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How to Love Yourself And Embrace Who You Really Are

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How to Love Yourself And Embrace Who You Really Are

How do you love yourself?

To love yourself is to experience freedom – freedom from doubt, self-hate, and oppression created by you.

To love yourself is to no longer hold yourself back from what you deserve.

To love yourself is to grow and enjoy your life.

Self-love is a necessity if you want to live a truly happy life. Self-love is a choice, a commitment to yourself that you are going to love yourself, despite all the social and biological obstacles in your path. It is not found in a place, person or item.

Can You Love Someone If You Don’t Love Yourself?

We hear this a lot – that you can’t love someone if you don’t love yourself. But that simply isn’t true.

You can love someone even if you don’t love yourself. To say otherwise would be untrue. You can experience and express love even if you do not love yourself.

What you can’t do is expect that person to fill the void in your life that isn’t filled with your love for yourself. You can’t find that love in anyone or anything.

Self-love is chosen, forged, practiced, and fought. It isn’t always easy, but you can never find it in the arms of another person.

What Do You Need to Do to Love Yourself?

1. Choose to Do It

Self-love is a choice; it isn’t handed to you. It is not found in someone else or an object.

You achieve self-love by deciding that you want it. After a lifetime of hating yourself for not being enough, you have to choose to let go of this toxic mindset. Choose to say no to all the internal self-hate, and choose to tell yourself the truth that you are not perfect and that is okay.

To start this, give yourself permission to love yourself. You are worthy of being loved, even if you tell yourself you’re not. Take a moment to tell yourself this and permit yourself to love yourself.

This is the first step in accepting that you can love yourself and that you are choosing it.

2. Achieve Self Acceptance

You are who you are, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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You don’t have to be something else to have worth or to be good enough. Who you are right now, is enough.

People may not like you and that is okay because the point of self-love is that it doesn’t matter what other people think of you. What only matters is what you think of yourself.

That starts with accepting that you are who you are and having faith that there is nothing wrong with that.

3. Know That Self-Love Is an Endless Journey

As we go through life, we grow, change, learn, and become entirely new different people.

We are all different people from who we were 10 years ago, which means self-love isn’t just learning to love yourself once. It is about falling and being in love with yourself as you change and grow.

You don’t achieve self-love; you travel with it as you discover who you are.

4. Let Go of the Idea of Perfection

You are never going to be perfect; no human will ever be.

Don’t let that stop you from loving yourself. It is easy to hate yourself for not being perfect or enough. But this only creates self-hate because instead of focusing on all that you have, you are focused on all that you are not.

Self-love blooms in a mindset of abundance, which means you have to see all that you have and feel gratitude for it. Self-love struggles, wilts, and dies in a mindset that is rooted in perfection, aka never good enough.

5. Identify the Difference Between Truth And Opinion

Self-love starts by changing the way you think and see yourself. This all starts with our internal narrative and the stories we tell ourselves.

An example of our stories would be:

“I can’t do this because I am too (something like clumsy, stupid, weak, etc.).”

These stories come in many forms, such as:

“I cannot have this in my life because (I am not good enough, this is not meant for me, If I was like this, I could get what I want).”

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“I am (Insert negative adjective).”

Taking a good hard look at your internal rhetoric can be revealing as to why you have struggled to love yourself.

When you are down on yourself, it is because, at some point in time, someone or something made you feel not good enough. It could have been a comment from a family member, a judgemental magazine article, or a random video you watched.

It made you question your worth, and you took this knowledge and used it to hate yourself.

What I want you to realize is that most of these thoughts aren’t facts. They are only our opinions of ourselves, but we treat these opinions as facts – irrefutable facts.

When we tell ourselves we can’t do something, we won’t be able to. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that confirms in our brains that our opinions are facts.

When you say I cannot or I can’t or this isn’t meant for me, you kill 2 things:

  1. Hope – you decided you cannot, so there is no reason to try.
  2. Growth – you cut off the opportunity to try, fail and grow.

