Searching for love almost seems like a quest for many of us in this life. And that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to love and be loved in return. But what happens when you find the love you’ve been searching for in someone else only to discover that you still know loneliness and lack the confidence to live your life to the fullest? Could it be that in the process of running towards love you’ve forgotten to seek love within? Self-love is the purest and most liberating form of love. And you too can learn how to love yourself.
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- 1 1. Accept the challenge
- 2 2. Positive mindset requires action
- 3 3. We are both Yin and Yang
- 4 4. Go down the past road
- 5 5. Choose what you believe in
- 6 6. Take a lead in your life
- 7 7. (Re)discover gratitude
- 8 8. Take up journaling
- 9 9. Step out of your comfort zone
- 10 10. Get ready for external criticism
- 11 11. Do your best to exercise regularly
- 12 12. You are who you are with
- 13 13. How to love yourself without suppressing your emotions
- 14 14. Explore the possibilities of alone time
- 15 15. Embrace your own unique self
- 16 16. Not everything other people do is personal
- 17 17. Practice what you preach
- 18 18. Stop avoiding conflicts at all cost
- 19 19. Vulnerability is not a weakness
- 20 20. Engage in things you like
- 21 21. Don’t give up just because you’re not instantly good at it
- 22 22. Change things up
- 23 23. Don’t run away
- 24 24. Shift your attention to other people
- 25 25. Celebrate the differences and similarities
- 26 In conclusion
1. Accept the challenge
Let’s not beat around the bush. Loving yourself isn’t easy. If it were, you wouldn’t be here right now, reading this. The world would be a wonderful place for everyone and psychotherapists would be out of a job. But as you probably already know, nothing good has ever been easy.
Chances are that you’ll think about how to love yourself and be confident over and over again, only to come back with a self-loathing reply, a bunch of criticism, and downright negativity. This is something we call perception. And the best and worst thing about perception is that it completely depends on you. You choose how to perceive the world, people, and object around you, and, most importantly, yourself.
You might have already discovered the discrepancy between your generally more positive outlook of everyone and everything else compared to yourself. This doesn’t mean there’s something inherently wrong with you. It just means that you’ve spent too much time focusing on the negative, thus creating the negative perception of self that’s been haunting you ever since.
This particular behavioral pattern is something many people deal with. So instantly, you’re not alone in your fight. But you are alone with your thoughts. Someone wise said that you speak to yourself in your head more than anyone else on the whole planet; so, be kind to yourself and make sure you are saying the right things.
Simple as that, right? If only that were true. If you ever had to break a negative habit such as quitting smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating junk food, you should expect the challenge of self-love to be equally if not more difficult. This isn’t anything scary or impossible. We’re breaking the habit of negative self-perception. It’s time to accept the challenge and take your first baby steps.
2. Positive mindset requires action
At first, you might imagine the concept of self-love as an idea that will swoop into your mind and make everything better just like that. You’re not wrong in your thinking because this is what we call a positive and self-loving mindset. However, self-love status is much more than just a mindset; it is a set of daily actions and practices that allow you to grow and become the best version of yourself that you can be.
Take the way you think about your friends and loved ones for example. You want them to succeed in everything they do. It feels nice to give them space and time to grow. You worry about whether they’re eating healthy and getting enough rest. You feel angry when someone hurts their feelings.
This is your true nature and the kindness you possess. It’s not a given. You already have the tools you need to start treating yourself better – you just need to recognize yourself as your own friend and a loved one.
Now, what would you suggest to a friend who’s in a bad mental place? You’d probably advise them to improve their sleep pattern, eat healthy, and exercise. You might even mention meditation and reflection, engaging in fun activities and hobbies, and simply allowing themselves to explore their own spirituality on a daily basis.
See where this is going? When was the last time you advised yourself the same? More importantly, when was the last time you practiced the same tips so that you too can get out of a bad mental place? Loving yourself is not a magic spell that will just be randomly cast upon you. It’s a set of daily actions and practices that will gradually turn into a habit, and a new positive self-perception you’re trying to achieve.
3. We are both Yin and Yang
Have you been irritated by someone telling you “just think positive” when things seemed bad? Or have you maybe even tried to radiate endless optimism in an attempt to ignore the negative feelings yourself? This, my friend, is a trap. There’s nothing wrong with thinking positively, but you can’t be positive all of the time. And – let this sink in – that’s fine!
