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Before anybody else can love you, you have to love yourself.
Can you honestly say that you love yourself? Are you having a hard time being happy with yourself? It is so easy to focus on your faults and everyone can dwell on their insecurities instead of the things about themselves that they are happy with.
For many different reasons, many of us find it easier to love other people than to love ourselves. Sometimes we’re truly quite terrible to ourselves. We subject ourselves to a harsh inner critic, unhealthy relationships, toxic substances, and self-mutilation. I know how easy it is to dwell on your own perceived deficiencies.
Some people don’t want to be alone and fear to do things on their own. This can really hinder your journey to self-love, as you have to learn to be comfortable being with yourself.
But regardless of the reasons for your lack of self-love, it’s time to start caring for yourself and treating yourself with the love you deserve. Instead of being selfish, as many fear, this self-love is a blueprint that shows others how to love you.
So, keep reading to discover how to love yourself today.
Why Is It So Important To Love Yourself?
Self-love is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Being in love with yourself provides you with self-confidence, self-worth, gratitude and it will generally help you feel more positive. You may also find that it is easier for you to fall in love once you have learned to love yourself first.
If you can learn to love yourself, you will be much happier and will learn how to best take care of yourself. When you truly love yourself you will be happier and content. You should stop comparing yourself to others so much and should find yourself more confident, not worrying as much about what others think.
How to Accept Yourself, Your Reality, and Your Life
Accepting the reality of your life sounds like it should be quite easy. But many, many people hold to their own version of reality. It may be based in regret, disappointment, denial, or just waiting for something better–a promotion, for the kids to be grown, retirement, others even live in the world in their head or whatever. Failing to connect with reality is why some of us have pants in the closet that haven’t fit in years.
There are few better things you can do for yourself that can help with giving up the fictional version of your life and learning to accept yourself, your life, and your reality. Even if your situation is terrible, the first step in improving it is acknowledging it for what it is.
It’s good to find the best ways for you personally to love yourself, as you will most likely learn new things about yourself and start trying new things in the process.
Steps to loving yourself and coping with reality
Some of these steps may seem scary at first, but once you have mastered the ways that work for you, you will feel so much happier and can truly say that you love yourself.
1. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Others aren’t better or worse, more or less than you; they’re just different. You have value just as you are and accepting yourself means there’s no need for comparisons.
2. Accept and know yourself.
Acceptance is the ability to unconditionally value all parts of who you are. That means you acknowledge all of yourself–the good and the things that need improvement. It’s impossible to love yourself if you don’t even know who you are. Invest in discovering what you believe, value, and like. For most of us, self-acceptance can be hard. We tend to be judges of ourselves, but there are a number of ways to learn to accept yourself and your life. It all begins with your state of mind.
3. Say “no” when you need to.
Boundaries are an essential form of self-care because they let others become aware that you deserve and expect respect. Sometimes we do too too much for people, we like to please other people, so we tend to stretch ourselves too thin and commit to everything we can. We can forget to look after ourselves sometimes, so that’s why it is good to say no.
4. Acknowledge your reality.
Sometimes facing reality isn’t the easiest thing to do, but accepting your current situation can make you happier in the present and lead to a better future. Understanding, accepting, and working with reality is both practical and purposeful. Acknowledging your reality will help you choose your dreams wisely and then help you achieve them.
5. Have Fun By Yourself
It’s always good to have a few days set aside for yourself, that is just for you to do something fun. In doing this you can learn to enjoy your own company, and most likely feel more confident doing it on your own.
This could be, going to the cinema, going on a date with yourself or finding new things to try.Normalize doing things on your own
6. Be honest with yourself.
When you can admit your own pretense, you can begin to powerfully create a new future.
This one has proven to be harder it seems. Some of us are so good at lying to ourselves that we don’t even know we’re doing it. Honesty is key in all relationships and your relationship with yourself is no different. Denying your current reality–especially if it’s a bad one–will not make it make it go away.
It’s clear, you can’t love your entire messy self if you’re lying, minimizing, or making excuses. True self-love means taking responsibility and accountability.
7. Let yourself off the hook for your mistakes and imperfections.
Mistakes are normal. Imperfections are part of what makes you you. If you can look back at some poor choices you may have made, and forgive yourself, you can start to move on and forget about the past. Loving yourself despite any mistakes you made in the past is great for your self-worth.
Cut yourself some slack and embrace your humanness. Try to view your mistakes not as failures but as learning opportunities.
