Take a quick look around the personal development world and you quickly find hundreds of amazing articles that aim to help you in getting the most out of your day. You’ll find ways to change the world, how to quit your day job, dads with a passion for writing, and loads of other advice from awesome individuals. Over the past few years ,I’ve literally read hundreds of blogs and in the process have grown a tremendous amount.
Despite all the tips and life hacks out there, I think the base of personal development comes down to something simpler: How much do you love yourself? I’m not talking about the kind of egotistical love based purely on pleasure and fame, but rather I’m talking about the strength of your relationship with yourself. Today I’d like to share with you 7 ways to love yourself and help you plugin to your identity.
I’ve gone through a period of my life where I was extremely hard on myself. Every little mistake I made, I quickly amplified it into something much larger than it really was. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the fact that I didn’t forgive myself was preventing me from connecting with who I really was.
I know people who have carried their mistakes with them their entire life, and as result they remain unhappy at the core. I know what it’s like to make a mistake and feel like you shouldn’t be forgiven, but that kind of thinking is nonsense. There is no action not worthy of forgiveness. Forgiveness may take time, but don’t look back at your mistakes as a fatal flaw you must fix, instead choose to embrace them completely as the whole person you are.
Forgiving yourself for your mistakes and shortcomings can be difficult and does take practice, but it remains essential in loving yourself fully.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
I’m just as guilty as the next person in this area, for this is something that I too am struggling with even today. But as I’ve come to realize the more you compare yourself to others the less self worth you place on yourself.
When I became the main writer of this blog back in early February, I was somewhat insecure as to how I was going to be received. Taking over one of the most popular personal development blogs in the world is no easy feat, especially when Glen provided so much value day in and day out.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have moments where I would compare myself to the past successes of Glen and PluginID, which as I soon found out was a stupid and pointless. It was because of writing this article that I came to understand how foolish it is to compare yourself to others. Only when you stop comparing yourself to others can then you then begin to love yourself. I think it’s ironic how easily this article has ‘flown’
Stop Seeking Approval
Seeking approval is similar to comparing yourself to others, and it’s fair to say that we all do it from time to time. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve never sought approval from my family or friends, but I’m also going to tell you that when approval was my main focus those were also not the happiest times in my life.
Over the past year or so I’ve come to realize that my career path probably won’t be the most accepted by my friends and family, that is I want to be an entrepreneur, a writer, and a public speaker. Yet, I’ve come to discover that when you continuously seek approval from others to validate your own self worth, you’re simply damaging yourself relationship with yourself. I’ve accepted that my line of work might not be the ‘safest’ but I’m OK with that.
Not seeking approval doesn’t mean to not care. I can say without hesitation that I genuinely care about what my family and friends think, however it’s important you stop the process of seeking. When you rely on being happy from an outside source your setting yourself up to be miserable.
Believe In Yourself
Loving and believing in yourself go hand in hand. You can’t love yourself if you don’t believe in yourself, and you can’t believe in yourself if you don’t love yourself first. To fully experience what it means to live you must have a confidence in all you do, even during the times in which you come up short.
Believing in yourself can be hard at times, especially when nothing seems to be going right, but it is during those times that you need your own love the most.The wonderful about believing in yourself is that you are the only one responsible. You don’t need a stamp of approval before you can to begin to have faith in yourself.
Trust in your judgement and know that through both the good and bad you are worthy.
Some of my happiest moments have occurred when I’m simply sitting in silence by myself. While I can be a very social person at times, I also need to have my alone time. For me, this sometimes means meditation, or sometimes I’ll just go for a long walk. Practicing silence allows for you to get a glimpse of the person you really are.
I know the act of practicing silence may not qualify as love for some people,but I feel I’m most connected with myself spiritually when I’m still. While I don’t resonate fully with any one particular religion, I’ve had my most spiritual moments when I’m sitting in complete silence.
Practicing silence allows for you to turn off all that chatter and self doubt and directly experience the bliss of being alive. You owe it to yourself to be silent at least once a day.
Eat Healthy And Exercise
Part of loving yourself is allowing your body to be in its top form. An occasional indulgence in alcohol or some fast food isn’t the end of the in the world but making a habit of destroying your body is. Many don’t realize, but your relationship to your physical body and mind is very important.
Truly loving yourself means that you take care of your body and do everything you can to keep it in good shape, both physically and mentally. Don’t expect to have a good relationship with yourself if you abuse the machine consistently.
A few weeks ago I realized that I wasn’t taking as much care of my body as I should be, so I committed to going to the gym 5 days a week. While it’s only been a few weeks, I’ve already noticed the benefits of going to the gym and eating healthy. Small steps make a massive difference.
One of the greatest ways you can love yourself is to express your gifts, whatever they may be. Finding and honing your brilliance is a way to reveal what it is that makes you remarkable. Do you enjoy to write? Share your stories with the world. Do you like to draw? Paint until your hearts content. Do you like helping people find their purpose? Do so by connecting with as many people as you can. It doesn’t matter what your passions are, express them to the best of your ability.
Unfortunately, Some people chose not to express their talents and passions because they feel as if they might get ridiculed or made fun of. But the reality is, failing to express yourself is failing to love yourself. Loving yourself comes down to expression.
Are you able to express your beauty within? As one of my favorite runners Steve Prefontaine once said, ” To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
If you really want to change the world, if you really want to experience that life you’ve always desired, you must first love yourself fully, because all the advice in the world won’t matter if you don’t.
It won’t always be be easy, but your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have. Make each day a day in which you continue to deepen your relationship with yourself and experience the life you know you were meant to live. The world depends on you to love yourself.
I love myself.
The more important question is, do you?