Light cannot exist without darkness, and vice versa. People are not so simple as to have just one side to them. We are both yin and yang. And in order to learn how to love yourself more, you need to accept this truth first.
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has something in their past they might be ashamed of. That doesn’t make them less human. It just makes them human. So, are you trying to become something more than a human when you’re not forgiving yourself the past mistakes?
The more you’re trying to negate and ignore the dark part of your personality, the more it will consume you from the inside. But having a dark side, in reality, is not the same as in Star Wars. You’re not evil for having negative thoughts on occasion or making mistakes. You’re not Darth Vader (repeat that mantra in front of the mirror every morning).
So, you made mistakes, you feel shame, sometimes you feel like crying and not talking to anyone else. What exactly is the problem with that? In order to grab the opportunity to enjoy your life and the world around you, it’s paramount that you don’t deny yourself the other half of who you are. Wrap yourself up in darkness when necessary in order to radiate the light with honesty. Be your own sun and moon.
4. Go down the past road
Now let’s get down to business. This is where the true challenge starts. It’s time to recognize the reason behind your negative self-image and bad choices from your past. And you need to dive deeply if you want to learn how to love yourself again.
You might be able to accept the fact that you have a dark side. Yes, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone thinks negative thoughts from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with you. But, can you love this dark side of yours? After all, you can’t reach the self-love status if you can’t accept the whole of you.
It’s crucial to practice meditation and introspection in this case. Take the time to relax and go down the road of your past in order to calmly revisit all of those moments that you regret and feel negative about. There’s bound to be a reason, a trigger behind your actions and behavior. And your task is to find those.
For instance, you might stumble across your bad romantic choices from the past. You hate your behavior from back then and the toxicity of it all. But you come to the conclusion that you held onto this relationship because you needed to feel loved in any way available at that point. This is the reason behind your actions but not the cause.
Talk to the child in you
Once you admit the reasons why you behaved the way you did to yourself, you should write them down. This will help you on an even longer journey to your childhood. And it’s in your childhood past where all the causes lurk and hide.
Ask yourself whether you’ve been a victim of bullying or under a narcissistic influence of an authority figure. Question the moralities and values that were instilled in you to grow up with. Explore the relationship with your parents and siblings. Even if those relationships were strong and loving, you might spot the booming pattern of trying to put everyone else’s needs before your own. Have you ever felt ashamed for being selfish as a child, or being accused as selfish? What kind of expectations did you want to live up to? Leave no stone unturned.
Delving into your past as far as your childhood will provide you with a valuable insight into who you are and how you came to be. It will make it easier for you to identify behavioral patterns that have often led to self-loathing, poor confidence, and bad self-image. And once you’re aware of the long process you took to becoming who you are, you’ll familiarize and bond with yourself truly. Embrace the child you were in order to embrace the adult you are now.
5. Choose what you believe in
You might have a strong religious belief, be an avid science enthusiast or enjoy the concept of magic – or, you might be all three. The point is, you choose what you believe in, and rightfully so. In that respect, it is only your choice what you’re going to believe about yourself.
You might be surprised to learn this, but it’s a proven fact that humans experience about 70% negative thoughts out of everything they think on a daily basis. This is a natural process of worrying and fears that our brain utilizes as a defense mechanism. Without it, you might think that going for a swim in a river during a stormy night is a good idea, who knows. The problem occurs when you take this defense mechanism at a face value in regards to every single negative thought you might have about yourself.
Let’s put it like this – you have a formal occasion to go to. It’s obvious that you have to dress formally. If you put on an old pair of jeans and dirty sneakers and look at your reflection in the mirror, it’s only natural that you’ll feel negative about your image. After all, this isn’t the dress code that applies to that specific occasion. The issue becomes when you dress appropriately in your best formal attire, and still have doubts about your appearance. Doubts are normal, but if you logically know you look fine, why should you believe those sneaky little doubts that are belittling you?
Make a conscious choice, just like you’ve made a choice what to wear to this formal occasion, that you’ll believe the angel on your shoulder saying you look great instead of the devil. Congratulations – you’re learning how to be confident!
6. Take a lead in your life
Do you know what you want to do in your life or do you still turn to others to tell you that? In order to discover how to love yourself first, you need to put yourself first and step into the role of your life’s protagonist.
