Journaling for self love, and really anything related to self love for that matter, can feel very awkward.
It seems weird to give ourselves tons of compliments and maybe slightly forced. And it shouldn’t feel weird, we should be able to openly give ourselves compliments for all the amazing things that we have done and that we are.
But this isn’t actually the only thing we should be doing when we are journaling for self-love. It’s great to know and understand our accomplishments BUT it’s important to know that we are still 100% worthy of love even if we don’t reach those accomplishments or we have some qualities that we consider to be flawed.
That will be the focus of this self-love journaling exercise!
So in this journaling for self-love exercise, you will not only be writing about what you love about yourself, but you will also be writing about your “flaws” and other things that you might not like about yourself.
You’ll then take a look and them and start to realize that they are not flaws and that they are actually a result of other awesome qualities that you have!
This exercise is going to give you the best of both worlds: you will be able to seek out your best qualities to build confidence and then learn to still love yourself for all of the “flaws” you have.
So let’s dive in!
Step 1. Write down everything that you love about yourself.
Now this can be difficult as you are probably not used to writing down compliments about yourself, so I have compiled a ton of self-love journaling prompts to help you out:
Something I did well today
I felt proud recently when
A recent accomplishment of mine is
I had a positive experience when
Something nice I did for someone
I felt good about myself when
Something I did well was
A recent personal accomplishment
A time I helped someone was
My hidden talent (no matter how silly) is
A time I made someone laugh
Something unique about me is
Now I have some other questions for you to help you dig a bit deeper into your self-love journaling and get to know yourself a bit better and start appreciating the unique side of yourself.
1. Do you have a creative way of solving problems or approaching situations?
2. Is there something about you that stands out among other people?
3. Is there a tough situation where you fought through it?
These are just examples of some questions that will help you look at yourself and your actions from a different point of view. And once you get used to journaling for self-love, you will be able to think about more and more specific instances where you were truly an original and creative human being, which will help you appreciate yourself more and love yourself more.
Learning to Love Yourself Unconditionally
So this is all fine and dandy: you have written out some really nice things about yourself. But if you are like the majority of the population, there are probably still some pesky thoughts creeping into your mind that are telling you to love yourself less. And we need to shut those thoughts up.
I will just give you a quick definition of what love is to help with that:
Love is affection with no limits or conditions. It is putting that person’s happiness above all else.
We tend to love others in this way, but we rarely love ourselves in this way. We tend to have many conditions for the love that we give ourselves and we seldom actually make our own happiness a priority.
So, to try and eliminate these conditions that are limiting the love that you give yourself, the second journaling for self-love exercise will be to state all of the things that might possible conditions to your love for yourself.
So without further adieu…
Step 2: Write out all of the things that you don’t like about yourself.
Yup, it’s not the most fun thing to do, but trust me, it will cut out all of the feel-good fluff about self-love (which isn’t always a bad thing, but not what we want right now) and actually get to the core of self-love and to the root of what is causing issues. We want to get to the REAL stuff – the stuff that actually promotes change and digs in deep to your psyche.
*warning: if you are actually experiencing mental distress during this part – stop and get help talk to someone. Just know that the purpose of this part is so that you can rewire how you think about yourself and learn to love these bad qualities.
So just write everything out that you are thinking. This is just a nice free flow journaling exercise so don’t hold back, just let it flow!
Now, the next part of the journaling for self-love exercise is to counteract some of the negative stuff that you just wrote down (it was probably quite the bummer) and change the way you think about these negative qualities.
Step 3: Reframe Your Negative Thoughts About Yourself
I want you to take a look at the list of things that you might not be so fond of and compare it to the list of good qualities that you have written about yourself. I want you to take a look and see if there are any things from your “bad qualities” list that are actually a result of your good qualities.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean:
Something I get mad about myself for: second-guessing myself a lot.
The reason that I do this: I know that I am wrong sometimes.
A good quality that this is a result of: my sense of self-awareness.
Now you should start checking in on the reason behind these qualities that you don’t quite like about yourself.
Why do you always have to be right? Or why are you pushy with people? Why do you get angry at little things? Why do you shy away from confrontation? Why are you sometimes mean to people?
You might start to realize that a lot of these bad qualities are results of past traumas and bad experiences that were entirely out of your control. Or maybe you don’t really know why you have these qualities.
I do know one thing though: these “bad qualities” are a result of a lack of love in some way or another. Maybe a lack of love (or support) from family, friends, or a partner – or it is a lack of love for yourself. Either way, the best remedy is to give yourself love. Acknowledge these parts of yourself and love yourself unconditionally. You might start to see them fade away.
Things to remember to help you love yourself:
1. You are only human and humans are not perfect.
2. Everyone makes mistakes (way more than you ever see), so you can too!
3. Everything about you is a combination of traumas, good experiences, bad experiences, your parents, your friends, and all other parts of life – and they have moulded you into a complicated, but beautiful person. Your flaws are part of what makes you totally unique and amazing, so own them!
4. You are worthy of love.
5. Perfection/having no flaws = boring!!
6. You have been through a lot of crap just by being alive and going through the crazy roller coaster of life, you should be proud of yourself for just making it through!
7. Comparing yourself to others is useless because they are not you and they have not been through what you have been through.
And another thing to remember is that you can change at any time if you want to.
You can always improve on these things you don’t quite like about yourself, the only super important thing to keep in mind is that although you can always change and improve, it doesn’t mean that you have to and it means that you are still worthy of love even if you don’t change. You are perfect the way you are.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
So this brings me to the last step.
Step 4: write an affirmation that you can use when you start to feel bad about yourself.
This will be a 4 part affirmation:
1. I am feeling/I don’t like that I/ I am mad that I __________
2. But this is only because of [insert insecurity/fear/bad experience]
3. I accept this and still love myself because everyone makes mistakes, I am worthy of love, and this is what makes me a unique person.
4. I will try to change this and I can change this, but I am still worthy of love and I will still love myself if I don’t change this.
So that’s it!
I hope this helps you with your journey towards self-love! Keep in mind that journaling for self-love is something that you can do every day if you need it and it could really help you!
Or at least do the affirmation every day until you really believe it!
If you liked this and want to dive a bit deeper into your self-love journey, I would recommend signing up for my self-care and wellness worksheets! There are tons of free worksheets you’ll have access to, which will help with rewiring negative thought patterns and reduce anxiety! Which can help a ton with negative self-talk and issues with self-love. You can sign up below and get access to everything!