The Black Girl’s Guide to Radical Self-Love

“The hardest part is coming to the realization that no one is really going to save you but yourself, that pain is your life’s most valuable teacher and that you will never find happiness until you are completely, absurdly in love with yourself”

RM Drake

There is a 5- step process to radical self-love. Merriam Webster defines radical as, “very new and different from the usual or ordinary”. Radical as an adjective is defined as “relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far reaching or thorough”. Feeling the sun within you is radical. A Black woman loving herself is very new and different from the usual or ordinary. A Black woman loving herself affects the fundamental nature of what it means to be a Black woman in America.  Upile Chisla has said, “Here you are, black and woman and in love with yourself. You are terrifying. They are terrified (as they should be)”. You won’t know how radical self-love is until you actually feel it. In that moment, sitting in my office, the fundamental and foundational nature of my relationship to myself was changed. Here are the 5 steps:

  • Know thyself
  • Accept thyself
  • Love thyself
  • Trust thyself
  • Master thyself

It starts with “knowing thyself”. Who are you? At your soul level? What makes you uniquely you? You must search and unearth your deepest truth. You must shed the layers of social and familial conditioning and socialization to arrive at the naked truth of your essence. If you do not like what you discover about yourself, you are being offered an amazing opportunity to transform yourself into the woman of your dreams. Then, you must accept all of who you are through self-discovery. This is a crucial step because if you do not accept all of who you are, you will be unable to move forward. 

After you accept yourself, you love yourself. Now remember, we are talking about radical self-love and feeling the sun. But at this step, self-love means nurturing the relationship between you, your inner child, and your higher self. And that is why we cannot stop there. You must begin to trust yourself, the promptings of your heart and follow the intuitive wisdom of your higher self and the innocent musings of your inner child. You solidify your place in your world with or without the approval of others.

And then finally there is self-mastery. Mastery is defined as comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject. When you master yourself, you know yourself better than anyone and you don’t let anything, or anyone decide who you are or determine if you are successful in life. When you master yourself, you become free; free to live life on your terms in the most humble way. Self-mastery is where transformation both begins and ends. It is often said, the loudest person in the room is the weakest person in the room. When you engage in radical self-love via mastery, it is the silent strength that reveals itself. You don’t need to be aggressive or loud about who you are and what you will or will not tolerate. You lovingly establish boundaries that protect your newfound place in the world.

These 5 steps will precipitate your own aha moment, like the one I had in my office. You will feel your own sun for the very first time and then decide to never, ever let the clouds of self-doubt or self-hate hover over you again.

“I love myself’. The quietest. Simplest. Most powerful revolution ever”


This article is a chapter from my book, The Black Girl’s Guide to Radical Self-Love. To learn more about this breakthrough book on self-love, click HERE


Kathleen Nicole

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