I'm sure by now you have heard the phrase, "If you can't love yourself how do you expect anyone else to love you?"
If you're like me, then you probably rolled your eyes at this statement. While I do believe it is possible to find love without loving yourself, it is still an important factor in finding true happiness.
For some of us, loving yourself isn't so easy, in fact, it can be much more difficult than finding a partner to love you.
Depression, low self-esteem, and other mental health issues frequently get in the way of feeling at peace within ourselves. I spent the better part of the last 20 years hating everything about myself, and it's literally gotten me nowhere. It's when I ultimately started to let my guard down, and explore who I really am that things began to change.
The truth is, you aren't going to make things better for yourself by hating yourself. You have to start by embracing your imperfections, your individuality. Embrace what makes you unique.
Be gentle with yourself. Perhaps you aren't where you thought you would be in life. That's alright. There is still time. It's never too late to make the changes you want to see. There is always something you can do, regardless how small.
Pay attention to how you're feeling. Validate yourself. Give yourself credit for the things you feel and experience. Give yourself acknowledgment for the things you do on a day-to-day basis.
Learning to love yourself is about so much more than letting go of damaging thoughts or just thinking positively. It starts with baby steps. Taking care of yourself and taking care of your basic needs. Sometimes when our most basic needs are neglected, that sets us up for more negative feelings or thoughts later.
Take time out to check and evaluate what you're feeling and why. Where are these feelings coming from? Is there anything I can do about it?
Take time out for yourself. Create a space that's personal and makes you feel secure, and do something you really enjoy.
Get in touch with your inner child. Some of us have negative feelings and thoughts rooted all the way back to childhood. Body issues in particular almost always start in childhood. Try to think back to what it was that first made you start to question yourself. What was it that first made you begin to feel negative about yourself?
Don't give too much credibility to the opinion of others. Opinions are just that: opinions. They are rarely based on fact and usually full with judgment.
Don't conform to someone else's standards for what your life should be. Set your own standards. No one else gets to determine your worth. You do.
Your worth is not based on what other people believe about you, how much money you make, or who loves you. You are more than that. You are not an accessory. There is so much more to you than what other people perceive.
Remember people are only capable of perceiving things from their own perspective, so when it comes to your life and your sense of self, they aren't getting the full impression. You are the only one who knows what it is to be you and what you need to be a better you. There is no absolutely correct way to live your life.
Cut down on stress. Maybe your goals are too big to tackle in one step. Try breaking them up into smaller steps. No one gets to where they want to be in one giant step. We are always changing and evolving as people. You aren't who you were.
Improve what you can, focus only on what you can achieve. If you spend too much time focusing and tormenting yourself about what you can't do, you're going to miss out on all the outstanding things that you can do. discover what you can do. Find what you can change, what you excel at, and do it.
It's important to keep going; we often forget to keep going once we miss a step or get discouraged if we can't take that next step forward. Even a step backward is still a step forwards if you keep going.
There won't always be someone there to cheer you on, or to encourage you. There will be people who want to see you fail. You have to be your own support sometimes. The best way to get revenge and show someone up? Get back up and keep going.
It's not going to be easy. You will have days where nothing in the world can make you feel like you can keep going. It's all right to give attention to those feelings too. It's ok to take some time and just be depressed, frustrated, or whatever you might be feeling. The important thing is that you don't stay in that place of suffering.
Comparable to a child running, you might fall and scrape your knee. It's all right to want to sit down and cry. Take that moment. Take that break. There is always tomorrow.
Sometimes bottling it all up and pushing forward through the pain can make you feel worse. Not all of us can get back up and keep running.
When dealing with other people remember you can only change yourself and how you react. We don't all see eye to eye and that's a given; we all deal with stress and pressure in different ways.
Don't feel discouraged because something that works for someone else isn't working for you. Or possibly someone accomplished a goal before you. You are not that person. You are unique. It doesn't matter how similar you think you are. Stop comparing yourself to others. Your journey is different. Our experiences are different.
Be yourself, be your authentic self. Explore what it is to be you.