To show up in the world as the best and healthiest version of YOU, you need to not only take care of yourself but love yourself wholeheartedly. It all starts with you! It’s all about self-love, self-compassion, being kind, and cultivating softness toward yourself. And you, my friend, are about to become an expert on the topic. In order for you to be bursting and overflowing with love from within, it begins inward.

Self-love is not selfish, and just like the quote says, you – as much as anybody else in the entire universe – deserve your love and affection.

So, let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Quit People Pleasing

The first lesson toward deep self-love is quitting people pleasing. All my life, I watched my mum, and all the women around me, people please. I grew up in a very Catholic Italian environment with a huge focus on family and loads of “shoulds.” You “should” do this for your brother because he is your brother. You “should” act a certain way when we are at church. You “should,” “should,” “should”! This word was drummed into me for as long as I can remember. So naturally, because this is what I saw, this is what I copied.

From as young as seven, I remember people pleasing. Case in point: A girl in kindergarten wanted my new doll, and because I didn’t want to upset her, I gave it to her, even though I really didn’t want to. Then, at fifteen, I remember downing a bottle of vodka because the group of “friends” I was hanging out with was peer pressuring me. In that moment, I wanted to say no, but I ignored my intuition and did it to please them and to be liked and accepted. I’ve also dated men when I really wanted to say no. Said yes to dinner invites when I really meant no.

And driven three hours to drop something to a friend when I had loads of work to do, was exhausted, had a child to tend to, and when I really wanted to just say, “I can’t right now.” But I did it because I was too scared to stand in my Truth and do what was right for me in that moment.

It’s super important to note that saying no doesn’t mean you have to be forceful or rude. It can totally be done with love. One of the most powerful sentences you can say is, “No, thank you.” Or “Thank you so much for the offer, but I am going to have to pass.” You don’t need to give an explanation if you don’t want to, and you don’t need to justify your Truth. You do, however, need to honor your Truth! If you don’t, the Universe will give you a swift kick in the bum.

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