Sometimes we’re holding onto bigger regrets or transgressions. Self-forgiveness is a process of bit by bit believing you truly did the best you could. It’s completely unfair to judge your past self with the knowledge you have now. Remember: “When we know better we do better.”
8. Don’t let fear get in your way.
Don’t let fears–especially fears of what others think of you–stand in your way. You must be willing to do things in the unique ways you think are best, and to reflect on any feedback you receive.
9. Accept that not everyone will like you.
That’s right, some people don’t like you and you also don’t like some people and that’s O.K. Don’t waste your time trying to please people who are impossible to please or people who just aren’t that important to you. Being yourself means you have to give up your people-pleasing ways and embrace your authentic self.
10. Make A List Of Your Accomplishments
It’s easy to look in the mirror and point out all your insecurities and failures. Creating a list of your strengths, the things you are good at, the values that you hold and what you have achieved is a great way to fall in love with yourself. This makes you feel good about yourself, and find happiness from what you have accomplished. We can sometimes focus on the negatives and forget about the positives, so this is a great way to remind yourself of what you have achieved.
11. Let go of your biases.
Don’t get caught up in the life you think you are supposed to have, but work on creating the reality you are meant to live. Your biases can blind you to nearly any reality. You can try to ignore them, but closing your eyes won’t make them disappear. Instead, learn to understand them and let them go.
12. Practice gratitude.
Gratitude is one of the simplest ways to focus on the good in yourself and in your life. Try identifying 3 things you’re grateful for when you wake up every morning.
13. Accept that struggle will always be part of your reality.
Don’t shy away from challenges, but rather trudge into the struggle and get comfortable with operating and living there. Struggles are a way of life, and we have to learn to confront them. And you never know–something the most challenging things can hold the greatest opportunity for success. As long as you are alive, you will always encounter a problem.
14. Feel your feelings. Our feelings are an integral part of who we are.
You can’t be an authentic person without acknowledging and feeling all of your feelings. Don’t shy away from uncomfortable feelings like anger and sadness. If you deny them, you deny a part of yourself. Allow yourself to express them in a healthy, respectful way.
15. Take good care of your body.
This one probably seems obvious, but taking care of yourself plays a big part in learning how to love yourself, and a lot of people do not do it.
Good health is truly priceless. Give yourself the gift of feeling physically well – exercise regularly, eat healthfully, drink water, get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights, and limit alcohol or other drugs.
16. Pursue New Interests
It’s great to try something new that you have wanted to try for a while, or have been too scared to do.
You never know what you might enjoy until you try it, so think of a new hobby you could try, or go to a place you’ve wanted to go to for a while.
17. Stand up for yourself.
Like boundaries, being assertive is a way of showing others that your opinions and needs matter. Loving yourself means you know your value and can communicate it to others.
18. Surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness and respect.
Who you spend time with reflects how you feel about yourself. People who feel worthy surround themselves with positive people. Sometimes loving yourself means you have to end relationships with abusive or unkind people.
19. Give Yourself Credit Where Credit Is Due
Celebrate your achievements! Just like when you list your accomplishments, it’s good to actually celebrate your achievements. Tell others about what you have done, share your experience and be proud of what you have done. Give yourself the credit you deserve.
20. Make a plan for reaching your goal.
Include steps you will take to take to create a new reality. Break your goal into small steps that you can accomplish one at a time to build your confidence and self-worth as you go. Your new reality can begin to happen once you have a plan with specific goals.
21. Allow yourself some downtime.
Are you busy all the time? It’s time to slow down and allow your body and mind to rest. You don’t have to do it all. Prioritize what matters most and let go of any guilt in saying no. Rest is rejuvenating and a basic form of self-care.
22. Work On Your Self-Trust
A great way to show yourself self-love is to trust yourself and your own instincts.
You are most likely going to know what is best for you, and self-trust is a step to self-love.
You need to trust yourself before you can trust others, so listen to your gut and trust how you feel.
Remember, you will never be able to create the right reality if you aren’t willing to let the incorrect reality go. You are the one person that you’ll always be with; the person who will be there through thick and thin; the person who knows you best. Your relationship with yourself is the most important and longest relationship you’ll ever have.
“The reason many people are on social media is because they want attention. It’s measured by the number of likes, views, retweets, comments etc. Remember, you don’t have to rely on others for your confidence and self-esteem. Disengage from seeking attention. Love yourself first!” Mufti Menk