loving yourself is learning to honor your needs and feelings through communicating them to other people. Kingma defines speaking out as, “Taking the risk of saying the things you’ve never been able to say before. It involves advising others on how to be happy—speaking your mind. Saying what kind of support, passion, and friendship you need… ” (2004, p. 48).

So, how does one become a voice? Decide first what to say. Then, look back over the previous week; where do you struggle to speak up? Once you’ve clarified what you need to say, start small. Find people who are easier to express your needs and practice with them. Soon you can move on to more challenging situations. Speaking out requires courage but ultimately will lead to feeling higher self-worth.

Act Out

Action is the root of change. To love yourself more is to act by your beliefs, values, and feelings. Actions can include doing new things or following through on plans and goals. Kingma defines actions as “…energy, a new beginning, the transformation of how things are into the way you’d like them” (2004, p.81).

Knowing where to adjust is critical. Take a few minutes to write about what is working in your life and what you would like to change. Then, write down specific steps for change with the items that need action. Make these steps small enough to be manageable. After you switch, reflect on how you felt after you acted. If it didn’t feel right, adjust your goal.

Clear Out

Clutter fills your life, creating a sense of weight and dread. Clearing your space, energy, and body are all methods to clean away (Kingma, 2004). Kingma says, “When your body is clear – of chemical toxins, negative emotional residue, excess weight, and mental chatter – your soul can proceed toward goodness, truth, and beauty” (2004, p.111).

Where do you need to clear out? First, make a list of the areas which need some clearing. Prioritize first from most to least important. Then, starting at the top, break each item down into small steps.

Set Out

What is your biggest dream? What is your top passion? Enjoy cooking? Love to move? Do you want to help humanity? What do you see? Setting off means embarking on a dream-chasing trip. The way to a higher level, to what has more significance, must be taken, says Kingma. It would assist if you changed your habits, and set out in the direction of something new” (2004, p.148).

If you are unaware of what you love, try remembering your childhood and teenage hobbies. What did you enjoy doing? Most likely, it made you forget yourself and lose track of time. But how can you accomplish more of what you love? Write five ways you can incorporate your passion into your life now.

Loving yourself is a four-step process. The first step is acknowledging your thoughts and feelings through communicating them to others. The second phase transforms your life to reflect your objectives, values, and beliefs. The third step is clearing out emotional, mental, and physical clutter. The final step is creating life goals and working towards them. These steps help create self-respect and happiness.