How to Practice Self-Love

Self-love, what is it? You see it preached everywhere on the internet –

LOVE YOURSELF – EMBRACE YOUR FLAWS – BE THE REAL YOU

A seemingly nice concept to think about, but for some not so easy to achieve in practice. As someone who has never really struggled with this, I would like to share a single piece of advice that has always resonated with me and made self-love easy:

At the end of the day it is your CHOICE to accept yourself as you are. You are gifted one life, that’s it – why waste it in self-loathing when you could instead CHOOSE to enjoy it and enjoy yourself in all of your messy, imperfect glory.

Self-love is integral to determining your success in life, your career, your relationships, and so on. Valuing yourself and knowing what you deserve will guide you to make choices reflective of this value. Self-love grows from actions we take physically, psychologically, and spiritually. If this is something you struggle with and need some strategies to improve your mindset and afford yourself the love that you deserve, then these 4 tips are for you.

As always, the audio version for this post is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play.

1. Set Boundaries and Protect Yourself

In order to begin focusing on truly loving yourself, you need to be mindful of your own needs. Stop focusing so much on what will make others happy and start focusing on what it is that is going to make YOU happy?

Remember that it is okay to say no to people when you don’t want to participate in something. People who truly care will understand, and the people in your life who get defensive when you turn them down are the kind you need to get rid of!

There are simply not enough hours in a day to waste on people who empty your bucket. I promise that you will love and respect yourself more in the long term if you tell these people to get lost (or maybe something a little nicer).

You will love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, relationships, or activities that deplete you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Don’t worry about the fear that you are missing out on something great, you have the whole rest of your life to recreate the opportunity if you really want it.

2. Act on What You Need, Not What You Want

Next, I encourage you to take a moment to focus on what you are really thinking, how you are really feeling, and what it is you really want.

Are you frustrated with your job? Are you feeling like the relationships you have in your life are draining your energy? What are you going to need to do to change these circumstances?

While some solutions may seem tempting as a quick fix, they likely aren’t keeping you centred and focused on the path to making a change. Instant gratification can be tempting, but does not often yield long term benefits. By straying from these temptations, you will in turn set yourself up to change the automatic behaviours that have kept you stuck for so long.

3. Use the “It’s Already Over Mentality”

We have all made mistakes, said foolish things, or down right embarrassed ourselves in public. I’ve been there, and I know you have too! The difficult part about these times, is not letting these scenarios consume you. You need to quit replaying the scenarios in your head over and over thinking of the things you wish you had said or done.

Recognizing the negative self-talk is the hard part, but once you’ve gotten there and know you are doing it, correcting it is easy. THE SITUATION HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. Why obsess over something you can’t change or make different?

We can be so hard on ourselves. Cut yourself some slack, these lapses in judgement and decision making ability prove that we are actual humans; we are not perfect. Remind yourself it is over, and there will be another opportunity to prove to the world you are better than your mistakes. Just remember, always move forward.

4. Live With Intention

You will accept and love yourself more, no matter what is happening in your life, when you begin to live with purpose and design. Focus more on WHAT you want in your life, and worry less about HOW you are going to achieve that. Afford yourself the opportunity to dream big becase you deserve it! Whatever the path is you choose, make sure that your actions are helping you to get there.

Your purpose doesn’t have to be crystal clear, (in fact it rarely is)! However if you have a general idea of where you want to go in life, your decisions should support this intention. Think of how good you will feel about yourself when you are actually trying to achieve success. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do! You are capable of doing this.

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Self-love is about knowing and honoring your needs, wants and wishes. It’s about understanding youself, including your thoughts and feelings. It’s about being kind, compassionate, and forgiving with yourself. You are capable of self-love with the right mentality and focus.

In order to start living the life you want, you need to start with yourself.

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