Many people struggle greatly with accepting themselves for who they are. Not only that. They also have great difficulties in learning to love themselves. It is an area of self-discovery that most try to avoid as best as they can. They simply do not feel comfortable in their own skin and don’t know how to change that. However, who should ever truly love you if you don’t even love and appreciate yourself the way you are? By understanding what you can do to love yourself more, you will initiate a remarkably powerful process of emotional healing. Some even consider the ability to love oneself as an integral aspect of solving a great variety of problems. In the following, you can find 25 easy steps you can take to love yourself more. Here’s how to love yourself – day in and day out.
The great problem with love is that most of us predominantly come with its external expression in contact. Early on in life, we learn how it feels like to love another person. We go through a remarkable process that shows us what it means to love our parents, our siblings and our friends. We admire the people we hold dear and accept them for who they are, with all their faults and weaknesses.
At the same time, self-love and self-acceptance are concepts that are difficult to comprehend for many of us. It is far easier to extend our love outwards than it is to find a way to deal with our insecurities and weaknesses. The often times difficult relationship we have to ourselves is even further complicated by puberty and the many changes we go through during this stage.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
By cultivating self-love, you can greatly change how you feel about yourself. It will help you to become more gentle, kind and accepting of yourself. Loving yourself will also enable you not only to accept your weaknesses and imperfections but also to be more compassionate about these. Self-love will help you to understand that you are not perfect but that you are perfect the way you are.
Once you to learn how you can love yourself more, amazing changes can be effective in your life. Your overall life’s quality will increase and you will become less dependent on the opinion of other people. At the same time, your relationship with yourself and other people will drastically improve.
How to love yourself more?
But what can you do to love yourself more? What steps can you take to develop a greater level of self-acceptance and self-respect?
Here are 25 simple steps to help you to learn how to love yourself.
1. Learn to forgive yourself
Forgiveness can be truly liberating. If you are willing to forgive not only other people but also yourself, you can liberate yourself from what happened in the past. Learning to forgive yourself is an essential step in your journey of self-discovery. On the one hand, holding on to anger and frustration about what happened will only cause pain. On the other hand, forgiving yourself will help you to heal old and deeply ingrained wounds. If you can learn to accept the mistakes you committed in the past, you can make an important step towards greater self-compassion.
Understand that you cannot make the past undone. Everything that happened has happened and cannot be changed. However, you can always change how you feel about what happened in the past. If you accept your past mistakes, you can use this acceptance as the foundation upon which a more loving relationship with yourself can be constructed.
2. Let go of the past, live in the present
As already addressed, it is important to let go of your past mistakes. If you allow the past to haunt you, you will only deprive the present moment of its joy and strength.
What happened in the past can make you feel quite uncomfortable about yourself. The past can be a source of discontent, anger and sorrow. But these emotions make it all the more difficult for you to accept yourself and to be compassionate about yourself. Let go of the things that happened in the past and relief yourself from the burden that you carry with yourself. Learn to live more in the moment and to enjoy more of its beauty.
3. Mute your inner critic
We all have this inner voice inside us that continuously criticizes whatever we do. It is important to identify this inner critic. In some situations, this inner voice can be quite beneficial as it helps you in identifying areas of your life that need to be improved. In most cases, however, the inner critic is simply engaging in negative self-talk. It will tell you that you are not strong enough, that you cannot do this or that you cannot do that and that you should better give up immediately.
The way you think about yourself can greatly determine your ability to love yourself. If you continuously keep telling yourself that you are no good, it is more likely that you struggle greatly with accepting yourself. At the same time, by changing how you talk to yourself, you can affect great changes in your ability to love yourself.
Take note of the negative self-talk and see if you can replace it with more beneficial beliefs about yourself. A good place to start with is to learn techniques of thinking more positively. Positive affirmations may also prove to be excellent for this.
4. Love your faults, weaknesses, and imperfections
When asked about true friendship, Randa Abdel-Fattah said that true friends will love you because of all your faults and imperfections, not despite them. The same holds true to developing a more compassionate and accepting relationship with yourself. Don’t try to love yourself despite all your imperfections. Discover the beauty in all your faults and learn to love yourself because of all these weaknesses. These are the things that make you truly unique. Without them, you would simply be a perfect shell with nothing inside.
No one of us is perfect. And I’m sure that you are also struggling with certain faults, weaknesses, and imperfections. In most cases, these imperfections cannot be changed. But you can still decide how you think about these aspects of yourself.
If you get up each morning, reminding yourself of everything you hate about your body and personality, you will only put yourself down. If you really want to learn how to love yourself more, it is essential to develop a healthy attitude towards all your imperfections. The first step in this direction is to slowly but gradually accept these aspects about yourself. This may certainly take some time. But the goal of all of this is that you will one day look at all your faults and see how every single one adds in a positive way to your personality.
