Self-Love Formulas are BS

Does anyone else cringe upon hearing statements like, “You need to love yourself before you can XYZ (land a job, a relationship, lasting inner peace)”?

I do, and I call bullshit.

Sure, liking yourself is important. Believing in yourself, trusting yourself to generally do right by your own best interests. Acting with integrity. Setting boundaries. Respecting yourself enough to know how you deserve to be treated (and striving to settle for nothing less).

But the conditional “if/then” formulas in the self-help-o-sphere drive me absolutely bonkers. The Personal Development Police would like to have you believe that you have to high-jump over the impossible-to-reach SELF-LOVE bar in order to truly manifest what you want.

I find this unrealistic and frustrating — bad advice, no matter how well-intentioned. At least for me. You might disagree with me, and that’s fine. If you are born with unfailing radiant self-love at max capacity 24/7, I am thrilled for you! Bottle it up and sell it, baby!

But for the rest of us mere mortals, self-love is a spectrum, and theres a good chance it varies every day. Particularly when you are riding the roller coaster of entrepreneurship or a new relationship or quitting your job or any other massive life change that will rock you six ways from Sunday.

Truce Zone:

On more than one occasion I’ve been in conversation with a newly-enlightened soul (bless their heart) who says in a dripping tone, “You just need to LOOOOOOVE yourself, then {missing relationship/job/opportunity} will be available to you.”

Who really loves themselves all day every day, romancing their reflection with flowers and unicorns and affirmations in the mirror every morning?

Listen — I certainly don’t think you want to actively shoot yourself down (put-downs, berating, etc) but can we agree to a more neutral truce-zone?

I do not believe self-love is black or white — you love yourself or you don’t.

Just do the best with what you’ve got, and admit when terrifying, thrilling, vulnerability-inducing situations bring out your shy, insecure, or worry sidesHallelujah, youre alive! And you’re most likely hot on the trail of something exciting.

Try This: I Love Myself Enough

Heres my take: do things. Do things that scare you, and watch your confidence build.

Instead of reaching for an unshakeable self-love bar you can never hit, sit with the idea that “I love myself enough. It might not be 100%, but I love myself enough to give this a shot. To be vulnerable, and to take one small brave step each day.”

The best way you can truly love yourself (blegh, the term still gives me hives!) is to give yourself permission to do or say whatever is authentically on your mind, and to start right from where you already are.

Action is what moves you forward. Action is what builds your confidence. Action is the best teacher.

As my favorite Joan Baez quote goes, “Action is the antidote to despair.

Jenny Blake is a keynote speaker for Emerging Womens regional inspiration and connection event in New York City on May 22ndBrilliant Women Igniting Change in the World. Find more info here.


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Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa10 months ago

Thank you

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompsonabout a year ago

Interesting approach but still saying the same thing, with different words.

Sonia Valencia
Sonia Valenciaabout a year ago


Christine W.
Christine W.1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Diane C.
Past Member 1 years ago

Thanks for this (I tend to agree) and for the other comments posted here.

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Zarafonetis1 years ago

Yes that terminology "Love yourself" is very condecending by most people who are hypocrites anyways!

Ashley heffner
Ashley heffner1 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Ashley heffner
Ashley heffner1 years ago

I'd buy the headline.

Robert O.
Robert O.1 years ago

Thank you.

Deborah W.
Deborah W.1 years ago

To your ownself be true ... like what you see? Use and expand. Don't? Review, adjust and give it another go. May not be the right choice either but as long as you get up one more time than you fall down you'll be OK ... for each day is new and loaded with endless possibilities. And tomorrow might just be THE ONE for you.