Self-Discover & Self-Love: The Keys to True Self-Care
Inspired by this month’s Moms Making Six Figures Podcast where I sat down with my new friend and photographer extraordinaire, Christy Arias, to talk about the power of pursuing your own self-discovery and self-love journeys. In light of the pandemic and a new year being approached with even more trepidation, self-care can become more than just a buzz word and bath bombs—true self-care can lead you to find and step into the power of your own inner goddess. This year, live your life with purpose and intention aligned with your truest self. Read on to learn the keys to starting your own self-discovery and self-love journeys in order to engage in a meaningful practice of self-care that goes deeper than a clay mask.
Even if you’ve pursued the work of self-help through counseling, coaching, or even changing your daily rhythms to be more in alignment with what brings you peace, joy and fulfillment, many of us begin helping ourselves out of the place of necessity rather than out of curiosity. We discover ourselves as a reaction to burn-out, fatigue, and disenchantment rather than discovering ourselves out of passion, and as a means of prevention –a way to build boundaries protecting what matters most so that we can show up as our truest selves.
While there are countless tools to help you begin your self-discovery journey, you can start with small steps (no need to commit to the extensive ‘gear’ and know-how of the enneagram or the Myers-Brigg right off the bat) to discover the person that you used to know, likely hidden beneath the surface of daily routines and obligations.
- Sit down and interview yourself. | Think about the beauty and liberation of the quintessential high school English assignment: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10? You were too young to know better, untouched by experience and the skepticism therein. Let your current reality rest for a minute –envision your ideal self— stop analyzing the how, or the if’s, instead, ask yourself the following questions honestly and sit with what the responses reveal to you:
- What do I want from life?
- Where do I see myself in 5 years? 10?
- What do I regret?
- What makes me proud of myself?
- Start a journaling practice. | Journaling doesn’t have to follow a specific form or structure, it’s simply meant to be a form of self-reflection and it allows you to look for patterns or trends that reveal parts of yourself that may feel at first out of touch, or even patterns that conflict with your ideal self. Learn more about starting a journaling practice here.
- Swim in the sea. | Pursue your passions with the same invested energy as you do your obligations. What sparks joy and makes you feel alive? When was the last time you carved out time in your schedule for that? Your career doesn’t have to be your passion or your path to fulfillment, but it should allow you access to what is. And, if it doesn’t, it may be time to consider a career change, to seek a raise, or to negotiate schedule or flexibility currency to create better balance. After all, productivity is directly connected with morale.
Once you begin to discover your truest self and claim your identity in alignment with your purpose and passions, how do you begin to love that person? That person, that self, hasn’t been shaped or refined or subjected to the scrutiny of others. How do you step into those shoes, particularly if they’re different than the ones you’ve been walking in?
- Stop worrying about everyone else. | The reality is, we all give far too much credit to the infamous “them” and “they”. “They” don’t actually give a second thought to what you are doing, wearing, etc. and if “they” do, they are not your people. Everyone is on their own path, too worried about their own shoes to notice yours.
- Stop holding onto toxic people. | Relationships, friendships and partnerships aren’t a sentence or a punishment. If they are no longer fulfilling or in alignment with your truest self, and they aren’t capable of evolving, it is okay to let them go. “Protect your energy. It’s not rude or wrong to remove yourself from situations or the company of people who are draining you.”
- Stop disparaging and deprecating yourself. | If you find toxic and critical thoughts stealing the show of your self-talk, it’s time to flip the script. If you need to, picture your childhood self and saying these words to her. Where are these words coming from and whose voice is actually saying them? Take hold of these critiques and snarky remarks and re-direct them –control your narrative.
Surface self-care can often be seen as selfish or even self-indulgent and can leave you feeling just as anxious or worried but with softer skin. That’s because our modern notion, particularly the one that has emerged during the pandemic, has been about self-care through further isolation and ‘numbing’ often through the mindless consumption of products, food or drink, or entertainment. But, when our self-care is aligned to our discovery and love of ourselves, it can be genuinely recharging and far from selfish, allowing us to pour into our passion and purpose more fully.
- Solidify your community. | It is essential that you choose, maintain, and actively pursue the relationships that enable you to care for, love, and discover yourself. “We need the love and support from people around us to stay motivated and on track.”
- Start with the basics. | Begin by truly taking care of yourself before you succumb to the promise of a miracle massage after pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion (chances are you’ll be paying a lofty price for a luxurious nap). “People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy, and healthy social interactions.”
- Stop carrying the past and today into tomorrow. | Living in a state of regret, or constant assessing what you could have differently will only drain you and keep you from living in the present. “You have to accept your humanness”.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is guaranteed. In order to make the most of our time here, it is imperative that we engage in the journey of self-discovery and self-love so that we can fulfill our purpose and our passion.
Find the permission to step into your identity, and to empower the goddess within by participating in the 2022 Goddess Challenge. Read more about Christy’s innovative, provocative and empowering work here: The Goddesses Project.