I always say that no human can love you as wholly and completely as you can love yourself. Too many things happen to different people that could easily be avoided if they loved, understood and appreciated themselves more.
Take abusive relationships for example, I don’t think a person would be in such a relationship if they loved and appreciated themselves, but this is just my opinion. Situations of lack of self-confidence and self-esteem also show the absence of self-love and appreciation, being unnecessarily envious of others is another example. There are so many other instances of lack of self-love.
Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves, what is self-love?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes self-love as “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage”
To me, self-love is the appreciation of oneself, which improves physical, mental and spiritual growth. Yes, self-love can improve your development as a person. Loving yourself a little bit more can affect every aspect of your life. It can affect your approach towards work, it can affect your interaction with others, it can influence your choice for a partner, and these are just a few.
Self-love can be developed if it’s not already present. Just the way you can develop love for another is the same way love for yourself can be developed. It is possible because I’ve been there, but that’s story for another day.
How can you develop self-love?
There are a number of things that you can do to help develop self-love, and if you go through Google, you’ll find a lot of different steps that may be different from what I am about to share. What I am about to share is mostly from experience and I sincerely hope it works for you too.
Give yourself some thought – Take some time to think about yourself. Be sure to have a pen and paper handy because you may want to write things down.
Come to terms with your strengths and weaknesses – Write down the things you’re very good at and also those that you’re bad at. Once you’ve recognized and accepted where your strengths and weaknesses lie, you would be able to appreciate yourself more, and work to improve on your weak points.
Goals – Write down all the goals you’ve set and accomplished so far, no matter how small it is. It could be a goal to try and be more polite or a goal to drink water more often. Whatever it is, just call it to mind. This should give you a sense of accomplishment and help you appreciate yourself more. While you’re at it, you can challenge yourself to set more goals.
Get to know yourself – A part of developing self-love is knowing and understand yourself, knowing what you’re about and what you stand for. You can start by writing down 20 things about yourself, and I am sure you will be amazed at the things you will realize. After this, you can take it in small sections, and think about where you stand concerning different areas of life, e.g. love, spirituality, friendship, family etc. Think about your values, what are those things you stand for? You can only appreciate what you know about, so get to know you!
Who are the people around you? – Toxic people can do a lot of damage to how we view ourselves, toxic people are those that never have any good thing to say or add to our lives. You should steer clear of such people. Surround yourself with great people, people that are capable of seeing the greatness in you and encourage you in bringing out your greatness. People that will challenge you to be better. Watch the people you surround yourself with, it will go a long way.