Loving ourselves sounds simple in theory, and yet in reality we are often our harshest critics. We don’t give ourselves much credit for our accomplishments, and we can get down on ourselves when we think we aren’t living up to our potential. We don’t want to let other people down, and yet we rarely consider how we let ourselves down by not being our loudest advocate.
Loving yourself starts with knowing and accepting who you are. If there are parts of your life that you don’t like or that make you uncomfortable, figure out a way to fix these things. You have control of your life, your weight, your health, your friends, and your happiness. Your flaws are not all bad; they make you unique and serve as learning experiences for acceptance, patience, and demonstrating love to ourselves.
Loving yourself can be difficult when you feel like you’ve failed, of if you feel unworthy, ugly, or confused.
It can be easy to fall into relationships where we seek to find the love we desire from ourselves in another person. Instead of figuring out how to love ourselves, we connect ourselves to someone else to fill that need. This often leads to unfulfilling relationships and a cycle of failures.
There’s much to be said for being the person you need; making yourself whole, centered, and dependent upon your strengths. This person knows what it is like to be loved and doesn’t fall for anything less than what they deserve. This person attracts the kind of love they give themselves which is wholesome, forgiving, and kind.
Here are three ways to start loving yourself today.
- Be Grateful: be grateful for who you are, the people in your life, and the strengths you display every day. Whether you journal or speak your affirmations out loud, remember to be grateful for at least one thing every day. This will result in internalizing your gratitude and showing it to others, too.
- Give yourself some grace: be patient with yourself, and treat yourself like you would a close friend. Speak gently to yourself. Don’t nag yourself; you are perfect today, yesterday, and tomorrow. There is no sense in beating yourself up over your flaws; some can be fixed, and some cannot. By loving yourself, you can give yourself the comfort and support you need to make changes in your life.
- Reward yourself: do what you enjoy, just because. Life’s too short to not enjoy it! Whether you need to set aside an hour a day just for you, or create other events during the week to make yourself smile, do what you need to do to be happy. Give yourself the space to be creative, to reconnect with friends, to volunteer, and to practice self-care. You won’t regret it!
Remind yourself of the things that make you special, every day. You are smart, beautiful, and you deserve to be treated perfectly by yourself and others. By loving yourself, others will follow suit.