After publishing last week’s post Learn to Love Yourself and Be Your Own Best Friend I received several emails from readers asking, “what are some ways that I can learn to love myself?” So, in this post, I thought I would answer this question by sharing with you my 6 ways to learn to love yourself.
First of all, it’s important to understand that learning to love yourself takes time and a change of mindset. You’re not just going to wake up tomorrow and instantly be 100% comfortable with being you. You have to actively take steps toward changing your thoughts and intercepting negative self talk when it occurs. You have to frequently stop yourself and ask, “have I been kind to myself today?” Although it can be an intense and emotional process, it’s completely worth the effort.
1. Trust yourself
Trust yourself and your decisions. Don’t sit around second guessing yourself every time you come to a conclusion about something. Don’t feel the need to always call your closest friend or mentor to help you form an opinion, or to confirm that you did or are going to do the right thing. Trust that you know what’s best for yourself, and you are completely competent and capable of making the best decision possible. Also, remind yourself that regardless of which decision you choose, you’re strong enough to handle all of the consequences, positive and negative.
2. Accept your flaws
Everyone has flaws – no one is perfect. Accept your idiosyncrasies and individual characteristics. Stop looking at the media and defining yourself based on society’s standards. You were uniquely and wonderfully made, and your flaws, as annoying as they may be, play an important role in making you, YOU.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” When you stop playing the comparison game, you’ll free yourself of unnecessary stress. You’ll stop making yourself feel inferior to others, and you’ll consider yourself an equal. You’ll learn to appreciate your life and the people in it. Which brings me to tip #4…
4. Have an attitude of gratitude
Be grateful for your blessings and be happy for others when they’re blessed. Changing your mindset from that of envy and comparison, to contentment and graciousness will change your life. You’ll start seeing the people and things in your life in a different way, and you’ll recognize just how good your life really is. Read more about having an attitude of gratitude in my earlier post here.
5. Learn to understand your feelings
Become familiar with your feelings and the triggers that cause you to feel a certain way. When you start to feel emotional, step back and ask yourself, “what is it about this situation that makes me feel this way.” When I first started learning about my emotions, the minute I felt the feelings coming on, I would take out a sheet of paper and write down something like this:
Right now I am feeling (insert emotion) because (insert thing causing you to feel emotional).
This practice helped me to better understand my emotional triggers, making it easier for me to accept my feelings and avoid letting my emotions control me.
6. Be authentic
Give everyone around you the amazing honor of knowing the real you. Be intentional and be confident. Be genuine and be true to yourself. Being your authentic self is essential to being able to love who you are unconditionally. My sweet friend and former co-worker Maru writes about this very topic in this Huffington Post article, Living Without a Mask — 5 Days to Discover Your Authentic Self.
Where are you in your journey of learning to love yourself?