You become stuck in a fixed mindset with no choice but to succumb to your fate as a self-imposed loser. If you want to love yourself, this needs to stop because these aren’t facts.

Fact Versus Opinion

Let’s break this down to the basics:

A fact is a thing that is known or proven to be true.

An opinion is a view or judgment formed about something, which is not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

For example:

It is a fact that an orange has a peel.

It is an opinion that the orange is round and therefore unattractive.

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Let me translate.

It is a fact that you have fat on your body

It is an opinion that having that fat makes you an unworthy person.

Example 2:

I cannot apply for this new job, because I am not qualified

Let’s deconstruct, there is one fact in this sentence and that is I am not qualified. This is just a fact, you are not qualified for a position, you have then placed an opinion upon it.

I cannot apply.

I cannot = I am not good enough.

Your worth isn’t dependant on your qualifications. Factually, you can apply for this position even if you are not qualified.

We give power to facts, and we can decide if it’s positive or negative, self-destructive or empowering. It is time to let go of these opinions and change them.

Instead of “I cannot apply for this job, I am not qualified”, make it “I can apply for this job, although I am not qualified for it, I can always try! I will always learn something and that is always fun”.

6. Learn That Failure Is Your Friend

When we fail, we use that as an excuse to hate ourselves for not being good enough. But you have it all wrong.

Failure is growth. Instead of focusing on how you aren’t good enough, focus on what you learned.

How did you grow? How can you apply this knowledge in the future? The faster you fail, the faster you grow!

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Don’t let failure be the reason you hate yourself. Choose to love it and laugh at yourself when you fail. Laugh, get back up, think about how you can grow from this, and move forward.

You are going to fail a lot in your life, so you might as well have it on your side and when you do. It will grow and foster self-love.

7. Learn How to Not Take Things Personally

The thing about life is that it isn’t all about you.

We are bombarded with negativity, and most of the time, we find ways to be offended as well, even unconsciously. This is biology at work, but now it’s time to let go of this defense mechanism.

To stop taking things very personally:

  • Know that the comments that hurt you aren’t about you at all. See it from the other person’s perspective. 50% of the time, it isn’t even about it. It can be redirected aggression or maybe you just happen to be the one in that situation.
  • It may be about you, and you need to show yourself some empathy. Be vulnerable and kind to yourself, and talk in a non-judgemental way to the person who offended you.

By not taking things personally, you stop torturing yourself and therefore, you love yourself more.

Not every negative thing is about you. The world is bigger than just you.

Final Thoughts

If you want to learn how to love yourself, the most important thing you have to do is commit to learning all about it.

Like life, you will grow and change by continuously learning new ways to love yourself and express who you really are, and you will be happy.

For more information on how to love yourself, here is another article with more detailed instructions: Learning To Love Yourself.

And always remember: you are worth loving.

More Self-Love Tips

Featured photo credit: Jakob Owens via unsplash.com

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Jade Nyx

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Last Updated on January 24, 2022

21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

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21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

Having texting and video conferencing at our fingertips, it appears that maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier than ever. Long-distance calls are no longer a luxury; the days when they needed to be rationed are long gone.

Long-distance couples do not have to depend on 3 p.m. postal delivery, waiting for news that is at best four days old.

Now we’re no longer even in the days of waiting for our loved ones to check their e-mail when they get home from work. Instant messaging keeps us hooked to each other even when we are out shopping, working, playing, watching a movie and doing much more.

Technology, however, cannot compensate for everything in a long-distance relationship, as anyone with a long-distance relationship will tell you.

Many long-distance relationships still seem emotionally difficult despite the lack of regular physical proximity.

People often think long-distance relationships will never work. It may be discouraged by your family, and some of your best friends may tell you not to take it too seriously in case you end up heartbroken.

Many things are not possible due to the extra distance – no one can promise it will be easy. Things could get complicated, and you might feel lonely and sad at times.

Still, many of us try them.

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However, the extra distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest. Being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together, smelling each other’s hair… these small wishes could suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.

