Overcoming Self-Love Obstacles

Overcoming Self-Love Obstacles blog post by Patti Fagan, Women's Wellness Coach

When you are learning to practice self-love, it’s only natural to encounter a few obstacles. If you’re unprepared, these can derail your progress and even discourage you. By being aware, you’ll know how to respond when they come up. So, let’s look at overcoming self-love obstacles and what to do instead when embracing this new practice. In this post, I’m also sharing 15 self-love journal prompts and my two favorite books for learning to love yourself.

Self-love obstacle #1: You aren’t surrounded by positive, healthy relationships

A major obstacle to self-love is toxic people. If you are surrounded by people who drain your energy and have a negative outlook, you’re going to struggle to practice self-love.

Surround yourself with positive, healthy relationships. While no relationship is perfect, for the most part, they should lift you up and make you feel positive about yourself. So, if you have relationships that cause you more misery than happiness, now is the time to take a step back and focus on spending your time with happier, healthier people. You’ll just continue to struggle to love yourself if you are surrounded by people who make you feel bad.

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Self-love obstacle #2: Feelings of guilt and selfishness

Another big barrier to practicing self-love is feelings of guilt and selfishness. It is common to feel like self-love is selfish. This can lead to feelings of guilt when you attempt to focus more on yourself because your inner critic (and we all have one) will berate you for making positive changes.

First, you’ll need to understand the importance of self-love. It isn’t a woo-woo, new-age idea; it’s a necessity for your mental, physical, and spiritual health and wellbeing. It certainly isn’t selfish so you absolutely shouldn’t feel guilty about loving yourself more. The more you love and appreciate yourself, the more you can love and appreciate others.

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Self-love obstacle #3: Needing to be perfect

Perfectionism is a major obstacle to self-love. While a little perfectionism can be a good thing, especially in business, it can also lead to disappointment, frustration, and unhappiness.

When you feel like everything must be perfect, you are going to feel like a failure when you fall short. So, try to let go of your need to be perfect. Understand where your need for perfectionism comes from (by journaling about it) and identify your triggers. Remember, nobody is perfect so you don’t have to be perfect either.

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Self-love obstacle #4: Not understanding how to love yourself

Finally, another barrier is not understanding how to love yourself. The concept of self-love is new to many people. Most of us weren’t raised to value self-love so we don’t fully understand what self-love really means or what it looks like. A common mistake is to think self-love means being selfish and egotistical.

Loving yourself is about treating yourself with respect; it is about making sure you are fulfilling your needs in a healthy, balanced way. It includes things like taking good care of ourselves, eating a healthier diet, and engaging in a regular exercise routine. Self-care is a form of self-love. Practicing self-care is wise as is self-love.

Finding people you trust and who build you up is a big part of being able to practice self-love consistently. However, don’t forget to be your own personal cheerleader too.

These are just some of the common obstacles to self-love you need to be aware of. By being aware, you’ll find overcoming self-love obstacles comes naturally no matter what life throws at you.

How do you cultivate self love?

One way to practice self love is by reading through a self love work book. I’ve enjoyed working through the book, Hey Girl: Self Love Journal For Women by Pragya Tomar. It’s all about empowering affirmations, cultivating self-love, building self-esteem, increasing self-awareness, and building confidence in a delightfully creative way. Loaded with adorable little graphics, quotes, and coloring pages, it’s like indulging in self-love play time, which my inner child adores!

Another book I recently got is called Love Notes to My Beloved: 75 Love Notes from Heavenly Father’s Heart to His Precious Daughters to Help Heal Wounded Hearts by Nichole Marbach, the founder of Nichole Marbach Ministries. Nichole has an incredible testimony of how God delivered her from bipolar disorder, self-cutting, and alcohol and drug addiction. It’s one of the most dramatic stories of redemption I’ve ever heard. It’s truly a powerful daily devotional.

My all time favorite tool for cultivating self love is using journaling prompts. Journaling writing has been instrumental in helping me overcome issues with self worth, which is why I love the practice so much. I’ve been journaling since high school, and I can’t imagine my life without it. So much personal growth and helping has come by simply putting pen to paper.

Here are some self love journal prompts for you to try out:

  1. What are three things you love about yourself, and why?
  2. Describe a recent situation that made you feel proud of your personal growth.
  3. How do you typically handle difficult emotions? Are there healthier ways you could explore?
  4. Write about a time when you overcame a significant challenge. What did you learn from it?
  5. What are your top values in life, and how do they guide your decisions and actions?
  6. Describe a recent moment when you felt genuinely at peace with yourself.
  7. What is a fear or limiting belief that holds you back, and how can you work towards overcoming it?
  8. Reflect on a mistake you made recently and identify the lessons you learned from it.
  9. Write a letter to your younger self, offering words of love and encouragement.
  10. What are your three greatest strengths? How can you leverage them to achieve your goals?
  11. What do people always compliment you about?
  12. What’s one piece of advice your future self would like you to know now?
  13. When are you at your best physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually?
  14. What are you most passionate about in your life right now?
  15. What do you wish other people knew about you?


In conclusion, self-love is a muscle that gets stronger with practice. As you keep setting the intention to treat yourself better, you’ll develop healthier boundaries, which means you’ll make better decisions about how you spend your time and who you spend it with. You’ll also cultivate a healthier mental attitude toward yourself and others.

Focusing on healthy loving thoughts is the key to maintaining this process. For additional support tools, check out my Self-Love Affirmation Cards:

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Self-Love Affirmation Cards

Positive affirmations are a powerful way to remind you of your worth and cultivate a positive mindset, which is key to living a happy, productive, fulfilled life. As a life coach for women, I recommend using positive affirmations to my clients to support their personal growth work.

Self-Love Affirmation Cards are available from my Etsy shop: Create Bliss Today.

You may also enjoy Commanding Your Morning: The Life-Changing Power of Positive Affirmations.

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