5 Barriers to Self-Love and What To Do About It

I experienced a childhood that was filled with verbal taunts, criticism, and put downs. I never felt good enough or adequate enough.

I didn't grow up with positive or supportive parents.

I experienced a childhood that was filled with verbal taunts, criticism, and put downs. I never felt good enough or adequate enough.

As I grew older, I began to have these feelings of self-loathing and hatred towards myself. I would put myself down constantly, undermine my own efforts and feel terrible in my own skin.

My childhood also spilt into other areas of my life.

How could I get close to others when I couldn't get be comfortable in my own skin?

How could I love someone else when I couldn't love myself?

I couldn't and thus the divorce.

It took my relationship to end and to be on that proverbial bathroom floor before I had to confront the emptiness within.

If you're in a similar place, first consider all those things that are keeping you from loving yourself.

Here are 5 of the most common barriers to loving yourself, followed by a technique you can use to overcome the self-loathing in your own life. 

1. Not having received healthy love from others

When you weren't loved in a healthy and wholesome way, how do you know what love looks like?

If the love you received came in the form of negativity, putdowns, violence or abuse, it becomes difficult to know how to love yourself.

Your family and loved ones were to have set the example of how to love. If they were poor examples of loving relationships, you likely took away disempowering lessons about loving yourself.

2. Not being willing to accept self-love

You might feel so bad or unworthy about yourself that you don't think that you deserved to be loved.

Even if you desire to love yourself, you're not willing to be open or accept the love you give yourself.

You'll easily push it away, resist it or readily be willing to love others first.

Loving yourself could feel uncomfortable and foreign.

3. Feeling guilty or selfish about self-love

When you're accustomed to not having love, you'll feel over-indulgent and even guilt that you're loving yourself.

If you didn't have this inner love most of your life, how could you now open your heart to your own love?

Any amount of love will feel overwhelming and unnecessary.

Instead of accepting the love, you'll feel guilty that you're not giving love. Any focus or compassion to yourself will feel misdirected and a burden to you.

4. Believing that love only comes from others

If you observed love in pop culture and Hollywood, you'll have some skewed notions of love. You'll think that the relentless romantic love that everyone finds in the movies is the only kind of love.

If you think love has to come from others for it to be real, you'll have difficult loving yourself.

If you think love has to come in the form of romantic love, you'll also have trouble loving yourself.

You'll be waiting for a savior or knight to save the day and love you.

You'll continue to look outside of yourself for love. 

5. Not knowing how to love yourself

At the end of the day, if you didn't grow up loving yourself or were able to cultivate love in your life, you might not have a clue on how to love yourself.

Self-love could be a unimaginable to you.

What do you do? How do you love yourself? What steps do you take?

A simple solution to loving yourself.

You may not know what it is to love yourself but all of us have this innate quality to love other people.

As babies, we were born with love. We were filled with the light of love.

We loved ourselves and the joy of being alive.

We loved others without ego or expectations.

We were filled with love towards others throughout our lives.

Now, what you do, is take that love that you have for others and turn it inward.

Whatever you would do for others in a loving and compassionate manner, do that for yourself.

Treat yourself like you would your most romantic partner.

You know those butterfly feelings of first love and starry-eyed gaga love of new romances? Those special, considerate and thoughtful things that you do for the person you're enamored with?

Long walks on the beach, love notes on the mirror, special surprises from favorite restaurants, massages, sweet nothings, kind words and compliments — you get the idea…

Imagine all those things you would do for your dreamy romantic partner — now just start doing those things for yourself.

It doesn't matter if no one showed you how to love yourself or told you how to love yourself.

You're a loving being filled with love and you know what it is like to love another soul.

Just redirect that love to yourself.

Let down the walls of resistance to loving yourself.

Accept the love as if it was a gift you were giving yourself.

Soak in the love to wholeness and completeness.

Return to the love that is already there.


Vishnus Virtues

Vishnu writes a popular relationship and personal development coaching blog.

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ArthurRubina fazalTiffany NewsomeVasudevan BhattathirMousumi Das Recent comment authors
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This is so true. A must read for those with barriers to self love

Robina fazal

Nice!article Vishnus virtues..Sir…I didn’t had the problem to be symbolise some character or personality to copy groom my own character and personality…As I born 8years after my elder Sister..May parents wants a Boy…So I used to be hot favourite of my parents..They upbring me in the finest ways…study timings..playing timings..recreation times..bundle bundle full of toys every month,timings for prayers too…uptil tenth grade wore boys dresses…but trained me to have my limitations…and my pappa and Mom…trained me to do meditatins… books love…writing painting…..once a week joint group sessions with my class mate both girls and boys…a lot more…So the basic lessons helped me a lot to cope up my future I had the privilege to self love and self care..I by the grace of God Almighty had v.good grades in my 10th grade and even I did my Bachlors with English literature ,fine arts and Arabic…The lap of Mother her heart is your first love and the appreciation of your Dad…and his tryst makes you a lively health person …It was the tragedy of my Divorce . When the person I got married was so loving but not supportive…he wanted me to stuck and home..and make food for other recreations or outings…He was at times I’ll mannered and reduce me with out any solid reason . I tried a lot nice recipes to make him happy he love my dishes but he had some issues with his family who wanted money from him…for there purposes.. and as birth of child got late..they married the girl from their side…to my husband i requested not to divorce me ..but he said I can’t afford to women…it’s a lot burden I can’t satisfy both…so he said I love you .and will ..but Sorry…I have to do this you should also get married and take care of yourself..That was really shocking.. that disturbed me a lot…but have to be patient Mom when heard of my Divorce She had an heart attack…my younger brother got in to sever depression pappa was v.v busy in his profession of I had to manage all…Now that was the most challenging time for me to love myself more as I have to care all…from that day until now….I am v.happy and leading an honourable life caring my pappa how is a heart patient from 35 years . And he is dealing his profession with more health and dignity..and caring all house systems..and caring my younger brother who got upset and caring all my relatives….and dealing ladies club activities to be in life . With more passion..managing day by day my meditations . Exercises…yoga. writings…reading.. and a lot more..❤👑💐💫+ from now two years with the Royals Society…and now Simple reminder group…to gain my pace full pace one day to work for all it’s my mission ,goal and desire of my life …my get the chance to do so .. Amen

