We’re often too hard on ourselves. We hold onto our shortcomings and conveniently forget our successes and positive qualities. Sometimes our self-criticism is so powerful that it can seriously dent our self-esteem.
When you don’t love yourself, it’s not easy for other people to respect, like, or love you. While we find it easy to love others, it’s much more challenging to appreciate ourselves. We allow others to take advantage of us. We tolerate unhealthy relationships. We overeat. We waste our valuable time. We have goals that are far beneath our capabilities.
How can you give yourself the love you deserve?
1. Understand that you are relevant. You matter to the world. Your opinions matter. Your work matters. Your mere presence matters. You’ve already touched numerous lives in a positive way. When you begin to mine the wonderfulness that is you, you will learn that you have so much to offer to others in terms of your life experience and your life wisdom.
2. Understand that your greatest mistakes don’t define you. Your mistakes may have influenced your life, but they’ve only changed who you are if you’ve permitted it. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you’ve made. Tomorrow is a new day. Someone said once that often our mistakes can become our ministry. If you have really learned from them, you can be a valuable source of information and encouragement to others.
3. Forgive someone that has wronged you. Forgiving doesn’t mean that you have to let them back into your life or give them another chance. It just means that you’re not going to spend any more time or mental energy holding onto your anger. Be good to yourself and let it go. • You’ll impress yourself with your inner strength and enjoy the relief that forgiveness brings.
4. Think about the best compliments you’ve ever received. Bask in them. The most meaningful compliments are those that ring true in the depth of your soul. It’s exciting when someone else recognizes the best that we have to offer the world. On my computer, I have a category of emails I call my “nice-nice” file – when someone drops me a note of encouragement about my writing or speaking, I store it in this file to look at from time to time
5. Take a stand for something you believe in. Be bold in your opinion of what’s right and wrong. Be willing to share your interests and hobbies with others. When you love yourself, you can do what interests you without the need for approval from others. Be proud of what’s most important to you. When these beliefs are based on your personal experience, they can be powerful. For example. there is no greater voice in favor of adoption than someone who has adopted. A victim of domestic violence will be a credible voice for respect for women. Take a stand!
6. Be kind to yourself. The world will be harsh enough on you. Make an effort to be kind to yourself. Remember your good qualities and your strengths. If you have trouble with this, imagine yourself as a child. Give yourself a hug and tell yourself all the wonderful things about who you are!
7. Be of service to others. We admire those that give of themselves. You can admire yourself by spending some time each week helping to make someone else’s life a little easier or more pleasant. Find a charity or social organization that addresses a cause that’s near and dear to your heart. Getting out of your head and lending your hands to others will make you feel good!
8. Take care of yourself. See the doctor and dentist. Pay for a good haircut. Avoid dressing like a slob. Avoid being obsessed with your appearance, but give it the attention it deserves. Make an effort to look your best because you’re worth the time and effort.
9. Do something nice for yourself. Take the trip you’ve been putting off. Buy yourself a book. Take a class on a topic that interests you. Buy those expensive sheets for the bed. Don’t do it as a reward. Do it just because you’re wonderful.
10. Remember your greatest successes. Remember how amazing you are. You’ve done lots of great things. Remind yourself of them.
We were taught as children to be loving to others. It’s about time you applied the same rule to yourself.
Everyone benefits when you love yourself more. You’re happier and at your best. You can do more for others and be more inspiring.
Take the time to love yourself fully. You deserve it.