Love is the most beautiful emotion of them all. However, as amazing as it is to be open-hearted toward others, the most significant question in the world is: How to start loving yourself?
When you have a hard time caring about yourself, nothing else in your life can go right. You have zero self-confidence, you feel no security and at the end of the day, you don’t live a happy life.
Everyone keeps talking about it. Wherever you look, you read and hear things that remind you of the importance of self-love.
So, you’re perfectly aware that you have to start giving yourself more love. However, nobody actually tells you how to start loving yourself.
Well, nobody except us.
Here is a step-by-step guide through your self-love journey and the answer to the question of how to love yourself more.
Forget about being a perfectionist
The number one reason why most people don’t love truly themselves is the fact that they’re perfectionists.
Don’t misunderstand me; trying to improve yourself and putting effort into your own personal development and personal growth is admirable.
However, the truth is that you can never become perfect, as much as you try so please, stop expecting yourself to be the best at everything you do.
In fact, there is no such thing as being perfect. You’re just a human being made of flesh and blood, just like any other person in this world.
All of us have our set of flaws and there is no point in stressing over every single one of them.
After all, what does it mean to be perfect? Do you or any other person in this world have the same vision of perfection? I bet not.
The thing is that you have to stop wasting your precious energy on trying to achieve something that is unattainable. Go easy on yourself and don’t try going on a wild goose chase.
Instead of focusing on poor choices, concentrate on all the things you have done well. Stop looking for your own flaws and start observing yourself as someone worthy of everyone’s admiration.
When you’re trying to figure out how to start loving yourself or how to love yourself more, firstly, you have to accept your true self. Before anything else, begin with knowing who you really are.
What are the parts of you that you truly consider to be yours? What are the traits others imposed on you but you’ve actually never accepted? Who are you and who do you want to be? How do you see yourself?
Are you the person you wanted to become all of your life? Most importantly, what kind of person would you like to be if it all depended on you?
Well, guess, what? It all really does depend on you. In fact, you’re the only person who needs to accept all of your qualities and flaws.
To practice self-love is about self-acceptance. It’s not denying any parts of your personality.
You know how you don’t laugh as loud as you would just because your partner doesn’t like it? How you stopped wearing that colorful shirt just because your family thought it wasn’t appropriate?
It’s about time to stop pretending to be someone you’re not. Dig deep inside of you and remember the girl or the boy you used to be. Love your imperfections the same way you love your good sides. Do you know why?
Because they all form one amazing person—YOU.
Remember: you’re one of a kind. In a million years, there won’t be someone the same as you so what’s there not to love about this uniqueness?
Forget about society’s validation
Now that you’ve done the hard part, it’s time to stop comparing yourself to others as well. Guess what? You’ll never please everyone around you so you might just as well stop trying. This is one of the best recipes for an easier life.
If your parents don’t see you as good enough, they’ll never appreciate you or see your worth, regardless of how much effort you put into trying to change their opinion.
On the other hand, you might be the best possible person to them but maybe your partner has some expectations you can’t seem to fulfill.
The bottom line is that no matter what you do, there will always be someone who will tell you that you should do things differently.
The truth is that you can spend your entire life worrying about other people’s opinions but even then, you won’t change them and you won’t succeed in making everyone love you.
The first thing you have to do if you plan on forgetting about unrealistic society’s expectations is to get rid of all of your social media accounts.
If this is impossible, please, at least, understand that almost everything on Facebook and Instagram is fake.
Don’t worry, I know exactly how you feel. You go on your news feed and you automatically get the impression that all your friends are better in this game called life.
If you’re of a certain age, you’re expected to have it all figured out. It seems that everyone has graduated, started a family, has a happy love life and so on. Everyone except you.
Everyone is traveling, going to the gym, losing weight and living their best life. Everyone except you.
Naturally, when you compare yourself to others, you see yourself as the biggest failure ever. Do you know why is that so?
Because you keep limiting yourself by what is expected of you. You don’t go after your desires; you’re trying to fulfill society’s standards.
Who told you that there is a certain age by which you have to have a steady job? Who says that you have to get married? That’s right, nobody. So please, forget about this nonsense and live your life the way you want.
After all, the goal is to make yourself happy, not society.
Knowing this, you’re probably wondering what the key to happiness is. Well, nobody can give you a concrete answer to this question but I can guarantee that gratitude is one of the most important ways to get there.
At first glance, you might think that the happiest people have it all but I can tell you that the truth is quite different. On the contrary, the happiest people are just thankful for everything they have.
