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Discover How to Love Yourself Like You Mean It In These 10 Steps

Discover How to Love Yourself Like You Mean It In These 10 Steps

I know you have a busy life, but you need to remember something very important: in order to take care of others, you must first take care of yourself. And it’s a lot easier to get motivated to take care of yourself if you love your body.

Don’t misread me: I’m not saying you should become a condescending egomaniac who thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread or anything like that, but there is nothing wrong with loving yourself (you’re pretty awesome, I bet).

If you want to improve your body image and self-esteem, I invite you to discover how to love yourself like you mean it. Challenge accepted? Click ahead for your 10 Step Plan.

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1. Repeat after me: I’m not perfect, and that is okay.

Demanding perfection of yourself is just as effective as hunting for a magical dragon in your state park. How’s that? Because perfection is just as mythical (read: nonexistent) as magical dragons. No one is perfect. I know some magazine models might look like they have a “perfect body,” but that’s due to a little thing called Photoshop (not to mention the months of restrictive eating and gruesome training that probably preceded their photo shoot). Every person is born with a body-type that is unique to them. Yes, eat healthy and exercise to become the best version of yourself that you’re capable of being, but no amount of dieting (dreadful word) or training can defy genetics. Whether your body is “perfect” or not is beside the point. Love and accept your body, because it is a glorious vessel that protects you from sickness, carries you throughout your travels, and belongs to you alone.

2. Ask yourself: Would I say it about another person?

The next time you catch yourself thinking something like, “I hate my thighs,” or, “I look so fat in this outfit,” or, “I wish I wasn’t so ugly,” stop whatever you are doing and repeat the following steps:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take 10 deep breathes (your belly should come forward with each inhale)
  • Imagine those nasty, negative thoughts leaving your body with each exhale
  • Imagine warm, loving, positive thoughts entering your body with each inhale
  • After you complete this breathing cycle, ask yourself: “Would I say such things about another person?”

3. Think about it: What traits do you admire in the people you look up to?

I know the concept of loving yourself might be hard to wrap your head around, so here’s a fun exercise that might help. Think about the top five or ten people you admire. These could be close friends, family members, co-workers, mentors, or even an author or philanthropist who you look up to. Make a list of the individual traits and qualities you commend these people for. Below are some things I imagine could end up on your list:

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  • Never gives up
  • Shows empathy for others
  • Always does the right thing
  • Confident in who they are
  • Passionate about helping people

The point? Simple: None of the things listed above (or, I’m willing to wager, on your list) include one iota of detail about anyone’s physical appearance.

4. Answer this question: What do I like about myself?

Let’s make another list of the things you like about yourself. Your list could include things like physical and mental attributes, your sense of style/humor, talents and abilities that are unique to you, or any other factors that influence the strength of your character. For bonus points, ask a few close friends what they admire about you, and include their answers in your list. If you have a hard time creating your list, check out this article for inspiration.

5. Write it down: Make a list of all of those things.

I know I already told you to make a list, but I just want to emphasize how important it is that you actually write your answers down instead of just thinking about them. You might think you’ll remember, but life has a way of sneaking up on you and ruining even the best of intentions, so please trust me and “Just do it,” as Nike says.

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6. Hang it up: Positive reinforcement is your friend.

The next time you start to agonize over things about your body that you don’t like, consult your list for a positive reminder of all the things you do like. It might help to put your list in a place you’ll notice it at least once a day, like on top of the dresser that contains your underwear (you’ll see it every morning!), or maybe put it up on your refrigerator with a magnet (you’ll see it at least three times a day!). Just as negative thoughts are strengthened by repetition, so are positive ones.

7. The 3-for-1 Method: Every negative thought should be followed by three positive ones.

There is no debating the fact that the occasional negative thought will slip past your radar no matter what you do. The 3-for-1 Method is a great way to become more aware of what you’re thinking about and flip the script of your mental chatter in your favor. Every time you think a negative thought, immediately follow it with three positive ones. If you’re stressing out and can’t think of anything nice to think, here are a few questions that will guide you in the right direction:

  • What have I achieved at work, school, or home today/this week?
  • In what ways have I made a positive impact in someone’s life today/this week?
  • What are some things I should be happy, grateful, and excited for in this moment?

