“Self-love seems so often unrequited.” – Anthony Powell
It’s hard to specify the reasons why we love others easily but have a hard time loving ourselves. The reasons are many, of course, and vary from person to person. We all have certain insecurities which keep us from nurturing self-compassion. At times, it’s us being too hard on judging ourselves, at others, it’s the lack of acceptance from society. I understand, it has been getting harder with time to appreciate our existence without getting validation from others first. Furthermore, loving ourselves feels challenging when our self-image, i.e., how we have a negative self-image. No matter what the reason may be, you deserve to be loved. You deserve to be appreciated, admired despite all your flaws and your weaknesses. You deserve affection not from the world, but yourself. I know it is easier said than done but once you fall in love with yourself, you allow the universe to do the same and start living with your full potential.
Therefore, I am about to share the 5 most effective, practical and simple ways to help you become comfortable in your own skin and never doubt your worth again.
Recognize your good qualities
The cliched phrase “accept your flaws” feels perfect to hear, but it’s not as simple as it sounds when it comes to applying it. To love yourself, you have to work on yourself. And that’s the reason why I am not going to repeat the same thing as we all have tried practising this and have failed miserably. Rather, I insist you work on your admirable features and accentuate them so that your attention never goes to your so-called “flaws”. Enhance the qualities that you feel are unique and special in you. By highlighting your strengths, you enable not only others yourself as well to appreciate all that is good in you. And naturally, when you feel appreciated, the journey of self-love starts right away.
This whole thing comes down to this: – If you are having a hard time loving the present version of yourself, work on creating an improved one that you can love easily.
Find Time to be Alone with Yourself
The second and the most important thing, according to me is to get yourself to know who you are. How can you love the person you don’t even know? In the moment of retrospection, we get to analyse and understand our character, our interests, our dreams which in turn allow us to love ourselves for the choices we make and the way we think. Let’s say, for example, you start spending some time alone and realise after a few days of observation that during this “me time” you are thinking mostly about different ways of helping people or changing something that’s not going right in society. Don’t you think observing this pattern will make you feel proud of your thought process? Definitely, it will. When you observe yourself, you may discover great things which may have stayed unnoticed until now but will make you a little more lovable when discovered. So, make it a habit to take some time off your schedule and spend that time in solitude in a quiet place. Not with your friends, or your family or even your phone- just you and your thoughts. Try this and see how you feel the next time you look at your reflection.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Remember that all those who are pretending to have it all sorted, whether in social media or real life are in no way different from you. Don’t believe in the illusion that people create, of having a perfect life. Because this illusion gives rise to feelings of envy and disappointment which have a detrimental effect on one’s self-esteem. When we scroll our social media feed, we feel bad about others living a life much better than ours. As a result, we start despising ourselves for our inability to be like the ones who seem to have it all together. Well, let me tell you again, perfection is just an illusion and letting an illusion come in your way of self-love is foolishness. Plus, even if someone is in a better position than you today, your focus should be on reaching that position tomorrow instead of going into self-criticizing mode.
Pursue a hobby
Fourth, pursue hobbies. Now, this may sound ridiculous but works incredibly well. All you need to do is find a hobby, something that makes you forget the world while you’re engrossed in it. Something that gives you pure pleasure. Doesn’t matter if you are amateurish or inept at what feeds your soul, you must never stop doing it. It could be anything that you like doing such as dancing or singing to painting or writing poems. That being said, keep one of these things hidden from the world. Because look, when you show something you have put your heart on to people, it becomes inevitable to expect appreciation for the same. However, you might not always receive the appreciation you want from others. And when this when happens, which is bound to happen, demoralises you so badly that you may end pursuing your hobby altogether. Not unexpectedly, this takes away a part of you and a reason for loving yourself along with it.
Surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness and respect
Lastly, surround yourself with people who are not miserly in giving compliments. People who never shy away from appreciating our efforts are the ones who help us in keeping our spirit high. These people remind us of all our good qualities especially at times when we fail to see them. Moreover, stay away from people who always point out your flaws and discourage you from every little thing you take up. Put simply, stay close to people who make you feel like somebody and away from those who make you doubt your worth and you’d bloom unlike you’ve ever imagined.
So, these were some of the tips you can use to develop a positive self-image and be happy with yourself. I don’t care how long have you been leading a self-abasing existence, you need to start your journey of self-love today because
“how you love yourself is
how you teach others
to love you”
― Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey