You have to love to yourself first to be able to accept the love of others.
Haven’t you forgotten about anyone? Are you sure? Did you feed the cat, even though they keep scratching your favorite armchair? Did you kiss your kids goodbye despite being little grumps in the morning? What about that person who is there with you all day? And I don’t mean your spouse or best friend. I mean you yourself. Have you been unconditionally nice to yourself lately? Love is one of the basic needs essential for wellbeing. Loving and accepting love will improve your happiness drastically.
Be realistic about your expectations. Look for reasons to praise yourself, not to punish yourself.
Many people these days are too busy to take a break and take care of themselves. They keep pushing the limits not taking time to recharge both mentally and physically. Feeling under the dog is just a matter of time with this attitude and it is so easy to blame yourself for not being the enough. But how do you even know that you are not enough? Enough what? We can only evaluate our performance based on comparison to the others. That is true – except for the essential fact that you don’t need to compare yourself to the best person in a given field. You don’t need to drive like Schumacher, cook like Ramsay and look like Angelina Jolie. Remember that even those people only excel in one field and besides that they have the very same issues like us. Instead of attempting to reach some unrealistic standard and beating yourself down for failing try to compare your approach to others to your approach to yourself. Imagine your kids drawing a picture that is a little funny. It might not be perfect, but you still like it and maybe even reward them for it. And why? Because of their hard work and dedication, because they still learn and because of their compassion, right? Now try to remember when it was the last time you felt similarly about your own performance. The last time you gave yourself this imaginary pat on the shoulder. Or when someone scolded your friend for just a minor mistake and you found it unnecessary, because the mistake wasn’t really crucial. Do you also measure your mistakes so indulgently? There is an easy technique to prevent unfairness towards yourself – try to see yourself through the eyes of someone loving or imagine how you would react to someone else behaving like you. If you spot that you are more benevolent when it comes to the others, you might want to start practicing some mindful appreciation of your actions.
Flaws are not as serious or permanent as they seem to be. Each step you take towards improvement is better than nothing.
Don’t be afraid to accept your flaws and rather look for other qualities to be proud of. The beauty of this world is in its variety (…and the big secret is that there are more people “just winging it” than we care to admit). We all have mistakes, inabilities and weaknesses that can shoot our self-esteem down in no time. Our choice is to either let them ruin our lives or face them. Do you remember how people in many fantastic stories very often avoid naming the agent that scares them? Well, if you don’t want to stay scared your whole life: name it! Name whatever stands between you and your self-confidence and then fight it, ask for help or accept it. Don’t be afraid to admit what has been holding you back and take your time and all you need to overcome it. There is no shame in asking for help. Again, not everyone is a specialist in everything. Your part is to define the problem, find the help and cooperate on the solution. Therapists, dentists, lecturers, coaches and many others are there to assist, because that is what they are good at and you can trust them. They can help you became the better version of yourself while embracing the good qualities you already have.
You are worth of love. Don’t let anyone else perceive you differently.
Self-love comes by definition from inside, it comes from us ourselves. It reflects and radiates within and makes one happy and just like any other relationship, it needs to be worked on, praised and protected. There is no other person to steal it of course, but you need to protect it from doubts that can come even from unexpected places. People around you are more often than not insecure and might plant a seed of similar feeling in your mind as well. The important thing is that this will likely happen if you give them the opportunity. Instead of being an easy target, show them you are a strong stable human being worthy of love. They will see and treat you this way and it has a magical added value – your brain will likely be the first one to believe it. We can say the old “Fake it till you make it!” can be applied in almost any situation.
Loving yourself might be preceded by a journey of self-discovery that might be confusing, but don’t give up. No one else has the capacity of understanding you as fully as only you yourself can. Accepting and loving yourself can be life changing.