7 common mistakes people make when starting their self-love journey (that you should avoid)

So, you’ve come to a place in your life where you want to start prioritizing yourself.

Perhaps you’ve just gone through a really dark time in your life and are trying to heal.

The road ahead may not be easy and you will need to give yourself time and space to grow.

It will involve a lot of self-compassion and patience, but you’re in for a transformative and empowering journey.

However, there are certain things you should look out for and avoid as you learn to love yourself again. 

Today, we’ll explore 7 common mistakes that people make when they embark on their self-love journey.

1) Seeking external validation

If you’re someone who bases their self-worth on how others perceive you, it’s time that you stop this habit. 

In the age of social media, for most of us who actively post on our socials, it’s common to feel validated when our posts receive a lot of likes or views. 

Perhaps you’re someone who conforms to what the majority thinks is right or ‘cool’, in order to fit in with the group.

You may even dislike what you’re doing or disagree with the group’s consensus, but for the sake of validation, you go along with it.

The journey to self-love thus starts by acknowledging that your self-worth shouldn’t be based on external validation, but on how you perceive yourself.

Even if your actions don’t garner much attention, know that you’re worthy of being celebrated simply because you’re you. 

Learning to do things for no one else but yourself, is a liberating start to your self-love journey as you’ll realize that you’re free to do whatever you want – instead of adhering to people’s expectations of you.

2) Pursuing perfectionism

Another common mistake of people pursuing their self-love journey is wanting to achieve perfectionism.

For perfectionists, one big hurdle they’ll have to cross in their self-love journeys is to accept that no one is perfect and that it’s okay to make mistakes.

In fact, it’s human to make mistakes, as we are all flawed creatures.

The pursuit of perfectionism will only hinder your journey and result in stress and unhappiness. 

Instead, be present. Enjoy the process of whatever you’re doing rather than worrying over perfecting every aspect of your life.

When you make a mistake, and it will happen sooner or later because this is perfectly normal, retrace your steps and try again.

3) Isolating yourself

Isolating yourself from others is not the way to practice self-love.

Focusing on yourself doesn’t mean pushing people away.

In fact, now is the time to strengthen relationships with people that inspire you and rid yourself of relationships that no longer serve you.

Surround yourself with people who you want to be like. As the saying goes, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

So if you want to become kinder, more compassionate, or confident – spend more time with these friends.

As you slowly become influenced to become like them, you’ll start noticing that your outlook toward life changes. 

4) Focusing only on external changes

Focusing only on external changes 7 common mistakes people make when starting their self-love journey (that you should avoid)

Now when we talk about self-love, this can cover the physical and mental aspects.

It’s common for people to start changing their diets, implement an exercise routine, and focus on their physique.

While these are great, and play a pivotal role in your journey towards self-love, be careful that you do not neglect other aspects of your wellbeing – such as your mental, emotional, and even, spiritual health.

Try to set aside time to meditate, journal, and practice mindfulness.

This will go a long way in ensuring that you remain grounded, thankful, and most importantly, content. 

5) Comparing yourself with others

It’s common to want to compare yourself with others, especially when you see that your friends seem to be living their best lives on social media. 

But comparison affects your self-esteem and is a detriment to your confidence. 

Everyone’s journeys are different, so it shouldn’t be a competition. 

What matters are the goals you’ve set for yourself and what you do to get there. Some people may seem to achieve their goals faster than you, and that’s okay.

You’re living this life for yourself, so don’t base your self-worth on how fast you get to where you want to be.

Focus on the journey and the process – life will become a lot easier.

6) Avoiding self-reflection

Self-reflection is key to learning how to love yourself again.

It helps you better understand yourself – the good, bad, and ugly.

Avoiding self-reflection just because you’re afraid to confront negative thoughts and emotions will not help.

It’s important to face these and address them one by one.

No one said this journey is going to be easy, but it’ll pave the way for you to become a better version of yourself.

It’s also a good place for you to set goals and milestones for yourself, as you chart your journey towards achieving them.

Self-reflection is necessary for growth, as it sharpens your awareness of who you are and this is key to how you interact with the world as well. 

If you feel that you’re unable to do this on your own, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

A therapist can help identify and unpack trauma, past experiences, and hurts, that you may not be equipped to handle on your own.

7) Holding on to past regrets

As you self-reflect, you may have to confront moments in your life that you’re not proud of – some of which you may be consciously holding on to.

Our past shapes who we are, and how we navigate life and our relationships with others.

Holding on to past regrets will inevitably hinder you from loving yourself, as you’re faced with the guilt and shame of what you’ve done.

Although we’re unable to change what happened, we have full control of what we do now.

And it’s what we do now that matters:

A. Pen down these regrets so that you do not get overwhelmed

B. Let them go (this is difficult, I know)

C. And the hardest of them all: forgiving yourself.

Some people take a lifetime to get from Point A to C, while others never make it past A. 

The journey is difficult, but you will emerge a much stronger person at the end of it.

Concluding thoughts

Learning to love yourself is not easy, but it’s an extremely valuable journey. 

Not many people can say that they’ve learned how to fully love themselves.

But remember that this journey is (and should be) a lifelong process because we change in different seasons of life.

Picture of Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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