Long-distance relationships may be tough, but they have their own surprises too.

Here’re 21 tips on how to make a long distance relationship work:

1. Avoid excessive communication.

It is unwise to be overly “sticky” and possessive. You two don’t really have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going. Many couples think that they need to compensate for the distance by doing more. This is not true. And it might only make things worse. Soon you would get tired of “loving.”

Remember: Less is more. It is not about spamming — you are only going to exhaust yourselves. It’s really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.

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2. See it as an opportunity.

“If you want to live together, you first need to learn how to live apart.” – Anonymous

View it as a learning journey for both of you. This is an opportunity for you to prove your love for one another. According to a Chinese proverb, “Real gold is not afraid of the test of fire.” Instead of thinking that this long-distance relationship is pulling you two apart, you should believe that through this experience, the both of you will be bound together even stronger.

As Emma says it to Will in season four of Glee,

“I would rather be here, far from you, but feeling really close, rather than close to you but feeling really far away.” – Emma, Glee Season 4

3. Set some ground rules to manage your expectations.

Both of you need to be clear with what you expect of each other during this long-distance relationship. Set some ground rules so that none of you will do things that will take the other party by surprise.

For instance, are you two exclusive? Is it all right for the other person to go on dates? What is your commitment level? It’s better to be open with each other about all these things.

4. Try to communicate regularly, and creatively.

Greet each other “good morning” and “good night” every day — this is a must. On top of that, try to update your partner on your life and its happenings, however mundane some of the things may seem.

To up the game, send each other pictures, audio clips, and short videos from time to time. By putting in this kind of effort, you make the other person feel loved and attended to.

5. Talk dirty with each other.

Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things between couples. In a way, sexual desire is like the glue that keeps both parties from drifting apart. Sexual need is not only biological but also emotional.

Keep the flames burning by sending each other teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos and provocative descriptions. Sexy puns work pretty well too.

6. Avoid “dangerous” situations.

If you already know that going to the club or going drinking with your group of friends late at night will displease your partner, then you should either 1. Not do it or 2. Tell your partner beforehand to reassure them.

You should not let this sort of thing slip by because it will only make your partner extra worried or suspicious – and of course, very upset because they will feel powerless or lack control over the situation.

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You can fall victim to your traps by going out with eye candy from work after work or dating someone from your past who has been flirting with you without realizing it. Before entering a dangerous situation, you need to recognize the dangers.

Listen to your heart, but don’t just rely on it. Make sure you also listen to your mind.

7. Do things together.

Play a game online together. Watch a documentary at the same time on YouTube or Vimeo. Share a song on Skype while another plays the guitar. Video-call each other and go for a walk together. Together, go online shopping – and buy each other gifts (see #13).

You really have to be creative and spontaneous about it.

8. Do similar things.

Recommend books, TV shows, movies, music, news and etc., to each other. When you read, watch and listen to the same things, you get to have more topics in common to talk about.

Even if you live apart, it’s nice to have some shared experiences.

9. Make visits to each other.

Every long-distance relationship is enriched by visits.

After all the waiting and yearning and abstinence, you finally get to meet each other to fulfil all the little things like kissing, holding hands, etc. These are typical for couples in long-distance relationships but more special and intimate for long-distance couples.

The atmosphere will be filled with fireworks, glitter bombs, confetti, rainbows, and butterflies.

10. Have a goal in mind.

Are we going to be apart for a long time?” “what about the future?” These are the questions you should ask yourselves.

In fact, a couple cannot stay in a long-distance relationship forever. Eventually, we all need to settle down.

So make a plan with each other. Set up a timeline, mark down the estimated times apart and times together, and draw an end goal.

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It is important that you two are on the same page and have the same goals. So that even if you are not living in the same space and the same timezone, both of you are still motivated to work together in the same direction towards a future that includes one another.

That’s right, you need some motivation to make a relationship last too. Find out more about what motivates you here.

