In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to love yourself.
What to do.
What not to do.
(And most important of all) how to believe in yourself when you feel like the world is telling you different.
1. You are the most important person in the universe
If there is only one lesson you learn this entire year, it’s this: You are absolutely the most important person in your entire universe.
Your entire life is lived through your eyes. Your interactions with the world and those around you, your thoughts and how you interpret events, relationships, actions, and words.
You might just be another person when it comes to the grand scheme of things, but when it comes to your understanding of reality, you are the only thing that matters.
And because of that, your reality depends on how much you love and take care of you.
Your relationship with yourself is the most defining factor in shaping the kind of life you live.
The less you love yourself, listen to yourself, and understand yourself, the more confused, angry, and frustrating your reality will be.
But when you begin and continue to love yourself more, the more everything you see, everything you do, and everyone you interact with, starts to become a little bit better in every way possible.
2. Loving yourself starts with your daily habits
Think of the people in your life that you love and respect. How do you treat them?
You are kind to them, patient with their thoughts and ideas, and you forgive them when they make a mistake.
You give them space, time, and opportunity; you make sure they have the room to grow because you love them enough to believe in the potential of their growth.
Now think of how you treat yourself.
Do you give yourself the love and respect that you might give your closest friends or significant other?
Do you take care of your body, your mind, and your needs?
Here are all the ways that you could be showing your body and mind self-love in your everyday life:
Giving yourself time and space to understand your spirituality
Thanking yourself and those around you
Playing when you need it
Avoiding vices and toxic influences
Reflecting and meditating
How many of these daily activities do you allow yourself? And if not, then how can you say you truly love yourself?
Loving yourself is more than just a state of mind—it’s also a series of actions and habits that you embed into your everyday life.
3. Accept the pain
No one is perfect. Some of us confuse self-love with endless positivity and endless optimism.
There are those who go about their day singing the praises of God no matter how bad they might be feeling or how horrible their predicament might be.
And we think this is the right thing to do; after all, shouldn’t positive vibes simply attract more positive vibes?
But the truth is that your endless optimism is a giant lie. You’re lying to a part of yourself, ignoring the needs of half of who you are.
Because we all have a dark side; we all hold anguish, hatred, and pain. Ignoring these realities eats us up, and forces us to cave-in spiritually and mentally.
Allow yourself to be honest with who you are. Forgive yourself for your past deeds, those things you are ashamed of.
Accept that you are sometimes a carrier of negative emotions, like disgust, rage, and jealousy. And learn to embrace the silence when you need it.
4. Find and open your heart
While step 3 is about acknowledging and accepting the pain, step 4 is about reconciling with a cold and unopened heart.
Ask yourself this one question: do you fully love yourself?
Accepting your flaws and your faults is one thing, but loving a person who can have your thoughts, your emotions, your vices, and your mistakes? That’s a completely higher level of self-love.
Discover your life story. Trace your path from childhood to the person you are now.
Understand yourself in the most intimate way possible, and find the reason for every negative emotion, every shameful act, every word and deed that you now regret.
Take the skeletons out of your closet and try to remember why they are there in the first place.
5. Don’t believe your thoughts
The reason loving yourself is so difficult is because most of us are inherently negative.
After all, fears and worries are necessary for us to protect ourselves.
But this survival mechanism can work against us, which is why you’re experiencing self-doubt and self-criticism right now.
So, what can you do?
Well, what you need to realize is that while your thoughts can’t necessarily be changed, you can stop believing them:
6. Share yourself
On this path of self-discovery, you will discover truths about you that will terrify and shock you.
But the goal is to work your way through them and begin to love yourself more through understanding and acceptance.
And only after you have worked out your own personal bumps can you begin to see the diamonds in the rough: your gifts.
These are the qualities about you that survive the journey. The empathy, the spirituality, the humor, the love: everything you have cleaned off after wiping away all the rest.
And when you love yourself and the things about you, only then can you properly share yourself to the world.
Give your true self to the world and those around you. Now that you love yourself, it’s time to begin helping others find the highest form of self-love of their own..
7. What are you appreciative for?
Being grateful is a powerful attitude that can shape your mindset for the better.
How do you develop gratitude in the first place?
One of the easiest ways to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal.
Every morning you could write down a few things that you’re grateful for in your life. Get in the routine of doing that and you’ll be more appreciative by the day.
8. It’s time to get out of your comfort zone, step-by-step…
I’m sure you’ve heard that progress can’t be made in your comfort zone.
And as annoying as it is, it’s true.
If you’re struggling to love yourself, then I’m also going to guess that you’re staying in your comfort zone as well.
But you don’t have to do something immensely scary to get out of your comfort zone. You can take little steps to expand it and make progress.
So, how can you break through that comfort zone? First, write down activities that make you feel slightly nervous.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be something big. It can be small, just as long as it’s something relatively new and it makes you nervous.
Then go about knocking those tasks off. Once you get through them, you’ll start to believe in yourself and everything that you can achieve.
9. As you make progress, people will try to pull you down
You know what happens when you start to improve?
Your friends, colleagues and maybe even family members may start to put you down.
Because it’s the natural order of things. They’ve put you in a box and it messes with their mind when you start to change.
So you’re going to have to summon up some courage and ignore criticism from others.
If you’re becoming more confident and happy, then that’s all that should really matter…
10. Get out there and exercise
You might not like to hear this one, but it could be one of the most powerful things you can do.
Not only will you start to be healthier, but you’ll feel better about yourself as well.
There’s usually an instant mood-enhancing effect about five minutes after you start a workout.
And when done consistently, exercise could help reduce long-term feelings of depression and anxiety, and in turn, can help you maintain a healthy sense of self-confidence.
11. Who are you surrounding yourself with?
This is an important cog in loving yourself that often goes unnoticed.
We’re all influenced by who we spend most of our time with.
So if you think that some of your friends are toxic and have a habit of putting you down, you might want to find some new ones. People you actually like and admire.
If your friends are positive and uplifting, you’ll begin to feel better about yourself as well.
12. Accept your emotions without judging them
Whenever we experience an uncomfortable feeling, such as sadness, fear or anger, our first instinct is to ignore it, reject it or push it away.
However, when we reject our emotions, we may actually make things worse off. Emotions give us useful information about our lives.
A much better tactic that may help your emotional health is to practice acceptance. This means allowing your emotions to just be without negatively judging them or trying to change them.
It’s understanding that you don’t need to “control” your emotions. They cannot do any damage to you.
In fact, the things you do to get rid of negative emotions, like alcohol or eating cake, can do more damage to you.
In the end, if you’re able to accept yourself and all of your emotions, you’ll be more easily able to love yourself.
Let Go, Be Free & Trust The Process