“I would never want to belong to a club that would have someone like me for a member,” says Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) in Annie Hall.
This is a feeling familiar to many of us who often don’t like spending time with ourselves, who loathe the idea of being alone with our thoughts, who can’t find a way to love ourselves.
If you often (or always) feel this way, don’t blame yourself for it. Very often, your mind is your worst enemy, and very often, it doesn’t even give you a fighting chance. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stand up to it. Loving yourself is the foundation of being happy and no one should take that away from you.
So, let’s try taking it one day at a time and loving yourself a little more with each passing day. Read on to learn how.
Learn to Let Go
Do you lie at night and think about what you should have said or done in a specific moment in your past?
Maybe you shouldn’t have ended that high school friendship with a fight. Maybe you shouldn’t have burned the bridges when you walked away from your old job. Maybe you should have said “I love you” to a person that is no longer alive.
Thoughts such as these can torment you until the rest of your life, causing you to hate yourself and preventing you from being happy and productive. This can also be said about holding on to resentment at the actions or words of other people. These are the things that should stay behind you or they will drag you with them, inhibiting you to move forward.
Take Care of Yourself
While love is an abstract feeling, we often express it physically and through concrete actions. The same goes for self-love.
Start loving yourself by working to boost your wellbeing and securing a healthy, comfortable lifestyle. It’s the everyday things that matter a lot. Start with eating nutritious foods and making sure you sleep on a comfortable mattress and get a proper night’s rest. Do regular medical checkups and be physically active. Additional tangible displays of self-love, such as new clothes, beauty products, and spa days can’t hurt either.
Appreciate the Small Things
So, you didn’t buy the house you’ve always wanted to have? You didn’t get your dream job? You still haven’t lost enough weight? These goals are still there. They will be there tomorrow. But if you despair about them now, you might fail to see just how beautiful life is.
Joy can be found in the smell rising from a cup of coffee in the morning, a phone call from a dear friend, the crunchiness of potato chips, or a good hair day.
This is also relevant in the context of personal success. Valuing small victories will give you the encouragement to achieve the big ones.
Don’t Judge Yourself Too Much
Being a strict judge of your character is what makes you a better person. But when you take it too far and sell yourself short because of the faults you consider too big, you will never be satisfied with anything you do. Don’t overanalyze every action you make, and don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake. After all, mistakes make us learn about ourselves and become more confident and more successful.
Believe in Yourself
We all doubt ourselves sometimes. The problem occurs when the doubt becomes chronic and interferes with everything you do or try to do. Often, self-doubt can prevent you from accomplishing the simplest of tasks, such as going to the store or even making a phone call.
What you need in these cases is some good old-fashioned faith in yourself. This is not a simple task, especially if you’ve spent most of your life belittling yourself. Here are a few steps that will help take you there:
- Make peace with your current situation.
- Remember all your past achievements.
- Trust in your decisions and actions.
- Listen to your inner voice and give yourself supportive self-talk.
- Stand up to your fears.
- Forgive yourself for past failures.
- Adopt a positive attitude.
- Talk to a counselor or a therapist.
Starting to love yourself can be difficult. But loving yourself is easy and beautiful. So, don’t give up, even when everything appears hopeless. You will get there.