Barriers to Self Love

In the next few months, I’ll be focusing on spirituality. Not just in the religious sense, but in how we take care of our spirit or soul. We spend so much time helping other people and focusing outside of ourselves, we have a tendency to neglect ourselves. So let’s take a look at exactly what is getting in the way of us taking care of our own spiritual (and emotional) health. 

The following checklist has been designed by Indigo Intentions to help determine whether your spiritual health is in need of attention.

1. You find yourself more in agreement with negative points of view.
2. You are easily irritated or agitated, small things annoy you.
3. Beliefs that once seemed impeccable seem to have let you down.
4. You feel drained or tired most of the time.
5. Hobbies and interests seem less enjoyable.
6. You relive past events trying to determine when things went wrong.
7. Migraines and other ailments occur more frequently.
8. When you should be relaxing, you feel uncomfortable and nervous.
9. There always seems to be a void in your life which must be filled

We need to find a new way of talking to and thinking about ourselves if we’re going to create an authentic love for ourselves.



Hiding who we are –  We’ve been taught that there is such a thing as “normal”. We’re taught that there is normal and that the opposite of normal is weird, quirky or even crazy. You know what the actual crazy thing is? There’s no such thing as normal, except maybe as a cycle on a washing machine. So we gauge what we think is normal, and hide the rest. We keep a part of ourselves locked away so that no one will judge us.

One of the best things you can give to others is being your authentic self.  When you start opening up, life becomes easier to live. You’re not in hiding anymore. You feel emotionally healthier and physically lighter. You can be free…… and the Truth does set you free.

When you stop hiding and start being who you really are, your honesty puts in motion a whole different way of living. When you’re being real, you’re building real relationships on solid ground. You’re finding your people — the ones who connect to who you really are on every level.

Perfectionism – “I’m a perfectionist” people say, with not a little bit of pride. Truth is, perfectionism is toxic to your health and well being. The all-or-nothing, impossibly high standards perfectionists set for themselves often mean that they’re not happy even when they’ve achieved success. Perfectionism is an attempt to avoid all rejection, all criticism, and all failure… and it doesn’t work. Perfectionism results in struggles with self-doubt and fears of disapproval and rejection.

You can be quite successful without being a perfectionist. Perfectionists tend to be less successful than non-perfectionists because they spend too much time worrying about being perfect and not enough time making mistakes and finding out what works and what does not. Even when they fail at something, non-perfectionists often achieve more, because they recover from failure and get on with it.

Stop basing your self-esteem on external accomplishments and others’ perceptions of you. Instead make a list of positive characteristics you value about yourself that are there regardless of your performance on a specific task (for example: generosity, kindness, etc.). Remind yourself that you are more than just what you do or how much you “succeed.”

Indecision – Struggling with indecision is like being stuck in the mud. It’s just no fun. Famous psychologist and philosopher William James said, “There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.” 

In a world where there is so much choice available to us, sometimes it can be difficult to choose. Yet, in the western world, we find ourselves inundated with simple choices to make on a daily basis – what to wear today, what to eat for dinner, where to go on the weekend, who to see, when to go to bed, what time to get up, which type of exercise to do, which movie to see, which shampoo to choose…the list goes on.

If we let ourselves get caught up in the task of choosing between small, insignificant things then we lose valuable energy that we could be using to do other things, other things that really matter and really make a difference to our lives.

Self Doubt – Toxic and troubling, self doubt is that little voice that holds you back. It keeps you from seizing your opportunities and makes getting started or finishing things harder than they need to be. A little bit of doubt can be useful as it helps you to soberly see your current limitations or simply recognize a half-baked or bad idea. But most times, it’s just that negative nelly that lies lurking in your brain that tells you – you CAN’T.

First things first… GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD. Stop so much of the thinking about what you’re doing and just DO something.  Downplay everything you’re thinking and convince yourself to start doing things, even if those things don’t feel right at first. The only way to get out of the thinking rut, is to stop thinking and start doing. Even if it’s something small, you can gain momentum from that one small thing to go on to other small things. Over time, you’ll be amazed at the results.

Have you checked your spiritual fitness lately? Are you struggling with self doubt or perfectionism? What ways have you learned to help yourself besides the normal exercise and meditate routine? I’d love to hear from you on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram. Let’s keep the conversation going…  

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  • Reply
    31st May 2017 at 6:55 pm

    That was an article that I really identify with having come out of a 10 year loveless and abusive relationship 3 years ago. I recognise that giving love and attention to someone who does not love themself so therefore cannot give out love. The only good thing out of this “relationship” is our 4 children whom I adore and love them for who they are.

    • Reply
      Amy Gabriel
      4th June 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing Pauline – you are brave beyond measure. Ax

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