11. Enjoy your alone time and your time with your friends and family.

You are alone, but you are not lonely unless you choose to feel like it. You don’t have to let your world revolve around your partner — you still have you, your friends, and your family. Take this time apart to do more with your friends and family. Go to the gym more often. Get a new hobby. Binge-watch shows. There are plenty of things for you to do that don’t involve your partner.

12. Stay honest with each other.

Talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, whatsoever. If you try to hide anything from your partner, that secret will sooner or later swallow you up from the inside out. Don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. Let your partner help you and give you the support you need. It’s better to look at the problem during its initial stage than to only disclose it when it’s all too late.

13. Know each other’s schedules.

It’s helpful to know when the other person is busy and free. So that you can drop a text or make a call at the right time. You wouldn’t want to disturb your partner when they are in the middle of class or halfway through a business meeting. Make sure you are aware of everyone’s small and big events in their lives, i.e., college midterms and exams, important business trips and meetings, job interviews, etc. Particularly if you live in different time zones, this becomes more important.

14. Keep track of each other’s social media activities.

Facebook and Instagram photos of each other. Send each other tweets. Tag each other on Facebook. Post stuff on each other’s wall. Let them know you care. Be cool with stalking each other.

15. Gift a personal object for the other person to hold on to.

Memories have power. No matter what it is–a pendant, a ring, a keychain, a collection of songs and videos, or a perfume bottle. Everyday items and things have meanings to us, whether we realize it or not. We all try to store memories in material things so that when our minds fail, we will still be able to look at or hold onto something that will help us recall our memories. This is why something so simple can mean so much to a person when others may see little or no value in it.

16. Get a good messaging app.

This is extremely important because texting is the most frequent and common way of communication the two of you have. You need a good messaging app on your phones that allows interactions beyond words and emoticons.

Personally, I use this messaging app called LINE. I find it highly effective because it has a huge reserve of playful and very funny “stickers” that are free for its users to use. You can also go to the app’s “Sticker Shop” to download (or gift!) extra stickers of different themes (e.g., Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Snoopy, MARVEL, etc.) at a low price. Occasionally, the app will give out free sticker sets for promotions. This messaging app is cute and easy to learn to use.

17. Snail-mail your gift.

Mail each other postcards and hand-written love letters. Send each other gifts across the globe from time to time. Flower deliveries on birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. Shop online and surprise each other with cool T-shirts, sexy underwear, and such.

18. Stay positive.

You need to constantly inject positive energy into the long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonely, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be sweet as heaven.

One good trick to staying positive is to be grateful all the time. Be thankful that you have someone to love — someone who also loves you back. Be thankful for the little things, like the hand-made letter that arrived safely in your mailbox the other day. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety.

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19. Keep each other updated on each other’s friends and family.

This will help you two to know each other’s culture and values. Knowing small habits of each other helps in developing an understanding and building mutual trust.

Talking about family and friends gives you more matters to talk about. The best thing to talk about is gossip and scandals.

20. Video-call whenever possible.

Because sometimes looking into each other’s eyes and hearing each other’s voices can make everything feel alright again.

A video call is though nothing like being together, but it’s the best thing and the most to do for coziness in a long-distance relationship.

21. Give each other pet names.

Because it’s cute. It keeps the lovey-dovey going. Having special names for each other reserved only for one another are heart-warming. Hearing that one word with love lifts our spirits up, and we feel assured all over again.

Chaos seems to fade away just by hearing that special word from someone special.

With the best wishes…

Love (or like) is a force that is beyond your control. Love just happens. The same goes for turning off those feelings, even when you get the perfect job halfway across the country.

Neither one of us expects to be long-distance in a relationship. But if you’re in a relationship like this, you’ll just have to make the most out of a difficult situation. These advice for long distance relationships will hopefully help you stay strong and cheerful when living apart from one another.

More Recommended Relationships Experts on Lifehack
  • Carol Morgan —  A communication professor, dating/relationship and success coach
  • Dr. Magdalena Battles — A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault
  • Randy Skilton —  An educator in the areas of relationships and self-help

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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