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Love is arguably the strongest emotion and the most powerful (rivaling hatred of course). But you know how the line goes:
“LOVE CONQUERS ALL”-Virgil
And you are (not arguably) the most important person in your own life, so why do so many people fail to love themselves? If you’re not sure if you love yourself, then chances are you don’t (at least not enough), but if aren’t sure ask yourself the following questions:
6 Signs you don’t love yourself
- Do you avoid spending a lot of alone time?
- Do you feel comfortable ‘being yourself’ in public or around friends and family?
- Do you spend any time doing self-care?
- Do you shy away from expressing your opinions, even around friends and family?
- Can you define your core values?
- Do you find you put yourself down often?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a problem with loving yourself and it is destroying your self-esteem! But it’s okay, we can fix that. In fact it’s not shocking at all. Society has a tendency of forcing people to hate themselves. It goes by the name of advertising.
Self-Hatred is the status quo
Advertising is the technique of creating a problem so that a product or service can fix it. For example, a product such as a weight loss pill, may only directly affect someone obese. However, an advertisement showing a person slightly overweight but finding happiness when they use this product, suddenly shifts the mindset that to be happy, we need to be thin and this product can do that! Enough products and advertisements reinforcing this mindset and suddenly that becomes the societal construct and the status quo. Advertising lives on self hatred, it thrives on it, in fact our economy is built on that hatred.
So what happens when we love ourselves? Our priorities shift. It doesn’t mean our economy will shut down if we all start to love ourselves, it just means our intentions, and our focus will change. Instead of spending money on products and services chasing the status quo, we chase our ambitions instead. We begin to seek out time with our passions, and experiences with our loved ones (including ourselves)! It’s a beautiful shift, and it is an achievable one! Breaking the status quo isn’t about changing the world, it’s about changing YOUR mindset and building your self-confidence to do so.
So how do find this self-acceptance? Here are 6 ways to find love within yourself!
6 Ways to practice self love every day
- TALK TO YOURSELF: It’s not as crazy as it sounds! Just treat yourself like another person in the room, respect your own opinion by talking out your thoughts and concerns. Share the excitement with yourself. Congratulate yourself on things well done, and share in the disappointment to learn from mistakes. Treating yourself like a human being helps your brain realize you are a human being worthy of self-respect.
- BE THANKFUL FOR YOURSELF: You say thank you when someone holds a door for you right? Treating yourself like a human being worthy of respect includes thanking yourself even for the small things (especially the small things)! Thank yourself every chance you get. Say thanks for cooking dinner, thanks for accomplishing a chore, say thanks for rocking that fantastic outfit!
- PERSONALIZE AFFIRMATIONS: If you haven’t added daily positive affirmations to do your list, I highly recommend you start now. But don’t stop there, personalize them. Instead of saying “I love myself” try “I love you [insert your name here]!” Adding your name reinforces the statement, and directly connects you to the affirmation.
- CORRECT NEGATIVE ATTENTION: Find yourself expressing negative self-talk? Correct it immediately at least twofold. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe it to be true, do it anyway. The more you correct yourself, the less often you will need to. You won’t learn from mistakes by being harsh on yourself, you will learn by loving yourself! So when you find yourself saying something like “I’m so stupid” immediately fix it by saying “I am so smart and intelligent and beautiful”.
- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: Self Care has become a trendy buzzword, but it’s still incredibly important. The important thing to remember is self-care should not be expensive, or fancy, or even materialistic. Self-care is about YOU and taking care of YOU. It’s not about collecting gadgets, spending money on spa treatments, or spoiling yourself into credit card debt! So find ways to incorporate a moment of relaxation into your daily schedule: reading a book, taking a bath, dancing to music, etc. Taking care of yourself makes yourself a priority and shows your brain that you deserve that love!
- TURN WEAKNESS INTO STRENGTHS: Ever been to a job interview where they ask your greatest weakness? Experts always say turn that weakness into a strength and the same is true for yourself! When doing a task you’re not the strongest at, admit it, and turn it on its head. “I tend to be stubborn and inflexible, but that makes me great at staying organized and dedicated to my tasks!” Finding a way to admit weakness but make it stronger is a beautiful way of boosting your confidence!
The trick is to go confidently in the direction of self-love. You are WORTHY of being loved, and a valuable and important component to not only your life but everyone surrounding you. Self-love is about taking care of yourself, accepting yourself for who you are, and becoming the best version of yourself. So give yourself the gift of self-love. You deserve it, and a little bit of practice each day will transform your life in ways you can’t even imagine!
What other tips would you add to this list?