For this 10 day self love challenge the first thing to do is to set yourself a goal. You can do a SMART challenge, or you can just focus on what it is that you want to do right now that you are not yet doing.
List a few things that are really important to you that you want to improve upon right now. Maybe you just want to be a little more kind and compassionate to yourself, or maybe you want to look at yourself in the mirror and think "I love you" instead of noticing new wrinkles or marks.
If you find yourself with a long list of negative attributes, I suggest you write down the exact opposite to those and use one or two for this challenge.
And try this, ask yourself - "what would be a more loving thing I could do right now for myself?" Or even better - "what would be the most loving thing I could do or think right now?"
Then rate yourself out of 10 on your confidence of actually going through with completing this goal. When you find one that you can rate 8 out of 10, this is the one to start with.
For me as a therapist and personally, it's not just about self-love, it's also about improving your brain health at the same time. Why not change those old patterns that no longer serve you. Using rewiring techniques will help you do both!
I’ve done a whole challenge just on better brain health, here’s the link – 30 Day Brain Health Challenge
And I’ve written more about what methods I use here – Neuroplasticity and Rewiring the Brain
You can click here to go straight to the challenge points, or read this option to do a deeper 10 Day Self Love Challenge.
One of the most powerful methods I recommend that helps to improve and reinforce self-love is called ‘mirror work’ which was pioneered by Louise Hay a long time ago (40+ years).
Mirror work is the name that Louise uses for a series of exercises that you do in front of a mirror. These exercises include affirmations, meditations, and inquiries like:
In her book Life Loves You, co-author Robert Holden refers to underlying issues around self-love which he calls the basic truth - “I am lovable”, and its opposite “I am not lovable.”
If we're fortunate as children, this basic truth “I am lovable” is mirrored by our parents, our school, church, friendships, and other relationships.
With this eternal mirroring we learn to trust who we are, and we grow up to be a mature adult who is a loving presence in the world. The basic truth “I am lovable” has an opposite which is the basic fear “I am not lovable.” The fear of not being lovable is reinforced by unhealthy mirroring in childhood.
The basic fear “I am not lovable” is NOT true, it's just a story. It feels true only because we identify with it and this stops us from enjoying our own company. We move away from ourselves. We forget about the soul that is our true nature and the world becomes a symbol of our fear. We're scared to look in the mirror.
The basic fear coupled with self-judgement causes us to feel inadequate. There’s actually a name for this, it’s called “the myth of inadequacy.” The myth of inadequacy expresses itself in negative self-talk like:
“I am not good enough”
“I am not smart enough”
“I'm not successful enough”
“I'm not beautiful enough”
“I'm not strong enough”
“I'm not interesting enough”
“I'm not creative enough”
“I'm not rich enough”
“I'm not thin enough”
“I'm not significant enough”
“I'm not talented enough”
“I haven't done enough with my life”
“I'm not good enough and I never will be”
Those sorts of things.
This underlying feeling of inadequacy has nothing to do with your true nature. It's a learned unworthiness. It belongs to a temporary self-image that you act out until it becomes too painful to maintain. At some point you fall to your knees and say "I want to heal my life. Things need to change."
So you can outgrow and overcome this myth of inadequacy when you are willing to embrace the basic truth again, “I am lovable.”
When you look in the mirror you are only judging your appearance, you are not really looking at your true essence, your true being.
The mirror principle can help you track your relationship with yourself in all areas of your life. Holden says that your relationship with yourself is mirrored, for instance, in your relationship with:
Time. Making time for what's important.
Space. Enjoying the gift of solitude.
Success. Listening to your heart.
Happiness. Following your joy.
Health. Caring for your body.
Creativity. How self-critical you are.
Guidance. Trusting your inner wisdom.
Abundance. How present you are.
Love. How undefended you are.
Spirituality. How open you are.
The mirror principle shows you how you suffer and how you can heal; how you block yourself and how you can set yourself free. It's the key to self-love and letting life love you. Recognizing how the mirror principle operates gives you the necessary awareness to make good choices in your relationships, your work and your life in general.
Look in the mirror, and repeat this statement above 10 times, twice a day (am and pm - or more, all through the day) for 7 days to stop judging yourself, criticizing or comparing yourself to others. Become a true friend to yourself. Love that body back, the one that has loved you for your whole life.
You can add this to your self-love challenge.
So now you have two options for this 10 day self love challenge. You can take it easy, which is recommended at first, have some fun with it or you can go deep. Be careful with this deep work, make sure you have adequate support.
Click here to read the full challenge guidelines to help inspire you to implement a more meaningful challenge.
Get Your 10 Day Self Love Challenge Download HERE.
Join my fun better brain health challenge. There is a free part available to download right now or you can get the e-book that has a LOT of examples that you can use and more guidance.
10 Day Self Love Challenge Reference:
Robert Holden, Ph.D., and Louise Hay (2013). Life Loves You: 7 Spiritual Practices to Heal Your Life. Publisher Hay House. USA