Updated: Feb 3
You are your biggest critic. When was the last time you complimented yourself? Self-doubt is a common phenomenon that impacts more than 85% of the population on a regular basis. It’s something nearly everyone experiences from time to time.
On the contrary, you are also your biggest supporter. Nobody knows your life as well as you. They don’t know your strengths, your aspirations, or your motivations.
Self-love is the fuel that keeps your thoughts about yourself positive. Self-love is one of the most important qualities to develop if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life. Let’s break it down.
A process. Don’t be discouraged if you are not able to “turn off” your negative thoughts like a light switch. Life happens, and it’s realistic to have negative thoughts. Self-love is all about recognizing that negativity, capturing it, combating it, and transforming it into a positive experience. Here are four self-love actions you can start implementing today.
Love Yourself Unconditionally
According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “unconditionally” means “with no limits in any way.” It doesn’t matter if it’s physically, mentally, financially, or socially. The moment you feel negative thoughts creeping up, silence them with love. We are not born with the innate desire to dislike ourselves. It is something we learn from our environment.
Dr. Irene Levine, the “Friendship Doctor,” wrote a piece on how friendships help us build our self-confidence and says that friends “model new ways of being.” This means that we look up to our friends and those we spend time with.
Try spending your time around people who practice self-love. Their habits, self-appreciation, and positive energy will encourage you to also think positively about yourself.
Accepting Your Limitations
This is arguably the hardest thing to do when it comes to developing a sense of self-love. Why? Because our society constantly urges us to exceed our limits, not accept them.
However, if you push yourself too much, you can create a cycle of negative thinking that discourages you and breaks you down mentally.
Accepting your limits doesn’t mean giving up on your goals. It means setting realistic goals and achieving them.
Saying Yes to Your Reality
Your reality is unique and tailored to you. You cannot reject your reality. Instead, you should embrace it! Even if it’s not ideal, your reality is a part of your story.
Learn to embrace every aspect of your life...the good, the bad, and the ugly. When you reject your reality, it’s like rejecting a part of yourself. If you don’t like the situation you are in, work to change it.
Caring for the Whole Person
You are a complex being, so it’s important to care for every aspect of yourself: Your mind, your body, and your soul. Achieving the perfect body will not help if you still have mental self-doubt. Someone could make one bad comment about your hair and ruin your whole day! Self-love is about loving all the parts of the beautiful and unique person you are.
In the next three articles of our “How to Love Yourself” series, we will dive deeper into each aspect of self-love: Loving your Mind, Loving your Body, and Loving your Soul. Our hope is that, by the end of the series, you will be prepared to start loving yourself in new and inspiring ways!
KQH Mental Health Counseling is a private practice that provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families. To learn more about our services or book a consultation, be sure to visit our website.