Advertising
Advertising

10 Superpowers You Gain As You Learn To Love Yourself

10 Superpowers You Gain As You Learn To Love Yourself

So, you aren’t perfect, and you have flaws. Do you realize that seven billion other humans fit this same description?

You must find a way to love yourself: mistakes, regrets, weaknesses, and all. You are valuable and important, and to be happy you must discover a path that leads you to love yourself.

You Don’t Need to Be Perfect to Love Yourself

Advertising

Abraham Lincoln In confident pose. You must learn to love yourself as  well.

    Abraham Lincoln learned to love himself in spite of repeated failures.

    Even genius historical figures like Abraham Lincoln moved past failures to accomplish the extraordinary. Lincoln as an entrepreneur drove several businesses into the ground. He even claimed bankruptcy twice and was severely beaten in more than 25 campaigns for elected positions. His heroism and genius obviously were not hampered by his failures.

    Lincoln came to a point where he accepted who he was.

    Advertising

    What Self-Love Means

    Perfection is not necessary to love yourself or to achieve success, although most of you expect it of yourselves. Psychology Today explains that:

    Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic.

    You grow to love yourself by behaving in positive ways that help you physically, psychologically, and spiritually. You can’t let failure or imperfection keep you from growing love for yourself.

    Advertising

    This is a complicated psychological skill that you absolutely have to master through practice: loving yourself, without exceptions or qualifications.

    Superpowers Develop As You Love Yourself

    When you learn to love yourself, life will improve dramatically. Oh, you won’t be perfect or flawless, but you will acquire “superpowers” that will make your weaknesses trivial. Self-love empowers you with the mental toughness to accomplish your dreams and conquer any obstacles.

    As you begin to love yourself, your life falls into place, and you design your life around events that make you healthy and happy. The 10 superpowers below build on each other and create a new you:

    Advertising

    1. Using mindful practices such as meditation, you accept yourself and you value your existence. Exercises and activities where you care for your body and mind help you to love yourself. They also provide additional mental and physical health benefits such as reduced stress and increased stamina. Mindfulness means that you are conscious of the present moment, and you love yourself, regardless of the chaos that might surround you.
    2. With mindfulness, you begin to care about and satisfy your physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. You will take better care of yourself, finding health and peace. This increases your capacity to succeed in your environment at home and work. Your needs are met, so you are able to work efficiently.
    3. As you work and give to others, you develop respect for yourself as a valuable individual within a community. You see the interconnected relationships that you have with other people. Both independent and cultural respect are important to progress. You see yourself as a great person who has a lot to offer a community that you value.
    4. These changes push you toward the growth and maturity that are necessary to be a healthy, functioning adult. Think about all you have gained: all the superpowers that make you stronger, powerful. You find yourself taking on new and challenging tasks and pushing yourself to develop the talents you possess.
    5. With maturity comes competence, which means that you increase your capacity to accomplish difficult tasks. Your respect, maturity, and love increase your potential to perform beyond what you thought possible. You are able to do more, and perform better than in the past. The tasks are not easier, but your ability to perform competently is empowered.
    6. As you prove to yourself that you can act competently in the world, you acquire self-confidence, a knowledge that you can handle whatever obstacles you might confront. Confidence enables you to encounter greater independence and the power to act.
    7. Competence and self-confidence make security for you and your loved ones possible, a necessity for a happy adult life. You feel secure as a human being, and you know that you can provide for your family.
    8. You have moved to an advanced level of human development where you can feel empathy for other human beings in your community and the world. This is a tremendous power to sense and feel the emotions of others. You further connect with the people around you because you understand them better.
    9. When you feel the emotions that others experience, their pain and pleasure, you learn how to love someone else. Empathy draws you close to people, making it possibly to truly know them. You love other people because you care about their emotional wellbeing and happiness. You are now looking outside yourself to other people, an essential step.
    10. Directing your love from your center outward to the world, you find the secret that all humans search for. Loving and serving other people gives you fulfillment and makes happiness possible. You act out of love for yourself and others, and at this point you can accomplish anything you desire.

    Awesome superpowers, right? They are well worth the effort.

    A Tedx Talk by Gala Darling titled Radical Self Love shows what is at stake in loving yourself, especially for women. Darling vividly describes the superpowers of self-love that can conquer depression and hopelessness.

    Darling’s radical self-love illustrates how desperately you need to learn to love yourself. Happiness arises from consistently loving yourself, unleashing your full potential for Lincoln-like genius and innovation. Humans possess no greater power.

    You can do this. You were made for it.

    Before you go, what are some strategies that you use to show love toward yourself? Do you find loving yourself challenging? I will respond to your comments, and I will appreciate them very much. Good luck in your pursuit of love.

    More by this author

    Kids jumping on the beach and loving themselves. 10 Superpowers You Gain As You Learn To Love Yourself 11 Reasons Why You Need To Be More Independent

    Trending in Communication

    1 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 2 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 3 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 4 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About 5 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

    Advertising

    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

    Advertising

    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

    Advertising

    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

    Advertising

    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next