“If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anybody else.”
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.” Henry James
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson
Being kind to yourself in everyday life is in my experience one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Life will become lighter and your relationships will most likely improve.
You will feel happier overall. And your self-esteem and your sense of deserving good things in life will go up.
Below are 6 ways to learn to love yourself more.
1. Focus on the things you like about yourself
We tend to focus on things we do not like about ourselves: our mistakes, insecurities, flaws or fears. However, the more you focus on what you do not like about yourself, the more these thoughts become beliefs and begin to shape your reality.
Everything you perceive in the physical world has its origin in the invisible inner world of your thoughts, beliefs, and stories. When you focus on yourself in a positive and compassionate way, you open yourself to see and recognize how amazing you already are.
Now take a few minutes to think about the positive aspects of yourself and write down three things in your journal or on a sticky note.
2. Take more time to do the things you want to do
If your friends call you up on your day off and they want to go to the movies, you really do not have to say Yes. If you wanted to stay inside and read your favorite book for the 233rd time, do that! Just because the people around you do one thing, it doesn’t mean you have to do it too.
Next time you’re invited out or you find yourself doing something with friends or family out of obligation, ask yourself if it’s something that you really have to do. If it isn’t, is it something you genuinely want to do? If not, politely decline, and just do you.
3. Let go of mistakes and embrace the past
Imagine, you go through life with a heavy backpack filled with stones. Often, our past mistakes and struggles can weigh us down so that we can not live in the present moment and make the changes necessary to create an authentic life.
The truth is, we all have a past and we all made mistakes, some big, some small. But if you stick to what happened yesterday, you miss the beauty of the present moment. Remember that everything happened to you has shaped you into the unique person you are today, but doesn’t define your future.
When you embrace the past you create space for all the beautiful things the world has to offer and you open your heart to healing, love, and happiness.
4. Get rid of the negative influences in your life
To loving yourself, get rid of people who do not love you.
Love is an action, a choice – not a feeling. Therefore, anybody who claims they love you but doesn’t make time for you, or doesn’t make you feel special and treats you like you did not matter. They do not love you and they are a parasite. They eat your confidence in you and your happiness. Get rid of them.
They are not good, not important and especially not precious for your precious heart and your time. They are beautiful, unique and amazing – do not waste your time with people who do not wonder why you are not famous for being awesome, duh!
5. Appreciate your life
We have a tendency to focus on the things we want to change about ourselves, our relationships and our lives. But what if you stopped focusing on the things you want to change and, instead, focused on the things you are grateful for right now. Rhonda Byrne, the producer, and author of The Magic encourages us to count our blessings and be grateful for what we have. Byrne writes:
“When you’re grateful for the things you have, no matter how small they may be, you will see those things instantly increase.”
By training your mind to appreciate yourself and accept all the things you are grateful for in your life, you will immediately begin to love yourself more. What are the things you are grateful for in your life now? Write down the first 5 things that come to your mind.
6. Take care of your body
When we do not feel well, we usually neglect our bodies for nutrition, rest and love. But when you do not know the needs of your body, you are giving yourself the message that you are not worth being loved. On the other hand, when you pay attention to your body and its needs, start to feel loved and lovable. Your body is extremely intelligent and knows what it needs. Your challenge is to listen to what your body tells you.
Self-love is something we can choose, as well as sadness, hate or anger. When you choose to embrace yourself, despite your flaws, quirks, and humanness, you also open the door to let others love you too.