Lucille Ball once said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
When you learn to love yourself, your imperfections and all, you will love others much better. Similarly, how you love yourself teaches others how to love you, and this is the secret to happiness. Thus, it’s quite important to love yourself for who you are, do what you love, and live life the way you want. Being what others want you to be rather than being yourself is one of life’s biggest regrets.
What is self-love?
So what does self-love mean exactly?
Self-love is a feeling of admiration for yourself that originates from actions that promote your physical, mental, and spiritual development. It means that your well-being and your happiness are respected. As a result, you look after your own needs and not sacrifice your welfare to others. Many psychology studies show that self-love is essential for mental health and well-being, preventing depression and anxiety.
While we all have different ways of taking care of ourselves, self-love can mean different things to others. Therefore, understanding what self-love looks like for you as an individual is an integral part of maintaining your mental health.
When you learn to love ourselves, you refuse to accept less than you deserve, you don’t worry about other people’s opinions, you trust yourself to make good decisions while striving for a happy and better life.
Why should you cultivate self-love?
One of the best things you can do for yourself is self-love. But it’s not always easy to love oneself.
There are times we get overly critical of ourselves, because we are driven by that desire to succeed and do everything excellently. Many times we succeed, and sometimes we fail. But, of course, this entails many self-criticisms and conscientiousness characterized by that hounding inner voice that steadily tells us how we could have done things better. Then the negative self-talk starts, we start overthinking things, blaming ourselves for doing things the wrong way.
While it’s never fun to face your failures, if you love yourself, you’ll understand that these failures are what can propel you forward because you have learned what can work and what won’t work if you try again.
You should accept the pain and be honest about the whole situation, which is the fundamental step toward loving yourself. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and failures, and most especially the actions you are ashamed of. Why? Because you get yourself, only you can take care of yourself in the ways that you want. Moreover, you understand yourself better than anyone else.
Don’t break your own heart; instead, you should give yourself a full sense of things. Then, as you sink into your pain, also indulge in your happiness, and don’t limit your emotions. They are what will help you understand yourself and, eventually, realize that you are not your feelings.
Self-love is all about developing the right attitude. According to Wilfred Peterson, “Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.”
How you should cultivate self-love
Always put yourself first
Your happiness is entirely within your control. But, unfortunately, you end up being unhappy because you spend all of your time making others happy. Just because no one can create your happiness, you cannot make it for others. It is something you must do on your own.
You will be the one who does everything for everyone else and receive nothing in return, primarily because you don’t expect or ask for anything. When you put yourself last, people around you will do the same to you. Learning to prioritize yourself improves your confidence, which in turn improves your lives.
Never compare yourself to anybody
While it may be motivating and inspiring in some circumstances to compare you to others, it is mostly negative. It can result in disappointment as if you don’t feel that you are as good as anyone else.
You will never have enough time to do what you want if you spend all of your time comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others can waste time and moments. You should focus on what you can achieve to make your dream a reality instead of comparing your journey with those around you.
Embrace your flaws
Everyone has flaws, which can be challenging to accept at times. Unfortunately, no matter how good you are, there will be times when all you can see are your worst qualities. It’s challenging to be happy or find a lasting sense of accomplishment if you’re focused on your flaws. You start a downward spiral of self-loathing.
Accepting your flaws means admitting that everyone is flawed but that it is still possible to be lovable, reasonable, and successful. Accept that you don’t have to be brilliant at everything to be an amazing person.
Stop worrying about other people’s opinions
Lao Tzu said, “Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.” You don’t have to live up to what other people believe you should do. Likewise, you don’t have to be as they expect you to be. When you start worrying about other people’s opinions, you become less confident about yourself. You begin tailoring your life to meet the expectations of others, and it suddenly becomes a vicious cycle.
When you cede your power to others and allow their impressions to shape how you perceive yourself, you lose sight of who you truly are. The only reality you can see is how you think others perceive you. Other people’s opinions are based on their own perspective, which may not even be good for you. So, be who you want to be from your own perspective.
Make sound decisions for yourself
While it may be tempting to seek advice for every major decision in your life, you must believe in your ability to make good decisions for yourself. Trust your own thoughts and actions, doubt yourself and your ability to do what is right. You won’t need the approval of others once you start loving the decisions you’re making.
Be kind to yourself
While we define kindness in terms of how we treat our family and friends, it also applies to how we treat ourselves. Speak kindly to yourself, take time to appreciate yourself, and don’t rebuke yourself. Celebrate yourself now and then, not just on your birthday!
Loving and caring for yourself is not self-indulgence, it’s about giving the same kindness you give to others to yourself. One of the most important skills a person can learn is practicing self-love. Be kind to yourself is to take care of yourself. Eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.
Self-love is quite important and you should cultivate it always. You can only expect others to accept you for who you are when you feel the love for yourself.
Hey Joyfreshers, what’s the best way to love yourself? How do you practice self-love? Tell us in the comment below!