Everything starts at self-love. Your relationships with others, your self-image and even the life and career that you settle for, all begin at self-love. Self-love is the foundation from where you construct your life, which is why it’s so important to build a strong foundation. The earlier in life you learn this, the happier your life will be. So many of us reach adulthood, realising that no-one has ever taught us how to love ourselves or why its even important. It’s usually when we hit a brick wall in our lives when it teaches us to look within, to love and heal ourselves and our lives.
The relationship we have with ourselves, will be the base upon which all other relationships will be set upon. If you have a healthy relationship with yourself, then your relationship with your significant other will also be a healthy, loving one.
If your relationship with yourself is an unhealthy one based on criticising yourself and putting your needs last, then you will notice that the relationships in your life are also similar, because that’s what you are used to, and that’s what you’ll attract (read my previous post “Secret to finding love”).
Sometimes we don’t even realise how negative and toxic our relationship with ourself is, from an early age we may have taken on the criticising voice of a parent or another authority figure, and we also began talking to ourselves the same way not knowing any better.
Self-love, self-esteem and confidence all go hand -in-hand together. If you find it difficult to love yourself, then you will notice you have low confidence and low self-esteem. You will find it difficult to believe in yourself. If you can see yourself through loving eyes, then you will find your self-esteem also increases. As you learn to love yourself, your inner dialogue will also change as you begin to speak more lovingly to yourself. Which is why self-love also rolls into your career. If you have low confidence and self esteem, then you will most likely discount and discredit yourself at work, and steer away from promotions.
Learning to love yourself isn’t an overnight process, and can take even years to let go of old negative thought patterns, though it is achievable. It’s all about the little baby steps that you can take everyday, which help change your outlook towards yourself.
Here are some steps on ‘how to love yourself’ which i found useful…💖
1.Write a loving letter of forgiveness to yourself- write a letter to yourself. start with “Dear [your name, or a loving nickname]”, then just write and let it flow. Say that you are here to apologise and forgive yourself. Write down any specific incidents where you may have felt that you let yourself down or neglected yourself, then write that you let them go and that you forgive yourself. Think of yourself as a little child, and imagine that you are writing to this child and telling them how much you love them and how you will do better to look after and love that child. Speak in a gentle way to make the child feel safe.
2. Affirmations- Practice affirmations. “I love myself”, “I am learning to love myself”, or something that feels comfortable for you to say. Say it as many times a day as you can, your thoughts are what changes your actions.
3. Celebrate your success- Are you too critical of yourself? or a perfectionist? Being too focused on the things we haven’t achieved, gives us little room to remember all that we have achieved and how great we really are. Write down a list of all the things you have achieved, even if you think they are small. Next time when you achieve a goal, be sure to celebrate.
4. Write a list of all the things others love about you- Just like when they say, a butterfly can’t see it’s own beauty, sometimes we also can’t see how truely beautiful we are and need to be reminded. Write a list of all the compliments that people have given you that made you smile.
5. Work on your inner dialogue- Is your inner voice very critical? Would you talk to a friend or a family member you love in the same manner? We tend to be more critical or ourselves than we are towards others. Be gentle with yourself, remind yourself to talk nicely and lovingly.
6. Believe that you are worthy and deserving of love- Remind yourself that you are deserving of love and good things. Repeat these affirmations until you start believing them.
7. Do more things that you love- Make yourself a priority and do activities that you enjoy. If there was a favourite hobby or interest that you had when you were younger, go back into doing more of that.
8. Spoil yourself- Spoil yourself every now and then, make yourself feel important and loved.
9. Meditate- Listen to guided mediations on self-love, healing or unconditional love. There’s plenty that are on Youtube.
10. Spend more time with people who respect and love you- Are you spending time with the right people? Spend more time with people who love, respect and lift you up. Not with people who criticise or belittle you.
Good luck and remember baby steps!👣 xox