The idea of self-love can be perceived in a naive way sometimes. We throw around the phrase “love yourself first” even if we don’t understand what it really means. If we want to live happier, fulfilled lives, we have to first know what SELF-LOVE truly means and learn how to bring it into our own lives. Everything we do and experience is a direct result of how much we really love ourselves.
Self-love clearly manifests itself when you accept who you are and decide what you want, and work for it. It grows as you start building a loving relationship with yourself. It should not be confused with selfishness and conceit; it is through loving ourselves first that we can truly love others and share with them what we have.
I’m sharing five steps which we could take towards our path to self-love:
- Practice positive self-talk. Avoid saying statements like “I’m not good” or “I can’t do it.” Be aware about what you say to yourself. When you practice positive self-talk, you are programming your subconscious mind to believe in your goodness. This will help you feel great about yourself and motivate you to do things better than what you are presently doing. Remember that you are your own worst enemy, so talk to yourself kindly.
- Forgive yourself. Each of us makes mistakes in life. There are some people who obsessively feel guilty about their past errors, in turn letting themselves believe that they can’t and shouldn’t be forgiven. Remember that a mistake is a mistake only if you don’t learn from it. Forgiving yourself might not happen overnight, but if you learn to view your oversights as learning experiences, forgiving yourself will be much easier.
- Never let other people define who you are. You are what you are and no one can change that. You are not defined by what others expect of you. Appreciate, accept and support who you are– even those parts that you would like to eventually change. This will help you create yourself and the life that you’ve always dreamed of.
“When you begin to accept yourself the way you are right now, you begin a new life with new possibilities that did not exist before because you were so caught up in the struggle against reality that that was all you could do.” – Mandy Evans
- Pamper yourself. Give yourself time to relax. Relaxation should not be considered as a luxury but as a necessity for a healthy mind, body and spirit. When you are feeling depressed, it is so easy to forget that you deserve a treat. Whereas, spending time to unwind can be just the thing you need to get motivated and feel good about yourself again.
- Express yourself. Hiding your feelings and isolating yourself can increase your stress levels, reduce your concentration, get in the way of your relationships, and have a negative impact on your work and overall health. However, by expressing yourself, saying what you want to say, doing what you love to do, you can reduce stress tremendously.
Each of the steps above may take time and effort, but will make a big difference in the long run. I hope that they can help you on your path to self-love!