“Love yourself!” It’s the sound bite heard round the world, the advice given time and again to the broken-hearted, the insecure, the depressed and down trodden. You hear it so much you’d think the concept was as easy to implement as it is to suggest. “Love yourself”, we say, as if it’s as easy as breathing, and much like breathing it IS essential to our survival. In my opinion to have a life worth living it is this complex sentiment that we are put here to learn, and what a learning process it is.
Loving yourself is more than a theory it is something that much like any skill you must practice and cultivate each and every day. It is a journey, one in which you never quite reach your destination but rather will climb to new heights. In essence there are levels to this sh*t MAYNE (had to go for the Meek Mill reference) and I want to help you climb the ladder to loving yourself success.
The following are tools that once put into action, make loving yourself more easy. They are tools that I’ve realized with practice become second nature. These tools have helped create a person whom I love, who I am proud of and who is so worthy of the love and respect of others. She will not settle for anything less than wonderful, and although she loves talking about herself in the 3rd person her tips have proven to be successful.
Here are my tips…
Do the Things that Make you Feel Proud to Be You
Loving ones self is not some abstract feeling that falls out of the sky, lands on your head, and POOF that’s all she wrote. More often than not its cultivated by doing the things that make you feel good about yourself. It can mean taking care of your body by eating right and exercising for some, or volunteering for a charity or honing your skills in an area of interest for others. One of my favorite ways of showing love to myself has been through blogging. It’s something that I’d wanted to do for quite some time but was much to scared to. I doubted myself and my abilities (I’m not the best at spelling or punctuation ya’ll), I was so afraid of the possible criticism, or being laughed at. But what I’ve learned along the way is that when I finally started my blog the pride in myself was worth every criticism I’ve encountered. With every click of the publish button I have felt more secure about my abilities and with every criticism I have grown. At the end of the day, It’s shown me that when I face my fears and do something that makes me happy I am in turn proud of myself and from that place I am building the love that lives within.
Surround Yourself with People Who Lift You Higher
One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn on the journey to loving myself was this one. I had to first recognize who in my life was lifting me higher, and to do that I had to learn what qualities people possessed that ended up “lifting me higher”. What I realized was that I needed to surround myself with people who had the qualities that I respected and admired. On that list were those who were self-aware and driven but also encouraging and supportive. When I started to look around at my inner circle I came to the realization that some of the people I was surrounding myself with did not possess these qualities. Keep in mind that the qualities that are important to me may not be important to you and that’s totally alright. You’ve just got to figure out what kind of relationships make you feel good and seek those out, and if they already exist be grateful and find ways to strengthen them. This saying comes to mind when I think about this concept “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Make sure those people are making deposits into your self-love tank and not withdrawals.
Speak to Yourself Like you Would Someone you Love
So often it’s our internal dialogue that causes us the most hurt-“I’m fat and unattractive I really need to lose weight” ” If only I had listened to my friends and hadn’t gotten involved with that jerk I wouldn’t be hurt now” “He/She would never be interested in someone like me”… The way we speak to ourselves is often times worse than what anyone else is saying or thinking about us. What’s interesting is that, it’s that inner dialogue that is most effective in building insecurity. So, speak to yourself like you would someone you love and when you make a mistake forgive yourself and acknowledge the lessons learned from the situation, and if the need to hate on yourself still occurs try some of these exercises:
- Make a laundry list of the things you love about yourself. List not only your physical attributes list your inner ones too.
- Ask someone who you know has your back what qualities they love about you (and take complete ownership of their answers)
- When you mess up (like you know you will) coach yourself like you would your best friend or loved one
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy”
This is one of my all time favorite quotes by C. Joybell. It speaks volumes because it reminds me that when things get heavy (as they often do) I have to simply let them go. The things that are heavy are the things that cause you anger, worry and stress. They are the things that no matter what you do, you realize there is nothing that can be done. These things you must let go of. Because ultimately what is weighing you down is stopping you from the ever important task of loving yourself. Besides, how can you have time to do all of the other tasks on this list if you’re constantly working under the strain of the situations,people, places, and emotions that weigh you down? By concentrating on these things you are giving energy to them and we all know that when you give energy to something you only get more of that very thing. This concept could be a blog post on its own and I don’t expect you to master it right away, but at the very least I want you to pinpoint what is weighing you down and start the process of freeing yourself. Baby steps in the beginning but know that when you do is when the real process of loving yourself begins.
Stand for Something or you Will Fall For Anything
It is important to have conviction. To know what your line in the sand is and to not let anyone cross it. Knowing what it is you will and won’t stand for in all areas of your life teaches people how to treat you. In turn, by sticking with your convictions you are showing love to not just yourself but ultimately other’s as well. Truly loving someone should mean you want the best for them and part of being the best person you can be is showing respect for people’s boundaries. You can’t do this if you don’t create some. A lot of times women will say that they’ve given their all to a relationship; they’ve stuck by a man through his cheating, took care of him when he had nothing, or forgave him through abuse. To that I say, that wasn’t showing love for him but rather a lack of love for you.
What ways do you love yourself? Are there any idea’s here that you’d like to implement? Let me know in the comments below!