After all, nobody has it all, therefore what you should do is embrace gratitude. I promise you that once you do, you’ll grow to love your own life more and eventually, you’ll start this self-love journey.
Most of the time, you’re focused on the bad things around you. Well, for a change, try and look at things from a different perspective.
Maybe you can’t save enough money to decorate your house but hey, at least you have a home, don’t you? Maybe you are not happy with your current career choice but you do have a job, don’t you?
Don’t misunderstand me, this is not me advising you to remain stuck in your comfort zone for the rest of your life.
I’m not telling you to ditch personal development, not to follow your dreams or to stop aspiring for greater things.
Instead, I’m just begging you to stop paying so much attention to the things you want to change and instead, be thankful for all of your blessings.
Be grateful that you’re alive and be grateful if you’re healthy. You’re surrounded by those who care for you and no matter what happens, tomorrow is always a new day.
Trust me, this alone is much more than many people can even dream of having.
Change your self-perception
Before getting the answers to your questions of how to start loving yourself and how to love yourself more, you have to get to the bottom of this question: Why don’t you love yourself in the first place? Lucky for you, I have the answer to this one too.
You see, the core problem is that you think low of yourself. You might refuse to admit it but the truth is very apparent.
Obviously, you consider yourself unlovable. You are convinced that you’re not worthy of anyone’s love. Your inner voice is telling you that you’re not attractive, smart, intelligent or interesting enough for anyone to love you.
You can deny it as much as you want but you know this is how you feel about yourself.
Well, in order to change your negative emotions, you have to change your self-perception. You have to boost your self-esteem and remind yourself that you really are worthy and valuable.
Easier said than done, I know. Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could snap your fingers and start seeing yourself in a different light, just like that?
However, this change requires time. It requires you to get out of the box you’ve put yourself in and to eventually start seeing all of your qualities.
To start with, start an amazing habit: journaling. Every night before you go to sleep, write at least five things that made you feel proud of yourself.
Write down five good things you’ve done that day or the right choices you’ve made. This doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, as any milestone will do the trick.
For example, you can record that you got up for work on time, without having to rush your morning routine or that for a change, you had a healthy lunch.
Also, pay yourself a couple of compliments and write them down too.
You can add some things such as the fact that you were calm enough not to respond to your co-worker’s nasty look, that you smelled great or that you were extra funny today.
The list is endless but I’m sure you know where I’m going with this.
At first, remembering five good things will be difficult. However, with time, you’ll even start to increase the number of compliments and the praise you give yourself.
So, the next time you feel like you love yourself less than you should, engage in some self-talk. Just go over your self-love diary, read all the great things you did over those days and give yourself some compliments.
Just like that, your self-image will start to shift, without you even noticing. Your self-confidence will skyrocket and self-love will come along.
Cut toxic people off
In order to get an answer to the question of how to start loving yourself, you have to be in a loving environment.
It’s impossible to care for yourself in a proper way if you’re surrounded by hatred, pessimism and negative thoughts and people.
Therefore, please cut off anyone who doesn’t mean you well.
Regardless of whether these toxic people are your family or friends you’ve known your whole life, if they don’t send you positivity, it’s time for them to go.
Basically, what I’m advising you is to get rid of everyone who doesn’t truly love you. You see, you’re going through a sensitive time right now. You’re easily subjected to other people’s opinions and impressions of you.
It’s actually pretty simple; if you surround yourself with people who think poorly of you, you’ll adopt their opinions.
If you surround yourself with those who keep you sending you the message that you’re not meant to be loved, you’ll start considering yourself not worthy of love.
On the other hand, if you’re constantly in the company of people who see all of your value, you’ll start believing it as well.
If you’re in the company of those who think highly of you, after a while, you’ll begin looking at yourself through their eyes as well.
I’m sure you’re a great friend, co-worker or sibling and an even better son or daughter.
You’re always full of understanding about everything your loved ones do, you put a lot of effort into making them happier and you do everything in your power to help them out when they need it.
That’s an amazing trait, I won’t argue against that. However, having all of this in mind, I can’t help but wonder: What exactly is stopping you from treating yourself the same way?
Why do you engage in that much self-criticism, self-loathing and self-doubt but you’re not like that where everyone else is concerned?
If you’re being honest, you’ll admit that you treat everyone else around you better than you treat yourself. Why is that so? Does that mean that you love all of them more than you love yourself?
Why not engage in a little experiment. Try imagining that you’re your own best friend.
What would you tell that friend, if they came to you and told you that they don’t love themselves? What would you tell them if they made a mistake?
Would you accuse them of being a failure or would you give them the reassurance they desperately need?
