Most of the discomfort we experience is based on a lack of self-love. This lack is also the source of endless conflict and the bad choices we make in our lives. It is a void that causes us to perform a plethora of erratic acts, such as constantly trying to prove ourselves, diligently seeking approval, or turning affection into a battlefield. Therefore, we must increase our self-love to solve this deficiency.
Love rests mainly on three pillars: respect, care and knowledge. Respect implies that you accept and value yourself and others. When you really respect something, it means that you don’t have the constant need to question, criticize or change it. You simply accept that it is what it is and that you are content with it being that way. In other words, you confirm it.
Care involves relating to this person or object you love in a way that sustains growth and protection. Both respect and care are closely related to knowledge: you cannot respect something if you do not have knowledge of it, nor can you care for it and help it grow if you do not know in which direction it will evolve.
When there is self-love, it means that one respects oneself, takes care of oneself, and has knowledge of oneself. When there is no self-love, we have to navigate ourselves through the uncertainty of not knowing who we are or where we are going. We doubt our thoughts, feelings and actions: you constantly question the mistakes you make and feel as if you would have to be someone else completely in order to live the right way. It’s like living out an inner storm that never ends. When this is the case, it’s time to start nurturing your self-love. That’s why in this article we’ll discuss the best ways to increase your self-love.
Increase your self-love
1. Learn to look at yourself in a kind way
Chances are you’ve convinced yourself at some point in your life that “something is wrong with you.” Perhaps you were brought up in such a way that you were always very aware of the mistakes you were making or that there was far too much emphasis on them. Therefore, you may have become accustomed to looking at yourself from this perspective: paying attention only to your mistakes and constantly underestimating all your effort and achievements.
In this case it is important to tell you a secret: not only need yourself constantly criticize is an unmistakable sign of a lack of self-love, but also the need to always others in tow doubt and get down. So everyone who has pointed out your mistakes to you or who still does this, is going through a less good period with himself.
Learn to overcome this conditioning. Break the thinking pattern that keeps you bringing yourself down again and again. This is the task: every time you encounter a mistake or failure, you must also discover two virtues in yourself. Try to be a little kinder to yourself and you will naturally learn to love yourself.
2. Make an effort to become a better person
We are all worthy of being respected and appreciated simply by belonging to the human race. Never forget this. Also, don’t forget that conscious effort is the healthiest way to give value to the things you do.
Effort is powerful food for self-love. Without realizing it, the effort you put in gives you a sense of dignity that translates into respect for the person you are and what you do. By choosing the easy way, you don’t realize that the opposite is actually happening: you devalue the things you achieve, and therefore also the person you are.
Efforts don’t mean going against your own desires or constantly kicking yourself for not being able to achieve your goals. Rather, it means putting effort into the things you want to do so that everything is done right and completed. This may mean that you sometimes have to give in to your own will, but at the same time it will also reward you with a growing sense of self-love.
3. Understand the people who undervalue you
You will never be happy or satisfied with yourself if you continue to depend on other people’s opinions. Most of them aren’t consciously out to hurt you when they speak up (although they often do).
However, do you think that others think about who you are for hours on end before they happily share their opinion of you with you? I will tell you that this is far from the case! Most of them just act mechanically and say things without thinking about it. To really appreciate a point of criticism, it would have to be very detailed and profound.
Perhaps you are not satisfying the needs or opinion of that other person, and this is why he doubts you. Ultimately, though, the problem lies more with that other person than with you. Your job in life is not to adapt to the desires of others, but to follow your own path. That path and process is unique, and it will often be the case that others will disagree. It is wise to become aware that this is completely normal and that this is something that happens to all of us.
It is precisely one of the consequences of self-love to bring about acceptance and appreciation in others. When a person loves himself, he naturally commands respect from those around him. Loving yourself is a task that you must undertake and that will give you more satisfaction than any other task you can take on in life.
Images courtesy of Margarita Kareva. Art TreeLight