I am highly skeptical of Big Words. For example, the word "love".
"You only have to learn to love yourself". Well, duh, as if that were so easy!
Those Big Words are often so bloated with meaning, they cross the line twice and essentially become meaningless.
I say, if the Big Words fail you, how about toning it down. There is tremendous potential for mental blocks in focusing on the Big Words. It's just so demanding. It can end up putting more pressure on yourself, than it actually helps you. You don't manage to love thy insufferable sexist racist white trash neighbour, and next thing you know, you hit yourself with a large wooden stick for your own failure.
So, let's focus on ourselves first. Self-love. Sound excellent. The trouble is, you probably encounter the very same issue: This time, you don't manage to love thy insufferable unsuccessful virginal shy not-the-life-of-the-party self, and then hit yourself for it.
Self-empathy, then? Self-appreciation? Boosting your self-esteem with mantras and affirmations?
Still too far-fetched. Still too complex. Too much technology, hype, marketing, NLP. Too little real results.
Don't get me wrong, I love me my affirmations and breathing techniques. I practice them almost daily. I just think that they're somewhat auxiliary. I think that there is no magic pill. I think that change takes time, and deep change takes a frakkin' lot of time. I have learned through many failures that being slow might actually be the fastest and most effective way to go.
Remember that one time when you DIDN'T hit yourself with a large wooden stick? When you just... forgot doing that?
There you have it. That is your first step. Learn how to repeat that. Instead of focusing on big steps and big changes, focus on the tiniest step possible. The quantum leap, in the real sense of the word. Focus on doing the smallest change that you can think of. Instead of talking at yourself in the mirror, "I'm so beautiful and successful and will make a million euros next month", just omit that one thought of how ugly you are. Nothing more. Every time you manage not to put yourself down, that is one big achievement. You can cherish that, and you should. Focus on that one achievement, and how to repeat it - and let all the empathy and esteem and love and sex and money develop naturally over time.
Since we're talking about starting the journey to Alpha Centauri with one tiny step... Only yesterday, I picked up some self-help book, opened a random page. The first sentence I read was this: "It makes sense to start with little steps and first set some realistic and achievable goals." Oh yeah! Excellent strategy: Let's focus on the impossible a little bit later!