To practice self-love means to commit to having a better relationship with yourself. Here are 10 journal prompts to help you explore the topic of self-love and embark on this amazing journey. Oh, if you haven’t already, check out my first video for Self-Love September (hosted by the awesome Kelly-Ann Maddox): “Under the Self-Love Umbrella”, in which I talk about what self-love could mean, what self-love means to me, and some of the important elements in a self-love practice.
1. What is “self-love”?
Do a free association exercise or brainstorming session on the concept of self-love and what it constitutes. Circle the ones that resonate with you the most and underline the ones that aren’t jamming with you. Analyze your answer and reflect on how your preferences reflect your attitudes towards self-love.
2. How do you define self-love? What does it mean to love yourself?
For this journal prompt, start by noting down the general notion of practicing self-love, then provide a specific example. For instance, if you write down “Self-love means taking care of yourself.” What does it mean to take care of yourself? E.g. Exercising regularly, stop saying “yes” to social gatherings that you don’t wish to attend, or avoiding eating too much sugar and fried food because you know there will be a pimple-pocalypse the next day if you don’t. Coming up with specific examples will really allow you to examine your current self-love practice and figure out what self-love means to you.
3. What does it mean to not love yourself? What are some of the behaviours or attitudes that contradict the practice of self-love?
This is also a good opportunity to reflect on how you’ve been engaging in activities or thought-loops that aren’t exactly serving you in a self-loving manner. What are the behaviours, habits or attitudes that you know are bad for you?
4. Think of a friend of somebody that you know. Consider your interactions and try to recall a time where you feel deeply as you think to yourself, “Man, my friend just needs to love him/herself more.”
This could be an instance where you feel protective or even indignant of your friend’s behaviour, or towards something that is happening to your friend. Why do you think you are triggered by that event? Often, we are triggered and feel indignant about something because we have experienced it or are experiencing it right now. How do your sentiments for your friend serve as a mirror to your own life and your own self-love journey?
5. Do you think being self-loving is a form of narcissism? What’s the difference between “self-love” and narcissism?
A lot of people tend to confuse self-love with being selfish, and claim that it is an act of narcissism. What happens when you have too much self love? What does that look like?
6. Do you harbour any negative sentiments or hang-up’s about self-love? Have you ever been criticized or judged for practicing self-love?
Have you ever received backlash when you offer advice to somebody in need of some self-loving? How has that affected you and why do you think people have reacted negatively to the idea? What can you learn from their reactions and use this understanding to help you grow?
7. List 10 words or terms that either represent the idea of “self-love”, or are connected to the idea of self love. Once you’re done listing, explore the similarities and differences between each one.
Here is a quick list of words under the self-love umbrella to get you started: self-compassion, authenticity, self-esteem, self-worth, optimism, level-up, self-value, personal boundaries, tough love, being your own friend, etc. How are they similar and how are they different? Which words do you prefer? Why do they speak to you more than the other words?
8. What are the most important elements that need to be present in a self-loving relationship?
Let’s start with 10 things, then boil it down to 5. At this point, every concept should be pretty interconnected. Let’s see if you could boil it down even more to 3.
9. Why do you want to love yourself more? What is the purpose of loving yourself and building a better relationship with yourself?
When it comes to cultivating positive changes in life, it’s crucial to infuse it with a sense of authentic purpose. Without purpose, there is no motivation. Without motivation, there is no commitment. You gotta want to love yourself more to love yourself more.
10. What are some of the challenges that you have faced (or may face) when you are trying to practice self-love? How can you circumnavigate those challenges? How do you make sure that you are on the right track and you are setting yourself to win?
Time to do some troubleshooting!