25 People Share Their Self Love Stories

So what does the phrase “self love” actually mean? It’s constantly thrown around alongside photos of face masks, solo vacations, and glasses of pink moscato. Yet, regardless of what social media says, it’s more than just day trips to the spa and taking yourself out on a date. Self love is an ongoing process. It’s not a sudden, epiphany-style moment of eureka like we see often on movies and television. It can progress, it can regress, and it needs constant maintenance. It’s a lens. The lens in which you see yourself. Falling in love with your mind, your body, your voice, all of the moving parts that make up the being that is you. It’s not the same for everyone. So, I asked you all. 25 of you shared your self love story with me 💗. Thank you to those who did. You’re inspiring. Let’s dive in.

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“For me, self love starts with treating your mind and spirit as a temple. Engaging in positive self talk seems corny, but it’s imperative to constantly tell yourself the things that other people won’t. You’re beautiful and you’re worth it. This love and light you pour into yourself will radiate into others as you watch your positivity soar. This is why I try to be the smiley ray of sunshine, because who else will?” 
Marissa Daily, Writer of themarissadaily.com
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“I love myself more when I look back on how much I’ve grown. I remind myself daily that what’s meant for me, will be for me. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to not dwell on things I wasn’t meant to control. You have to charge some things to the game and learn from them. Conditioning myself to think this way has made everything easier.”
– Darius Simington | @dsimm44
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“Self love and appreciation started with running that I found a deeper pride and love for myself because it’s something I also started doing with my dad – who lost 80 pounds from it to live a healthier life. Flash forward to college and I ended up gaining 20 pounds, more than the freshman 15! I was depressed, on acne meds (which didn’t help), and eventually birth control to top it off. Today I couldn’t be more proud to be on the right track for myself with everyday healthy eating (focusing on plants, protein, and good carbs) and a good amount of exercise per week. I not only look and feel my best, but it’s something nobody can take away from me. I completely own it and at the same time, I’ve inspired others to alter their habits as well.”
– Sydney Cole | @sydneyccole
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“What made me love myself more was realizing that my personal happiness, mental health, and self confidence meant more than impressing strangers.”
– Andre Small | @juicelessdre
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“I learned to love myself when I admitted that I didn’t know how. I didn’t see myself as valuable or worthy of freely receiving love without working for it; I wasn’t emotionally healthy. To fix this, I took all of the love, time, care and energy I was freely giving to others, in hopes that they would return it, and poured it into myself to create a version of me that I felt proud of. Because of this, I am now committed to protecting, advocating, honoring, loving and showing myself compassion.” 
– Erica Fraser | @the_erica.f
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“I’d say focusing internally and letting myself know that it’s ok to fail sometimes and that’s part of life. I’m usually so hard on myself that learning to ease up was so important and to look at things on a bigger scale.”
– Ethan Ruppenthal | @em.rupp

