Learning self-love can be tough. It does not mean you are self-centered, vain, or conceited. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.
Sometimes we are so busy trying to please everyone else, being a “yes” person, and conforming to everyone’s standards, we lose part of our own self along the way. We try to take care of everyone else but we fail to take care of ourselves. Frankly, we are too tired by then. Sound familiar?
There are many scenarios that will test your self-confidence and self-esteem. Let’s actually look at the difference between the two.
Self-confidence is about trusting yourself and your abilities. For example, you can be confident in one area, such as baking or sewing, but then insecure in another, such as dancing or public speaking.
Self-esteem, on the other hand, is about how you see yourself. It’s how worthy you feel — your acceptance of yourself.
So you can be self-confident in a particular area, but if that is taken away or challenged, you may feel your self-worth slipping and thereby goes the self-esteem. Self-confidence is a lot easier to obtain than self-esteem/worth.
By learning to self-love, you accept you for who you are and for what you’re worth. Many times how you view yourself stems from childhood. Were you loved unconditionally? Were you valued and accepted? Were you compared to others? Were you made to not feel “good enough”? Messages you may have received along the way from parents, teachers, siblings and peers can have a lasting effect on how you view yourself.
While you can increase your self-confidence about increasing your abilities, learning to love yourself is a bit more difficult. Some people never achieve it. Below are a few steps to CREATING self-love. You can do it. It takes time but once you love yourself, it’s so liberating. YOU CAN LOVE YOU! We, unfortunately, all of our lives have sought after love and acceptance from someone else. Now is the time to find the love WITHIN yourself.
Start practicing these today!
- Stop feeling that you have to be perfect. No one is perfect. And I see all of the “perfection” on social media. Trust me, it isn’t as perfect as it’s portrayed. Perfection is defined as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.” All people have flaws and defects. Even if they are not openly visible, we all have them. Practice letting that perfect crap go.
- Stop comparing yourself and your life to society’s standards. Be happy and content with what you have and where you are. That’s not to say to stop striving but let the pressure to measure up to everyone else’s standards fall by the wayside.
- Find daily gratitude no matter what your situation. You can always find the good in something even in the worst of times. Focus on what you are thankful for.
- Face your negative thoughts head on. Are your thoughts helpful? Does this line of thought benefit you in any way? Many times our own thoughts cause the very negativity we seek to avoid. Practice replacing those negative thoughts with positives. Stop believing everything you think. Be kind and stop torturing yourself.
- Eat healthier and get some exercise. I know you think this is cliche but it’s really true. When you treat your body well, that will translate over to your mind. A lot of self-esteem issues stem from body shaming, yo-yo dieting, and seeing “Barbie” and “Ken” everywhere you look online and TV/movies. Respect your body and your mind/thoughts will follow. No one will truly “love” you for your figure…they will love you for you. And they will love someone even more that loves themselves.
- Get in the habit of self-care. Between work, families, responsibilities, care giving, maintaining a home, self-care falls in the cracks. Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary. Make time each day for self-care. That may mean a quiet bubble bath, a walk in the woods, meditation, reading a couple of chapters in a book. Just do it.
- Tighten up your circle. You need friends that are true, supportive, loving and positive. Not part-time friends. Not friends who are around only when you can provide something for them. Not friends that make you sometimes question whether they are truly friends or not. Even though tightening your circle may feel a little lonely to begin with, it’s necessary to remove these “frenemies” from your life. You don’t need them for your self-worth, they are not deserving of you.
- Give up the need of approval from others. You will never please everyone. 99% of folks might love you to death and the things you do but there’s always that 1% that won’t. You don’t need everyone’s approval. You do you and let them do them.
- Check in with your feelings each day. Take a little time and ask yourself how you’re feeling and, if negatively, what can you do to change that. Learn to feel your feelings, don’t brush them aside.
- Forgive yourself. You can’t change the things you have done in the past but you can control the future you. Look at it as a learning experience and let it go. You are no longer that person.
- Be realistic. No one is happy 100% of the time. We all face times that are hard, sad or trying — we are all human. We all make mistakes, we all have different feelings on different days. It’s how to go forward that’s key. Allow yourself to be human.
- Be patient. Learning self-love takes time. Remember happiness comes from self-acceptance. It takes a bit of practice to put everything into place to learn self-love but it’s totally attainable. And the benefits are everything!
Originally published at https://parkitontheporch.com on September 11, 2020.