This topic has been circulating around the world wide web for quite a while now and I think this is one of those things that should be talked about more. In this kind of society, self-love can appear to be selfish. We were never taught about loving ourselves in school, or in our own little homes, so what did we learn? We learned to put others first before our own selves. We keep on giving too much love to others that we become empty and forget to love ourselves.
Self-love is not entirely about feeling good about oneself, it is an action. An action that is impossible to be done if we constantly prevent ourselves from crossing barriers rather than thinking of ways to turn those down. It’s ironic how we encourage others to love their selves when we, in the first place, aren’t applying it to our own selves. So, how can you practice self-love? I, myself, have struggled with this, but thankfully, I got through it. I can say that I am such a different person from who I was years ago and that I have grown so much. Yes, there are days were I feel completely miserable and loathe myself but you will go pass that situation if you help yourself to get back up again.
Self-love can take a long journey before it is fully achieved, so don’t pressure yourself and take your time. As the quote goes, “Good things take time.” Practice these little by little and I assure you, it will be worth it.
#1: Never compare yourself to other people.
I think this might be the root of it all, the main reason why we are constantly doubting ourselves. Comparing yourself to others will do no good. It will just bring your self-esteem down. Yes, someone will always be prettier, smarter, or sexier, but the thing is, they will never be you. Instead, compare yourself from who you were before. Work hard and improve yourself. Maybe last month you can only go through two push ups, but why not make it ten, or even fifteen, this time? Constantly challenge yourself and work on your own progress. Each one of us has different paths and journeys, so make yours worthwhile.
#2: Embrace your flaws.
Your flaws make you unique and irreplaceable. Learn how to flaunt them! At the end of the day, everyone has flaws that they feel very insecure about and no one is ever perfect. Perfection is boring.
“You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees lights and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.” – Joybell C.
#3: Never let other’s opinions get to you.
Never label yourself with other’s opinions of you. Don’t let other people get the best of you. What matters the most is how you view yourself and not how others view you. You weren’t born to please everyone around you; you were born to please yourself. The moment you let their opinions get to you is the moment you give them the chance to take control of your life.
“How would your life be different if… you stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day… you stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others.” – Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
#4: Never be afraid to be different.
This is somehow connected to the item above. You don’t have to act or dress like how people around you do. Just because it’s a straight hair month doesn’t mean you need to let go of your curly locks. Being different makes you stand out from the rest.
#5: Don’t seek approval from others.
Do things you want to do without feeling the need to have other’s approval. Do things for yourself and don’t stop from doing them just because someone told you can’t.
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese
#6: Step out of your comfort zone.
It speaks for itself. Try things you’ve never done before and who knows, it might become your new hobby? Go out and pop the bubble you’ve been in for years and explore!
#7: Follow your passion.
Do something you really love and you’re really passionate of. Don’t do things for the sake of hopping into the bandwagon or because of people constantly pressuring you to do the work. Life is about doing what truly feels right for you. You wouldn’t want to indulge in a work for so long and regret it in the long run, don’t you?
#8: Learn to say no.
This is in connection to Item #7. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. If someone is asking you to do things that are against your principles, reject them. You don’t have to say yes to everyone all the time. Learn to stand for yourself.
#9: Express yourself.
It can be in the form of writing a poem, composing a song, or painting your feelings out. Never be afraid to speak out and tell people what’s going on your mind. Trust me; you will regret not expressing your thoughts when you were given the chance to.
Social media is a terrible place to be in nowadays, especially because of all the negativity circling around it. Set a day where you can go out and leave your house without any form of technology with you. Spend time with yourself and give up social media even just for a day.
#11: Find your own happy place.
Whether it is a good coffee shop downtown, or an old library, find a place where you can go whenever you feel the need to be by yourself for a while. Don’t forget to bring a pen and a journal just in case you need to write your thoughts down, or maybe bring your earphones and play some music that can make you feel good. You need to reflect once in a while. 😉
#12: Celebrate your wins.
If you achieved something you’re really proud of, treat yourself! Go get that message you’ve been longing to have, buy that cute dress you’ve been eyeing for so long, try that new dish on your favorite restaurant, or binge watch your favorite Netflix show in your comfy sweatpants and with a tub of ice cream by your side. You deserve it!
#13: Find something to be grateful for in every day.
Yes, you failed your Mathematics exam but at least you aced four of your subjects! Don’t focus on the bad things about life. Find something that you are thankful for. Don’t chase what’s already happened; love yourself enough to know the best is yet to come.
#14: Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you.
Have a good set of friends who you can be yourself with and who will push you to become a better person. Find friends who will stick with you through thick and thin. Have friends who will accept you for who you really are and won’t make you feel the need to wear a mask or pretend to be someone you’re not just to fit in. This leads us to…
#15: End all toxic relationships.
If your “friends” encourages you to do things you don’t like, leave. Those people don’t deserve you; you deserve so much more. Spend time with people who you think deserves your attention. It’s not a bad thing to end friendships especially if you don’t feel good around them. You can find people who you can really get along with and will treat you right. Same with romantic relationships, is s/he starts to treat you less than what you deserve, kiss that toxic person goodbye. You don’t need them, period.
“The more you love yourself, the less you’ll tolerate being treated like crap.”
#16: Don’t believe everything you think.
You are your worst enemy. Instead of going crazy about what might go wrong, think about the lesson you’ll learn after. Think of all the positive sides behind a bad situation.
“Remember, there are no failures if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.”
#17: Remember that it’s okay to cry once in a while.
We don’t need to be the happiest person in the planet all the time. It’s normal to have those days where you just feel completely down. Let it out instead of keeping it in. Crying is good for the soul, but after you wipe those tears away, make sure that you won’t cry because of the same reason again.
#18: Make peace with your past.
Stop. holding. grudges. Forgive others and forgive yourself. Exhale that thought that has been stopping you from being genuinely happy. Forgiveness can release a breath of fresh air and can lessen the weight that you’ve been carrying on your shoulders for so long.
“You can’t change things you’ve done in the past, but you can control your future.”
#19: Give love without feeling depleted.
People often seek love from others because they don’t know how to love their selves. You cannot give love if you don’t have that love deep within you. Love yourself first before giving others a piece of your heart.
#20: Just… truly love yourself.
You are perfect in your own little way. You are blessed. You are appreciated. You may not feel good right now, but trust me on this, it will get better. 🙂
These are just some of the things I’ve practiced in order to completely love and appreciate myself despite of all the flaws that I have. I may have missed on a whole lot more of tips, but I hope those helped you. Don’t wait for days, weeks, months, or years to start your journey to self-love, the best time to start is now.