You have probably heard it many times before, but before you can truly learn to love others, you much first learn to love yourself. But what does it mean to love yourself? How do you actually learn to love yourself today than ever before? What if you are in such a bad place mentally that it is hard to look at yourself and love anything about you?
Sadly, many of us haven’t quite figured out what it truly means to love ourselves. We think we love ourselves, but yet we still allow the negative criticism of others to influence our daily lives. We think we love ourselves, but yet we allow the beliefs of the world around us to shape how we perceive ourselves. We think we love ourselves, but yet we still don’t and won’t care for ourselves in a loving manner when we need our own love the most.
Self-love is one of those topics that is just starting to get talked about, but it is still not being talked about as much as it should be. And if you’re a male, you probably almost never talk about it despite it being just as relevant to you as it is to females. It’s not “the cool” thing to talk about, right?
It also doesn’t help that we were raised in a culture where we are taught from a young age to “put others before yourself.” Sharing is caring, and if you didn’t give up something that you had for another person, you were probably punished in some manner. What this really does, is it teaches us to listen to others even more. If somebody wants something from us, we are taught to oblige so that we aren’t punished. Eventually, this mindset follows us into our adult years.
Listening To The Opinions of Others
I know all too well what it’s like to constantly conform to the approval of those around me. I listened to the opinions and judgments of others for most of my life. They didn’t help me to love myself or my life any more. In fact, listening to the opinions and judgments of others only caused me to become depressed and to hate myself. It’s a feeling that nobody deserves to experience, which is why I am writing this.
While it’s not easy to break bad habits (and yes, constantly putting others before yourself is a bad habit) it’s not impossible.
How Exactly Do You Love Yourself More?
Learning how to love yourself more starts with taking action. It means following your guy instincts, trusting your own intuition, and listening to your heart because it is your heart that knows what is best for you.
As with anything in life, self-love is a practice. It is a practice that you must implement into your life on a daily basis if you truly want to see results and reap the rewards. If you fail to practice self-love, nothing about your life is going to change. You need to be willing to make yourself your own number one priority and take the time to invest into both your future and into your overall wellbeing.
Self-love is essential to your personal growth, to the fulfillment of your dreams, and to developing healthy and happy relationships with others.
Don’t just talk about how you are going to start loving yourself more. Live it. Immerse yourself in the concept of self-love, implement it into your daily life as much as possible, breathe it, and preach it. When you truly want something badly enough, the rest of the world will conspire to help you achieve it.
7 Ways To Love Yourself More Today
1. Acknowledge all that you already are.
We often get so caught up in the world of comparison that we forget to recognize all that we already are, and all that we have already accomplished. The truth is, all of us have achieved far more than what we give ourselves credit for.
Take a minute today to stop and reflect. Reflect as far back as you can remember and reminisce on where you once were compared to where it is you are today. Think about all that you have learned, all of the obstacles that you have overcome, all of the growth that you have experienced. You did this. Not anybody else, but YOU! That’s something to be proud of.
2. Treat yourself like your own best friend.
Have you ever noticed how we often think of our best friends better than we think of ourselves? Maybe this goes back to what we were taught about putting the needs of others before our own. I honestly don’t buy it.
If most of us spoke to others the way we spoke to ourselves, there is no question that we would have very little, if any friends at all! You are with yourself 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You are with yourself through all of the good and the bad. Doesn’t it make sense to be best friends with yourself? Wouldn’t that make your life so much easier? So start doing it!
Treat yourself like your own best friend because you are you, and that is your greatest power.
3. Change your perception of your flaws.
This is a challenge for all of us. We often look at our flaws as things that we are bad at or things that we struggle with. We beat ourselves up for not being perfect and allow our weaknesses to consume our every thought.
What if, instead, we started to change our perspective? What if we no longer saw our flaws as weaknesses, but as things that we can learn to improve on instead? Isn’t that what life is about? Aren’t we supposed to learn as much as we can?
It’s time that we all start to change our perception of our flaws. They don’t make us failures or any less of the amazing person we already are. They just mean that there is room for growth and improvement. Start working towards making these improvements instead of allowing your flaws to prevent you from making any progress at all.
4. Start to care for yourself more.
If you want to love yourself more, then you need to start caring for yourself more. This means treating yourself just as you would treat those who you love the most. It means moving your body and exercising. It means fueling your body with nutrients and quality foods. It means loving yourself for the skin and body that you live in because it is your home.
It can be challenging to find that initial spark of self-love. There are days (many in fact) in which I still struggle with this. If I don’t intentionally focus on my strengths first thing in the morning, I have noticed that my day can feel off.
One thing that helps me is to look in the mirror in the morning and smile at myself. I tell myself how much I love myself, how I am capable of achieving my goals and dreams, and that being me is the greatest part of my life.
Find what works best for you. Find what makes you happy and what makes you love yourself the most and make it a daily priority. Start to care for yourself more simply because you deserve it.
5. Stick up for yourself and fight for your beliefs.
As humans, we have a tendency to be people pleasers. It’s to the point where we even shape our beliefs just to conform to the likings of others. Instead of making the most of our lives and following our own intuition, we become imposters.
Becoming an imposter of your own life will only cause you to start despising yourself as a person. That’s not what life is about. This is your one and only life to live. Everybody else around you already has a life of their own, so don’t let them consume any more of your life than they already have. Focus on what your dream is for yourself and follow it with all of your heart.
6. Go out of your way to do something nice for yourself.
Why wouldn’t you? You work hard. You deserve to do something nice for yourself and to spoil yourself every once in a while. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be anything that is going to break the bank if you don’t want it to be.
Take yourself out to a movie, go and enjoy your favorite meal, pamper yourself and get a haircut or a massage, just do something nice for yourself that you don’t normally do.
Doing nice things reinforces positive behavior. When you go out of your way for yourself, you are reinforcing positive behaviors and the belief that you are enough and deserving enough of things.
7. Learn to say no.
Lastly, if you want to start to love yourself more today than ever before, you need to start saying no. You don’t need to start saying no to yourself, but rather to those who do not reflect the type of person you want to become and do the things that are not going to get you from where you are now to where it is that you want to be.
You need to be your own number one priority. Say no to the relationships you have in which others don’t support you. Say no to the activities that are no longer reflective of the person you want to become. Say no to allowing your past to define your present and future.
But… say yes to taking back your life and making the most out of it, because once you do, you will start to love yourself more.
If you are not willing to love yourself more today, then you are not going to love yourself more tomorrow or any other day of your life for that matter. You deserve better. You deserve to love yourself more today than you did yesterday, but it starts with you taking the actions necessary to do so.
The closer you get to yourself and the more you start to love the individual that you are, the more enjoyable your life will become. Use these tips to help you love yourself more today than you ever have and you will start to find a sense of enjoyment for life that you never knew existed.