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“I think the one thing that helped me love myself more would honestly be taking time and just working on puzzles. It gives me a break in the middle of my crazy life and makes me focus on something that isn’t stressful.”
– Terrica Dang | @terricadang27
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“Beauty and Value are super subjective and where one person may not prefer me, someone else may see me as the only option. When I noticed how much things varied I realized I couldn’t base my own self worth on anything external because these opinions varied so much and others opinions shouldn’t have power over my own anyway everything changed. When you have an outfit on and you want to know if you like it, you normally ask people and when you get several different answers they often turn the question back to you. “Do you like it, because that’s all that matters since you are wearing it not us”. They are 100% correct, same goes for your value. My self worth had to come from within and from then on I’ve been absolutely aware of my beauty, value, and power.”
– Janae Dixon | @poetic_tings
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“Focusing on myself is helping me love myself more. I feel like I get really caught up trying to help everyone to the point where I’m unhappy all the time, and slowing down and focusing on myself has really helped with that” 
– Logan Pritchett | @clwdwlkr
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“My self-love breakthrough happened when I realized it’s okay not to be ‘Superman’. I spent so much of my life wanting to be great at everything, thinking “maybe, just maybe if got myself together people wouldn’t be so quick to leave me and cut me off”. I was trying to make myself irreplaceable. The truth of the matter is that there are always going to be people who don’t know your value, just like there will always be people who rock with you despite your flaws! My healing process finally started the moment I let go of trying to make everyone love me and instead focused on being the best me I could be, one day at a time.”
– Isaiah Young | @apoc_isaiah
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“The labels male and female use to be the biggest hindrance in my life. It wasn’t untill I realized I was more than a gender that I really started to love who I am. I could express the masculine me and the feminine me when it felt right. Honestly starting hormones was just a bonus for my physical appearance but I had already started to love the inside me.”
– Aaron Shaw | @aaron_wonder
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“I’ve struggled with the idea of perfection almost my whole life; perfect daughter, perfect student, perfect *insert anything here*. No one is perfect — once I finally accepted that I embraced my flaws and learned to love myself for who I am. There is no one like you in this world, don’t waste time trying to be someone or something you’re not! You deserve happiness. You are beautiful. You are worthy. You are perfectly imperfect.”
– Stephanie Reyes | @_stephaniereyesss
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“In my experience, I think one of the keys to loving yourself more is loving yourself now, not tomorrow. For myself previously and so many other smart, driven, capable people, we put off our own self-care for another day. We say, “Once I finish school, once I get the job I want, or once I find a good relationship,” but those things really cannot be accomplished or at least be accomplished at one’s fullest potential, if you do not love yourself first. If you don’t take the time to love yourself, then you are not functioning at your optimum level and people can see that and will chose other healthier, happier people instead of you. It’s great to have drive and goals but you have to enjoy yourself and life for that matter in the meantime because as I found out, once you reach your goal, your personal pursuit of happiness will inevitably be delayed until the next goal is met.”
– Grayson Moore
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“Self love is something that comes from within and it took me some time to realize that. The biggest thing that helped me love myself is realizing compliments and attention from other people are just that, I am amazing with or without it. But, you have to take the time to get to know yourself and acknowledge that you are phenomenal regardless of what anyone thinks. If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?”
– Sylvia Mphofe | @syl.thescoop
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“I learned self love as a survival tactic. Being in academia, the federal government, and living boldly as myself has always necessitated me loving myself no matter the world’s view of me. Too many people like me are taught to hate themselves and the space they occupy, and I refused that politic from a young age. I practice self love by buying luxury handbags/goods, dressing as I please and shopping where I want, speaking positivity into my life, encouraging others, and keeping my strong sense of faith 😊”
– Xavier Clark | @bourgeizay
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“Self love doesn’t just come from within. All types of relationships contribute to you being able to love you for you. They bring out the best in you in every aspect of life. Growing up, feeling insecure caused me to create an unhealthy self image and became very draining over time. Finding love through close bonds has really helped me reflect and appreciate being me, and that it’s okay to love myself too.”
– Tiyyiba Zahid | @no_thisistaybuh
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“The moment I learnt that you would never truly be happy until you loved unapologetically, unashamed and truly authentically yourself was the moment I fell in love with me. It wasn’t my haha moment. No it took years of hurt and sadness for me to learn that who I am is nothing to be ashamed of. I was born and put on this earth for a reason and i would be doing a disservice to myself if i never learnt what it truly meant to love yourself wholly. So i started my mission to live exactly how I wanted to and from that day on I fell in love. ❤️ love always, sofi”
– Sofiyat Ibrahim | @the_odditty
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“I don’t stay in a bad place often, I try to stay positive as much as I can. Even when I feel like sh*t I realize it’s only temporary. I would say Kanye helped a lot – I often refer to when he said “Now I can let these dream killers kill my self esteem or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dream,” and it just makes so much sense to me. Think about it why not be confident and love yourself, who is going to If you don’t. At the end of the day you decide if you’re happy with how you did that day, and if you’re lucky, you get to wake up and try it again tomorrow.”
– Jason Clark | @_jsnc
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“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality. Wear it like betrothed armor; sport your worst fears like exoskeleton rattling up your spine. Don’t quiver behind someone else’s expectation of you. Step in front of the shadow and assume your own figure. You were never meant to fade into darkness.”
– La Roche | @lovelaroche
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“To me, self love is recognizing that you are beautiful, wonderful, and worth it. It’s also having the humility and deliberation to reflect on things you can improve about yourself. Having the humility and deliberation to reflect on the not-so-beautiful things about yourself and consistently working toward a better and kinder version of yourself everyday is self love. For me, making a plan of growth to improve myself and constantly asking myself if my behavior and the decisions I make represent the person I want and need to be. But also, accepting my unique qualities that make me a perfectly imperfect individual. That’s how I love myself”
– Cecelia Steinbach | @ceceliasteinbach
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“Sometimes in life I find myself starting to compare my looks and my physical appearance to those around me. In this state I might begin to lose self esteem and feel like I dont look the way I want to. When that happens I dont sit around and wait for someone to give me a pity compliment because they feel like they have to. I set a goal for where I want to be and I work hard for myself to get there. I don’t rely on others to make me feel good about myself. Instead I love myself by hitting the gym, getting a fresh cut, and making sure I leave the house in a fire fit 🔥!”
– Jeremy Steinel | @jeremythejanitor
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“The same love I give to others…I had to learn to give that to myself as well. The effort it takes to maintain a friendship or a romantic relationship, loving yourself requires that same effort, if not more. If I don’t love and cherish myself first, then I can’t genuinely do that for anyone else either. It’s not an easy journey, and it is ongoing, but it is rewarding. its a never ending peace, no matter the circumstances.”
– Meagan Omobude | @meggoo__
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“Self-Awareness is my key to self care! It allows me to gauge where I am in this life. I can feel when I need a break. I can feel when I could be going harder towards my goals. I know when I need to work through issues that could be draining my energy. It’s like a personal thermometer that lets me know how and what actions I need to take to bring myself back to peace.”
– Aja Clark, writer of Not Moving On | @_ajaimani
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“At the end of the day, you ultimately have to accept who you are. It’s easier said than done to be at peace about your current life, who your friends are, and where you feel your potential lies. Surrounding yourself with an uplifting community and not allowing yourself to turn self-love into self-loathe is truly beneficial. I have learned to allow myself to accept self-love and appreciation, which has led to a new lens of optimism that cannot be taught.” 
– Nicole Gordon | @nicolenxcxle
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“Kristin Martz is credited for saying, ‘we lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there too.’ By giving myself the freedom to figure out who I wanted to be, and what I wanted out of life I gained the confidence to embrace myself fully. I acknowledged that people are going to judge no matter what, so I might as well do the things that make me happy and surround myself with people who support that happiness.”
– Jennifer Shaskan | @jrshaskan

As you all see, self-love has very different meanings for everyone. Regardless of your personal meaning, let’s make it a goal this year (especially with all the craziness going on in this world) to exercise it daily.

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