We are constantly bombarded with messages to process, some external while others are our own - so to bust through the clutter, we must first define what are core values are since they are what subconsciously direct all our decision-making. Practicing self-love is about understanding who you are and loving that person exactly for who that is - strengths and flaws! Deciphering learned values/messaging (whether via parental or societal enforcing) over our own true, innate desires can be mastered by learning how to listen to yourself - mind and body.
How do you start?
Consistently challenge and question your thoughts and beliefs with kindness and no judgment, and it will develop a level of self-awareness that eliminates tendencies to create a life designed by others.
Learn how to listen - a form of meditation. Lie down, be still and listen to all the sounds around you. When your mind starts to naturally wander, bring it back to the sounds you hear.
Free journal: the more you write the more organized, and eventually categorized, your thoughts are. You connect dots to identify patterns and triggers, and are able to distinctively separate your own desires from learned ones.