You get up in the morning and shuffle to the bathroom. As you walk past the mirror, you take a quick glance and think to yourself, "I look really tired" or some other casual criticism about yourself. Most of us do it.
Does either of these scenarios sound like you? If so, you aren't alone. In fact, you are in the majority. The #1 test for measuring whether you truly love yourself or not is your response when you look at yourself in the mirror. If you talk to yourself like garbage when you look at yourself, you need to work on self-love.
Lately, Zoom and video calls have really escalated the amount of self-loathing and criticism people have towards themselves. They are the worst possible scenario. First, you're forced to look at yourself even when you don't feel like it. Second, the angle, camera, and lighting are typically very unflattering. At least when we look in the mirror, we usually have some degree of control over the lighting, the flattering angle, and our facial expressions. But not on video calls!
It's created a crisis.
During the peak of the COVID pandemic, dermatologists were reporting that more people than ever before were getting Botox and neck lifts because they couldn't stand looking at themselves on camera!
People who genuinely love themselves treat themselves with great care and compassion when looking in the mirror. They are complimenting themselves; they are supporting themselves. We aren't talking narcissism here. We are talking about an accurate and honest appraisal of your own worth BECAUSE you exist.
Mirror Work for Self-Love
Louise Hay, author and spiritual teacher was a big proponent of mirror work to heal yourself and build self-love. Mirror work is as simple as it sounds. You simply look deeply into your eyes and repeat an affirmation such as, "I really love you." Louise called it mirror work because it can be really difficult for most of us, and it takes work, especially if you have a long history of self-loathing or insecurity!
Thankfully, there are some ways to make mirror work easier. Try to set yourself up for success. When you practice mirror work (which you should be doing every day), style your hair, put on makeup if you wear it, and wear flattering colors. And above all, choose good lighting! Remove as much resistance as you can in the beginning.
For some of you, this may still be too difficult. It can be challenging to look at yourself seriously in the mirror and tell yourself, "I love you." If that's true for you, we highly recommend Mel Robbins' book The High 5 Habit.
In her book, Mel recommends high-fiving yourself (literally) in the mirror every morning. Don't dismiss this simple idea; it can be a very transformative practice. For one, you can't help but smile and feel good. Generally, anytime someone has given you a high-five it's because you are totally awesome. It feels good to get a high-five. It also feels good to give someone else a high-five. You are rooting for them. When you give yourself a high-five in the mirror, it just feels good. Even if it feels silly, you will still end up smiling at yourself.
Mirror work is lovely. We encourage you to try it. It's a great way to assess how you feel about yourself, and it's a fundamental practice to cultivating self-love.
Serious about learning to love yourself? Get our FREE Self-Love Vision Board Starter kit to create a clear vision and start manifesting unconditional self-love!