5. Don’t make your self-love dependent on external circumstances
There will never be the perfect moment to start loving yourself. For this reason, it is important to start working on the relationship with yourself from this present moment onwards. Don’t wait for external circumstances to suddenly ignite your self-love. This will never happen.
There are far too many people who make their self-acceptance dependent on external circumstances. They deeply want to love themselves, but they make this dependent on the occurrence of external events that are more or less beyond their influence. Some make their self-love dependent on their weight, others on their partners. But this seldom will lead you very far.
6. Cultivate patience and kindness
Far too many people are overly critical of themselves. They are impatient with their progress in life and struggle greatly with each mistake they commit. Some even punish themselves for minor mistakes.
Learning to love yourself also means that you learn to be gentle with yourself. It means that you are patient with yourself during times of challenges. Even more so, it means that you are kind with yourself when you make a mistake. You should treat the relationship you have with yourself as any other relationship that is important to you. You wouldn’t aggressively yell at someone you hold dear for a minor mistake, wouldn’t you? So treat yourself with the same dignity and respect you treat others. You deserve to receive just as much patience and kindness from yourself as you extend to your beloved ones.
7. Cultivate self-gratitude
The concept of gratitude is an integral aspect of living a happy and meaningful life. But when it comes to gratitude, most people are grateful for all the amazing external aspects of their life. This in itself is already perfect. By cultivating gratitude, you can greatly reduce feelings of discontent and unhappiness.
But if you want to take things a little further, you can also practice self-gratitude. It is an aspect of gratitude that is often entirely forgotten. But it is tremendously important when it comes to learning to love yourself more. In this sense, self-gratitude can be considered a central pillar of self-love.
Remind yourself daily about all the wonderful aspects of yourself. Think about your strengths, your talents and your accomplishments in life. Be grateful for who you are and the kind of person you have become.
8. Get in touch with your true self
The reason why most children struggle little with issues of self-love is that they are more in touch with their true nature. Children are wonderful because they simply cannot help but to engage in all the beautiful things that give them great joy and happiness. There are no restrictions they pose upon themselves that hold them back from being happy.
Sometimes, it can be greatly helpful to be more in touch with your true self. Do things that are fun. Incorporate joyful activities into your life. But don’t just engage in these activities every once in a while. Make them an active part of your day to day life. Stop pursuing those activities that do not add joy, happiness, and meaning to your life.
9. Discover the world within by journaling
Writing a journal is a fantastic way to get more in touch with the world within you. It will help you to reflect not only on your life’s experiences but also on the relationship you have with yourself. At the same time, writing down what bothers you can in itself be tremendously relieving.
10. Go further inward by means of meditation/mindfulness
Mindfulness practices such as meditation are a fantastic addition to journaling. Meditative exercises will help you to go inside and encourage you to develop a better relationship with yourself. They will help you to be more in control of your feelings and how you feel about yourself.
11. Pay attention to your emotions
Making yourself emotionally numb is never a great idea in the long run. Instead of running away from things that make you uncomfortable, angry or sad, confront these emotions head on. There are certain aspects of a relationship that need to be discussed openly in order to deepen the connection. The same holds true for the relationship you have with yourself.
12. Stop trying to be perfect
The pursuit of personal perfection is inevitably destined to fail. That’s because humans are far from being perfect. But this does not necessarily have to be something negative. Quite the contrary, it is what makes us unique. Imagine how this world would look like if every single person in it were nothing but perfect.
In many instances, excessive perfectionism can be a great obstacle towards loving yourself. If you expect nothing but excellence and perfection from yourself, you may deeply regret every single imperfection that occurs. This, in turn, makes it all the more difficult to develop a healthy and loving relationship with yourself. After all, how should you ever love yourself if you are far from being perfect?
13. Spend more time with yourself
Why do people go out on dates? Because they want to get to know each other. But how should you ever develop a deep connection with yourself, if you don’t spend at least some time alone with yourself? If you want to learn to love yourself more, it is crucial to schedule some quality time for yourself. Take yourself some time to pursue your passions or to reflect on yourself and your life. Whatever it is to choose to do, invest some time in yourself and use it to develop a deeper connection with yourself.
Spending more time with yourself may sound easy at first. But this is exactly what many people struggle greatly with. They are so used to be surrounded by other people that they feel painfully uncomfortable when confronted with times of solitude. Don’t shy away from spending some time alone with yourself. Use these phases to get to know yourself better and to recharge your batteries.
14. Treat yourself to something nice
Life is not only about working hard to accomplish your dreams. It is also about taking yourself some time to celebrate your accomplishments. Whenever you reach an important goal in your life, reward yourself for it. Don’t just check off the goal from your to-do list. Instead, treat yourself to something nice for having succeeded.
