Do you appreciate yourself, I mean REALLY appreciate yourself. Can you look in the mirror and feel proud of your journey and who you’ve become – who you ARE? Self-love comes from inside yourself. It’s a state of being. For some it comes naturally but for most of us it’s something we need to learn and develop over time. It’s a crucial part of our personal growth because it not only benefits our mental health but our physical and emotional health as well.
How to practice self-love:
- Forgive yourself and others.
- Be proud of who you are and what you have to offer the world.
- Surround yourself with loving supportive people.
- Affirm your good qualities each day and be grateful.
- Set boundaries, respect and enforce them.
- Know your worth and don’t settle for less.
Self-love is certainly a process and, while our egos can sometimes take a beating, self-love helps us get back up and keep going. Over time, it will help you know your worth and not settle for less than the best for you. Things such as forgiveness, being proud of who you are and setting boundaries play a crucial role in your personal development and, essentially, your self-love.
According to one psychologist, this “seven-step prescription” will help you develop and maintain self-love:
- Being mindful of what you (not others) “think, feel and want” in your life and act on it.
- Acting on what you need rather than what you want helping you “turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.”
- Practicing good self-care helps you feel better about yourself. This includes eating well, taking care of your appearance, sleeping, etc.
- Setting boundaries and learning how to say NO to those things that don’t serve you well, harm you or deplete your energy.
- Protecting yourself by bringing the right people into your life and surrounding yourself with people who encourage and support you rather than bring you down. Even those that make you feel insecure (intentionally or not).
- Forgiving yourself and not punishing yourself for past mistakes because “there are no failures if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned”.
- Living and intentional life will help support your growth because you establish your self-love and other goals and set out to achieve them which helps motivate you to keep going.
If you’re working towards self-love, take it slow and work on the things you need to work on. You can choose a couple of the listed items to work on and you’ll see how your outlook on life and yourself changes in turn changing your experiences, the people and opportunities you attract. Be gentle with yourself, and, if you’re working through trauma there’s no shame in seeking professional help. There are some amazing people out there who you can speak to.
In the meantime, look in the mirror and find something to love in the person you see in front of you. That one thing can absolutely lead to two, or three, or even four. Just never give up and don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel that you’re not worthy because YOU ARE.
One. Step. At. A. Time.