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Last Updated on April 27, 2020

How to Love Yourself And Embrace Who You Really Are

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

Qualified Life Coach

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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