Celebrating your successes may not automatically make you love yourself more. However, by rewarding yourself for exceptional efforts, you will make the pursuit of your goals less straining. And in doing so, you have something you can look up to that keeps you going. Rewarding yourself will help you to be more willing to go the extra mile, which can greatly help you to reduce the pressure that rests upon you.
15. Reduce your dependence on other people’s approval
A lack of self-love and the search for other people’s validation go hand-in-hand. If you struggle greatly with appreciating and loving yourself, you may become quite dependent on other people’s approval. It can go so far that this external validation becomes a full replacement for the self-love a person lacks. The good thing is that by becoming less dependent on other people’s opinion, you will make an important step towards loving yourself more unconditionally.
Gaining independence from other people’s approval will help you to realize that the only approval you will ever need is your own. If you approve of yourself, if you approve of who you are and if you approve of how you behave, then everything is fine. Learning to approve of yourself will greatly help you to gain liberation from other people’s opinion. Because let’s face it, it’s impossible to change how other people think of you. So why even bother?
16. Let others teach you to love yourself
There are times in life when it is incredibly difficult to love yourself. During these situations, it can be quite beneficial to be taught by your loved ones – again and again – how to love yourself. What is meant by this? It means that other people’s unconditional love can reignite your self-love. By loving you for who you are, these people will give you the confidence that is needed to be more self-accepting, even of your greatest insecurities.
Your loved ones can show you in an amazing way everything there is to love about you. They can encourage you to take a step back and to look at yourself from a different perspective.
17. Explore the world, learn something new
Routines and stagnation can greatly deprive your life of excitement and joy. If you’re unhappy with your life, you’re more likely to be in a less loving relationship with yourself.
By developing curiosity about the world you live in, you can magnificently spice up your life. It will introduce new ideas and opportunities to life, which helps you to break free from limiting routines. All it takes is the willingness to learn something new and to do things a little different than you always did.
18. Get rid of everything that is holding you back
If you feel that there is something in your life that is holding you back, see if you can liberate yourself from it. In some situations, there are toxic people in your life that cause nothing but trouble. In other situations, you engage in activities that drain you. Whatever it is, give your best to let go of it. Do what must be done in order to free yourself from the negative impact of these activities or people.
You’ll see that loving yourself will be much easier when your life is less chaotic and troublesome.
19. Stop comparing yourself to others
Continuously comparing yourself to others will add nothing to your life but discontent. The reason for this is that comparisons are simply not fair. First of all, we seldom have the right metrics to compare our accomplishments in life with those of another person. Secondly, when comparing ourselves to others, we more often than not compare our own weak areas with the respective leaders in these fields. As a result, you’re almost always going to lose comparisons, which is why they are not that helpful when it comes to learning to love yourself.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, make comparisons with your former self. The only person on this planet you can safely compare yourself with is you.
20. Find something you excel at
There’s nothing more joyful than following a passion at which you excel. It’ll give you a great boost of confidence to see that you have attained greatness or even some level of mastery in this area. And if you feel that there’s nothing in your life that you excel at, go out and change that.
21. Surround yourself with loving people
The people you surround yourself with can greatly shape how you feel about yourself. If you are surrounded by supportive, caring and loving individuals, you will automatically be more inclined to love yourself for who you are. However, if you are continuously surrounded by people who criticize you for no good reason, people who make you feel bad about yourself, you are less likely to think positively of yourself.
22. Establish balance in your life
Harmony and balance can greatly help you to love yourself more. If your life is in balance, you will feel much better about yourself in the long run. At the same time, if you are living an imbalanced life, you might greatly struggle to appreciate yourself for who you are.
23. Be honest with yourself
If you want to start loving yourself more and more, you will have to address uncomfortable questions. Even more so, you will have to meet uncomfortable decisions so that you can develop a deeper connection with yourself. It is precisely this kind of honesty that allows you to make the biggest leaps towards loving yourself. Without self-honesty, you will only shy away from addressing critical issues, which won’t lead you anywhere.
24. Don’t just think about yourself
Amazingly enough, by helping others you can add meaning and purpose to life. Scientific research has shown time and time again that if you are willing to help others, you will live a happier life. So don’t just think about what you can do to increase your self-love. Think about ways that help you to share this love.
By treating other people kindly, you are more likely to attract other generous and kind people into your life as an added bonus.
25. Start implementing the changes that need to be made
Learning to love yourself takes patience. But most important of all, it takes the willingness to effect the necessary changes in your life. Otherwise, you will only waste your time reading more or less informative articles and books about this subject.
Cultivate self-love by making it a habit to become a little more loving and kinder each day.
I hope you enjoyed this article about simple ways to love yourself more. What are your strategies for treating yourself in a more loving way?