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Self-love. It’s a term that’s thrown around a lot – both positively and negatively. But do you really know what it means or why it’s important? Let’s dig into this self-love concept.
True self-love is an unconditional feeling of love, appreciation, and acceptance for yourself. It means that’s no matter what you do, you will still love yourself and treat yourself the same. Self-love is also the reminder that you are valuable, worthy of love, and deserving of happiness.
But, this can sound a little narcissistic, right? I mean, we’ve always been taught to be humble. No worries! There’s a huge difference between having and practicing self-love and being a little too full of yourself. Self-love isn’t selfish or vain. It is not practiced with the intention to be better than others. It’s simply the intention to accept yourself and continue bettering yourself.
Maybe you’ve read all that and you’re thinking, “I’m pretty good at that already.” If so, then way to go! We are super proud of you for embracing yourself as you are! However, let’s take a quick step back and make sure it’s true self-love you’re practicing and not just self-like.
We’ve all had those days that we are just rocking it. Whatever we do, we crush it. Our hair’s on point, we’re wearing our best outfit, and we just complimented four random strangers in a matter of minutes. These are the days self-love is easy.
It’s the days that we look in the mirror and dislike what we see, or we mess up at work, or we say something mean to a friend… those are the days self-love is hard. If you find yourself talking down to yourself on the hard days, you may be practicing self-like instead. It’s easy to like yourself when you’re crushing the game. It’s difficult to love yourself when you mess up. But that’s the ultimate goal, right?
So we have the description down. We know what it is. Why is it important? It may seem silly, but we have to love ourselves before we can love others. Having self-love also gives us the ability to withstand challenging events and treat ourselves fairly, even when we mess up. Most importantly, when we love ourselves, we are able to accept the love and relationships we know we deserve.
Okay, so you’re sold on the self-love thing. Now how do we do it? Here are seven small steps to kick start your self-love journey!
1. Invest in yourself. Schedule “me” time. Do something every day that makes you happy. Make time for fun things. Nourish your body with good nutrition. Exercise, get enough sleep, cut toxic relationships, and don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
2. Set boundaries. Learn how to say no. Manage your time well.
3. Forgive yourself. Accept that no one is perfect, and mistakes happen. Failures are good chances to learn. Go easy on yourself.
4. Celebrate wins, no matter how large or small. Be proud of all you can accomplish.
5. Embrace what makes you different.
6. Be realistic. People mess up, we are all human. Allow yourself and others to make mistakes.
7. Get in touch with your inner dialogue. If it’s negative, work on turning it into a positive. Speak to yourself the way you’d speak to a friend.