Sometimes, it may feel easier and less troublesome to follow someone else’s lead, but that won’t bring you the self-love and confidence you crave for. Think about what you want to do, truly. This will let you discover your own life’s purpose. That purpose doesn’t have to be something fancy and grandiose; it can be as simple and fulfilling as giving your best at the job you love, making more memories with your friends and loved ones, and immersing yourself in your interests and hobbies without constraints.
Again, your life’s purpose is your own perception, choice, and the desires you feel within. Even if you can’t define that purpose right now, feel free to explore the possibilities of the things you’ve been wanting to do. Such a practice will direct you on the right track.
And remember – your life equals your decisions; it’s fine to listen to advice but the ultimate choice is only yours.
7. (Re)discover gratitude
A big part of learning how to love self is to feel grateful for what you already have. If you’ve never tried to delve deep into thinking what you’re grateful for, you might think this practice is a mere gimmick. However, practicing gratitude on a daily basis has been known to promote feelings of happiness and satisfaction, as well as the motivation to pursue your goals.
The easiest way to start practicing gratitude is to have a gratitude journal. If you already have a journal, you can use it for this purpose as well. Write something you feel grateful for in your life every morning or evening, whatever fits your schedule better.
There’s no rule what you should write. You can let your mind wander and write down both material and spiritual things. Soon you’ll discover that there are plenty of things to be grateful for. Your family and friends, your home, your pet, the food you get to eat, the sights you get to see are all just the beginning of what you can write and come to realize just how happy and fulfilled all those experiences make you feel.
The more you write, the more things you’ll have to write about. And that magic spell mentioned before just might start working sooner than later once you get into the habit of practicing gratitude and looking at the world and everything you have with more positive and mindful eyes.
Just think about it – if you fail to appreciate everything you have and have achieved so far, how are you to find the motivation for and satisfaction in achieving future goals? Yes, you can push yourself harder, but once those future goals become your present, what will you do if you don’t know how to feel grateful about it?
8. Take up journaling
As mentioned, having a journal can come in handy for writing down things you’re grateful for, but it can also be very beneficial for your emotional health and self-awareness.
Not everyone is able to instantly clear their head and sort out the chaos inside. If you constantly seem to fail at meditation and reflection because you can’t catch the thoughts running around your mind, it might just be that you need a visual and verbal representation of those thoughts.
When you want to write a sentence about how you feel about something, you need to think about it in order to verbalize it. Journaling will force you to do exactly that. Writing your feelings and thoughts down instantly turns them from an abstract into a meaningful and understandable concept. For people who seem unable to recognize their thoughts and feelings, this practice can be immensely valuable.
You don’t have to journal every single day. You might need to make yourself remember to do it in the beginning, but you’ll find soon enough that the need to write things down will show up on its own. Don’t hesitate to fulfill that need every time it occurs. This is your mind signaling that it’s time to reflect and learn more about yourself.
Write your journal as if you were telling your thoughts and feelings to a friend or even a psychotherapist. Yet, you can still be fully open and transparent because no one but you will be able to read it (unless you want to, of course). The purpose of this practice is to help you connect with your inner self and understand yourself better, which is crucial for developing self-love.
9. Step out of your comfort zone
No progress can be made within the boundaries of a comfort zone. Many people hate to hear about this step because they have a wrong perception of what a comfort zone is or getting out of it. Essentially, stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean you should do something that you absolutely hate or would make you a nervous wreck just because it’s different than what you’re used to.
What you can do, however, is make room for small changes that might make you slightly nervous yet you low-key wish for them. Think about what tends to irritate you a bit in your daily life.
Could it be…
For instance, you might enjoy having intimate gatherings with your friends on Saturdays at home. Still, you have to admit that there were times when you thought how nice it would be to actually go out. It may not be something you’re used to, but take that baby step and suggest going out for the next weekend.
On the other hand, you might not know how to swim. It doesn’t affect you in any way, but you still think it would be nice to go to the beach or the pool during the warm summer months. If that’s the case, sign up for swimming lessons! What’s the worst that could happen? You learning how to swim and enjoying your summer to the fullest? Not a bad deal.
People can also get stuck in a comfort zone when it comes to their work. That doesn’t have to mean you don’t like what you do, quite the contrary. But if you have some tasks and/or clients that make you stressed to no end, maybe it’s time to ask for a change of the work schedule and organization.
Basically, stepping outside of your comfort zone involves all those steps that you secretly wish to take but you just can’t admit it to yourself because it’s “easier not to bother at all”. Sadly, that’s not how progress works. No change can happen in your life when you constantly opt not to bother.