Tiffany Newsome
Tiffany Newsome

This was a great article. I hope this helps somebody

Vasudevan Bhattathir

this article is very impressive and I thank you for comining out with a nice writeup.
I had also had the child hood problems concerned love there were not much time for elders to express their love to the chidren.they had to matain a family of nine
In reality love is an expressin of Divine manifestation. and in subtle from canbe felt as the DELIGHT of existance the self love originate from this .when we exted it to others,all living things and the sunrise sunset ,rain and thunder etc this DELIGHT OF EXISTANCE become Universal love Human destany is that .we all will reach one day that.
It is our mind that keep us from expressing it ” we “{Jivatma the self within us } must be the master of our mind not the slave
Thank you


I appreciate your article which focused on the importance of self love in our life…i am grateful to god as i had loving parents cousins …i was blessed with ahealthy childhood adulthood…I grew up with culture values n morals….I understsnd the pain of rejection abuse violence….which i faced in my midlife within my marriage…. But I grew up from that suffering and pain …and now i am more wise….
Love the romantic love I mean , when you are going through it…i think one should welcome love from their partner and also try to undestand each other with wholeness and completeness giving time and space for both which is necessary for an absolute healthy relationship…


This article came to me in mean time I was needing to read it , it is very lovely and useful


For me, it took a LOT of years and a lot of being let down by people I love before I started to really love myself. Now I’m a single parent to two incredible young girls and I look at them, marvelling at what kind, funny and smart little human beings they are and I think – I did that. Noone else, just me. And I don’t need anyone or anything else. I mean, I’d LIKE a man in my life one day, but I’ll never need one. My circle of friends has decreased, but I’m left with the ones who matter and who love me unconditionally. I’m happy with my lot. I love my life and I love me.


From my experience: Your simple reminders are so relevant and it’s nice to be able to put things back into perspective. We all lead busy life’s and can lose our way sometimes and not always because of choices we have made. I feel resilience is one of the best abilities we can have as humans. It is these basic qualities that we need to be in touch with. Thank you!!

Lalie Nieto
Lalie Nieto

Hello Vishnus, Jenni and Bryant💕 This article reminds me of a quote by Cherie Carter Scott stating “Remind yourself that self esteem is ephemeral. You will have it, lose it, cultivate it, nurture it, and be forced to rebuild it over and over again. ” I myself had my own share of childhood drama and it somehow affected my perception of my self and the world. It took years for me to recover and appreciate my value as a person. And just when I was in the midst of enjoying my peaceful countenance and savoring the pleasure of finding my worth , a new challenge emerges which poses a threat on my self esteem. I then have to go through the pattern of cultivating, nurturing and rebuilding it over and over again. Thank you💕

Angeliki Anastasia

Your article is very informative and with Great advice!!! Yes absolutely there is great abuse out there, but there is also incredible love. We all suffer abuse in this life but we all enjoy great Love also!!! Imagine now a world filled with love, this World is only spiritual, because in the Spirit World, death does not exist and we don’t have to pay bills either!!! We don’t have to work or be governed by People who kill innocent babies and children!!! When One notices All these great problems, of course you are going to suffer, because we have feelings!!! There is no way out, if we All lived like God intended we would All be happy!!! Happiness ended when technology was created!!! We deprive Nature of it’s valuable sources just so we can create a World of pure evil that only knows how to kill innocent babies and children!!! So the Great advices that All people share in order to overcome this crisis are greatly appreciated and very comforting!!!! Thank you Sir for your great advice!!!🙏🙏🙏


Realization is the true key here!! Realize that your past is just that, your past we have all been through difficult times… I have yet to meet a perfect person! (myself included!!) The future is simply what you choose it to be, don’t let anyone else chose it for you!! Life is simply an experience, a journey of self and worldly discovery….. Yes there are many bad influences in this world, the real secret is to simply remain good!! Without the life lessons there can be life affirmations!! 🙂

Beatrice Hernandez

Beautifully written and impressive lessons we all need to be reminded to do.
My Family was a always very supportive and loving.
It was a real shock when faced by bullies. Words really do hurt.
It was very hard to believe that one day
the Caterpillar would change into a butterfly.
One day you will finally bloom into the Special person you were always meant to be…
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on self love..
We have so many young people and children who do
not have a supportive family..It is important that we give our support to others. A kind word or complement means the world to someone else….

Steve Gordner
Steve Gordner

I have trouble loving my self after my Narssisst wife left me!


Thank you


I love reading this! Went through rough times but reading this made me feel better

Melissa Rose Rothschild

“As babies, we were born with love. We were filled with the light of love.”
May we return to the innocent love of a child. ❤️


Appreciate this very helpful.


Thank you


You forgot to add cheating on the one you have a relationship with. Many that don’t love themselves keep on looking outside of their relationship thinking the more that “love” them THEN they feel permission to love themselves without respecting the relationship they are already in because of the way they were “loved” as a child or seeing this with their own parents.