How to Love Yourself

“You yourself,as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

We often undervalue the concept of self love and mistakenly associate it with selfishness. It’s only self love that shields our inner self. Therefore it’s necessary to understand what it really means by self love.

1. What is Self love?

“Love Yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world” – Lucille Ball

Self love is a journey where you discover your true value independent of the love and value you receive. You are worthy of your own love,put in the work to love yourself. You realise that no materialistic thing or physical appearance matters to evaluate a person. Self love helps one to become self sufficient and makes one aware of one’s responsibilities to oneself. Feeling good is a responsibility.

“You are responsible for your life and if you’re sitting around waiting on somebody to save you,fix you,to even help you,you are waisting your time because only you have the power to take responsibility to move your life forward. And the sooner you get that the sooner your life gets into gear.” – Oprah Winfrey

We are often harsh on our mind and body. Only loving our own self can make us believe that we are beautiful and unique creations. We can only receive love when we already have abundant love within ourselves. As Psychotherapist Joyce Matter says ,“Self love is prerequisite for complete immersion in the abundant flow of light and love in the world around us.” Through self love we know that we can give without becoming resentful, exhausted and depleted. It makes us say,“I love me independent of you loving me.”

2. Why is Self Love Important?

“Self love is the cure to self hate” – Tyrese Gibson

When you dedicate yourself in the practice of self love journey,you experience a total shift in how you perceive life.

  • You are at peace with yourself. You feel that you are in charge of your life. There is no more feeling of emptiness or doing things that make you feel miserable. You make conscious decisions.
  • You start picking up productive habits which intensifies your life and leads you to the path of success.
  • You start valuing your self worth. Since the world perceive you the way you treat yourself,you get value and respect from people around you. Therefore you start choosing the right and meaningful, sustainable relationship for you. You don’t bother to allow people in your life who negatively affect you. Thus it becomes a lot more easier for you to come out of any relationship where you get a negative vibe. Sometimes others adjust their standards to meet yours.
  • You stop seeking approval for every single decision you make. You accept yourself and therefore decide not to be anxious about how people think about you or if they are satisfied with your life. Therefore you don’t shy away when you have to say ‘No’ to things,people or situations you don’t want in your life.

Overall,there is a sudden undeniable flow of positivity in life.

3. Identifying Lack of Self Love:

We often don’t know if we really love ourselves or not. Although some acts may appear to you as self love,it might be hardly so. Below are some symptoms which stands for your lack of self love.

1. Negative Self talk:

If you’re continuously criticising yourself over simplest matters and always find fault in your actions,you might lack self love. You hate your body and think you are not loveable. You always beat yourself up with cruel self talks and you show self sabotaging behavior;in such case,you need self love.

2. Entertain harmful people :

Even though you understand you are not valued,you hang out with people who hate your gut and are envious. You become anxious about being left alone if not included in the group. You can’t leave those family members who tear you down just because they are your ‘family’.

3. Hide Vulnerability:

You don’t want others to know your weaknesses in fear of being judged. Therefore,you always put a mask up and appear to be confident and strong even when you are breaking down.

4. You can’t say ‘No’:

You can’t say ‘no’ even when you feel like saying so. This indicates lower self esteem. In many cases you need to say no since you don’t get a positive vibe of indulging into a certain project or proposal. In most of the cases you convince yourself to say ‘yes’ just because you value other’s thoughts about you more than your sanity.

5. Settle for less:

You settle for less than what you think you deserve. You never live your full potential. You agree for the low payment job or stay in a job just for the fear of finding yourself in a completely different new work place.

6. Feel guilty for having fun:

You feel like you’re wasting your precious time and opportunities just because you are enjoying or having a ‘me time’. You feel guilty for not being productive at any given moment. It denotes a lack of self compassion and self care.

7. Seek attention:

You seek attention for every single work you do. You only feel confident when people validate you. You always want your work or presence to be recognized and appreciated by other people. Therefore you are hurt by simplest criticism.

4. How to Exercise Self Love?

Self Love is an exponential force which needs to be practised to cultivate in one’s life. If you think that you lack self love and want to dedicate yourself in the journey of exploring and loving yourself,you need to consciously implement certain habits.

