“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
– Thích Nhất Hạnh
Many of us forget to love ourselves. We are normally the ones who are the hardest on ourselves, often doubting our abilities and wondering if we are good enough. If we are not good enough for ourselves, who else will think we are good enough for them?
Learning to love yourself is perhaps the only way to obtain true happiness. It’s not selfish to start loving yourself more as this happiness within you will eventually light up the lives of those around you. If you’re unhappy yourself, you’re just going to be grouchy around your loved ones and lack the energy to do good deeds for the people around you. In other words, you’ll be unhappy and you’ll make those around you unhappy.
It is not easy to love everything about ourselves. We weren’t born perfect, nobody is. But you can do something to make your life a lot better than what is experienced by the average individual. Here’s how:
8 steps to loving yourself more (and a happier you)
1. Advocate for yourself
You are your best advocate. It is not reasonable or healthy for you to depend on others to make you feel good about yourself. If you’ve always waited for someone else to grant you your happiness, for each and every moment of your life, you’re likely to be disappointed.
2. Know that it’s all in your mind
Happiness and self-love exist in your mind and nobody can make up your mind – except you! As you begin to listen to your needs, to live up to your potential and to love yourself unconditionally, you will develop a strong belief in yourself.
3. Believe in yourself
Loving and believing in yourself go hand-in-hand. You can’t love yourself if you don’t believe in yourself – and you can’t believe in yourself if you don’t love yourself first.
At times, it can be hard to believe in yourself – especially when nothing seems to be going right. But, it is during those times that you need your own love the most. Shift your mindset away from being a victim. Never give up and never give in on anything that is important to you.
4. Accept all aspects of you
The people who are the happiest with their lives are those who can learn to love themselves – just the way they are. They are accepting of every aspect of themselves and the only way to do so is to accept, as from this minute, that you are perfect!
This does not mean that you do not learn to change from your shortcomings. Instead, you are being gentle and kind to yourself despite all your ‘flaws’.
5. Don’t over-analyse or compare yourself to others
The more you do so, the less self-worth you place on yourself. You are who you are, we are all unique and that’s how it is supposed to be.
6. Find out what your life values are
Have you already spent some time really getting to know your true self? How well do you know what really matters to you? What are your most important values and passions in life?
It’s very important to know and understand your personal values. This helps you to shape your life and be true to yourself. Decisions are easier to make too as you can test your options out against your personal values (for example, when choosing a job, a partner, a home, a present and so on).
Realise which values mean the most to you. Examples of these values include: honesty, integrity, fun, happiness, independence, compassion, power, flexibility, humour, comfort, space, success, well-being… there are hundreds of them!
Consciously, you may not be aware of what your key values are. Here are two ways to find out:
Acknowledge the way you treat people, how you conduct yourself and how you expect others to treat you.
Think about three people or personalities you admire the most. What are the reasons you look up to them? Your answers will give you a clue of what is important to you.
7. Incorporate your values in your life
Think about how you could incorporate your precious values in your day-to-day life. Life is so much sweeter when everything you do is in tune with your personal values.
8. Love yourself more: 4 questions to ask yourself
Loving yourself is accepting yourself and recognising your qualities. Explore who you are and how you can love yourself more by answering the questions below. Aim for at least five qualities per question (or more, since we believe you’re awesome!):
What do people like about you?
Remember what others have said about you. If you don’t remember, ask them.
What do you like about yourself?
It may be difficult for you to write down how wonderful you are but think about why you are unique and think about the things you have achieved in life.
What do you give to others that you don’t give to yourself?
Think of each aspect of your life: home, love, social life, family, career, health, creativity, spirituality. What would your life be like if you gave all that to yourself?
How can you love yourself as much as you love others?
Think about a list of simple things you can regularly do for yourself that would show you cared about yourself – things you really enjoy. What would you have to give up (if anything) in order to make time for the things you have decided to do?
Learning to love yourself starts with making a conscious decision, an intention to be true to yourself and to fulfill your passions as an individual. Put some trust in yourself and you will feel more enriched, more satisfied, more in control and less guilty!
Do you feel like the world would be a better place if people loved themselves more? How much do you love yourself?