10. Get ready for external criticism
It’s just how things are; when you start to change, people around you might feel wary and uncertain. After all, they’re used to the old you and the new you might not suit absolutely everyone in your life. You have to remember that it’s OK not to meet other people’s standards and expectations as long as you’re meeting yours.
If you find that you’re finally feeling more content with yourself and generally happier, it means that you’re doing the right things for yourself. People who truly care for you will recognize this change for the better and encourage it. Sadly, you might be better off without those who try to pull you down the moment you start making a positive change. You don’t have to cut off everyone that’s acting toxic towards you, but you should definitely minimize the contact and make a choice to refuse having their criticism affect you.
This might be easier said than done though, especially if the toxic people in your life are very close friends of yours or maybe even family members. Therefore, make it a point to strongly believe in your goal of self-love. Just because you’re changing doesn’t mean that your love for these people will change. Don’t hesitate to tell them that. It might not be enough to fix the toxicity but, in the end, it’s really all that you can do. Never beat yourself over the fact that someone you care for cannot understand your need to feel happy and confident.
11. Do your best to exercise regularly
Yes, this is a step that tends to be the most frowned upon when it comes to making a positive change, but if you want to learn how to love yourself and be confident, this is something you have to do; you deserve to experience the benefits of regular physical activity.
When you move your body and sweat, you effectively get rid of the accumulated toxins. What’s more, the physical activity allows your body to produce more of the happy hormone (serotonin) and diminish the effects of the stress hormone (cortisol). In that respect, exercising truly does make you feel happier and more energetic. It also promotes better sleep, which automatically makes you less tired and moody the next day.
Aside from mental benefits, physical activity obviously contributes to better physical health. Not only will you get fitter and enjoy your reflection in the mirror more, but you’ll also find that you feel less pain in your neck, back, and joints.
It’s very easy to find the excuse not to exercise though, the most common being the lack of time. But you honestly don’t need to spend more than 15-20 minutes of your time daily on physical activity. You don’t even have to go to the gym; it’s perfectly possible to exercise at home when you have a bunch of fitness videos to follow on YouTube for free.
The road to learning how to love yourself more is sweaty!
12. You are who you are with
People you spend the most time with will affect you in one way or the other. As mentioned, you can’t learn how to love yourself again if you constantly listen to other people’s criticism and seek their validation.
Still, it can be really difficult to recognize toxicity sometimes, especially if it’s masked as heartfelt advice. The important thing here is to trust and listen to yourself. How do you feel after spending time with different people? If someone makes you feel all drained and emotionally exhausted after being with them, it’s a clear sign that your subconscious doesn’t align with theirs. And there’s nothing wrong with admitting that.
On the other hand, there will always be people in your surroundings that make you feel inspired, happier, and more confident. These are the type of people you want to spend most of your time with.
In the end, you tend to behave as your own group of closest people. If they tend to be negative and self-loathing, what else could you expect for yourself? But if you surround yourself with positive and uplifting individuals, the same rule of adopting their behavioral patterns will apply, allowing you to further pursue your betterment.
13. How to love yourself without suppressing your emotions
You may have accepted your past negativity, but if you want to enjoy self-love and confidence, it’s crucial that you never suppress your negative emotions. Suppression is the worst form of defense mechanism that could lead to really bad habits such as binging, alcohol, and even drugs.
It’s only natural that you’ll get to feel negative emotions such as fear and sadness in the future. But if you force yourself to ignore them and put on a happy face, these emotions will only eat away at you from the inside, making you miserable and unable to move on. The key is to accept them, feel them, and allow them to pass. Remember, feeling the pain and sadness won’t hurt you, not really. These are just emotions that prove you’re alive. What will hurt you in the long run, however, is refusing to acknowledge your emotions and trying to suffocate them.
You might think that letting yourself go and expressing negative emotions will make it difficult for you to finally love yourself. That’s completely false. Let’s say you’ve lost someone dear to you. If you don’t let yourself grieve, the pain will remain an open wound inside you. But when you address this pain and allow yourself the time to feel sad for as long as necessary, your wound will slowly start to heal. It might leave a scar, but it won’t cause stabbing pain and irritations for years on end.
Now, imagine if you had to go about your days with an open and infected wound on your body. The physical pain would be excruciating. The same goes for emotional pain. Feeling it means treating it. It will lead to a better understanding of yourself and a stronger emotional competence necessary to be perfectly in tune with who you are.
