How to Learn to Love Yourself

Do you dream of the day when you’re able to look in the mirror and actually like what you see? What if you took it one step further and found that you loved the image looking back at you? Not the fake kind of love where you try to convince yourself that you really are a decent person, but the love that is true and genuine and felt from the bottom of your heart. Is that even possible?

Most of us have become so efficient at loathing ourselves, that liking or even loving who we are seems like a distant dream – a mirage that exists only to taunt us and drive us crazy. But, just as surely as Cinderella met her Prince Charming, you too can look at your reflection and be just enamored with what you see. How?

Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll fall more in love with yourself with each and every passing day:

Accept that you’re exactly where you’re meant to be at this moment in time

That means that all of your past “mistakes” and “failures” shouldn’t be looked at as negative, or bad. In fact, they were necessary to put you in this particular spot in your life, which is exactly where you need to be at this moment in time to continue to advance forward.

This means that you can quit beating yourself up for things that you did or didn’t do yesterday, last year or decades ago. Take whatever happened, learn from it and then let it go.

The exciting part of this notion (beyond dropping all the baggage that has likely been weighing you down) is that great things certainly lie in your future. You are getting yourself set up for wonderful things to come to pass; a life of opportunity awaits you.

Know that you don’t owe anyone else an explanation for who you are

Two Beautiful Women Talking in Street Restaurant

Do you ever talk to someone and feel you need to justify your thoughts or feelings? Like you have to defend your reasons or actions?

Here’s the thing: You don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you think, what you believe or who you are. The only one you have to answer to is yourself (and a higher spirit, if that’s your belief).

To conquer this one, you need to have the attitude of a mother whose only explanation to her child is “because I said so.” You feel the way you do period. End of discussion.

Appreciate your own individual strengths

We all have weaknesses, or things we’d rather change about ourselves. However, the problem comes in when you spend more time thinking about the areas where you need to improve than you do about the areas that you’ve already mastered, or excelled in.

You can’t love yourself if you’re constantly nitpicking your flaws. So, it’s time to let go of the abusiveness that you’re giving to your inner being and become more of a coach and cheerleader that promotes and honors the wonderful traits and abilities you possess.

Sit down and make a list of all the things you like about yourself. (Now is not the time to be modest.) Be honest about the great qualities that you feel you have and be sure to include the ones that others have complimented you on. When you’re feeling down about who you are, pull out the list and remind yourself how fantastic you truly are.

Appreciate other people’s strengths for what they are

fashionable girls

All too often we don’t just appreciate the good things we see in other people. We idolize them and put them on a pedestal far above where we are. We compare ourselves to them and wish we were more like them, making ourselves feel subpar.

That’s why you need to appreciate other people for the strengths that they possess in a way that doesn’t involve you at all. They aren’t there for comparison with who we are. They’re human just like us, which means that they have faults as well. Just because you don’t currently see them doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

When you notice that you’re admiration for someone else is making you feel bad about yourself, you need to put it in perspective. Remind yourself that they are good at some things and you are good at others. In fact, truth be told, they probably look up to you for certain things just as much as you look up to them.

Pull the emotion out

Incidents, actions and situations have no meaning in and of themselves. The meaning is given to them by us, oftentimes created by correlations we make with past events or understandings.

So, for example, having a tooth pulled may be a scary thing for one person who may have had a bad dental experience in the past, whereas another person may look forward to it because last time they had a tooth pulled they experienced great relief. It’s the same event with two very different feelings and emotions.

When you’re feeling down about yourself then, for something that you did or didn’t do, pull the emotion out of it. Just look at it as a series of factual events that occurred. Nothing more and nothing less. The more negative energy you give it, the less room you have for the positive energy you desire.

Practice makes perfect

young happy woman enjoying sea view in hotel  room next to big window

You can’t just wake up one day and say you’re going to love yourself, have it happen and never think about it again. It’s something that needs constant attention and nurturance. You’re essentially going to have to foster the relationship you have with yourself on a regular basis, much like you’d foster the relationship you share with anyone else who is important to you.

Work on giving yourself self-love daily. Set up rituals to remind yourself that you are the first priority in your own life. After all, if you don’t have you, everything else becomes irrelevant, right?

Make a list of things you want to say to yourself every morning. Tell yourself that you’re strong, beautiful, thin and smart. Let yourself know that you can survive anything and that you choose to be victor over being a victim.

Some call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, that what you believe will come to pass. There’s probably a lot of truth to that as your mind only recognizes that which you put importance on.

For example, how many times have you visited a place you’d never heard of only to hear the name several times after? Is it that the name was never mentioned before or just that you weren’t open to hear it? The latter makes a lot more sense. So, open your mind to self-love and draw it in like the air you breathe.

Loving yourself is no easy task, especially if you’ve spent decades telling yourself that you’re stupid, worthless or not deserving of great things. But, it’s also not impossible. You can look in the mirror and love what you see as long as you’re willing to try.

Commit to learning to love yourself beginning today. This is one relationship that you’ll be glad you took the time to nurture, because it’s going to be with you forever.

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment