Guide to more self-love: how to learn to love yourself

A very good saying that contains a lot of truth. It is indeed the case that a person who likes himself and is at peace with himself is full of positive life energy and is only too happy to share it with others.

However, many people find it quite difficult to love themselves. Whether it is because they have low self-esteem and think they are not worthy of being loved; or whether they equate self-love with selfishness or arrogance and therefore suppress love for themselves. At the same time self-love has not the slightest thing to do with the latter two. On the contrary – people with an overly large ego, who appear arrogant to those around them, cultivate anything but self-love. They do not love and accept themselves as they are, but wear a mask in front of them.

But what exactly does it have to do with the love for oneself?? What self-love is, why it is so important and how it can be learned – this article explains it.

What is self-love?

Do you have a best friend? How do you handle this? Most certainly so that this person remains your best friend as well, isn’t it? For sure you would not hurt your best friend, you would not cheat and you would not lie to him, but rather you would always treat him with respect and attention. In short, it can be said, self-love means when you are your own best friend. If you deal with yourself as if you were your best friend – then you love yourself.

And just as love means being in relationship with someone, self-love means being in relationship with oneself. In no relationship is it always sunshine and roses. There are ups and downs, there is confrontation and reconciliation, there is understanding as well as the pointing out of limits. And so it is with your relationship with yourself: There are times when you get along well, and there are times when you are strangers to each other. Some days you feel very close, others you don’t.

So, if you want to learn self-love, it is first and foremost about shaping and developing your relationship with yourself.

Why is self-love often so difficult?

Too little self-love almost always comes from too much self-doubt. And these are usually shaped in childhood. When we come to this beautiful world, we are pure of heart and know no doubt about ourselves. Never would we get the idea that we could not be good enough for something or someone. However, due to education and other influences from our environment, this is becoming more and more doubtful. Surely you also remember such and similar statements:

  • You are not the navel of the world!
  • First the work, then the pleasure!
  • What will the neighbors think if you…?.
  • Self-praise stinks!
  • Can you also sometimes consider ..?

Such and similar "wisdom" insidiously leads us to lose ourselves more and more and learn to listen to the needs of others instead of our own. We conform more and more and live primarily to meet the expectations of those around us and to fight for their approval. And our own personality, our true needs fall more and more behind with such a development.

Why self-love is so important?

If you love yourself, you perceive your environment very differently and, in turn, you are perceived very differently by it than someone who does not do this. If you are good with yourself, you take your needs seriously and have the ability to follow through with them. People who love themselves find it much easier to achieve their goals. Here’s how self-love benefits you:

  • You have more self-confidence and take your wants and needs seriously.
  • You are more authentic and do not make compromises that are not good for you.
  • You have more success because you are not discouraged by mistakes but use them to learn.
  • You look more attractive to those around you because you go through life confidently, know what you want and can also say no sometimes.
  • You live healthier because you pay better attention to your diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Would you like to achieve all this? However, if you find it difficult to love yourself? You too can learn self-love, and it’s easier than you think. Read below to see how it works.

Learn to love yourself! 7 tips for more self-love

The following tips should help you to put yourself first in the future and to build a positive relationship with yourself.

Tip 1 – Learn constructive self-criticism

People who do not love themselves almost always have the problem that they are too hard on themselves. Self-criticism is absolutely right and important, but please do it constructively! But how can you criticize yourself in a positive and constructive way? Let’s just go back to the comparison with the best friend from above. Imagine your best friend messed up an important exam. How would you react? Like this: "My goodness, you are stupid! How can someone be so stupid?" Definitely not, or? You would rather say something comforting and uplifting like:

  • "I also failed the first time I tried it."
  • "You’ll definitely make it through the retake exam!"
  • "This can happen to anyone, just prepare yourself for a few more days, and then repeat. Everything is not a big issue."

And since you are supposed to become your own best friend, in the future, continue to be self-critical, but no longer hurtful to yourself. Learn to be understanding and empathetic towards yourself and rebuild yourself with constructive self-criticism!

Tip 2 – Love your person more than others!

This is exactly what many people find very difficult to do. Love myself more than others, more even than my partner? Isn’t that selfishness or even narcissism? No, it isn’t. If you put yourself first, you are neither selfish nor arrogant, and certainly not narcissistic. And that is exactly the goal. You should actually love yourself more than your partner. But in doing so you do not devalue your partner at all, but rather uplift him or her. Because if you love yourself, this love will also benefit your partner and your relationship. Treat yourself well, take care of yourself, wrap yourself in attractive clothes. Do not forget: Our appearance is the reflection of our soul. Walking around in dirty, torn clothes only shows your lack of self-love.

