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Self-Love Debunked by Laura Sylv

January 17, 20249 min read

I’m Laura, a holistic self-love and empowerment coach for heart centred women who are on quest to find inner peace, gain confidence and accept themselves fully and just generally lead and live a better life that feels fulfilling.

I consider myself to be quite a spiritual, having experienced a spiritual awakening within my own recovery.

  • I'm a huge empath and introvert at heart

  • The weather affects my mood greatly (SAD)

  • HSP - highly sensitive person 

It hasn’t always been easy

I’ve spent a long time in the dark, not able to understand myself. Feeling lost, stuck, helpless and confused. I was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 18, along with

that came depression, anxiety, chronic migraines, ill physical health and a whole lot more.

But now I’m out of the dark and it’s my heart-led mission to guide and empower other women to see their own greatness and be a beacon of light in the world, on a spiritual-holistic journey of their own, seeking inner peace, self-love and self-acceptance.

I’m an NLP Master practitioner and hypnotherapist with diplomas inc CBT, mindfulness and psychology.

What sets me apart as a coach is my own personal experience with low self-esteem, anxiety and sheer lack of confidence. The complete opposite of self-love.

Self-love debunked

Firstly I want you to have a think about what comes up for you when I ask

What is self-love?

What does it mean to you?

What comes to mind when you hear self-love? Whats the first thing that comes up?

Is it positive, or negative?

“Self-love, self-respect, self-worth: There’s a reason they all start with self. Because you can’t find them in anyone else.”

The stigmas around self-love

We’re conditioned to believe

  • Self-love is selfish

  • Self-love is a form of vanity

  • Self-love = being big headed and full of yourself

  • Self-love is egotistical and self centred

  • Self-love means you don't care about others

  • Self-love is for people who are lonely and desperate

All of these are FALSE! And are purely stigmas that have been created by an insecure society

People often wince at the idea of self-love and somewhere along the line, I’ve been guilty of that too, purely because it felt wrong for others to think I love myself, like I’m better than everyone else, when really, it’s not like this at all.

People believe that self-love is selfish, but the two aren’t connected at all, being selfish means that you have lack of consideration for others, concerned only with personal pleasure or profit.

However when you love yourself, you open your heart and teach yourself how to love others too.

Self-love is about connecting with ourselves emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Understanding our light and our shadows without judgement. Uncovering our deep rooted fears and limiting beliefs without berating ourselves. It's about our overall well-being, happiness and the things that bring us joy. Ultimately, self-love is about being able to have compassion for yourself even when things go wrong or we make mistakes. We’re able to forgive ourselves without turning to self-sabotage or criticism. 

Not sure what it looks like to love yourself? Here is what I’ve learned. Self-love is…

1. Choosing ourselves, even if it means letting others down. It’s about putting yourself first, filling your own cup and when you do that you’re able to give to others in abundance.

2. Being true to yourself, not swallowing words that express what we truly feel, think, or want to do, being able to show up authentically. 

3. Giving our body the nurturing, rest, exercise, and comfort it needs to show up as our best selves.

4. Wearing clothes that make us feel good and fit our personality instead of wearing clothes that are in fashion that we use to impress others or simply just want to fit or blend in.

5. Building a life that we love while we are single instead of waiting for ‘the one’ to show up to explore life and to be happy. A partner should add to your greatness, not complete you.

6. Accepting your flaws and making friends with them

7. Making time for yourself to do what you love.

8. Being able to look in the mirror and smile, accepting yourself fully, and remembering it’s okay to have bad days, or not feel your best. This is when we need to show ourselves the MOST self-love.

9. Being content in solitude (on your own)

10. Listening more to our intuition and heart says, rather than our heads. To do this, when making any decision, close your eyes and see how you feel.

11. Staying in alignment with your values 

12. Allowing ourselves to dream big, without contaminating these dreams with judgments, and our perceived limitations.

13. Knowing how we’re spending our emotional, mental, financial, and physical energy, and whether these activities bring us joy, connection, nurturing, rest, and creativity to our lives and if the opposite, get ditch them!

14. Not labelling ourselves with others’ opinions of us, while having the courage to look inside to see if there might be some truth to them.

15. Learning to set boundaries that protect and nurture our relationships, with ourselves and others.

16. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes and not berating ourselves for making them. Instead, choosing to appreciate our desire to learn and grow, knowing that we are always trying our best and that is good enough.

17. Refusing to seek permission or approval to be ourselves from other people. Recognising that we, like everyone else, are individually and beautifully unique, that it’s okay to be different and knowing that not everyone will like us, and that’s okay.

And lastly, self-love is:

18. Loving and accepting ourselves even when we fail miserably at some of these self-love goals.

We have the power over how we want to live our life, and I believe self-love is the base of this.

