The Secret to Loving YourselfJun 29, 2021
You may have heard about the importance of self-love, but what does it even mean?
It’s not like you can kiss and hug yourself. Can you? And, should you?
How exactly do you go about loving yourself? It’s not something we are usually taught. In fact, you are more likely to have been taught not to be selfish and to give to others instead of yourself.
But your relationship with yourself is the most significant connection in your life. After all, you spend more time with yourself than you anyone else. Yet, it’s easy to forget about nurturing that relationship with yourself.
Louise Hay, one of the founders of Hay House, was well known for practicing self-love. She carried a mirror in her pocket to see herself frequently throughout the day and hold conversations with herself. That mirror in her pocket was a reminder to nurture her relationship with herself regularly.
If you knew her, you might have thought her self-relationship was a bit strange. But spend some time with her, and you could see it was real. She understood the importance of making herself number one in her life.
Self-love and compassion are too important to neglect because they shape your experiences and relationships with other people. No man is an island. When you take care of yourself, you are better equipped to take care of others. It’s not selfish at all. It’s necessary for your health and wellbeing.
So, protect your health and wellbeing by making positive changes in how you think about and treat yourself.
Change can be difficult but think of it in terms of small degree shifts. For example, if you went for a long walk, any change in direction would get you to a very different place in the long term. Yet, any slight shift will be effortless when you make it. Though in the long run, you might be far from the original destination point.
You have to treat changes in the way you think about yourself in the same way. Make small shifts that get you somewhere completely different in the long run.
You might be hard on yourself, or you’re so busy with external obligations that you rarely consider your personal priorities. In that case, looking inward could help you to value yourself more.
Here are 6 strategies that might help you to think more highly of yourself:
- Accept yourself. Know that you are worthy of love and respect just the way you are at this moment. Embrace yourself with all your strengths and weaknesses. You are enough right now.
- Clarify your purpose. Invent your own definition of success. Ask yourself what a meaningful life means to you, even if that answer changes over time. Keep asking the question. Because if you do, sooner or later, you will be living the life beyond your wildest imagining.
- Talk yourself up. Notice how you speak to yourself. Choose words that are encouraging and uplifting. Use your internal dialogue to build your confidence and manage your emotions. And if you want to take a pointer from Louise Hay, carry a mirror in your pocket as a reminder to compliment yourself. Look deep into your eyes, and give yourself some love.
- Offer forgiveness. Let go of the past so that you can move on. Any unforgiveness only hurts you. Take any decisions that you regret and turn them into opportunities to learn. Make amends where possible and resolve to handle things more constructively in the future.
- Avoid comparisons. Facebook didn’t invent social comparisons, but social media has increased the potential for envy and inferiority complexes. Try competing with your last performance instead of living up to someone else’s standards. You should only ever be comparing yourself today to the self you were yesterday. You’ll accomplish so much more if you dare to be yourself.
- Think positive. Looking on the bright side and being able to laugh at yourself makes you even more loveable. It also helps you to manage stress and deal with difficult circumstances.
Then start to implement ways to Change the Way You Treat Yourself.
Do your actions match your beliefs? For example, you might say you love yourself, but your actions could be sending a different message. Sometimes we make promises to ourselves that we do not keep. Like, I will throw myself a party when I finish this project to celebrate, but then when the project ends, you jump right into the next one and don’t give yourself any time to celebrate at all.
If anyone else made you this promise and didn’t come through, you would be upset with them. It would be totally uncool. Yet, you do this to yourself repeatedly. You have to keep promises to yourself in the same way you would keep promises to other people.
Here are eight techniques to begin to treat yourself with more kindness:
- Practice self-care. Develop habits that keep your mind and body fit and strong. Go to bed early and exercise each day. Eat a balanced diet and watch your weight.
- Pick friends wisely. Surround yourself with family and friends who encourage and support you. Cultivate close relationships with others who share your goals and values. Engage in deep conversations where you can share your feelings and receive validation.
- Pursue your passions. Identify the activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Block out time each day for something you love, whether it’s a task related to your job or something you do in your leisure time.
- Set goals. Give yourself something to strive for. Working towards realistic and challenging goals builds your confidence as you add to your achievements.
- Maintain boundaries. Know your limits so you can define what behaviour you consider acceptable. That may include physical boundaries such as needing your own space and psychological boundaries such as being entitled to your own feelings and opinions.
- Learn to say no. It’s also important to remember that when you say yes to something, it means you are saying no to something else, and vice-versa. What might you be committing to that denies you of something else? Say no to others so you can say yes to yourself more often.
- Advocate for yourself. Once you understand your needs, you can communicate them to others. You’ll grow more skillful as you practice being direct and tactful in letting someone know if they cross your boundaries.
- Seek support. Ask for what you need. Let others know specifically what they can do, whether you’re looking for practical assistance like pitching in with housework or just a friendly ear to listen while you sort out your feelings.
Loving yourself can help you enjoy more happiness, overcome challenges, and build healthier relationships with others. Make it a habit to treat yourself with kindness and respect.
Live a life worthy of you because you matter, and the people around you benefit when you are at your best. You deserve the best that life has to offer. So, start treating yourself that way.
We have to take care of ourselves, pause to feel the next breath, and truly live this life to the fullest.
The journey continues every day. That’s why I create these trainings. We have to make the time to reconnect to ourselves and remind ourselves of who we are. We have to live out what we are here to be, do, have, create, express or experience.
It matters. Because you matter.
Live. Love. Laugh. Because it really does matter.
Ps. If you want to continue the journey with me, sign up to Authentically You! to cultivate the courage and confidence to be your true self and create a life beyond your wildest dreams.
I only offer this opportunity to connect with me and a small group of people twice a year. So click the link below for more details.
Is there something holding you back? Do you feel stuck, ashamed, unlovable, unworthy or depressed? Do you long to transform your life and create what you truly desire most?
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