1. Accept yourself :

To begin with accept that you are enough with your insecurities and flaws. Don’t obsess over meeting ideal beauty standards. Remember that all that matters is that you become full and worthy enough to contribute to the society. Define what you are not,so that you know who you are and work on yourself to become an upgraded version. Embrace the talents you already possess.List what you love about yourself and revise it every morning. This will automatically increase your ability of self acceptance.

2. Hone your communication skills :

When you sharpen your verbal communication skills,you understand that people don’t judge you;they, actually, are mostly concerned about being judged. When you realise this you feel more confident and generate self love. On the other hand when you give yourself love you radiate confidence which makes others admire you.

3. Don’t obsess over Goals:

Set goals but don’t be obsessed over the ultimate results of it. Set small achievable goals and once you achieve one goal move on to the next one. Don’t beat yourself up for not achieving expected results. Understand your life is bigger than the outcome of a desired project. Your worth can’t be determined by a result in a particular moment.

4. Learn to say ‘No’:

Say ‘yes’ to what you love and ‘no’ to what you don’t. Set your personal policy list. Don’t be bothered about being judged. You have every right to refuse to agree on doing something you don’t feel good about. Be picky about committing to anything. You don’t deserve any negativity in your life for the sake of pleasing others.

5. Affirm and Visualise:

“What the mind can conceive and believe,it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

Every morning say out loud some positive statements about yourself. Utter the qualities you admire but which you think you don’t have. You will be astonished by the long lasting impact it will bring upon your day and eventually your life. Affirm all the positive qualities you’ve always wanted to incorporate in your life and utter with confidence. Act as if you’ve already become the person you want to be. As an example, instead of “I am so unlucky” say “I am the master of my fate”.Instead of “I am devastated” say,”I’m living the dream”. If you think you’re not intelligent enough,telling yourself that you are stupid,will further break your confidence and ability to perform well. But if you say to yourself,” I am smart” it will be accepted by our subconscious mind and our brain will start working accordingly. Visualisation is a technique where one can create a mental image in which one feels the proudest. Our brain perceives the image as a reality and changes our vibration. This practice increases the chances of achieving the dream faster. Therefore affirmation and visualisation boost positive energy which otherwise helps to generate self love.

6. Do What You’re Passionate About:

To love yourself you need to follow your heart and feel fulfilled. If you choose to continue in a career for avoiding public embarrassment you will soon lose track of life. Following others and participating in the rat race affects our mental health. Choose that one career that you’ve always been passionate about and you will be forever grateful to yourself for taking the chance. Love yourself a little more.

7. Invest in Yourself:

Invest in your skills. Transform, develop and expand vision. Register for a course that you think might help you. Spend money in self help books. Go travel to find yourself. Invest in activities that boosts your confidence. When you invest in yourself, you feel that you value and love yourself.

8. Incorporate traits from people you admire :

If you don’t have any idol,try reading biographies to get inspired. If you already have an idol who you admire,think what are the qualities that make you admire him/her. Try incorporating the traits in yourself,this will develop a sense of satisfaction. Maybe you like a social butterfly;try to work on your communication skills,you will fall in love with yourself.

9. Be Grateful :

If you’re not grateful for what you already have,you can’t achieve anything greater than that. Moreover,carrying this negative energy with yourself actually pulls you back. List down five things everyday that has happened that day which you’re grateful for. Change perspective and focus on all the positivity to develop self love.

10. Self Care days:

Fix a day or time of a day which will be alloted to ‘me-time’. Meditate and exercise to take care of your mental and physical health. It’s okay to spend some time with yourself to dive deep within your soul. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses in isolation. This denotes that you love yourself enough to make yourself a priority and giving yourself some rest to centralize your energy for the upcoming days.

When you start practising self love you come to realize who you want to be in the world and how you want you to see yourself. You become self defined, calm and in control of yourself. Therefore if you ever feel empty you can go inside your soul to feel rejuvenated. You always have a choice between people and you. Choose yourself.

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