Do you love yourself? I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to put the needs of others before my own needs. I was taught that it was selfish to love myself. As a result, I believed that other people were more worthy of love than I was.
I practiced that belief for much of my young life, but couldn’t continue down that path indefinitely. When my self-esteem had reached an all-time low, I sank into a depression. At that point, I knew I needed to do something drastic to change the trajectory of my life.
If you’re struggling with the pain of not loving yourself, then I encourage you to incorporate the following 8 tips into your life. They helped me rediscover and learn to love myself again.
- Make a list of things you love about yourself.
Be specific. For example, you could write, “I am generous and kind. I helped my friend find a solution to her problem today.” If you can only think of a few things to start with, that’s okay. Keep your list by your bedside and look at it every day. As you reflect your list, more ideas will come to you. Write them all down and keep reminding yourself that these are reasons why you are worthy of love and respect.
- Give yourself the gift of time.
Spend time thinking about yourself and your life. No guilty feelings allowed. You deserve and need time to focus on yourself. The more time you give to yourself, the more energy and enthusiasm you’ll have for spending time with others.
- Celebrate and reward yourself.
When you’ve achieved something, no matter how small, reward yourself. Take yourself on a nice walk or treat yourself to something special. Maybe you’ve been longing for a bowl of fresh raspberries, but you’ve stopped yourself from getting them because they’re a little pricey. Tell yourself that you deserve it and then go out and treat yourself to fresh raspberries.
- Have a plan to deal with negativity.
Figure out what works for you to bring yourself back from negative thoughts and feelings. Different methods work for different people. Here are some ideas: lively music, meditative music, exercise, meditation, journaling, talking to someone you trust. Acknowledge your negative feelings and then change your perspective. Look at the situation from various angles. You have an opportunity to improve your skill of finding the positive in anything. Decide to change your mindset from negative to positive. The more you practice, the easier this will become.
- Visit a therapist…if you need to.
There is a time and place for professional counselling. Some people need the help of a professional to uncover and heal deep wounds and unhealthy core beliefs about themselves. A good therapist can help you recover from a painful past without reliving the trauma.
- Repeat positive affirmations daily.
Make up your own positive affirmations and repeat them many times throughout the day. Examples: “I am a kind, generous, loving person. I have amazing talents and potential. I am worthy of love. I love and care for myself. I appreciate everything about myself. I am thankful for the opportunity to make the most of this life. I can do anything I set my mind to. I am living to my full potential every day.”
- Do things that make you feel good.
When you’re faced with two choices, choose the option that will bring you the most joy. What makes you feel happy? Is it dancing, music, swimming, writing? Make a list and then make room in your life to do these things.
- Reflect on the effects of your self-love practice.
As you practice these tips, you’re likely to notice that your general feeling of well-being is increasing. You may find that you have more energy, more patience, and more desire to take care of yourself and others. You may find yourself humming and smiling more often, and it may seem as if your ‘luck’ is changing for the better.
Make a commitment to yourself to practice the above 8 tips. As you learn to give yourself the love you need and deserve, you’ll start seeing opportunities where you used to see limits and barriers. Love, which is the essence of who we are, must start with ourselves and then reach out to others.
Along my journey of learning to love myself, I discovered an amazing opportunity that has opened up a whole new world of possibility and freedom for me. With much gratitude and excitement, I am happy to introduce my mentor and coach to you now.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
~ Oscar Wilde