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Last Updated on April 22, 2020

17 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself and Be Happy

17 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself and Be Happy

Self love and happiness aren’t found, they are created. It isn’t a switch that is flicked one day and you are in love with yourself and your life; it is discovered, learned and practiced daily.

Loving yourself is the most productive thing you can do for you life because all that doubt, self hate and underestimating is holding you back from reaching your full potential and of course, true happiness.

You can’t truly be happy if you don’t love yourself because no matter how happy everything else in your life is, you will always feel unworthy, like you don’t deserve happiness. To love yourself isn’t arrogant or grandiose, from a young age we have been taught that to love yourself is to be selfish, wrong, arrogant, patronizing, unattractive and unproductive.

Self hate has been a motivator for self improvement for so long and we have been shaming ourselves for showing ourselves even a little bit of love. We shame our peers for being confident and happy by calling them arrogant, conceited, delusional and wrong because they have what we want.

To love yourself is to experience happiness and security on a whole new level. We search for love outwardly because that is how as children, we found love and security. It was rewarded to us when we did good things. But we didn’t grow out of this, we continue to look for love in other people but the truth of it is, the love you are looking for can only come from within. That is why someone else’s love is never enough for you to be truly happy and you can never feel safe if you are not comfortable with your own capabilities.

But how to be more confident and love yourself?

Well, learning to love yourself is a journey, these are short fire lessons you have to learn, activities you should to improve your self love and increase genuine happiness in your life.

Here’re 17 ways to learn to love yourself and be happy:

1. Cast out of the Idea That You Have to Be Perfect

Perfect body, life, IQ… All of it. Perfection doesn’t exist and when you think it does on social media, it is often masking crippling mental health issues.

You are never going to be perfect. But the good news is, you already are perfect, in your imperfection.

2. Understand That Societies’ Expectations of You Are an Unrealistic Standard That Can Never Be Met

It is our human nature to always be hungry for more, even if you hit that unrealistic standard, you will always be unhappy because you want more.

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Don’t compare yourself or your life to that unrealistic standard, it only leads to self hate and depression: The More We Compare, the More We Lose Ourselves

3. Live in the Moment, Just for a Moment Every Day

Take a moment to stop the endless pursuit and just look into yourself. See where you have come from and appreciate the beauty of the moment that YOU ARE ALIVE — Living, breathing, functioning human being and how much of a luxury that is.

4. Daily Gratitude

That is the key to happiness.

Start a gratitude journal, an Instagram channel, a blog or just spend 3 minutes each day, thinking of all the things you are grateful for — Your body, your life, your friends, your country, M&Ms, how great that old pan has lasted you, how that person on the bus let you off first…

When we get comfortable, we get ungrateful. Change that, show gratitude everyday.

5. Embrace the Fact That You Can’t Control Everything

The only thing you can control are things within your control and your reactions. Understand that you can’t control other people, their choices, their behavior just like you can’t control the weather.

Life isn’t about trying to control everything, it is about how you react to it. Instead of trying to control everything and everyone, do the best you can do and then put your hands up and say ” it is in the hands of the God’s now” and leave it to work itself out. Everything works itself out eventually.

6. Self-Care

Society has taught us that self care is selfish and god forbid, our greatest fear is being called selfish. In response, we work ourselves to death so everyone knows how Good we are.

But there is a cost to be “Good” in the eyes of society and that cost is your happiness. Get over trying to be “Good” and take care of yourself. Self care = Happiness.

Start to take up these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

7. Check in with Yourself Emotionally

Find a chair, grab a coffee and ask what is going on with you today. How are you feeling? Feel that feeling.

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Learning to actually feel your feelings instead of brushing them under the rug is the best way forward.

8. Face Your Negative Thoughts

Ask them: Are they true? Are they helpful? Are they kind? Before you say anything negative, ask yourself, does this thought benefit me in any way? Does this thought make me better in some way? Or is it just rude, belittling and cruel.