14. Explore the possibilities of alone time
Do you find it uncomfortable to spend time on your own? You might feel really anxious when you have to go out and complete daily tasks with no company. Or, you could simply always crave the presence of someone else so you wouldn’t have to talk to yourself. As you can probably guess, these are all negative aspects of poor self-image and perception.
One of the biggest truths in life is that to truly love yourself, you need to be comfortable with spending time only with yourself. Your mind is a whole universe of its own, and just like you have a lot to offer to the world, you have even more to offer to yourself. Being alone with your thoughts doesn’t have to make you uncomfortable if you don’t let the negative thoughts win you over.
Enjoying some personal alone time is a great way to practice mindfulness and get in touch with your inner self. You can start by taking walks outside in nature and letting your mind run free with lovely thoughts about the beautiful sights in front of your eyes.
If it feels too challenging to walk without an aim, give yourself a goal. It could be an actual place you want to reach on your walks, or a number of steps you wish to take, just install a pedometer app on your phone.
Solitude is freedom
This will ease your way into the meditation and reflection practices that you can do at home. What’s more, it will slowly but surely help you feel more relaxed in your own body without the shield of another person’s company. And when you can enjoy being on your own, more opportunities will open up for you. You can sign up for classes that you’ve always wanted, meet new people, and engage in hobbies that make your heart filled with happiness. Solitude won’t be a chain anymore, but a ticket to unlimited freedom.
15. Embrace your own unique self
In order to learn how to love self, you need to respect what that self entails. We have all felt the pressure of having to fit in at some point. But, as long as you’re not doing something illegal or unhealthy, what is the point of fitting in, really? Of course, it just might happen that your true and unique self already fits the societal norms, and that’s perfectly fine. But if there are aspects where it doesn’t, you don’t need to hide.
Trying to change who you are just to be accepted by people who wouldn’t know how to appreciate the real you can make you feel miserable, and actually contribute to self-loathing and hate. You see, your mind already knows that this is bad. It is your right to dress however you want to, rock hairstyles you find most appealing, get piercings and tattoos if you so like, have whatever likes and interests that spark joy in you, and so on.
Think about it – who made the “normal” people an authority on what’s acceptable and what’s not? Let’s remember the wise words of Charles Addams: “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”
“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” -Charles Adam Click To Tweet
So, who exactly do you need to apologize to for being who you are and why? Are you bothering anyone by leading your own life and minding your own business? Of course not!
You only have yourself to apologize to for trying to hide your uniqueness and individuality from the world.
16. Not everything other people do is personal
On your way to learning how to love yourself and be confident, you’ll have to master one very important lesson. People may do and say things that could end up affecting you indirectly but that doesn’t mean it’s all personal! Unless you have an arch-enemy, you can be 100% sure that no one’s out to get you.
People in your surroundings have their own lives to lead and things to worry about, and if it happens that some of their decisions affect you a tad negatively, it most definitely doesn’t mean that it was on purpose, with a specific goal to undermine you.
You might think that this isn’t true for you but be completely honest with yourself. Have you never thought that your friends canceled on you because it was something you did to irritate them? You may have heard random people on the street laughing about something and immediately thought it was about you? It’s these little things that make you feel trapped and attacked when the threat has never existed in the first place.
If you want to reach the self-love status, it’s crucial that you ditch this toxic belief as soon as possible. It’s true that you are the center of your own world, but you’re not the center of everyone else’s world. Your thoughts and beliefs shape your personality. In that sense, even if someone has actually done or said something with the intention to hurt you, those words and actions say a lot more about their own personality than they do about yours.
17. Practice what you preach
Your word won’t mean much if you constantly hand out advice you yourself never follow. Not to mention that you’ll lose all credibility if you go on and on about things you want to do but never actually do them. In the end, it doesn’t matter what other people think of you. But, this kind of behavior will actually affect you negatively, as well.
Not only will you lose credibility in the eyes of other people, but you’ll lose credibility in your own eyes, which is a lot worse. If you have a history of claiming how you want to change but have never taken any action toward that change, you’ll get too comfy within that dangerous zone of “I will do it eventually, just not now”.
In case you’ve recognized yourself, it’s time to ask what’s stopping you. What exactly are you waiting for? True, the future will inevitably come, but your life won’t change just because the time is passing – unless you take action!
