How to Love Yourself Like a Badass

The summer before I came to Denison, I had the heavenly experience of reading You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by self-help QUEEN Jen Sincero. During this time, I started to hear a lot about self-help books and noticed the title You Are a Badass popping up quite frequently. One day on a trip to the motherland (aka Target), I saw the bright yellow cover sitting on the end cap of the book section and decided to finally pick it up. I was excited to get into the self-help world because, whether it was making friends, meeting boys, or conquering my uber-prevalent daily anxieties, I felt my life was lacking and that I wasn’t living to my full potential. After devouring the book with the use of at least a hundred sticky notes, I had found that it completely changed by life. I gained the skills to shift my mindset around, come into my own power, and “feed fear a suck-it sandwich” on the daily. Did this book solve all my problems? Absolutely not. I am still working on these exact same things today. But it got me introduced to the world of self-help and my journey to feeling fulfilled in this all-too-short of a life. 


As we approach Valentine’s Day along with all the love letters and Fun Dip valentine packets that come with it, I want to highlight a phrase in Sincero’s masterpiece that she uses at the end of almost every chapter that is oh-so important this time of year. The phrase is straightforward and it simply reads “Love Yourself.”  This sentiment gets thrown around a lot these days in a world where we are trying to get away from comparing ourselves to others, but it has real effects when unpacked. Each reiteration of this phrase by Sincero is followed by a little sidenote, and based on those sidenotes, I want to offer up some effective ways to incorporate self-love into your routine this Valentine’s season.

Girl jumping with red heart balloon

  • “Be grateful for all you are and all that you’re becoming” - Two things that often bring me joy are practicing gratitude and making lists and, lucky for me, this tip combines both. Get out a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. In the first column, make a list of all the characteristics you love about yourself right now in the present moment and in the second column, make a list of all the characteristics you are already grateful that you will one day embody. Writing out all the good things going on in your life right now and all of the amazing things coming your way (fake it til you make it) will make you feel more love for your life and for your present and future selves.


  • “Right now, wherever you’re at” - This note reminds readers to take time out of their days to practice mindfulness. There are several ways to practice mindfulness from meditation to exercise to art to anything else in between. These are all great practices that I enjoy, but my personal favorites are spending time outdoors and practicing yoga. These opportunities allow for technology-free time to just be, practice gratitude, and fill yourself up with loving thoughts.


  • “Fiercely, loyally, unapologetically” - This sidenote stuck out to me because of the word “unapologetically.” The biggest thing I am trying to implement into my life right now is to stop over-apologizing. I noticed after returning to campus this semester that almost every conversation I had with someone, I would say “I’m sorry,” even when I had not done anything wrong. After becoming conscious of this and reflecting on it, I realized I had learned to over-apologize in order to make others feel comfortable and to make sure I was seen as likeable and polite. While apologizing is obviously necessary in several situations, over-apologizing is the opposite of self-love. In doing so, you unconsciously make yourself feel like you are an inconvenience to others. To curb this habit, try saying “Excuse me” instead of “I’m sorry” or “Thanks for understanding” instead of “I’m sorry for making a mistake.” By not habitually considering yourself the root of every problem or misstep, it allows you to feel more powerful and it opens up room to love yourself even more.


Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovely ladies out there, I’m sending hearts and chocolate wishes your way.