Though Valentine’s Day is gone, that does not mean love has to stop. Seeking love does not have to mean getting into a relationship. Instead, try cultivating self love. That’s right. Fall in love with yourself.
A few years ago, I struggled with loving who I was. I had set such high standards for myself that whenever I failed to meet those standards, I would be frustrated. My mind would scream out negative thoughts. I am not good enough. I am stupid. I always make mistakes. The list goes on.
However, was this message really true? Is there any benefit to thinking such negative thoughts? The answer is no. The journey to finding self love is not easy, but it’s so worth it.
What if you devoted some time to loving yourself more? Go back to the basics and focus on building your self-esteem and self-love. No matter where you are, right now is the perfect time. This is your starting ground. Are you ready to love yourself more? Good. Let’s start.
Flip your negative thoughts.
Avoid using negative words, like “can’t”, “ugly”, and “useless”, to describe yourself and your abilities. Try to change any negative statements you make into something positive. For example, don’t say, “I am not worth anything.” Instead, think or say, “I am a valuable person.” The more you do this, the more you’ll believe it.
There’s no shame in making mistakes. We are all imperfect. Just aim to do the best you can in whatever you do. Forgive whatever mistakes happen along the way, and look to improve in the future. Sometimes we have to train our minds to aim for “good enough” instead of “perfect“. I am not saying to slack off, but sometimes we take perfection too seriously, and we not only hurt ourselves but the people around us in our pursuit of the impossible.
List your positive attributes.
I love taking time in the evening before I head to bed to write 3-5 things I appreciate about myself. Listing your the things you love about yourself reminds you that you’re pretty great, despite that mistake you made earlier. Plus, on the days when you are not feeling loved, taking time to read through your list will give you a boost of positivity.
Focus on your own progress.
Stop falling into the comparison trap. Comparison is the thief of joy. With social media showing everyone’s highlight reels all the time, comparison gets the best of me sometimes. It’s hard to avoid comparing your life with someone else’s, but it is a habit we can all replace with something better. When I find myself comparing, I try to take a moment to set my mind to see how far I have come. It’s me vs. me. Your results should be your biggest motivation.
Design a life where you know you will be happy. Find things you like to do. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone, whether it’s trying out a new workout or traveling to a new city. Do you admire positive, uplifting people? Get to know them or find a group of people who you know will support you. Do you have a goal in mind you want to reach? Focus on that. Most importantly, if you can think of one thing you can do to make yourself happier today, make time for it.
Self love isn’t only about positive affirmations. It’s a life habit you have to practice every day. If you do, it can change the way you think, what you say, and what you do. It is a new way of living a happy life. I hope that you find self-love, but know that you’re going to have to work at it.
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