I know that loving yourself sounds hokey. I’m aware of it. And I’m still going to tell you that loving yourself is vital to your self-confidence. As women, we’re not taught to love ourselves, to appreciate our own greatness, or at the very least recognize it. And it’s one of the reasons we sorely lack self-confidence. Think I’m wrong? Think about how many times you undervalued yourself, whether in your relationship, the type of job you settled for, or the clients you allowed yourself to put up with. The list goes on.
Here are 9 ways to practice loving yourself. Practice every day. Forever.
1. Be kind to yourself
I don’t know about you, but I’m a perfectionist. When I screw things up I take it very hard. At that point, it’s easy to sink to a low. When this happens, I do my very best to be good to myself; I take time out to read, go for a walk. I give myself a break to remind myself that the world is my playground. And though I may fall off the monkeybars now and then, I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and just keep playing and having fun.
2. Positive-speak your mind
I don’t remember what book I read this in. But it’s scientifically-proven. Your mind is affected by the fodder you feed it. Nourish your mind with words and images that empower you and you will become empowered. Tell yourself how great you are and why.
Yeah, I sound hokey again. But it’s the way our mind works. You know what? Don’t believe me, but do watch this video.
3. Be vigilant in guarding your mind against negative thoughts
We have a limited amount of energy. And so as women who aspire to achieve success we have no time to put up with negative crap. Any energy spent on negativity will necessarily mean less energy spent on moving forward towards achieving our own goals. Furthermore, by letting negative thoughts in, we can easily destroy all the progress we’ve been making with those positive words and images.
4. Pursue your authentic greatness
You are here, on this planet, at this time, for a reason. What is it about you that makes you unique? Think about it. Figure it out. Think about why your friends love hanging out with you? What are the themes of your existence that come up time and time again? Pursue your authenticity. Love yourself for it. Bring the greatness you were meant to bring into this world.
5. Search for fun in everything you do
Learn to let go and just have fun. Letting go opens up so many avenues – not only to inspiration and creativity, but also to love. When you don’t take yourself or other too seriously it’s much easier to love. Don’t be fooled; not taking yourself too seriously doesn’t mean being a silly clown. It means having the ability to see things in a broader perspective.
6. Trust your inner voice
Learn to love yourself by trusting yourself. You have a strong inner voice. It knows what you need to do. Not always. Sometimes it prefers to stay silent. But when it knows, it knows.
A couple of weeks ago my daughter was out with some friends. She was out much later than expected and didn’t phone in. When I finally did find her, she was crying. She said she knew it was late, but her friends convinced her that it wasn’t. That voice that told her it was late – that was her inner voice. And in that situation my daughter had allowed her voice to be drowned out. Your inner voice knows. Love yourself. Trust yourself. And listen to it.
7. Practice gratitude
Everyday. Whether in prayer or whether acknowledging another person. Say thank you. Be specific. Be genuine. Practicing gratitude makes us better people. When we practice gratitude we are giving.
Every single one of us has the need to be appreciated. And when we give others gratitude, we are also giving to ourselves a sense of belonging and sense of love.
8. Reward yourself
As women, so many times we’re worrying about everybody else. We’re busy acknowledging and rewarding others. But rewarding ourselves is no less important. We must be strong so that we can continue strengthening those around us. So treat yourself. Reward yourself. Acknowledge yourself with something tangible. You deserve it.
9. Spend time with people you love and who love you
There’s no better way to feel loved than spending time with those that love and appreciate you beyond measure. For some people, it’s friends. For some people, it’s family. For some, it’s a mix of both. Make time for these important people in your life. And if you need a good word, don’t be scared to ask for it. These are the people who love you most. They see you with all your flaws, and they love you as you are. Just as you should, too.
Your turn. What would you add to this list?