What would you tell them if they were going through a break-up?
Would you rub salt into the wound by telling them that they’re good for nothing and that nobody else would ever love them?
Or would you tell them that they’re better off single and that they should be happy about getting rid of their toxic ex?
You don’t have to answer any of these questions because I already know which options you’d choose. So, why don’t you start telling yourself each one of these lines?
These double standards don’t end there. Let’s imagine that it’s your best friend’s birthday. I bet that you would do anything to get them the perfect gift.
You would spend all the money and time in the world just to see them happy.
However, you never treat yourself in the same manner. You rarely do anything to please yourself.
Well, it’s about time to change that. I’m begging you, start pampering yourself, the way you pamper others.
Love your body
Let’s be real here; you can’t love your mind and emotions unless you love the physical part of yourself as well. Regardless of how you feel about it, your body is a part of you.
No, I’m not here to tell you to lose weight and to become a supermodel because that’s not a path to self-love. The truth is that you should try to get in shape but your health should be the number one reason to do so.
Instead, I’m here to beg you to start loving your body, to ask you to embrace all of your physical imperfections, the same way you should do with all the personality traits you don’t like.
You can undergo all the plastic surgery and aesthetic treatments in the world but if you don’t teach yourself to be happy in your own skin, you’ll keep finding new flaws nobody else even notices.
Your nose will always be too big, your mouth too small and your teeth never white enough. What I’m trying to say is that loving your body means accepting it instead of changing it.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do anything about the things that can easily be changed and that you don’t like about yourself.
For example, if you are really bothered about that extra fat you’ve got on your stomach, start exercising.
Nevertheless, before you do it, ask yourself: Am I the one who can’t stand seeing those extra pounds on me or do I want to get rid of them to be more likable to others?
Being egocentric is a negative trait. Everyone applauds those who are kind and emphatic. However, there is a thin line between being nice and being a fool and you’re on the verge of crossing it.
Don’t misunderstand me, I know that your loved ones are significant to you. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that you should allow them to use you whenever or however they like.
Moreover, their needs and desires can never be more important than yours.
THEY can’t be more important than you to you. Instead, you have to ask how to love yourself first. No, this is not a toxic trait, it’s the way in which we should all behave.
You’re your own number one priority and everyone else comes second. Your mental health, energy and emotions are the things that have to concern you the most.
Please, stop feeling guilty for not being at everyone’s disposal 24/7. Don’t beat yourself up just because you don’t feel like going out with your BFF tonight or for choosing yourself over your siblings.
Remember this: All the relationships in your life can come and go. The heck with it, it’s even possible to break ties with your closest family members.
However, the only relationship you can never escape is the one you have with yourself.
Cherishing that relationship is nowhere near selfish. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. Most importantly, loving yourself more than anyone else is certainly not selfish.
Let go of control
When you’re trying to figure out how to start loving yourself, one of the things you simply must do is stop being a control freak. As much as you try, you simply can’t be in charge of everything.
Whether you like it or not, the truth is that not everything can be in your hands. You have no control over how other people behave.
In fact, in most cases, you have no control over the things that happen to you either and you have no control of your life.
However, you obviously have trouble realizing this. Most of the time, you end up hating yourself for the way others treat and for the things that have been out of your control from day one.
When your boyfriend or girlfriend dumps you, you love yourself less because you think that you weren’t enough for them. When you get fired, you love yourself less because you think it was all your fault.
Well, the only thing you can control is your reactions to other people and events. You can’t choose whether you’ll get betrayed or left behind. Nevertheless, you can choose the way you observe that situation.
Will you put the blame on yourself and hate yourself for all that has happened? Or will you accept the situation the way it is and invest energy into healing yourself? It’s all up to you!
To Wrap Up:
Maybe the most significant step in this process is to take things slowly. You’ve figured out how to start loving yourself but that doesn’t mean that you should rush yourself into it.
Let’s be honest; how many years have you spent hating yourself? How much time has passed since you paid yourself a compliment?
How many years have you spent diminishing your own self-worth and seeing yourself as less valuable than you actually are?
I bet even you don’t know the number so do you really think it’s possible to annul this entire effect overnight?
I won’t lie to you, making a difference to your feelings is not a piece of cake. Therefore, don’t expect magical changes with the snap of a finger.
In fact, the worst thing you can do is push yourself too hard and expect a complete transformation right away. Instead of trying to make tremendous differences, take baby steps.
One change at a time is the way to go! Before you know it, you’ll be proud of yourself and of everything you achieved.
However, the question is: Are you truly aware of how crucial it is to love yourself?