The 4-Step Journey To Self-love Ep 58

Hello AwakenYou listeners, and welcome to the first-anniversary celebration!! I cannot even believe that it has been a full year of weekly episodes, so much fun, so much growth, and more to talk about. To celebrate, I have a special request and gift for those of you who have been listening; the request I have is that if you have been learning and enjoying the episodes, you write a short positive review on whatever platform you listen to these episodes. After you submit your review, take a screenshot of it and send that screenshot to me in an email (christine@christinebongiovanni.com) or send it to me in a DM on my Instagram or Facebook page. I will add everyone who submits a review over the next four weeks into a lottery where I will draw one name a week to win a $50 Amazon gift card; anyone who does not get drawn as a winner will stay in the lottery, so please write a short review and share it with me so I can add you!

Next, I also want to remind you of my free coaching session challenge. This month I am challenging myself to help 25 people by sharing 25 free mini-coaching sessions. Right now, I think many of us are wondering what is happening in our world and what our near future holds, I know for me, I feel torn wondering how I can contribute, and this is what I came up with. Sharing my time helping people like you find some clarity around what is happening in our own life. Sometimes I find myself feeling guilty for getting coaching on things that could seem unimportant in the worldwide scheme of things, yet what I know is that the more clear I get with my personal life struggles, the more I can free up my energy to help others in need.

This week I am revisiting my first blog and podcast episode where I wrote and talked about How To Start Loving Yourself. Almost three years after that first blog I wrote, I find it fun to see how this topic is still relevant today. When I started writing and recording, one of my thoughts was that this information would be outdated by next year, but I have yet to find that true about anything I have written or any of my mentors have written. While we continue to learn more and more about how the brain works, the concepts don’t change all that much, we might learn new and more effective approaches, but often we still need to understand the very basics to comprehend and implement the new. This week I want to elaborate on self-love because it is the premise of creating a loving relationship with anyone else. As I move along my self-love journey, creating the marriage I dream of being in; I see how this journey is never-ending, in a beautiful way.

In episode one, I talked about starting loving yourself and how that process was as easy as deciding. What I meant by that statement is that before you can begin the journey to self-love, you have first to recognize your poor treatment of yourself and then choose to stop—agreeing with yourself that you won’t continue to treat yourself like a worthless, second-class citizen, which of course, we know here in AwakenYou that there is no such thing. We are all born equal and worthy and fully lovable, each and every one of us.

Step 1: Recognizing your self-abandonment and deciding you’re done with it

Recognizing when:

  • You put yourself down and are hyper-critical of yourself
  • You put yourself last, only giving yourself the left-overs
  • You ignore your desires and making them low-priority
  • You run yourself ragged in hopes of earning the love and respect of others
  • You numb yourself with food, work, helping others, drink, the screen instead of pausing long enough to ask yourself what is going on
  • You don’t listen to your heart but instead go along with what others want to do
  • You break promises to yourself
  • You don’t give youself the luxury of getting help working through personal problems
  • You don’t open up, admit your struggles and recognize that you need help

When we take time to pause and listen to our soul, we give ourselves the gift of self-respect, and the journey starts by recognizing that we are disrespecting ourselves and understanding that if we can’t give ourselves this gift, we will never be able to give that gift to anyone else entirely.

When I think about respecting others without respect for myself, what comes to my mind is a beautiful flower on a weak or broken sem, the supply of nutrients in the stem is cut off, causing the flower to wilt and die before it’s time. But when we love ourselves, the respect we share towards others comes from deep within, from our roots, and there is true life and honesty in the shared respect. OUr admiration comes from a solid source instead of a weak, broken source, a source where we are drawing our worth from what bits we might get through the admiration of others. Now when that admiration motivates us, as in how envy can sometimes do by seeing what others have, noticing envy, and recognizing it as something we want, that’s when we can draw fuel from that emotion and create what we see in others.

This first step is about awareness and the decision to change, no matter what. This is where we realize that there is another option besides self-abandonment, yet we don’t quite know what the opposite would be – so we start to notice when we do things that don’t feel good for us. We have to start paying attention because these actions are familiar to us; we have to pause and begin noticing the action and tune into our bodies to discover how this action is making us feel. The more consistent we get with this practice, the better we get to call it out and interrupt the old pattern and then start creating the new habit of course correcting. This is a gradual practice that might start with simply stating you won’t treat yourself like that anymore. When you feel comfortable, you can begin replacing the old action with something more supportive.

