On a scale of 1-10, what is your current self-love score? Many may be surprised to hear that the first step towards successful personal brand-building through social media marketing actually has nothing to do with social media or marketing whatsoever. Rather, it has everything to do with you and your self-love score, which is real-time assessment of how much love you feel for yourself in any given moment.
You see, in order to harness influence through social media marketing you must first lay a solid foundation of love. Why? Without a deep love of the self, without truly believing in what you are saying, doing, or asking of others, you have absolutely no leverage. Simply put, it’s impossible to convince other people of something you don’t truly believe yourself.
Further, a lack of self-love is the root cause of manufactured authenticity. Chances are good that you’ve come across this manufactured or false authenticity online. Someone trying to sell you on how they are being their true, authentic selves, but for some reason you just can’t buy into it. Why not? They don’t believe it to be true. It’s what happens when influencer marketing is reduced to an algorithmic match rather than a human assessment of a proper partnership fit. It’s also a symptom of the fact that we’ve gotten so far away from who we are as a society. Above all, it’s an opportunity for us to acknowledge that we can journey inward at any given moment to grow the love of self and properly set ourselves up for future marketing success.
So, what is self-love?
In its most simple form, it’s the love of self. In a couple more words, it’s regard for one’s own wellbeing and happiness. To take it one step further, it’s the belief that you are valuable and worthy, and that you have a positive view of yourself and confidence in your place in the world.
A simple way to check in with your current level of self-love is by assigning yourself a self-love score. Using a scale of 1-10, one being the lowest, and ten being the highest, what is your current score? There’s no need to overcomplicate this, but rather, let it be a quick gut check. Tap in to how you feel. Your intuition will immediately let you know where your score sits. Trust the score.
Maybe you’re feeling stressed about work, forgot to eat lunch, and you’re at a four. That’s okay. Maybe you started your morning off with your favorite sequence of rituals and are feeling like an eight. That’s okay too. Try not to judge your score, but rather use it as information to determine what you need in from yourself in order to raise the score.
Even on our best ten out of ten days, there’s no cap on self-love. Our moments of ten still have room for grow, and the process of increasing your score will always pay off.
How do I increase my self-love?
Let’s look at some ways to increase the love of self, including tapping into awareness, using positive self-talk, and practicing fundamental self-care. Disclaimer, there are infinite ways to love yourself, and I’ve curated just a few thought starters to get you going using methods that have been helpful for me amidst my own self-love journey.
What do I mean by awareness? Quite literally, becoming aware of how you think and feel. Collectively, we spend so much time living on auto-pilot mode. Doing without thinking, filling our days with meetings, appointments and (virtual) happy hours. How often do we stop to check in and ask ourselves how we feel? Ultimately, the way we choose to spend our time and energy is entirely within our own control. Bring awareness to your current state of mind, body, and spirit by asking any number of the following check-in questions:
You can ask these questions in just about any scenario. Ask them of the work you do, the people you associate with, your fitness routine, the food you put in your body, the religion you subscribe to, the environment you live in, and so on. Beginning to collect information on how you feel is the first step to self-love, as having information allows us to translate it into future action.
In addition to the awareness check-in questions, meditation can be another helpful tool to grow your awareness practice. Quieting the mind, even for just 5 minutes per day, helps to heighten awareness almost immediately. If you’re interested in a slightly more advanced meditation, you could use a Loving Kindness Meditation, which is great for both awareness, and the next method, which is positive self-talk.
We create our own reality, and the stories we tell ourselves are what we ultimately believe to be true. Self-talk is a quick way to immediately add or detract from your level of self-love. Louise Hay, an inspirational author of the international bestselling book You Can Heal Your Life says this best; “loving the self, to me, begins with never ever criticizing ourselves for anything. Criticism locks us into the very pattern we are trying to change. Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” So, rather than criticizing through negative self-talk, we can approve instead through positive self-talk. Affirmations are the number one tool recommended by Hay, and other healers that I’ve worked with, to flip the negative thought patterns into positive ones. Here’s an example of flipping a negative thought into a positive affirmation:
Once you’ve identified positive affirmations to increase your positive self-talk, write them down, and recite them tens of times a day to help retrain your mind. You may choose to work with a singular affirmation for an extended period of time, or you may want to switch these up more frequently to address your evolving thought patterns. Feel into what works best for you.
Self-care has become one of the buzziest terms over the last few years, in large part due to the fact that it’s easy to categorize just about anything as self-care. Going to a luxury spa for a 90-minute massage? Self-care! Going on a two-day Netflix binge? Self-care! Although it’s perfectly possible that both of these self-care activities can take care of one’s mental, emotional or physical health needs, I want to focus on fundamental self-care by addressing physiological human needs like sleep, hydration, nutrition, and time outdoors, as priorities as we look to grow self-love.
Choosing just one goal for improving one area of your physiological needs can fundamentally shift your life. Commitment to positive habits creates a waterfall effect, and before you know it, you’ll be crushing all angles of fundamental self-care. Last year, my resolution was simply to drink more water. Over the course of several months, I worked my way up to drinking one gallon of water each day. Now, not only am I hydrated, but that act of drinking more water led to naturally drinking less caffeine and less alcohol. It made me think about everything else I was putting in my body. Less sugar, less processed food, more nutrients- this is the waterfall effect. The simple act of reaching a goal to drink more water gave me confidence to take on new goals.
I encourage you to choose a goal around sleep, hydration, nutrition, or time in nature. Commit to it, nurture it, and watch your self-love grow before your own eyes.
Our work around the topic of self-love is never done. Just like life, it will ebb and flow. Some days, weeks, or years will be better than others, and that’s okay. Remember that your self-love score should be observed without judgement and used as information to inform future action. Come back to it often. The more we get into a regular practice of awareness, positive self-talk, and fundamental self-care, the better we are at giving ourselves what we need.
If you’re looking to build your personal brand and leverage the power of social media marketing to achieve your desires, you must first start with loving yourself. In its absence, it’s impossible to convince other people of something you don’t truly believe.
Remember that we can journey inward at any given moment to grow the love of self and properly set ourselves up for future marketing success. Self-love is the foundation to all pursuits in life, including marketing yourself.