Why self-love is SO important
Self-love is something a lot of us can struggle with over time. Some times might be worse than others but the journey to learning self-love seems to be never-ending.
Why can self-love be so difficult?
We can often get caught up in comparisons, especially thanks to social media, that can make it difficult to view ourselves in a positive way. Social media is wonderful, it connects old friends and people from around the world, but it can also be extremely harmful because posts on social media are our own ideal versions of ourselves. But, when we see someone else’s ideal version, we think of it as their everyday life because all we often see of them is their social media.
Even we struggle with remembering not to compare ourselves to others we see online - and it’s hard. But each and every person has different skills, talents and features that make you, well you.
Getting frustrated because you didn’t or couldn’t do something that someone else could won’t do you any good. What will do you good, is remembering the things that you are good at - and feeling proud of them. Maybe your best friend is a phenomenal designer, and you can write well but can’t design if your life depended on it. It’s more likely you’ll see them post about their design skills than you will about your writing skills - but that doesn’t make what you do well any less valuable.
Particularly, with Valentine’s Day coming up tomorrow, some of us also need to remember that being in a relationship doesn’t equate to self-worth (as much as Hallmark cards and cheesy Instagram posts like to make us think it is). Just because someone else is in a relationship doesn’t mean that you are any less of a person for being single for a little while.
So what is self-love?
Self-love has to do with self-esteem, self-respect and self-compassion. Self-esteem is how much confidence we feel towards ourselves and our abilities which often leads directly into how high our sense of self-love is. This goes hand in hand with self-compassion because sometimes, when our confidence is low, we need to remind ourselves that we are only human and show the same compassion we show to others.
What can you do to improve your sense of self-love?
Talk to yourself in a kind way and be mindful of your thoughts
Sometimes the reason we lack self-love is we are not paying attention to the types of thought we are having. If you ever notice you are comparing yourself to someone else or are beginning to feel negatively or uneasy about your abilities, talk to yourself as if you would a loved one. Would you ever tell your best friend that they sucked at something? No? So, why do that to yourself.
We listen to ourselves in our mind at all hours of the day because our thoughts are a constant narrative of what’s going on in our lives. So, if we listen to ourselves all the time, that talk should be positive and uplifting instead of negative things that bring us down. Being mindful of our thoughts can help us keep track of when those negative thoughts sneak up on us. We also have a post about mindfulness that can help with learning about what that means.
If you notice yourself thinking negatively, pay attention to what you’re thinking and reframe your thoughts. Maybe someone you know is an amazing photographer and you want to get better - so rather than thinking “They’re so good! I’ll never to be able to do that.” Think, “Wow, they’re so talented. I’m going to work on my skills and maybe one day I can be like that too.” Try that tactic with other things too. Sometimes all we need to do is reframe our perspective of a situation - you’d be surprised the difference it can make.
Notice the things you do like about yourself - and build them up
Now, don’t get us wrong, building yourself up and developing a too big of an ego are two different things. The important thing you need to focus on is building yourself up in the skills you have and the things you like about yourself, but not to the point of gloating or becoming egotistical.
For this, we mean that when you do something well - acknowledge that and don’t feel guilty for feeling good about it. Be proud of what you can do and who you are. But, try not to gloat. Remember that feeling of self-doubt you might have when seeing someone else do well? Well, they probably aren’t a stranger to that feeling either.
Practice self-love as often as you can
Self-love can even be taking the time do something that makes you happy or feel good. Try to focus on the things you like about yourself and remember to be proud of everything about yourself. Sometimes things can get tough and it can be hard not to be negative. But do what you can to uplift yourself. You deserve it and plus who doesn’t like feeling good about themselves? We know we do.
So why should I remember self-love?
Remember that practicing self-love and being kind to yourself can actually change how you feel day to day and make positive impacts on your life.
You are a work in progress and still changing and growing - be forgiving of yourself and learn from your experiences, but remember to go easy on yourself along the way. This whole life thing isn’t exactly easy.
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