Let’s say it’s beating yourself up when you are getting dressed. You will notice this practice and how it makes you feel. The next step is stopping yourself; imagine you are talking to a duplicate of you standing in front of you and talking to that person like she is your very best friend. Remember this will feel awkward at first because it is new; you have conditioned yourself to hate your body, give yourself grace and allow it to feel awkward, over time, things will shift for you.

Step 2: Practice

You have to be committed to a result that you dream of. You have to start visualizing how it is you see yourself treating yourself, and in that visualization, you must imagine and start embodying how that new way will feel. You keep visualizing where you are going and believing that the practice will get you there.

Yes, there will be days when it feels awful, and it will seem like this is the dumbest work you have ever done until it isn’t. Meaning if you keep moving forward, find an accountability partner to help you step through the process, over time, you will start to see the fruits of your labor. Like any other good thing in your life, it took cultivating. You can pay someone to come put in a beautifully lush garden in your back yard, but if you don’t do the work of tending to that garden, it will, over time, become a mess.

I want to remind you that you have two things going on when you are working on treating yourself with self-love instead of self-abandonment. You are learning a new way of being while also unlearning an old way of being. Using the garden analogy, it isn’t as easy as having someone come in and remove the old and replacing it with the new; it is you going out into the garden and doing the work of removing the stuff you no longer want in your garden beds and planting new seeds that need to be nurtured. Those old invasive plants and weeds will keep coming back wanting to overtake your new growth, but when you go in and consistently remove what you don’t want, you leave space for the new to flourish. You can tell it’s springtime as I create this episode!

Step 3: Seeing the obstacles

Back to the weeds and invasive plants. As you build this new path in your brain, this new way of thinking, you will run into obstacles that appear to be stopping progress, like after the spring rains come and the heat cranks up, and the weeds start overtaking your life. There are going to be days when you are over it, you don’t care about your gardens, let the weeds have their way, but then you remember your old garden and what you dream your garden will look like one day and that you actually enjoy being out in the garden, even if it is pulling weeds. You go out and do what it is you know you need to do to get the results that you know are possible.

When it comes to body image, you may notice discomfort coming up for you when you tell yourself that you love yourself and that your body is entirely lovable, as it is twenty pounds heavier or twenty pounds lighter. That discomfort might drive you to buffer with food, meaning you feel uncomfortable about positive self-talk; that discomfort has you seeking something that makes you feel comfortable, food. Now you’re back to negative self-talk because of the food you ate. Time to pause and recognize that you were just wanting some comfort, that this self-love stuff is all new and it’s ok. This might be where you reach out for some added support.

Step 4: Rinse and repeat

Continued self-growth is a continual cycle of the above. You start to get comfortable in your body and your clothes, you stop beating yourself up in one area of your life, and low and behold, a weed pops up in your garden, and then that untended weed leads to another and another. This is the process. This is similar to pain in the body. The body will concentrate its efforts on the most important “pain” let’s say, you sprain your ankle, all of a sudden, your lower back issue seems to have gone away until your ankle is better. Healing one pain will always reveal the next or think about your phone. Let’s say you love your phone and its new features, but eventually, something about this new version bothers you, and finally, a new version is released that may or may not cure your discontent.

It’s completely up to you, but you may choose to stick with life as this new person who has resolved body image self-abandonment and not address other ways you may self abandon – like saying “yes” to the dessert your partner brought home “just for you” when you really don’t want it. Know that this is ok until it’s not ok. Until you realize you want to eliminate this “lying,” the process is always the same. Remember that it will feel awful for a while but you can remember the journey and also know that each journey is different, some more difficult than others.

What’s important to remember is your reason for wanting to change so that you can focus on that when things get unmanageable and always count on your accountability partner for support!

Each journey is a journey of self-discovery to your next best self, which is better equipped to elevate others. I’d love to hear what you are working on to strengthen that relationship with yourself and what questions you might have as you work through this process. Remember to book your free thirty-minute coaching session; I look forward to being your accountability partner!


I am a life coach who works with women and couples struggling with how their lives and marriage feel through awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your life and marriage, which by the way, will have you see your partner changing as well. If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can fall back in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about your next steps to a life you are crazy in love with!