There is a common misconception that people who portray self-love these days must be selfish narcissists. Allow me to tell you that self-love, really, is only about self-care, and not selfishness.
Read this article for more.
How can I say this?
The internet gives us countless definitions of what self-love is. Therefore I certainly won’t throw another dumb one at you… For the sake of sparking a little idea in your head, let’s imagine the following… (promise, you won’t get emotional).
Let’s imagine that loving and being in a relationship with another human would not be possible. It just wouldn’t. Let’s suppose you would have to be in a relationship with yourself and this would be the only option you have (I know, this sounds f***** up). Consider this little idea for a moment…
Imagine how you would treat yourself when you were in a relationship with yourself.
I wonder if you would still beat yourself up like you already do on a daily basis when you feel guilty of things not working out the way you wanted them to. I wonder, if you would also tell yourself that negative BS you tell yourself when you’re in doubt of something. The point is that self-love is an incredibly powerful skill to have. I call it a skill as I’m a firm believer that self-love can be practiced and attained. You may agree with me here. You may not.
Either way, through my personal observations self-love, has become the antidote to many of the f***** up things our mind sometimes does with us. Here are just a few to name…
- Beating yourself up with nasty and cruel self-talk
- Feeling like a worthless piece of s*** after the slightest failure
- Unrealistic expectations you rationally know won’t happen anyway, but still feel crap when they don’t happen.
- Self-sabotaging behaviors that throw your personal potential straight out the window
- Limiting and irrational beliefs we know are completely dumb, but still, keep your mind in a cage
…I don’t want to bore you with an endless list. You get the point.
My guess is that you and me, could possibly both agree that all these problems, are perhaps grounded in our nature of… not truly believing in our ability or simply said, not ‘being good enough’.
#1 Learn to be alone & create leverage
Listen up! This is the most important lesson of all… I don’t mean to put yourself into a state of feeling lonely and… crap. I mean to learn to be okay with you not always needing someone around you to make you happy or bring you emotional peace.
The best way to do that is to purposefully put yourself into the right environment. Last weekend, I packed my things, sat in my car and drove down to Budapest, for 2 days. You’re right. By myself. I made myself two very nice evenings in the heart of the city eating some seriously delicious street food and appreciating the fact that I got to see such a beautiful place. I didn’t need anybody by my side, nor did I want anybody by my side.
You see, by creating an environment where we are practically ‘forced’ to focus on ourselves, we very often have no other choice than to spend time with our own self. We may not like the current circumstance as we are not used to being on our own and we can indeed start to call vasts amounts of friends and family members so that we have someone to talk to. The point is that the art of self-love lies in accepting that you will only be able to build self-love if you begin to perfectly comfortable by being by yourself sometimes and enjoying your own company.
You fall in love with someone from spending amazing times with them. The same goes for self-love. Just make yourself an amazing time with your own. It’s that simple. 🙂
#2 Unplug from social media
You know what really helps you get some serious self-love? By stop paying attention to the lives others share with us. Don’t get me wrong! Social media is great for connecting with people or stalking our crush. I just feel like that too many people use it in an unbalanced, destructive way. When unbalanced, we focus more on what others have instead on what we have. This is where the disconnection lies, why building self-love, in my opinion, has become harder than ever.
But with that being said, this problem is totally manageable! 🙂 Take time during the day, where you put your phone aside and just focus on what is good for you. Research shows that it takes approx. 20 minutes for us to unplug from all the noise we hear around us. After those 20 minutes, we begin to enter a state of inner focus, self-care and connection to ourselves. And this is exactly where the magic of self-love begins. It begins by focusing on what you have. Not others.
If you’re a frequent reader of our blog posts, you may have noticed me writing about meditating quite often. This comes with good reason. Meditation is a great way that helps us to explore our spirituality.
Apart from giving you clear-headedness and a relieve in stress, it is also a great tool to regulate your emotions. Perhaps you may be at a difficult stage in your life right now. Or you may have feelings of guilt when things didn’t go the way you wanted them to.
But here is the real value of mediation – because you gradually improve on your ability to balance your emotions you will maintain an open mind. An open mind to me is of tremendous value when it comes to making new experiences and taking a step into the unknown. When I don’t mediate I feel how my emotions very often get in the way of me wanting to try something new. A self-defeating maneuver.
Meditate and keep and open mind, and you will see how new opportunities and positivity will flood into your life. 🙂
Remember: The mind is like a parachute. It only works when it is open.
#4 Don’t compare yourself to others
You and I both love memes I assume. If you spent the last couple of days on Facebook and reading the newest time-wasting gossip like I did, you may know by now that Kylie Jenner is the ‘youngest self-made billionaire’ on this planet. Not that’s freaky, considering she isn’t actually self-made. But let’s not get political here. I found it funny how memes literally showed this headline with a video caption of girl wiping her tears off her cheeks for only having nine bucks in her bank account… Wow. Seriously?
My friends, please allow me to tell you, that if you just focus on yourself and have enough ambition and a great work ethic, you will be where all those amazing people are in a time sooner than you think.
Comparing yourself to others is the best way to destroy your self-love and self-worth into tiny pieces. You were born you, not someone else. Please recognize it.
#5 The Do-Something Principle
In his newest best-selling book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life’, American star blogger Mark Manson has told us about the Do-Something Principle. As you correctly guessed, this principle is all about doing something and growing from that something. Whether that is growing mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually.
The point is that self-love and self-worth are very dependent on our daily behavior. When we engage in useful and productive acts, that give us a feeling of growth, we feel great! You and I know this. It feels amazing to get stuff done! For good reason! When we don’t grow, we die, and so does our self-love.
This little idea shall make it clear to you, that self-love isn’t a mushy nice thing that you can get once you find ‘inner peace’. It is something you have to work hard for my friends!
I’m confident in saying most of you reading this, have done some sort of volunteering work or have contributed anything to a cause that was greater than yourself. If you have, congratulations.
The feeling you get after serving others and contributing something of value to the lives others isn’t replaceable with any feeling in this universe. We also know that your happiness also makes a huge jump once you know you have made the life of another human a little bit better. It just feels great right?
The point is that we are social animals who have always been, ever since the human species has been around on this planet, wired for contribution and social connection. This is why we feel so great when we did something for someone else we know will positively impact them.
Your own self-love can be taken to completely new levels by giving people something of value. Not only will they love you, but you will, quite instinctively, begin to love yourself more. 🙂
#7 Love the process
To love yourself you do not have to become the person of your wildest dreams. I mean, that would be dope! But hold on for a second…
Self-love doesn’t come from becoming famous, having a million bucks on your account or other forms of extrinsic achievements. You fall in love with yourself once you can truly say to yourself that you’re adopting the necessary habits, routines and behaviors every day, that bring you closer to your ultimate goals and visions. Self-love is a feeling. A feeling of consciously being optimistic about becoming the person you dream of becoming.
Take-home message. If I had to choose which one of these listed principles I would pick the first one. Putting yourself into an environment that deliberately ‘forces’ you to focus on yourself is the game.
Thank you for reading to the end of my article. I appreciate your time and effort. If you liked it, share it with your friends or leave a like. 🙂