We are often most abusive towards ourselves mentally, which means one of the most important keys to happiness is to stop with the internal torture. The endless insults, belittling, the “you’re so this and you’re such a that”. Only use supportive and positive language in your head.

Try these 7 Powerful Ways to Stop Negative Thinking.

9. Tighten Your Circle

Your social circle affects your whole life. Learn about The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You.

You are an accumulation of the 5 people you hang out with, so have a look at who that is. Who are they? Are they positive? Loving? Supportive? Or are they negative, rude and abusive?

You don’t owe anyone anything so if someone is dragging you down like a really negative friend, an insulting boyfriend or a rather opinionated overbearing Aunt. You don’t owe them your time. Ditch, Avoid, Move On. It is your life.

10. Eat Healthier

What you put in your body affects your mental health. Not just biologically but if you eat something you consider bad,  you sit and shame yourself.

Don’t shame yourself, life is too short to shame yourself for eating food. Take off the restriction on eating, stop dieting and eat like a human. Eat foods you like and eat natural foods. Your body will thank you.

11. Get to Moving!

Don’t just sign up to a gym and never go. Try out a new form of physical activity, find one you enjoy, that makes you laugh and you have fun. Then do that!

Dancerize, Zumba, spin, mermaid swimming… There is almost unlimited types of sports out there. Go try them and watch your happiness bloom!

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12. Remember Who You Are

You have been through a lot and you have come through it, getting stronger and stronger every time.

I ask you to remember who you are. Adversity is your friend, it challenges you to make life interesting so you can get to the place you really want to go!

13. Give Yourself Permission to Love Your Body

Your body is a beautiful and wonderful tool for adventure. Your body isn’t designed to just be an aesthetic to please other people and society. It isn’t a fancy Vase. It is a tool so that you can do all the things you want to do in this life.

Climb, eat, travel, work, knit… Treat your body as if it was your child. With nothing but love and the understanding that it is perfect as it is.

14. Stop Finding Happiness in a Body Type

We are taught that we will be happy if we conform to the Ideal Body. You know that type, it changes every decade, an impossible beauty standard that is often airbrushed over.

No matter how much weight you lose, plastic surgery you get and many products you buy. Happiness cannot be found in a body because there isn’t where happiness live.

Happiness comes from self acceptance. From realizing that the reason you want a body is to feel safe, accepted and successful, so that you feel like you can do all the things you want to do.

Well, you can do anything you want no matter what your body looks like, so stop wasting time trying to conform to a diet type and actually Go Get Happiness. It is found within.

15. Try Minimalism

True happiness and love isn’t found in stuff, it is found in appreciating what you have and experiences. At the end of your life, you want someone to say how great your life was, how you did everything you ever wanted!

Not that you had a huge collection of stuff and you were a hoarder. Shopping for happiness is like having a McDonalds, appreciating what you have is a homemade wholesome meal.

Here’s an inspiring read recommended for you: If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, What Can?

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16. Learn Continuously

Learn, read, experiment… Find what works for you.

Try. Don’t just read this and go, well I guess that is interesting and walk off. Pick one of these things and practice them.

Happiness isn’t a switch, it is a daily practice.

17. Clear up Your Environment

Clear out all those negative people on social media. All of those relatable memes about underachieving alcoholics.

What you put in your mind becomes your life, therefore it is only logical that you fill your mind with positive information, and you will have a positive life.

Try these tips: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

Final Thoughts

These are the quick fire lessons you need to learn to be happy. As I said, these are for daily practice, it is quite a few so start at the one you find most drawn too and practice that everyday for a month. Once incorporated into habit, your life will improve and happiness has the opportunity to flourish.

Happiness is right in front of you, if only you choose to find it and practice it.

More Tips About Self-Love

Featured photo credit: Giulia Bertelli via unsplash.com

More by this author

Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

Why Does Life Suck So Bad Sometimes? Why Am I So Sensitive And Is It Bad? How to Love Yourself And Embrace Who You Really Are 17 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself and Be Happy You Are Not Your Thoughts: 10 Ways to Get Rid of Unhealthy Thoughts

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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