Yes, making yourself start is difficult. Making a routine out of actions that promote self-love and confidence is even more difficult. But the most difficult thing in the world is remaining stuck in one place, forever wishing to do something but never doing it.
18. Stop avoiding conflicts at all cost
You might wonder what does conflict has to do with how to love yourself first. Well, most people who’re struggling with the concept of self-love have huge issues with conflicts; they avoid them like plague.
Obviously, no one enjoys conflict. But, sometimes, it’s necessary to stand your ground and simply defend yourself. It’s not uncommon for people who deal with self-loathing and insecurities on a daily basis to simply comply and get away in order to prevent uncomfortable situations. More accurately, they want to prevent themselves from feeling the discomfort that typically comes with conflict.
Now, if you’re someone who does this as well, you have to understand that no one will be your voice and advocate for you. It’s true, some meaningless conflicts should be avoided if possible, especially if you don’t care enough to get involved. But if the matter is something that strongly affects you, don’t just let everyone else do and say as they please.
You don’t need to yell. There’s no need to lose head over anything. But you can say and do whatever’s necessary in order not to bury your identity again. And this is exactly what you’re doing every time you allow someone to walk all over you without making an effort to speak your mind and defend yourself.
If you constantly find yourself in these types of situations, how can you grow to love yourself? You’re basically telling yourself that you’re not worthy of self-defense, which can seriously impact your self-worth, image, and confidence.
19. Vulnerability is not a weakness
There has been this rather strange and overwhelming concept we’ve been seeing for decades in books and movies that glorifies strength and never showing your emotions. For instance, nowadays we can see this in millennial tips on how to reach your goals, with just work, work, work, no time to have fun, no time to be sad (no time to be happy either).
It’s true, success requires hard work, but humans aren’t robots. If you want to practice self-care that will hopefully allow you to learn how to love yourself more, you have to create a proper balance in your life. There’s time for work, but there has to be a time for having fun and simply being vulnerable.
Vulnerability doesn’t mean you’re weak. Quite the contrary. As mentioned before, you have to let your emotions show, both good and bad, if you don’t want them to eat away at you. Imagine if on top of that you had to constantly put up with loads of work. The stress and pressure would become overwhelming and possibly affect even your physical health negatively.
Honestly, who are you listening to when you think that working for 20 hours a day and maintaining a façade of an emotionless robot could do you any good? Modern life couches can do more harm than good so be very careful about who you’re going to trust.
You have to be vulnerable in order to be stronger.
20. Engage in things you like
Engaging in your hobbies and interests is a great way to relieve stress. In that respect, it’s also a rather effective method of learning how to love yourself first. We mentioned the importance of taking actions and allowing yourself the time to explore what life has to offer. Therefore, spending time doing the things you like has to be on your list of priorities.
For starters, this is how you find the pleasure in living your life to the fullest. If you never do anything that brings you joy, how will you know just how joyful waking up every day as yourself can be? What’s more, following your interests can help you on your road to discovering your life’s purpose. Not to mention that it can open the doors to a plethora of new opportunities you’ve never dreamed of.
With the Internet and digital technologies at your fingertips, you have numerous possibilities to explore your interests, nurture them, and even reach out to like-minded people online. You can check up available online courses to improve your skills further.
This seemingly unimportant practice can fill your life with happiness and meaning, allow you to step out of your comfort zone more securely, open up to different things, and ultimately, experience life with confidence and self-love you deserve.
21. Don’t give up just because you’re not instantly good at it
Continuing with the notion of hobbies and interests, the biggest issue for many people who are struggling with self-love and acceptance seems to be the defeating sense of not being a master of a certain activity from the moment you try it.
Remember, you don’t have to be Mozart in order to make the most out of playing an instrument or Leonardo da Vinci in order to enjoy painting. The same goes for other activities, such as writing, sports, and so on.
No one is born with an inherent knowledge or masterful skill set when it comes to music, arts, and sports. It takes effort to become better. And you have to remember why you’re engaging in these hobbies in the first place. It’s not to prove yourself to the world or gain validation from others. It’s to reconnect with yourself and make the most out of your free time in a joyful and engaging manner.
So, don’t turn this fun and entertaining activity that’s meant to help you learn how to love yourself again into just another way to belittle yourself. Be conscious of your tendencies to seek perfection where perfection isn’t necessary, but can only make things worse.
