I grew up feeling different than everyone else.

I’m sure this is a not uncommon feeling amongst elementary and junior high kids.
So I know I’m not alone.
But it sure was lonely.

I was half-Japanese. Half caucasian. In the Heartland of America during the 80’s and early 90’s.
It wasn’t exactly a hotbed of diversity in my ‘hood.
Racism was subversive. It was everywhere.

And some of it was directed at me and my family.
To this day it gets me a little agitated whenever I come back to St. Louis.

But, this isn’t a sob story.
Rather it’s just one example, of the many reasons I used to give myself for why I was different. Why I wasn’t lovable. Why I would never be “just like everyone else“. ‘Cause truth be told, most of us want that. Especially when we’re teenagers.

I’m sitting in my childhood home as I write this.
A grown woman. With a more mature and grounded outlook on life.
Yet even though I’m a different person than I was back in the day, I still suffer from those moments of feeling less than in love with myself. It happens more often than I’d like to admit.

And I imagine, you might have those kinds of moments too, am I right?

So today I wanted to create a list of reasons why you rock. A lengthy list of reasons why you’re worth it. Why you matter. Why you’re unique and oh-so-irreplaceable. So that in times of struggle, you can whip it out and remind yourself just how amazeballs you really are.

I give you . . .

50 reasons to fall head-over-heels in love. With yourself.

1. You are 150% unique. There will never (ever) be anyone just like you. You’re like the hope diamond (only waaaaaaay more sparkly)!

2. Your heart is as big as an ocean. Your capacity for loving others (and yourself) is endless.

3. You’re resilient as hell! There’s nothing in life you can’t overcome. No problem you can’t find a solution for.

4. You feel. That’s right, you have an emotional vocabulary and you’re not afraid to use it (for good)!

5. You have dreams, endless, beautiful dreams. And you haven’t stopped believing in them (even if it sometimes feels like you have).

6. You’re not perfect. PHEW! Pressure’s off. You’re not perfect and that’s A-OK. ‘Cause perfect isn’t the goal anyway.

7. Your smile. I mean, take a look in the mirror. That smile of yours is contagious!

8. You’re grateful. You know that you wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for all the glory and pain of the past. You acknowledge that and how it’s shaped you into the amazing person you are today.

9. Your kindness to others. From the times you volunteer, give your dollars to mighty causes, give some change to a soul in need or help the older woman cross the street – your kindness is bountiful and changes lives.

10. You’re open to growing. You’re not afraid to work through the hard stuff. You want to be the best version of you possible!

11. You have a keen appreciation for beauty. You see the beauty in the world. The clear blue sky, colorful flowers, unique faces on the street – with your own eyes, and in your own way, you see the beauty around you and it makes you more beautiful to be around!

12. You’re full of insanely good ideas. Like really good. And lots of em!

13. You’re strong. You’ve weathered the storms. You’ve come out alive. You’re one powerhouse of a human being!

14. You are creative. Whether you’re a musician, a writer, a graphic designer, an accountant, a filmmaker or a landscape designer – there is art in what you do and how you do it. Period. Fin.

15. Your inner goofball. Or outer goofball. Either way, you’re goofy, dorky, silly and that makes you all kinds of special (in the best possible way)!

16. You’re still a kiddo at heart. Yep, even if you haven’t jumped on a trampoline, made snow cones or built forts in FOREVER, your inner kiddo is still alive and kickin’. And she/he totally rocks!

17. You show up. Yep, you do. You show up for your life, for your friends, your family, your job, your pets, yourself. You show up. Kudos to you my friend!

18. Your dance moves. You know you’ve got ’em! 😉

19. Your naiveté. You might know a lot, but there still much you have left to learn. And that’s beautiful!

20. Your sweetness. Those moments when you compliment a stranger or treat yourself to something indulgent are all the proof you need – you’re sweet as pie!

21. Your authenticity. Yes ma’am, you’re authentically, unabashedly YOU. It might’ve taken you a long time to get here, but here you are, shining in all your magnificent glory.

22. Your ability to bring out the best in others. You’ve got a gift and you’re not afraid to use it.

23. Your brainiac smarts. It didn’t take a Harvard MBA for you to be whip smart like you are. Baby, you were born that way.

24. You’re a crazy good problem solver. Like CRAAAZZZY good!

25. Your inner rockstar who knows just when to step it up, pull out all the stops and rock life like these guys.

26. Your self-respect. We all bow to that part of you that respects and honors yourself (and us).

27. Your beautiful body shape that is utterly and uniquely you. Curves, bumps, humps and all – hot damn!

28. Your faith which gets you through the rough patches. Your belief that in the end, it’ll be ok (even when you’re not sure you really do believe).

29. Your inner fantasy land. A colorful, beautiful, magical place that only you know about.

30. Your fears – yes your fears. What could be a more compelling reason to love yourself than the very thing that makes you feel human. Your fears aren’t unique, but they’re uniquely yours.

31. Your vulnerability. From the moment that you stood on stage alone with a microphone, to the time you cried in front of your boss, to the tenderness you express with loved ones – you are vulnerable. And vulnerability is strength.

32. Your love of entertainment and art. Whether movies, paintings or going to a play, you love being entertained and appreciate art in all its many forms.

33. Your story, which is what makes you uniquely you. You have a story, and every time you tell it, you give others permission to tell theirs. Bravo!

34. You’re a seeker. You seek answers, like-minded friends, the best restaurant in town, and what’s true for you. You don’t settle. You seek until you find what you’re looking for.