Tip 3: Mirror, mirror on the wall

If you love yourself, you like to look at yourself in the mirror. If this is not the case for you, then get used to it. The fleeting glance in the mirror in the morning while putting on makeup and combing your hair doesn’t count here! Get into the habit of the following ritual: Stand in front of a full body mirror every morning. Look at yourself closely, every single detail. Pay special attention to the things on your body that you like. Smile at yourself first, then laugh really loudly at yourself. Hug yourself and say to your reflection: "You are great the way you are, and I love you!" Make this exercise a regular ritual. It may not have to be daily, but once or twice a week will go a long way to increasing self-love.

Tip 4 – Acceptance instead of resistance

When it comes to self-love and therefore self-acceptance, one of the biggest obstacles is resistance. The one that is directed against things that cannot be changed at the moment and probably won’t be changed in the future. This can be outward appearances like a nose that is a little too big, a botched job interview, or even a clumsy remark that you can no longer leave unsaid. We are all human, and no human is perfect. We all have our – often only apparent – shortcomings, we all make mistakes, and our beautiful as well as our less beautiful sides make each of us a unique distinctive and lovable individual. "All your perfect imperfections" – as one song so beautifully puts it. Let’s just learn to enjoy the positive qualities and accept the less positive ones – otherwise the resistance and the resulting negative feelings will tear us apart.

A concrete example: You have said something wrong or inappropriate in a round of talks and think that you have disgraced yourself to the bone because of it. For days or weeks afterwards, you are still upset about your mishap and simply cannot calm down about it. Ask yourself the following questions about the situation:

  1. Is there anything I can do to change what is happening?
  2. Why do I feel so bad/embarrassed/exposed by the experience??
  3. Can I possibly learn something from the situation??

These questions are quite easy to answer. There can only be one answer to question 1, and that is no. Spoken words and spilled wine can never be recovered, not even by you. So what’s the point of ruminating and feeling bad about it long after you’ve experienced it? Right – nothing at all.

To question 2: Okay, it was not your most skillful performance, but what exactly is so bad?? Something like this happens to everyone once in a while, and I guarantee that something similar has happened to everyone else involved. Is this really a reason to still invest valuable energy in this story? Just imagine the other people involved: Do you think that even one of them is still thinking about your slip-up, let alone talking about it?? I guarantee you – the others have long forgotten about it! So what is stopping you from doing the same??

To question 3: Yes, you certainly can – just as you can learn from all situations you experience. In this case, how about learning to take such things with a bit more humor and to laugh at yourself for similar situations in the future??

Now, after answering the questions, take a deep breath and decide for your future life not to let yourself be dragged down by such situations.

Tip 5: Give yourself love!

How do you show someone that you love them?? Of course by telling him, but also by many actions and gestures. You prepare a delicious meal for the person you love, you invite him to the cinema or to an ice cream, you travel with him and spend as much time with him as possible.

Since the loved one described is primarily you, do these things for yourself from now on. Invite yourself to the movies, celebrate a nice meal for yourself, consciously go on a trip just with yourself for once! All things that are a lot of fun, and self-love will come naturally over time!

Tip 6 – Praise yourself!

Self-praise stinks, you once learned as a child? There are many sayings from grandmother’s time that are still valid, but this is definitely not one of them. No, self-praise does not stink at all. Just as little as money by the way. On the contrary – if you love yourself, you will also praise yourself. Do this regularly as well. Take a few minutes each day to consciously praise yourself for what you have accomplished that day. You can also record your self-praise in writing in a diary. Then you can also scroll back at regular intervals, which is even more motivating.

Tip 7 – Live your dreams!

Maybe the most important tip when learning self-love: Never give up on your dreams! I’m sure you know at least one example of an 80 year old taking his first parachute jump or a 70 year old taking off once again as a "Silver Model. There’s never a time in life when it’s too late to make your dreams come true! When you make your dreams come true, you will find that something almost magical happens – you will feel immensely proud of yourself – and this pride will inevitably lead you to love yourself.

Conclusion

Self-love is probably one of the words that can be most easily misunderstood. Many immediately have the image of a selfish, narcissistic and arrogant person in front of them who only has their own interests and benefits in mind. In reality, however, self-love is about something completely different. Self-love means to be able to accept oneself – with all strengths and weaknesses, without ifs and buts. Self-love means to accept oneself and to value oneself. It is of great importance for our mental well-being, but many people find it very difficult to do so. But it is possible and not that difficult to learn self-love.

Image: © i love simple beyond – pexels.com

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