22. Change things up
In order to grow and improve spiritually and emotionally, you need to maintain a constant routine of healthy and uplifting self-care actions. But, repeating the same things over and over again can become boring pretty quickly. Please don’t think that boredom means you’re a failure. Everyone gets bored with repetition. However, repetition seems to be a beneficial thing in this case. So, what to do?
Instead of breaking your healthy habits and the created routine, you can keep the actions but change things up internally.
For instance, if you work out every morning before work, continue exercising, but switch up your exercises. There are tons of them for you to try out.
In case you’re doing your best to follow a healthy and balanced diet but you’re already tired of the meals you’ve been making, check out other recipes online and try cooking something new.
If you make it a point to take a walk every day, choose a different path. Even if it’s just a walk to work or school, you can change your route to spice things up a bit.
The thing you decide to switch up can be even smaller, yet its impact won’t be less valuable. That said, if you find it relaxing to purchase a cup of coffee and drink it in a café, you can change the café or your coffee order.
Motivation is an important ingredient of making a change in your life, and there’s no better way to keep it at its peak than providing yourself with more options.
23. Don’t run away
We have highlighted the importance of vulnerability, feeling your emotions, and embracing every part of yourself including the dark one many a time already. And this is all crucial for learning how to love yourself and be confident. But you also have to be careful not to go to another extreme.
Being vulnerable and in tune with your emotions doesn’t mean that it’s always justifiable to run away when things get tough. Yes, sometimes it will be better to let certain situations pass you by, but if you want to become the person you love, you’ll have to face the tough times when necessary.
In the end, it’s the difficult and challenging situations that can make you stronger, more confident, and the better version of yourself. You have the responsibility to analyze and interpret these situations as they come at you in order to pinpoint ones that are worth your effort.
24. Shift your attention to other people
Now, this seems a bit counterproductive. Why focus on other people when you’re desperately trying to learn how to love self you’ve been blessed with? One of the biggest truths, when you’re striving for self-love, is to let the love you feel reach others in your surroundings too.
Helping others when they feel bad is not only a noble and kind thing to do, but it will also help you widen your perception and stop living in your own head constantly. Even though you need to take the time to familiarize and get to know yourself better, you also have to avoid excessive self-absorbing behavior. This can only make you neurotic and stressed.
On the other hand, when you get to truly listen to other people and put yourself in their shoes in order to understand them better and provide them with heartfelt advice, you also get to grow emotionally. Your compassion for the world will translate to the compassion you have for yourself easier.
Furthermore, learning what torments others will put your own problems and inner demons to rest for a while. When you seriously think about what your friends or loved ones are going through yet you still have unconditional love for them and want them to recognize their own self-worth too, chances are you’ll find you’re not so bad after all. Most importantly, you deserve that same care and kindness.
Don’t get this wrong, you should never compare yourself to others. You’re your own person with unique qualities and flaws. But it is helpful to understand where others are coming from in order to understand yourself better as well. After all, you don’t have to learn only from your own experiences.
25. Celebrate the differences and similarities
Every single person in the world is different. We all have unique fingerprints and handwriting, and a whole world inside our minds. Being different is beautiful. And that beauty is only strengthened through finding shared similarities among one another.
In that respect, there’s no need to feel bad because you’re not the same as others just like there’s no need to feel insecure in your own identity just because you may not be different enough. If you want to learn how to be confident, you simply need to – do you.
You can do a fun exercise and create a list of things you believe make you completely different from everyone else in the world. As you’re doing this, remember to choose not to believe your negative thoughts. It’s your list and no external force will be checking up your bullet points. Enjoy this time you have for yourself. Have fun with the points you make.
Once you’re done with the differences, write down things you believe you share with others. This is also a great way to recognize that you’re not alone. The listing might even make you feel closer to your friends and loved ones when you give it some serious thought.
With everything written down, inspect what you’ve come up with carefully. This is a document that celebrates your differences and similarities compared to others. It’s a testimony of everything that makes you you and helps you bond and resonate with others in a truthful and loving manner. Be proud of what’s on that piece of paper.
You have all the power you need to change your life for the better and be the person you want to be; someone you can love and appreciate. It’s all about accepting both your dark and light sides in order to silence the negative thoughts in favor of positive ones. All other actions and activities in your routine should be directed to the goal of becoming better and healthier both mentally and physically in order to live your best life and feel confident while doing it.
It’s your birthright to simply be you.