35. Your senses of sight, smell, sound, touch, taste and intuition are finely tuned and always available.

36. Your love of nature. The ocean, the mountains, the grass, the desert. You don’t discriminate.

37. Your ability to be carried away. In a movie theater, in a dream, in waking life – you allow yourself to be carried away by the fantasy.

38. Your imagination creates incredible worlds, fanciful scenarios and very real business opportunities. The possibilities are endless!

39. Your excellent taste in music. #rockon

40. Your choices. You make them every single day, lots of them. And they’ve got you to where you are!

41. Your sense of style. It’s the way you communicate your personality to the outside world. And my oh my do you look fabulous!

42. Your presence. Just you being here, on the planet is a gift to us all. Just you being here in this moment, reading these words, savoring your life, is a gift to yourself.

43. Your hair. Your eyes. Your stomach. Your nose. Your arms. Your legs. Your mouth. Your toes. Your bootie. All of you is gorgeous and worthy of heaps of love.

44. Your perspective on the world. It’s not like anyone else’s. It’s what makes you, you. So thank you!

45. Your ability to sink really low. It might not feel like that’s worth celebrating, but your lowest of low’s are what enable you to reach the highest of high’s.

46. Your quirky habits. The way you have to have the toilet paper facing a certain way. Or like to eat ice cream while devouring Vogue magazine. Or have your pencils lined up just so. Your quirks are adorable and oh-so-loveable!

47. The way you defend the ones you love. You don’t stand for no crap. And you will protect the ones you love – always. Always.

48. Your sweet tooth. Sweets might get a bad rap, but hey, a girl’s gotta have at least one teensy little vice, right? 😉

49. Your honesty is admirable. You are a good one. A stand up kinda lady if there ever was one!

50. The way you love. You give love. You feel love. You spread love. You breathe love. You = love.


So, in the sprit of self-love, I’ve got a little challenge for you. If you’re wondering, I’ll be doing this challenge right alongside you.

For the next 21 days, every single day, I want you to write down (3) things that you LOVE about yourself.

And be sure to make it count. Don’t just say, “I love my eyes.” Instead, try “I love my eyes because they capture so many details about the world, which makes me more creative and more attentive to beauty.” Something like that. 🙂
*Big thanks to the lovely Kate Northrup for inspiring this challenge!

Are you game?
Let me know if you’ll be doing the challenge and report any insights in the comments! Also, feel free to add to the list above. What are the reasons YOU have for having more self-love? Share your self-love mantras below!

Love x love,



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  1. Now after reading your message I feel inspired to love myself an stop letting others bring me down thanks you’re amazing girl
    Your message reached me. in south africa

    1. Hi Inesh! And thank you so, so much for your message. It means so much that you read this article and all the way in South Africa! YOU are amazing. And so worth loving. I hope one of these ideas will inspire you to love yourself even more, every single day. xo

  2. Hi, I know this is probably an older post, but I just came across it. My aunt wanted everyone in the family to fill out gratitude jars for the year as a little something/something. I’m doing my jar where I try to find something positive about each day (and if I can’t, I find a quote about the day) and for the month of February, it being the month of Valentine’s Day, I decided to write on the backs of the slips of paper 1 reason why I love myself each day. I just wanted to thank you for this post…I have it shared all over my facebook for my friends and family to read because it is really, truly, beautifully written!

    1. Julia, this just made my week. I LOVE that your aunt suggested gratitude jars (such a fun idea), and the fact that you’re dedicating this month to self-love is incredible. I’m so glad you left me this note, and truly, so grateful that you stopped by and this inspired you. Keep up the gratitude and the love! xo

  3. It’s a really amazing article!!I’m greek and I’ve been learning English for 10 years.What I want to say is that I’m sorry if I make any mistakes.To our issue,I don’t know what pushed you to write this article because as I said it’s amazing but I want to ask you do you always love yourself or when you feel that you love yourself less you read again you own article and help yourself in remembering how special you are?I can’t say that I don’t love myself but sometimes-maybe often-I feel bad about my body even if everyone says that I’m fit (I don’t need to lose weight).What will you suggest me when this happens to me?

    With love❤

    1. Hi Effie! Thank you for your note – I’m so glad this article was helpful to you. Regarding your question, yes, I do often refer to my list. Especially in those moments when I’m feeling depressed, not super wonderful or need a little reminder. Learning to love ourselves is a life-long journey. It’s not the destination that we reach, but a greater understanding of ourselves. My suggestion for those times when you are feeling bad about your body (no matter what others say) – is to give yourself a massage. I know that sounds kind of funny, but it works! Get a wonderful body oil that smells delicious, go somewhere quiet and private and massage your body from your toes up to your head. As you massage yourself, think about how wonderful it is that you have feet to walk the earth. Express gratitude for your strong legs that carry you from one place to another. Massage and speak your feelings of gratitude (even if they feel hard to say). The more you can physically touch and express love to your body, the easier it will become (in time). I hope this is helpful to you. Sending you lots of love!! xo

  4. Hello Steph! Thank you so much for this post. It made a dreary morning so much better. You have compiled the list beautifully. I could relate to every single point you have put out. Thank you.

    I am going to write down three reasons everyday as to why I love myself.
    Thanks again, Steph! You just brightened up my day.

    1. Aria, you just made my day! I’m so glad that this post lifted you up and inspired you to create your own list of reasons to love yourself (I’m sure you’ll find more than 3 per day…you are amazing after all). 🙂

      Thank you fo reading, and leaving me this note – if the words we write here can help make your day better, that means we’ve done our “job”. Sending you big hugs! xo

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