As someone once says “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else?!”. Self-love is really important, but not necessarily something that comes naturally to us, nor something very easy to achieve, especially in a world that seems to frown upon any sort of self-confidence or love towards ourselves. So how can you love yourself more?
Realize that it is not selfish
It’s not selfish to love yourself, in fact, it is an act of survival. As much as we are taught to put others first, this is not always a healthy way to live and can cause you to burn out, with unhappiness and unfulfillment in our lives. It is important to remember that the most important person in your life should be you, and it is not selfish, but necessary to focus on yourself and your needs before being able to help others – you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Remember why self-love is important
When we love ourselves, we value ourselves and therefore look after ourselves. When we see our own importance, we make sure we feed our bodies well and look after our mind and emotions correctly, therefore helping us live our best lives more fully. If you love yourself, you are more likely to thrive in other areas of your life, such as your career or relationships and then the self-love will snowball, and keep growing.
Understand that it is not an overnight fix
As much as we would like to say that all it takes is a decision to love yourself and suddenly it is so, that is not the case. Loving yourself is a long-game and will take active decisions to achieve; however, it will get easier. Once you realize the benefits of loving yourself, it will start to come a little more naturally, and when you develop the healthy habits and attitudes that form the basis of self-love, you can just keep building on these. There will be knock-backs of course, but if you persevere, it will be worth it in the long run.
Listen to the voice within
With everything else that is going on in our lives, it’s no wonder that we often forget to listen to our inner voice – in fact, quite often it seems that we just drown it out. Try to make a conscious effort to tune in to your inner voice, reflecting on what it is you are feeling, and what you need. Listen to it as though it is someone else speaking, and perhaps even write down what it is that you are hearing. This will help you tune into yourself and allow you to become familiar with that all-important voice within.
Trust your gut
If your gut is trying to tell you something, rather than silencing it, as we so often do, go with it. In fact, for one whole day, tune into your gut feelings and act only on them, rather than over-thinking everything. This is not sustainable for the long run, but it will hopefully help you learn to focus on what it is you truly want to do, but that is all too often shoved to the side for the things that you think you “should” do. As with anything in life, there is a balance, but by honoring your own personal needs and desires, you will begin to feel more loved.
Make a conscious effort to begin to love yourself more right now. Start to give your own self the level of care, respect, dignity, and love that you provide to those close to you and see how it changes your life. You deserve love, especially from yourself!