How to cultivate more self-love in our life

I know practicing self-love can be challenging for many of us, it used to be for me.

All it takes is…

💕 Patience 

💕 Self awareness

💕 Being mindful

💕 Paying attention to how our body feels

💕 Noticing your thoughts without judgement

💕 Time

💕 Not worrying about other peoples opinions or judgements 

💕 Daily practice

💕 Positive affirmations 

This type of work requires time and patience, but it's a journey to living the most fulfilled life possible. Being able to fully accept yourself and take care of you, no matter what life throws our way. 

Blockages that prevent us from achieving a positive relationship with ourselves include not feeling worthy enough, or believing you deserve it, coming across self-centred and arrogant. Women especially are so quick to put everyone else first before themselves, but we can't pour from an empty cup. Making sure you've met all your needs first enables us to be there as our best selves for others. This is common knowledge, but we don't always do it…

Despite self-love being a buzzword right now, it's something i've fought hard to practice over the years. It doesn't just mean bubble baths and face masks, it also means being mindful of our thoughts, getting in touch with our feelings and emotions, without judgement. It can be messy, but that's the beauty, you're allowing yourself to be and feel everything, not just sunshine and rainbows.

The other thing about it currently circulating online is that everyone is shouting about it, but aren’t actually showing or telling us how. Are we really getting to the point, or is it just surface level stuff that sounds cool or gets likes? Some also make out as though you either have it or you don't, and if you don't then you aren't welcome (mean girls vibe)... but this is total BS! 

You don’t just wake up one day and suddenly love yourself.

It's a daily commitment and effort. All the small things add up and enhance your daily life.


Excuses often come up when we think about showing love for ourselves

Self-love is being kind to ourselves no matter what. That is one of the biggest excuses I hear as a coach, "I don't have time"...

Other excuses include

- It sounds cringe and self absorbing

- I worry about what other people will think of me

- Comparison to others

- You’re scared of what might change or what might not change (failure?)

You don’t feel ready

Lack of self-love causes our lives to suffer - we end up in toxic relationships, jobs we hate, doing things simply to please others.

Some questions to think about and ponder over (maybe journal!)

  • Does the thought of self-love make you cringe or feel icky?

  • How about if you reframe it to self-compassion, self-respect or self-belief - does this change things?

  • What blocks do you have around self-love, is it that you don't feel worthy enough, believe you deserve it?

What can you do over the next week that will help you relax, bring a smile to your face or simply make you feel good?

Write down 3 things and schedule time in for them.

Some people aren't aware that they're not being loving towards themselves - symptoms include stress, burnout, sickness, fatigue, headaches etc - pay attention

The more you practice and the more aware of your thoughts and feelings you are, the more you’ll be able to accept yourself, flaws and all. Simply seeing them as pieces of you, rather than something that defines you. You’re able to remain calm in challenging situations, because you know you have the choice on how to react, protecting your inner peace and nervous system; this is an act of self-love.

Why is self love so important?

Self-love is the gift that keeps on giving

Do you say yes when you really mean no? Do you break promises to yourself or neglect your self-care? Is it hard to put yourself first?

If so, it’s time to give yourself the most important gift ever: self-love

The good news is, when you love yourself fully you feed your soul and become the highest version of yourself.

  • Self-love is your secret weapon to living a fulfilling life. That’s because your inner world creates your outer world

  • It has a profound impact on how we see ourselves and how we treat ourselves

  • Self-love motivates you to make better choices in life

  • It helps you set healthy boundaries, this brings more fulfilling relationships

  • It allows us to show up for ourselves more authentically

  • Having love and appreciation for yourself sets the tone for how others treat you

5 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion

  1. Step 1: Practice Forgiveness. Stop punishing yourself for your mistakes. ...

  2. Step 2: Employ a Growth Mindset.

  3. Step 3: Express Gratitude. ...

  4. Step 4: Find the Right Level of Generosity. ...

  5. Step 5: Be Mindful.

  6. Set healthy boundaries

Self LoveWellbeingSelf Worth
Laura Sylv, a holistic self-love and empowerment coach for women, NLP master practitioner and hypnotherapist. I write a monthly wellbeing column for Lancashire Life Magazine and hold women's circles. It is my heart led mission to help women live a life that feels truly abundant, one where they feel confident, safe, able to use their voice and be unafraid of others opinions. To help them gain a better relationship with themselves.

Laura Sylv

Laura Sylv, a holistic self-love and empowerment coach for women, NLP master practitioner and hypnotherapist. I write a monthly wellbeing column for Lancashire Life Magazine and hold women's circles. It is my heart led mission to help women live a life that feels truly abundant, one where they feel confident, safe, able to use their voice and be unafraid of others opinions. To help them gain a better relationship with themselves.

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