8. Big Picture Thinking: If it wouldn’t matter next month, it’s not worth stressing about.

Fact: Most forms of stress are self-inflicted. No, you can’t control every event in your life, but you can choose how to react to it. Wallowing in misery is counterproductive, so shift your focus away from the negative situation itself to the positive action you can take to make it better.

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9. Repeat after me: To take care of others, I must first take care of myself.

I know it never feels like there’s enough time in the day. I know life can feel like a never-ending To-Do List. I know you have children to raise, bills to pay, essays to write, jobs to fulfill, and chores to do. But you’re not the Energizer Bunny. You cannot expect yourself to be able to take care of every other person in your life if you can’t be bothered to take care of yourself. The sooner you get that, the more happy and fulfilled your life will be.

10. Smile, because you are worthy of love and happiness.

Will you smile for me? A giggle or chuckle would be even better. You can fake it if you have to. Don’t feel silly; it will make you feel better, I promise.

Life gets a lot better when you can learn to love yourself like you mean it.

If you find it difficult to wrap your head around the concept of self-love, I highly recommend reading the book, “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” by Kamal Ravikant. I know the concept of “falling in love with yourself” might seem a little awkward, but it is a great way to improve your body image and self-esteem. Please pass this along to any friends who you feel would be helped by it, and tell us how performing these steps worked for you in the comments.

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

The ability to reinvent and redefine yourself is a bold, daring and purposeful choice. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make a conscious, intentional choice and then follow through.

If the thought of forging a new path, changing habits, thought patterns and your inner circle of friends scares you – you’re not alone. Change can be a very scary thing. It takes courage, fortitude and a bit of faith to decide to shed your old self and don a new persona. However, it is one of the most critical processes one must repeatedly endure in the pursuit of destiny. Change unlocks new levels of potential.

The Need for Change

Everyday when we wake up, we make a decision. We decide to follow our routine or we decide to go off script and shake things up a bit. For those who are creatures of habit, routine is comfortable, easy and produces very little stress. The problem with this is, after a while you stop growing.

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We all reinvent ourselves at some point in our lives. It is absolutely necessary to achieve certain levels of success.

Reflect back on who you were as a teenager and then who you were at 25. Those are two very different people. Most of us are completely different. Your thought patterns changed, your appearance, job, level of education and even your friends– changed. We like to refer to this as “growing up” or maturing and consider it to be one of life’s natural progressions. However the changes you made were purposeful and deliberate.

This process must be a lifelong and continuous cycle. You are never too old to refresh yourself.

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Happy_old_man

    Signs It’s Time to Redefine

    “Just as established products and brands need updating to stay alive and vibrant, you periodically need to refresh or reinvent yourself.”– Mireille Guiliano

    So how do you know when it’s time for a system upgrade? There are signs along the way that alert you that it is time for an overhaul. The first sign is the feeling of being stuck. If you feel like you are in a rut, you’re bored with life or you need some newness and excitement, a self reinvention may be in order. Re-evaluate your life vision and your goals. Is that vision still valid and are your goals consistent with your vision and–are they achievable? If you are off course, it’s time for a change. If you are not moving forward and making progress, it’s time for a change.

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    In life, there’s no such thing as neutrality–you’re either moving forward or you are moving backward. Time constantly moves forward and if you are standing still, you are actually losing ground. No matter your age or stage in life– there is always room for improvement.

    “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

    The second sign that you are due for a change is the occurrence of major life events in which change is forced upon you. Getting married, starting a new job, being promoted, ending a relationship, becoming a parenting or relocating are all prime opportunities to completely overhaul your life.

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    When these major shifts occur in your life–you have to shift with them. You can’t have a single mentality and have a successful marriage. You can’t remain selfish and irresponsible, and raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. You can’t be promoted to a supervisory position and keep the same subordinate attitude. Each level of success requires something different from you.

    Aronld in Predator

      Consider, for a moment, Arnold Schwarzenegger. People may have different opinions about his character and some of his life choices, but he is a master at reinventing himself. He achieved the ultimate success as a professional body builder by earning the title “Mr. Universe” three times. He then earned a tremendous amount of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry making action/adventure films. And in his latest role, he served two terms as the Governor of California. He succeeded as a professional body builder, a film star and a politician. Each role required massive amounts of change, commitment, strength and hard work.

      And if Arnold can do it…so can you!

      Featured photo credit: BK via flickr.com

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