One of the greatest struggles you may ever face is the challenge to love yourself just as you are. To some it comes easier, but for many of us it is not. Here are ten simple ways to love yourself and be genuine about it.
“Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life; let today be the day you act upon it.” – Steve Maraboli
The challenge is not to love (self-love is natural, self-loathing is learned) but to break down all the walls we have built against love.
When you muster the courage to push through these walls and love yourself—to know and embrace yourself, despite your humanness, flaws, and rejections—you open the door to connecting to yourself and others in more caring, empathetic, and intimate ways.
There are so many ways to love yourself. Below are ten actions that, if coming from a genuine place in your heart, will help you love yourself a little bit more.
10 Ways to Love Yourself
1. Tell yourself you are enough.
Actually say it: “I am enough.”
When you feel like you aren’t enough, tell yourself you are. Repeating this positive affirmation to yourself will help instill a sense of love and acceptance in your mind.
Don’t hide from your mistakes and don’t lie about your past, but do approach them with compassion. A mistake is a lesson, not a sentence. Not one human being on this planet has never made a mistake, but they are no less lovable because of it.
Flawed people are beautiful. Genuine people are beautiful. You are beautiful and teachable. You are enough. You are whole even when you feel empty. Give yourself credit for what you are instead of discrediting yourself for what you aren’t.
2. Start believing in your potential to overcome.
Whatever you’re dealing with right now, you can make it through this. We all experience difficulties, but it’s how we deal with life’s challenges that determines our level of success and happiness.
Emotional discomfort will come and go like the tide throughout your life. When accepted, you can use your discomfort to transform frustration into resilience, hatred into kindness, inexperience into awareness, and doubt into happiness.
Believe in your ability to climb over this wall, and believe you’re worthy of having what’s on the other side.
3. Become a product of continuous self-education.
Embrace each day with open arms as the best version of yourself.
One of the highest forms of self-love is the act of investing copious amounts of time and energy into improving oneself.
You’ve always done what you could do at that time with the knowledge you possessed. View the term “failure” as moving forward with newfound wisdom. When you know better, you can live better and feel better about yourself. Self-loving people are aware of this and so they treasure any opportunity to learn.
4. Respect your inner longings.
Every morning, ask yourself what is really important to you, and then find the courage, wisdom, and willpower to build your day around your answer.
Devote your time and energy to nurturing your passions, talents, and inner desires. This devotion will enable you to live a life that truly feels like your own. Be honest about who you are and what you want, and invest in the activities you deeply care about.
Doing things you care about is one of the most rewarding ways to love yourself.
5. Value this moment.
One of the greatest presents you can give to yourself (or anyone) is the gift of your own presence.
So much is lost if we don’t pay attention to life as we’re living it. The inability to focus in the present leads to a lack of awareness, which can lead to major challenges in communication, and therefore trouble in our most important relationships (including the one we have with ourselves).
Self-awareness and mindfulness are forms of self-love. You can’t build a profound connection with anyone, including yourself, unless you are fully engaged.
Sometimes the burdens, wounds, and negative memories from the past show up in the present moment. Tend to them. When you do, you can look around and express love and gratitude for the moment you are in right now.
6. Connect to your inner self.
Make honest contact with your inner world. Pay more attention to what’s going on inside of you, and be honest with what you see. Meditation, self-reflection, journaling, massage, energy work, and therapy are all healthy forms of contemplation that can give you the chance to be quiet with yourself.
Any sense of insecurity, self-doubt, anxiety, or weakness that comes up represents disowned feelings from the past. Since you’re more than these lingering feelings, you can heal and learn to love yourself.
7. Forgive your past self.
Good people make bad choices. It doesn’t mean the person is bad; it means they’re human.
Focus less on old news and pay more attention to what you’re going to start doing now. Carrying around resentment, bitterness, regret, and anger will only cause your happiness to slowly deteriorate.
As Mila Bron said, “In order to heal we must first forgive… and sometimes the person we must forgive is ourselves.”
8. Be compassionate with your feelings.
Don’t avoid or dismiss what you’re feeling. Paying attention to your emotions is not soft or weak, but a necessary part of self-awareness and happiness.
Explore your feelings and listen to what they’re telling you. No emotion is right or wrong; it’s a guide. Emotional pain alerts you to something that needs to change, but judging yourself for feeling a certain way only causes you to feel rejected by yourself and keeps you stuck in that negative place.
9. Tell yourself it’s okay to not please everyone.
Not everyone will like you and understand you, and that’s okay. In fact, if you learn to expect and be okay with this, you will know the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one.
If you’re honest with your inner self, you’ll know what you need to feel loved, and you’ll know that you have the final say in how loved you feel.
By approaching relationships from this place of self-respect and self-sufficiency, you can gently teach the people around you what you have to offer and have enough sense to walk away from what does not support your truth.
10. Take responsibility for the love you experience.
Expecting others to fill a perceived void within yourself is definitely not the way to love yourself. You cannot neglect yourself in hopes of someone else saving you, and end up feeling loved and lovable.
Try working from the inside out instead.
Try taking responsibility for yourself emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Try taking responsibility for your happiness. Try taking responsibility for loving yourself, and you can share that love with others and the world around you.
Own your emotions, and you master your experiences. Take responsibility for how loved you feel, and you will know what true love is.
- How do you remind yourself that you’re good enough, resilient enough, and that everything is going to be okay?
- What challenges have you overcome that have led you to greater happiness in the present?
- What little ways do you love yourself?
Please share your positive thoughts, helpful insights you’ve picked up along the way, and any inspiring stories of self-acceptance and self-love with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone who could use a little more love today.
You’re worthy of your love.